Jaipur—The Link to the Pink City
As the first four contestants get ready to take the Mercedes-Benz CLAs out for a spin, Lijo Pathilchira takes a closer look at the city they’re navigating and the strategies they’re going to employ to win this competition.
The city of Jaipur was planned and designed by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya on the principles of Vaastu Shastra. I guess superstition can be of some use, because the city’s grid-based model can partly be attributed to it. During the reign of Sawai Ram Singh the city of Jaipur was painted pink, earning its nickname in the stroke of a brush. This was done to celebrate the arrival of Prince Edward of Wales. A little known fact is that Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the wife of Prince Edward, was an avid photographer and enjoyed clicking numerous pictures of the royal family. This fun fact seems like a great segue point to return to the competition at hand.
In the late hours of 21st June began the competition that will see one photographer drive home in a Mercedes-Benz CLA. However, to get to that pot of gold the photographers need to showcase their skills and the CLA in a brand new light. With so many great photographers competing against each other, we are bound to see some equally great shots. The first four photographers began their shoot lat evening at Narain Niwas. Each of them occupied a part of the hotel and got to work. If there was an aerial view of the place then you’d expect to see camera flashes going off in different directions of the palace. As I began chatting with these contestants I found out what they were trying to accomplish and their plans for the next morning.
William was one of the first photographers I spoke to. He had the white CLA parked at the entrance of the hotel and was trying to focus on the headlights when I encountered him. Due to a limitation on editing the images, William had to rely solely on his skills to make the headlight shine out. He was the first, and probably the only one, to face obstacles during the late night shoot. William had to halt the shoot on one occasion to let another car pass through. Later, he was forced to play Dr. Do Little when a cat entered the frame and refused to leave. This time the CLA was parked closer to the main building of the hotel. But William was able to overcome these hurdles and click some beautiful images. With a visit to the Amer Fort the next morning, William’s shoot is far from over.
Ketan was busy getting his silver CLA positioned by the fountain when I approached him. Right after dinner Ketan had realized that the water in the fountain reflected objects beautifully under the right lighting conditions. So he was determined to begin his shoot with a reflection shot of the CLA in the fountain’s water. The GoPro that he brought along for the ride also promised some interesting shots and angles. His plans for the next morning involved taking a tracking shot of the CLA in the tunnel leading to Castle Kanota.
Arpit had his white CLA parked close to the main building and was crouched near a window in the reception area when I walked in. Without a set path or strategy he decided to wing it and started clicking pictures of the car from different and interesting angles. The window’s glass provided a unique distortion that made the sporty design of the CLA look more appealing. Arpit’s next venture is going to be to Nahargarh fort.
The last shoot I witnessed before turning in for the night was Naveen’s. Partly because he had the red CLA parked in the garden outside my room. It was dark, so the birds and peacocks were nowhere to be seen. However, Naveen was able to make good use of the swing set in some of the shots. In the early hours of the morning he set out to Nahargarh fort and continued his shoot there. He even managed to get a great shot of the CLA driving through a puddle with birds flying around on his way back. But what you should really be looking forward to are the pictures he’ll be taking with his toy car that has a camera mounted on it.
With the first day of the competition nearing an end and new contestants coming in for the second day, the competition seems tight. We’ve only got a glimpse of the competition, but soon we’ll be treated to the whole picture.
When Lijo isn’t creating content for some of India’s leading brands (he has sold his soul to the advertising industry), he spends his time dreaming of traveling around the world and making movies.Tags: Jaipur, mercedes benz, frame the star, Mercedes CLA