While studying architecture in Mumbai in the late 90’s, Upasana was introduced to film photography “I captured my first images with a Minolta 35mm SLR and also learnt to develop photo in a darkroom.” After moving to USA and being introduced to digital photography; Upasana did take a lot of photos during her travels but… “I drifted away from photography as a medium of visual narration. Then in 2009, while in Mumbai, I rediscovered photography through the photo walks I attended.”
For the Love of Monsoons
While growing up in Mumbai, I remember monsoons to be the most awaited season after the brutal summer heat. First rains were always very special.
Getting drenched in the pouring rain and making paper boats were a few things I would look forward to. Even the change in landscape brought out the romantic side of nature. Hence, after moving back to Mumbai after a decade, I was very excited to capture the first rains of the city. In a way, my nostalgia for monsoon had already taken over me and a theme was already developed in my mind even before the monsoons actually began.
Watching the downpour at home, office or while driving to work from windows brought back old memories of my experiences in the city’s rainy season.
A Visual Diary of the City
Upasana’s series Mumbai Monsoon is a visual diary of the city during one heavy downpour. What’s interesting is that the photographs were shot instantaneously and the series was a spontaneous effort.
“The series was born on a day when I was heading to work. However, what was supposed to be a fifty minute ride to my office, turned into a three-hour commute.
While still stuck in traffic, in a sort of moving car, Upasana started making photographs of the scenes she saw through the rain drenched window. “I had nothing but my iPhone and I used its camera to create these images. With closed windows and rain dripping over the glass, a painting like visual seemed to unfold before me. I saw trees dancing in the wind, people running to find shelter and streets covered in rain. Each and every scene looked beautiful.”
From an Architect to a Photographer
It is interesting to note that Upasana spent a decade living and working as an architect in the USA. However her love for photography caught up to her soon. After toying with photography as a hobby, she finally ventured into it professionally and has been freelancing since 2011. Today, Upasana has her own design firm which is based out of Mumbai.
Designing Structures or Photography?
“Although I love architecture and designing structures, it is still a struggle every day
Photography compared to that is a breeze. Its therapeutic. Photography is everything what architecture is not. I won’t say no to a design project, but I’ll never refuse a photo opportunity either. I guess I can have both the worlds in my palms.”