Lights of Madras – is a self project I worked on to create time-lapse film for City of Chennai, India famously known as Madras.
This film features some of the famous locations of Chennai like the Marina Beach, Lighthouse, Besant Nagar Arch, Anna Nagar Arch, Anna Square, City Residential areas, Mylapore Kapaleeshwarar temple along with other aerial shots. This time-lapse musical composed by Mahesh Mishra, adds a local flavor to the film.
As a nature photographer who has captured some beautiful landscapes in the world, I wanted to capture the hustle and bustle of the city with the background of Thunderstorms, serene sunrises and sunsets, and some fast moving clouds in the night. The interaction of natural light and artificial light in the city was the theme of the film.
As I started my project, apart from getting some nice colors in my sequences, I could portray how polluted the city can get in winters when the fog and smoke makes the air polluted during the mornings which even acted as a solar filter when I shot one sequence which shows the sun with the sun spots and filaments (which is highly impossible to capture without any solar lens filters).
I also could showcase the bright lights from streets of Chennai which are eye catching but at the same time which drastically removed the beauty of the natural night sky, stars and planets which I had enjoyed from my house terrace when I was a 7-year-old kid. I could see such drastic expansion of the city with bright LED lights which has taken away a decent starry skies I had enjoyed gazing about 20 odd years back. Being a member of International Dark Sky Association, a dark sky advocate, I thought this is a cause of concern to be highlighted through my film.
Chennai faced one of the devastating floods last year and as per science this was one of the major impact of global warming with the increase in thunderstorms activity with drenching rainfalls, and with the expanded cities where there were marshes which could have absorbed those rain water to the ground reminds us that nature cannot be taken light and if we have to preserve our Chennai – as a Singara Chennai, we need to act on climate to conserve the natural resources we have in our city.
I would like to thank my parents and my aunt without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Being an independent film they helped me gain access to all those beautiful vantage points to capture the city. Hope you all enjoyed my short presentation of Chennai and I would like to dedicate this film to the people of Chennai who proved yet again that Chennai is the city which rises on its own when put under difficulties and proved humanity is much more valued than any religion, caste or money. Chennaiku oru Whistle Podu!! Anbe Sivam!! (Love is God)