Hampi Landscapes in 60 Minutes
After an action-packed 2 days in Bengaluru shooting the first leg of The Third Eye Tour, our next brief stop was at Hampi, something I was keenly looking forward to on this tour. Going back, I remember my first camera was a Kodak KB 10 which I had bought for Rs 700 in 10th grade back in high school for a school trip to Hampi. That was a memorable trip and I wanted to make sure that I had a camera to capture some wonderful moments with my friends before we passed out of high school and parted ways, that was back in 2005.
Now nearly after 9 years, I was visiting Hampi only for the second time but as a photographer with a bunch of unknown faces and a few similar ones. The feeling was nostalgic with lots of memories from that school trip and all the fun we had then. The entire Hampi stopover was only for two nights for the crew and just one night for me as I had to return back home the next evening. So, I had to make the best of what I had and try to score some good images for the crew against arguably the most beautiful backdrops in the world.
That evening when we arrived at Hampi, it looked like the place was getting hit by an onslaught of tourists, It was an absolute peak season and the town was in the midst of a major festival. Hence, the entire evening was just spent sorting logistics for the crew with hardly any skateboarding activity. So, we were just left with a single day of the shoot the next day.
The Third Eye Tour consisted of 60 odd crew members which had organizers, skateboarders, media, and friends. We were all quite spread out at different locations that it was hard to communicate and formulate a plan for the shoot. Also, since most of them had hardly any clue about the magnificent Hampi, it wasn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s very important to know about a place, it’s history, and culture for being able to successfully incorporate it in the scheme of things.
A small crew gathered early in the morning and went around a few places in the town shooting some action shots amidst huge curious onlookers & locals. A shoot I thoroughly enjoyed and kept wishing that we had more time to explore and more number of skateboarders for more scintillating images. By late afternoon, we returned to our camp had lunch, shared my images, discussed a few things and it was time for me to return back home.
In the evening, I had roughly an hour before I had to board my bus and I really wanted to go shoot some Hampi landscapes around sunset time. I knew the light would be dramatic and ideal to get some nice landscape images. I dropped my bags at Mango Tree restaurant and headed for a stroll around the temple and upon the small rocky hill. Here, I wasn’t shooting for anything or for anybody except myself. So, I was pretty relaxed and experimental in the shooting. Later, In the process, I realized that I had to come back here on my own and spend a good amount of time exploring the unlimited number of compositions, lighting situations at different seasons to really capture the essence of this once magnificent city, now in ruins. Just then, the sun had set, I was hungry, I had a bus to catch and my next adventure awaited.