|The Pondicherry Skyline|
After you have read this blog, and if you are in Pondicherry, do yourself a favor and head down to the Pondicherry Museum near Bharti Park, for a rare glimpse of a magnificent painting just in front of the ticket desk. You do not even have to enter the museum. Painted several centuries ago, this work of art reflects the city's skyline as seen from the sea. This is what provoked me to do the same. At the end of the blog is a video of all the footage we managed.
Before you set about on a similar expedition on a fishing boat, know that:
1. Even on a sunny day, the sea is deceptively and extremely turbulent when you are in a small wooden boat. Do not consume a heavy meal before the trip. Avoid soft drinks and drink only water. Suck on a sour lime when you start to feel sick. Taking an Avomine tablet for motion sickness might not work especially if it knocks you out.
2. The ocean spray will get into your camera lens so make sure you have a filter on. Salt water and sand can damage lenses beyond repair; often the damage is not visible to the naked eye. A plastic cover wrapped around the camera body is a good idea.
3. Try sitting in the center of the boat for steady pics. Remember that the boat rocks even when the anchor is let down. Chances are you will have crooked horizons on most of your pics.
|Example of a Crooked Horizon|
4. Sit at the tip of the boat only if you are absolutely certain of your balance and a good swimmer! At times, you feel like a 50 foot wave is steadily building up with the sole aim of gobbling you up. Keep calm and say 'Seriously, what is this?'
5. Try and set out early in the morning for soft light. Even if I would have preferred twilight or night shots of the city from the sea, I wasn't sure if this was a great idea, with a wooden boat.
6.Set you camera on Burst Mode. This way, even if your head, body and/or boat is tilted at 45 degrees, you will manage to sneak in a few shots with perfect horizons from time to time.
7. Stand only if the anchor is dropped and if you are in the center of the boat. Although the shots could be more interesting, never ignore your boatman's warnings. When he asks you to sit, you do exactly that with no questions asked!
|Your Boss for the Day|
8. Wait until the wave breaks for a more dramatic picture, full of movement and life.
|The Wave has Broken|
9. From the sea, the land takes on a life of its own. Monsieur Dupleix's curly locks appear to fly in the sea breeze, and everything is somewhat surreal, animated and exaggerated. Or maybe it's just me.
10. And finally, while embarking and disembarking the boat, watch your balance and take care not to step onto the 'shore' which is a hotbed of glass splinters, preservatifs and other yucky stuff you don't want getting your feet into.
Enjoy the moment! And don't forget the painting in the museum! Until then. here is a video of Pondicherry's historic skyline -- replete with piers, statues, lighthouses and Love.