His Holiness the Dalai Lama Something Personal

By Samar S Jodha

About the photo: 20 years apart, and no prize for guessing who has aged!

Today the 14th Dalai Lama, known as Gyalwa Rinpoche to the Tibetan people, turns 86!

In the late 1990s, I had my first opportunity to meet him for a cover story shoot for First City magazine.

We landed up to a warm welcome into his home in McLeod Ganj (Dharamshala) We were given precisely an hour to be with him. The writer had her questions, and I had my part in taking the pictures. No one can resist hearing and talking to this evolved soul. So, I, too, had a few questions for him; as one can imagine, it was a great experience. As many of us have heard or seen his interviews, he has a great sense of humour and the gems he delivers.

Unfortunately (fortunately for me), it started to rain, which meant his following schedule, his walk got seriously delayed, but the good news was he could give us more time.

The conversation was great, and when the rains stopped, he was heading for his walk. And he asked me, would you like to come for a walk with me? And the answer was more than a Yes!

We made a few more pictures with lots to chat about and hear his great thoughts. Photography used to be a mystery then, and he wanted to know if my mission was to take just pictures or say something more. I can’t recall what kind of stupid answer I may have given. But the question remained in my head.

Years went by, met him a few more times in private and public gatherings (I have a good collection of scarfs given by him). It also led to him writing an essay for a photography exhibition and a forward for the #agelessmindandspirit book.

About a decade later, one day, I was getting out of an elevator at India Habitat Centre in Delhi, and as the door opened, he was standing there with his staff. Now, this is not an everyday affair to bump into His Holiness, that too at an elevator door.

He looked at me and said, you are that Photographer! Now let’s not forget, here is the only man who has met hundreds of thousands of people in person (movie stars, presidents/public figures fade away with time), and I was more than surprised by the elephant memory he carried. And before I could respond, his next question was, where is your camera? (This was pre-phone camera days)

One always carried a small pocket camera, which I instantly pulled out. He asked his assistant to take a photo of us together, and yes, with his disarming smile.

Thankfully I, too, was staying at the same place & got invited to see him in his room. Yes got the signature silk scarf from him. We spoke about the #Phaneng project, the marginalised Buddhist community and the opportunity I got to live and work on capacity-building projects with them. He took the show catalogue and said to keep in touch (I guess we are not on WhatsApp)

Leaving his room on the way to the elevator, and what struck me, that first meeting a decade before and the question he had for me, You taking pictures, or are you trying to say something.

And the answers started to emerge. I had taken my departure from the world of Ad photography, and publishing commissions .. and turned the corner into the unqualified space of sustainability & capacity building and the role of an artist going beyond art. So at some stage in life, there is a question we need to ask. Do we qualify ourselves with education, exposure, and privileges to only survive this life’ journey? (ok, throw in the creature comforts and desires) OR are we going to go beyond the expected camera handling (in my case) and impact at least one life out there?

Yes, the struggles, the temptation of highlife, the pressures of paying bills or the desperation to define some obscure legacy to leave behind. Something I, too, have struggled with, fallen a few times, but your strong sense of conviction and perseverance can help you sail onto that journey of self-discovery.

I don’t think one needs His Holiness (I was a fortunate one), but enough issues are crying out for attention. It is just a matter of are we using our eyes to hear them, wake up the compassion within, or just suffering from being comfortably numb.

Wishing this soul a very Happy Birthday, and thank you for inspiring this world for a better tomorrow.

The Journey of Your Camera

by Samar S Jodha

National Camera Day ( let’s Not confuse it with World Photography Day
the celebration of the art, craft, science, and history of photography, which falls on August 19th of this year)

So, what is the journey of this instrument which documents your visual language (painting and other creative forms are not that democratic for most of us)

It started with a daguerreotype camera, commercially manufactured by Alphonse Giroux in 1839 in France. Then came the film camera by George Eastman in 1885, the kodak camera.

Enough of history on cameras… so fast forward, the arrival of the commercial digital camera in the early 1990s and finally the camera riding onto your mobile phone (a bunch of Japanese / Korean manufacturers in the early 2000s)

Before the digital camera, the analogue era of photography practice/camera ownership was limited to three categories,

1. The professionals

2. The amateurs/students of photography

3. The rich folks who could afford to buy this mysterious machine.

The rest of the masses didn’t touch it because it was too expensive or complicated to load a film, forget shutter speed/ F stop etc.

But today, we are all part of this picture-making process (each year, over a trillion images are done worldwide), All because those technical bits are not the challenge, unlike in the film days. Which also brings the democratising of this art form (art to some, photography to others)

As some would call it in the professional photo world, this disruptive tech demolished a considerable part of commercial photography. It suddenly removed that wall/barrier of tech knowledge/experience as part of the photo practice.

So, the upside, this tech arrival leads to everyone can be a photographer. You could be a physicist or a five-year-old child; taking a picture became easy. Which also brought literacy of photography, where anyone could compare their style to the other millions of images being shown/shared (social media platforms being the most significant trigger)

At the same time, the overload of images (pics, snaps in the amateur world) also created a level playing field on being a photographer. But the real challenge is how to make your pictures heard/seen which stand out in this digital noise.

The solution does not lie in carpet bombing with your camera (basically overshooting and hoping something will work out), not creating/seeing the image in the camera but on the editing table (overkill on photoshop)

So why is the history of this craft and its practitioners more relevant than ever? During the analogue/film days, you developed the image in your head and not in the tool, the non-instant gratification (shoot and look at your screen addiction of today) when one was limited with expensive film usage, the art of pause, observe, absorb, engage, and finally indulge in hitting that shutter.

The camera never made an image, but only a technically good photograph. And for an impactful or memorial image, one needs to read much deeper into that frame one is creating and not get stuck into the auto mechanics of that digital device of today.

Meanwhile, what has it done to the professional photography world? There are much more risk-taking/ experimenting individuals, and it needs severe balls of steel or power girl (figure of speech) to make a success in the biz.

Now back to the history of the camera; if you are interested in where it all started, there is one place to be. It’s the most extensive camera museum in South Asia, situated in the suburbs of Delhi (Gurgoan). It’s not only packed with thousands of cameras but has a fascinating timeline of that camera’ journey from the 1800s to date. And if you are interested in learning traditional methods of photo printmaking or newer ways of being a storyteller, there are superb workshops by experienced teachers at the museum.

More info on Museo Camera Centre for the Photographic Arts: https://www.museocamera.org/

End of the day, that camera (with its history) is just a tool, but the actual picture-making is all about what you are experiencing and the story you want to share in that two-dimensional art form

Traditional Camera- Vageshwari/early 20th century/film size 10”x12” (shot at Museo Camera)

DPC Spiti Trip Photo Review Session and Members Meetup

This give us immense pleasure to Invite you all DPC members for the DPC Spiti Trip Photo Review Session and Members Meetup this Saturday .

Spiti Travellers: Please get photos that you want to review and share with us in Pen drive, Selected pictures will also be featured on DPC website and DPC social Media posts .
Date : 23rd April 2022 
Time : 4 pm to 6 pm

Venue: DPC Lounge Shahpur Jat

For more info call
8826712162 or DM if interested!
For any queries:

DPC PhotoBus Trip to SPITI 10th to 17th April 2022

DPC one more most amazing trip to Spiti


About Spiti

This time we are going to Spiti, During our trip we will witness and capture the most beautiful monasteries, landscapes and the local people.

It’s going to be an 8 days trip.

We will be covering everything by Tempo Traveller.Just Remember : We are going on a road trip and there will be ample opportunity to click good pictures. We will stop at places and spend time clicking and create good pictures.

Meeting point : SDA market (opp. IIT main Gate )

Date : 10th Apr 6.00 AM Sunday Morning
We are going by 9 seater Tempo Traveler


Day 1. 10 th Apr Delhi to Rampur Busher .

Day 2. 11 th Apr Rampur to Tabo

DAY 3: 12 th Apr Kaza- key- Dhankar

DAY 4: 13 th Apr Kibber- key and others

DAY 5: 14 th Apr Langza Komik Hikkim.

DAY 6: 15 th. Apr Kaza to Chandratal ( if way to Chandrataal is Open)

DAY 7: 16 th Apr Starting Back from Chandratal (If it’s Open )

and reaching Delhi on 17th Apr

Other Important Details

Stay: Will be on a twin sharing basis in a home stay environment. And you can opt for single sitting rooms wherever possible ( on extra charges)

Mode of travel: We will be traveling in an AC TEMPO traveller together.

Gear: You can carry tripods and wide angle lenses for cameras. Any camera is good for this trip so long as it is digital

Clothing: Please carry woollen clothes , comfortable shoes, take hats/caps, shades and sunscreen!Please carry winter clothing for 3-4 layers temp would be around 6-7 degree. Days are pleasant , Nights are a bit chilly.
Please carry a few edible items with you for munching like Dry Fruits , chocolates and nuts.

All the small bags and camera bags can be kept inside the tempo traveller and rest will go on the top of the tempo. So manage wisely. Please carry one small bag and your moderate size bag.
Fee (per person) : 32000 (including registration fee)

For DPC Members : 30000

Fee includes travel & group transfers, stay and meals

For more info call
8826712162 or DM if interested!
For any queries:

DPC PhotoBus Trip to Jaisalmer -Sam-Bikaner 15th Dec 2021

DPC one more most amazing trip to Jaisalmer-Sam-Bikaner 

About Jaisalmer-Sam-Bikaner

Jaisalmer holds a major place in the tourism landscape of Rajasthan. Located in the northwestern part of the Indian State, it is popularly called as the golden city because of its bounteous golden sand dunes and castles built with golden honey sandstones.

The city is adorned with a number of lagoons, ornamental Jain places of worship, and lavish havelis. This is however one side of the coin. Jaisalmer is also known for its offbeat desert safari experience. The city offers pleasant stays in the middle of the vast spread Thar desert and loads of adventure activities to give you a completely unforgettable experience. The city is also packed with colorful handicraft marketplaces that will take you back in the timeline to offer you an experience of Indian culture and heritage.

Jaisalmer is home to some of the most sought after attractions of the nation like the majestic Jaisalmer Fort, full of live desert national park, ancient Kuldhara Village, beautifully designed Jain temples, surreal Gadisar Lake, rustic Sam Sand Dunes, artistic Tazia Tower and Badal Palace, intricately designed Patwon ki Haveli, glorious bada bagh, and many more significant places of tourist attractions.

In the course of your visit to the city of Jaisalmer, you can indulge in a number of desert experiences which are not only adventurous but also filled with fun. Heading out on a safari tour on a jeep or camel and traversing your way through the sands is certainly a great experience. The desert camps have also got loads of other fun for you. You will be spending amazing evening hours at the campsite witnessing the traditional performances of music and dance. The campsites are also known to offer the best ever authentic Rajasthani dishes to delight your taste buds.

The details for the trip are as follows:

DPC Photobus Trip to Jaiselmer – sam – Bikaner

Day 1: Explore Jaiselmer Local
After travelling overnight and Check In at Hotel we will get ready for exploring the real heritage of india
We will be visiting – Jaiselmer fort, Patwon ki Haweli, Gadisar Lake
Nathmal ki Haweli, Sunset at Gadhisar Lake and Sunrise from Jaiselmer Fort
Overnight Stay In Jaiselmer ( Heritage Hotel)

Day 2 : Visiting Sam Sand Dunes
After exploring the heritage Spots, we will be going to the heart of the desert by camel ride to sunset point .
will be spending time watching the heart taking mesmerizing sunset and will get to Camp where we will have bonfire and Dinner.
Overnight stay in Sam at Camp
Day 3 : Sam- Jaisalmer – Bikaner
After freshening up we will checkout Camp and will be leaving for Kuldhara
After a long drive/Ride we will be reaching Bikaner and will Check In hotel,
Day 4 : Local Bikaner
Morning After breakfast we will be visiting Junagarh Fort and Local Market.
Evening 3 Pm Leaving Bikaner and Reaching Delhi by 11pm.

Other Important Details:
1. Stay: will be on a sharing basis at a comfortable guest house or Heritage haveli. You Can opt for individual rooms at extra cost .
2. Mode of travel: We will be travelling in an AC TEMPO traveller together.
3. Gear: Jaisalmer offers some breathtaking shots. Hence wide angle and zoom lens are advised with camera covers because of desert festival Celebrations.
Please wear comfortable clothes according to the weather, comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of walking, take your hats/caps, shades and sunscreen.
4. Meal: Simple vegetarian meals will be provided by the club.
The group will follow the itinerary mentioned above, however if one wants to visit places at one’s own will, can visit accordingly on their own.
Fee: Rs. 17500 per person, DPC members: Rs. 16500 per person.
The cost includes stay, travel and food. Does not include tickets for camera and equipment if any.