Thursday, September 10, 2009

Towers Mahal

This Doorway Is 350 Years Old

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


In 2003, I spotted this ancient, carved archway in the courtyard of the Taj Mahal during a day trip to Agra from New Delhi. I figured it was perfect to frame this spectacular mausoleum, especially since the sky was very hazy.

I took some shots with the pre-digital SLR I was using at the time (it was 2003, after all) and I was walking away when my young son urged me to take one last shot, as a backup, with a little Ricoh Instamatic. Luckily I followed his advice.

When we got home to Melbourne, I handed in all my film to the Kodak store that always processed my work - and where I had bought all my film for the trip.

They called me later to say one roll of film was completely blank - and I was devastated when we worked out (by process of elimination) which one it was. I had lost every SLR shot of the Taj - except what I had shot of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Instamatic!

Later, when I checked the spools in the Kodak store, it became apparent that it was a reel of film I had bought as a back-up in New Delhi, a few hours before we went to Agra.

For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.

22 comments:

Shadow said...

what a perfect 'frame'!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

wow...that must be the Bestest or seminal door EVER!!!!intest

♥ Braja said...

Oh bummer! And yes, I've stood in that doorway. I surprised myself and actually liked the Taj :) It was peaceful, quiet, a late afternoon visit, and the Yamuna flowed quietly and I could swear I heard her....

Sandi McBride said...

Now that is a door! Lovely framing...
Sandi

Mimi said...

Lucky that your young son was with you!
Incredible framing,an eye to the Taj.

Jeni said...

Boy, that was a stroke of luck for sure, that you got this one shot -and a really beautiful picture it is too. Just takes your breath away when you first see this picture. As always, great work, David!

Daryl said...

Exquisite ... leave it to you to find 'the' spot to shoot from!

Suzanne said...

A stroke of luck. A genius shot. A great story.

It doesn't' get any better! I dream of seeing the Taj.

Corey~living and loving said...

really really really great framing, David. :)

Thumbelina said...

Fabulous shot. A true artist's eye.

NitWit1 said...

What a wonderful unplanned shot and how intuitive of your son to make the suggestion. LOVE IT.

My husband swore by toss-away cameras and with his limited skills they were all he needed.

I finally converted him to a Canon A1000IS, set on auto and told him to shoot away. I got him a printer for photos only and showed how to select a shot and print.

He is in love with it. He doesn't know, and I don't plan to confuse him that both camera and printer will do far more than I've shown him....

Sarah Laurence said...

What a door to another world! Perfectly framed shot. How horrible to think that you lost a roll of film. What a relief to realize the mistake. I sort of miss the thrill of discovery with old film but not enough to go back to it.

Dimple said...

That's a wonderful shot- much better than the usual pictures I see of the Taj. I guess I get bored by the same old thing! Good thing you took your son's advice!

SandyCarlson said...

Thank goodness you listened to your child! This is a wonderful reminder that the eye of the photographer makes the photo. Thanks for sharing your vision.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

What a shame, but also what a lucky last shot. It is a really great frame for somewhere I would love to visit someday.

Maggie May said...

I love the curly door!
Great that your son urged you to take that last shot!

Grace and Bradley said...

It is a nice that you still has at least one photo. I heard too many story, including one from myself, that the photographer lost the memory card during the trip, thus all the image. I am still wondering the film was blank (not exposed, the camera did not wind the film) or black (totally exposed negative).

willow said...

Stunning. Just stunning.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Oh, how important it is to listen to our little guys! Wonderful photo!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Out of the mouths of babes... this gives new meaning to that expression. What a gorgeous photograph! So glad you took the little man's advice. :-)

Mojo said...

Pretty good dynamics in this shot for no more control than you'd have over exposure! Very impressive!

As I always say, the photograph is made six inches behind the camera. All the camera does is record it.

susieofarabia said...

A supremely awesome shot! Wow!