old man, railway station, bangalore, portrait, black and white, irfan hussain, thereddotman

I met gandalf


Yup. I’ve moved from chennai. I’ve got my new job in Bangalore and here’s where I stay now. Sad part is my family is still back in Chennai. Everyone. Over the entire week I miss them so much. Especially my wife and my son. And especially when I return home to an empty room after a long day at work.

So what I do? I take a train back to chennai every weekend. Leave Friday night, reach there Saturday morning, leave Sunday afternoon, reach bangalore Sunday night and back to work Monday morning. It’s hectic. The weekend just flies by. But I can do that just to see my family again, to spend some time with my son.

Mean while I have been very busy. First came job hunting, then house hunting, then relocating, weekday working and weekend travelling. I hardly get time to shoot and write here. But there is always a silver lining.

My current job is all about writing and photography. I am a content writer for the photography department here. And I get to blog about everything photography. Tips, tricks and techniques. And while I am at it, I also get to learn a great deal of photography. So I am hoping from now on I get to at least shoot more. At the same time, I will also try to write more.

I met gandalf

Yes I did!! Don’t believe me? Take a look at the shot below and tell me he is not.

Yeah ok, he is not. But hey, he so much looks like him.

So I was returning from Bangalore back to chennai last weekend and I was waiting at the platform for the train to arrive. I just turn back to see if I can find a place to sit and whom do I see? Gandalf!! Or so I thought. But then I realized its someone else who looks so much like Sir Ian Mckellen in lord of the rings.

Luckily, I had my camera in my back pack. So I went up to him and asked. “Excuse me sir, can I take a picture of yours?” He laughed and said “Oh! Me? Sure, go ahead.” I started to take my camera out while praying “Please god please, delay the train a bit.” While I was unpacking he asked me “But why?” I said “Oh, I just have this passion for photographing people. If I find them interesting I just ask them if I can take their picture. Some oblige, most don’t. And if they don’t I just walk away.”

I strapped on my prime took a few steps back from him and shot this.

old man, railway station, bangalore, portrait, black and white, irfan hussain, thereddotman
Hemraj. Or as I would like to call him, Gandalf, the white.

So, after this shot, we got talking and that’s when he said his name. Hemraj. Yeah, even I thought he doesn’t look like a “Hemraj” in anyway. And the next moment he said “I am a Belgian.”

His birth name was Heimg….Hein… ah forget it. I am not able to recollect. And this is the exact reason he said he changed his name when he came to India 53 years ago. Trust me, we got to talking and I reaslized “Damn, this Belgian has seen more of India than I could ever”.

We had some very interesting exchange of words but that’s when the train came and we had to part ways. BTW, he was travelling to Chennai too. We boarded the same train.


It can be a pain if your camera’s sensor is not big enough to combat low light. If you are stuck in situations where you don’t want to compromise on shutter speed and aperture size, you will be forced to rely on that last ray of hope called the ISO. Now the ISO is something which is in the camera, not the lens. This is where you wish “If only I could invest in higher end cameras so I could have no or at least, very less noise at higher ISO levels.” Hope that day comes soon.

To get the focus on my subject in the dim railway platform lights, I had to open up the aperture of my prime lens to f2.4. Only then I could set the shutter speed to at least 1/40 secs.

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