-by Mayur Puri
Made with Leica: V-Lux 5
It’s a particularly balmy evening in May 2020 and the sound of my Leica’s shutter reverberates in my mind long after I’ve released the button. I check the photo. It’s my favorite setup. Evening sun against the dramatic Mumbai sky. The sigh of happiness I breathe, becomes a short whistle on its way out and I go back into my apartment from my terrace. Yes, I’m done for the day.
Not that there is much to do anyway. Lockdown has ensured that all my photographic pursuits are restricted to my windows and my terrace. And I’m not complaining. There are miles of mangroves stretching outside my building in Goregaon West. This is a complete ecosystem of fantastic diversity. Lack of pollution in the recent months has only helped the flora and fauna to flourish. But I cannot crop away the city as much as I want. All of this natural beauty is like a small diamond clamped down in a large ring. So, I try to be true to this vision and click it with some reference of the city, lest we forget the context of its existence.
On most evenings, Mumbai skies behave like a haughty fisherwoman or a rising Bollywood starlet, throwing up a million colors like tantrums and changing its fickle expressions by the minute. On Instagram, my go-to hashtag for the evening sky is #Nautanki I try to capture these images of the naughty, haughty sky with some stark city structure or with my favorite bird – Crows. Crows are beautiful and super smart. They live in the periphery of humans but have never been domesticated. They are the real wild hunters of the city. And since they have such graceful shape whether flying or sitting still, they are ideal subjects for amateur photographers like me. Their natural Tuxedo like coats glisten in the setting or rising sun, making every shot worthwhile. And this guy looked majestic with the early moon behind his beak.
As humans we have a very limited view of our universe and even lesser control of it. But looking into the viewfinder and having complete control over what you see is very empowering. And the totality of that control comes with every ‘Click!’ The shutter, literally, shuts off the outside world and allows me to create my own world where even time is frozen at my mercy.
My Leica V-Lux is an ideal friend to have. It’s quick, it’s precise and it’s extremely user-friendly. The two of us create moments that are precious, beautiful and extraordinary from the everyday ordinary life that I otherwise have.