SMIT after Dark: A view from NH-31A

4 Jul ’13

Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology as seen from the NH-31A on 10th February. By Animesh Ray

Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT) as seen from the NH-31A on the night of 10th February, 2009 at 8:22 PM. The shiny thing is the river Teesta.
Details: ISO 100, 44mm, 15s
Lightroom/Photoshop Confessions: Contrast+, Highlights-, Clarity+

Ask any photographer and he will say that these are pretty bad photographs. Bad technique, bad post-processing, almost everything is bad about this photo except the framing maybe.

Why am I then posting this? To increase the traffic to my blog so that the viewers may see my current work too, which is without doubt hugely better! One thing I do know is that bad or not, many people from my erstwhile college Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology still adore these photographs. Especially since most had been bored by seeing the same photographs or the same type of photographs year after year, and these photos were the first of their kind!

Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology as seen from the NH-31A on the night of 10th February, 2009 at 8:31 PM. By Animesh Ray.

A more zoomed-out shot of the above scene.
Details: ISO 100, 26mm, 30s
Lightroom/Photoshop Confessions: Contrast+, Highlights-, Clarity+

These photographs were taken at a time when my experience with a DSLR was limited to a few hours of frenetic use. These photos were taken with the Nikon D80 owned by the college whose aperture didn’t work properly. No wonder the point of lights have come out so ugly! I can better these photos with a point & shoot now. The one good photo that came out of this shoot was the one without SMIT in it. You can see it by clicking on the link above.

There is a very nice story behind these photographs. So one day some of us guys in the Editorial Board were brainstorming to come with up unique and distinct ideas for the college magazine ‘The Smitsonian’. A few weeks before while on the way from Rangpo to the college I had chanced upon the view of the college at night from a viewpoint (called the ‘Dhoka Point’ in college parlance). And damn it was breathtaking. So during the brainstorming session I proposed my idea of shooting SMIT after dark. A senior in the Board really liked my idea, and it was a go! Yay! A lot of effort then went into its planning. The senior contacted the Chief Engineer of the college and also the Director explaining them the idea of the shoot. In return they liked it too, and made provisions for the task – a jeep, the camera, extended entry hours and also made sure that all the big and bright lights of SMIT were switched on before I pressed the shutter button. The only thing that let down the whole thing was my own inexperience in night-time architectural/landscape photography.

In the 4 years and 5 months that have passed since the taking of this photographs, a lot more buildings have come up in the campus. So I guess that any photo taken now will be even more stunning. Its a fact that no other college can be compared with SMIT if we are strictly talking about the photogenic-ness (I think I invented my own word there, but I hope you got the point).