Arrival of My Karuna Vihar Calendar 2013

It took a while but I managed to coax my cat Shiva was coaxed into posing with the calendar. By the way, she is named so not out of disrespect to any Hindu deity. Quite the contrary, she is a beloved  member of my family. I mention this because I received a comment that it was bad form to name a cat after a god. I don't mean any disrespect, I assure you. She just destroys stuff around the house.
It took a while but I managed to coax my cat Shiva into posing with the calendar. By the way, she is named so not out of disrespect to any Hindu deity. Quite the contrary, she is a beloved member of my family. I mention this because I received a comment that it was bad form to name a cat after a god. I don’t mean any disrespect, I assure you. She just destroys stuff around the house. Shot with early morning sunlight coming through the window on the left. Shiva was lit by a Speedlite on the left which was fitted with a grid spot and gelled with a color temperature orange filter. See the picture at the bottom of this post for more details.

I had a very pleasant surprise this week, when I brought in the mail.

My online friend whom I’ve never met Jo Chopra McGowan sent me their Karuna Vihar Foundation calendar.

It brings me joy to look at the kind of work she does not just as an administrator but as a photographer documenting the clients in the foundation.

I see her becoming more and more aware of light.

Her portrait of her daughter Moy Moy is such an example.

It has contrasty dramatic lighting with highlights and shadows mostly.

Also known as low-key portraits, this sort of light have been emulated for centuries by the European art masters because those highlights and shadows create depth on a 2-dimension canvas.

Moy-moy captured by Jo Chopra McGowan. A side-lit portrait with clean uncluttered background--just as I would shoot it. Great job Jo
Moy-moy captured by Jo Chopra McGowan. A side-lit portrait with clean uncluttered background–just as I would shoot it. Great job Jo

I can see Jo takes a lot of time to choose the quotes and verses of poetry they use with each picture unlike my terrible captions usually done in haste.

See the angelic smile on this little girl below.
jo2

Please consider a donation to this wonderful foundation in Dehra Dun, India.

The cost of this calendar is $20 and it barely covers the cost, keep in mind, the cost of postage.

Jo has changed the aspect ratio of the pictures this year to more vertical format compared to last year’s calendar,it works and looks great.

If you prefer to write a check, make the check out to “Indians for Collective Action,”  don’t forget to write in the memo section, “Latika Roy Foundation“.

The mailing address is:

Abhay Bhushan

3838 Mumford Place

Palo Alto CA 94306

Attempt#1--Shiva jumped off pretty quickly when my Speedlite fired. When photographing a black cat, just accept that you will have to light her and do it in such a way that only she is lit. Her coat just sucks up all the light and your camera's exposure meter will be totally messed up especially when she's against a white sheet.
Attempt#1–Shiva jumped off pretty quickly when my Speedlite fired. When photographing a black cat, just accept that you will have to light her and do it in such a way that only she is lit. Her coat just sucks up all the light and your camera’s exposure meter will be totally messed up especially when she’s against a white sheet.

Take a look at the wider shot and you’ll see the placement of my Speedlite.

There is a big picture window on the left with sun shining directly in.

I attached a grid spot and a color temperature orange gel (to match the early morning sunlight) and aimed the light on Shiva because I didn’t want the light to spill all over .

The white sheet close to the Speedlite would have been totally over-exposed without this grid spot.

 

A wider view showing the placement of my Speedlite on the armrest.
A wider view showing the placement of my Speedlite on the armrest.

Peter Phun Photography

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3 thoughts on “Arrival of My Karuna Vihar Calendar 2013”

  1. I do hope we will meet one day who knows may be in Dehradun, India. You did educate me in terms of the photography. This leads me to conclude that the calendar in not only about our special children but also merits recognition due to Jo’s extraordinary artistic skills of light and photography. In the last few years I do make my annual donation to LRF (Karuna Vihar) and in turn at my behest LRF mails the calendar to around 25 of my friends and relatives in India. I will share your blog with them and I am sure they will enjoy the calendar even more and so would I. Thanks a million.

  2. Hello B.R. Ramaprasad,
    Thanks so much for your assurance that I am not committing a faux-pas naming my cat Shiva. At the time, that negative comment I received surprised and shocked me, but what can I say but apologize?

    It’s interesting how Jo has gathered such a following through her blog.

    It gives me much hope and faith especially with the internet world that like-minded folks will find one another and connect despite never meeting or talking face-to-face.

    Your comment has made my day!

  3. Like you, Jo is also my friend who I have never met but is a part of my life. I do look forward to receiving the calendar year after year. My relationship with her for many years has brought me innumerable rewards such as knowing compassionate and caring people like you through our common friendship. In regard to your comment naming your cat Shiva, you have not shown any disrespect. We Hindus believe that the spark of divinity-the Soul or Atman/Jivatman-exists in all beings including animals. God exists in all and all exists in God. It is very common among Hindus to name pets after Gods such as Shiva, Rama, Sita, Lakshmi and more. In fact we named our daughter’s pet rabbit Lakshmana. Hope this will give you some level of comfort. Thanks a million for sharing your thoughts.

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