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Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325



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Hidden Talents: "Luminous India" by Rud Platt

Hidden Talents:

"Luminous India" by Rud Platt

Main Floor - Browsing Room
Fall 2006

Artist's Statement

"In December of 2003, I traveled to India to meet my wife's extended family.  I had just placed my Nikon F series film camera on eBay and purchased my first digital SLR, a Canon 300d.  Photography had long been a fulfilling creative outlet, but this would be the first time I thought in terms of bit depth and megapixels instead of emulsion and grain.  This exhibit comprises some of my favorite images from the trip."


Rud Platt

Hidden Throng

Hidden Throng - I walked through an archway in the Chandni Chowk, the main bazaar of Old Delhi, and caught a glimpse of this frenetic gallery.(35mm, f/2.0, 1/125 sec.)


"In some ways, my photography is like a journal - I like to capture vignettes of people and landscapes so that I can later re-experience those moments  However, photography is more than just an act of documentation.  Seeing the world through a viewfinder is an active and critical process. The challenge is to find the perfect light and composition to illuminate the distinctive or unusual quality of a scene, all within the technical limitations of the equipment and the physical limitations of the location.  I find this challenge immensely satisfying.  Plus, how else could I combine my interests in color theory, optics, digital image processing, travel, and geeky gadgets?"

"Each caption provides background on the composition as well as the camera settings.  Enjoy!"

Rud Platt, Department of Environmental Studies
August 2006


Manning the net
Two men operate a large land-based fishing net in Fort Cochin, Kerala.  I especially like the way the net adds texture to the image and softens the palm trees in the background.

(131mm, f/8.0, 1/500 sec.)

Manning the Net

Fish Basket  

Fish Basket
Behind the fish market in Fort Cochin, Kerala.   No self-respecting photographer can resist taking a picture of a basket of fish.  Here, I was mesmerized by the iridescent scales and repeating geometric shapes of the fish.

(35mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec.)


Man Between the Trees
Is this man contemplating life? Is he bored? Is he looking at something in particular?  To me, this picture is compositionally interesting yet reveals little.

(200mm, f/5.0, 1/1600 sec.)

Man Between the Trees
Hamming it up  

Hamming it up
This beautiful beach in northern Kerala was completely devoid of tourists.  The local kids wanted me to take their picture and I gladly complied.  After a while I just pretended to take pictures to save room on my memory card.  This picture gives a sense of depth and balance that is so hard to get when subjects are in motion (I got it here only by chance).

(28mm, f/10.0, 1/200 sec.)


Malabar Fisherman
A fisherman repairs his net in Fort Cochin, Kerala.  He seemed to inhabit a meditative space quite separate from the surrounding fishermen who were busy hauling in the day's catch.

(200mm, f/4.5, 1/200 sec.)

Malabar Fisherman
The Renovation   

The Renovation
I took this picture from a boat in the middle of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan.  In my mind it resembles a set from a play.  The colors in the crumbling façade match almost too well and, like a set, the third dimension seems artificially compressed.

(104mm, f/7.1, 1/800 sec.)

The Red Door
This picture is compositionally simple.  It has no motion, no people, no context, and no depth.  But the red door provides a striking accent to this structure, and I love how the red banister leads us right down a set of dilapidated steps into the water.  For me, the whole scene evokes mystery but also serenity.

[113mm, f/4.0, 1/30 sec. (supported on ledge)]


The Red Door

Rajasthani Dancers

Rajasthani Dancers
Many of my favorite images reveal subject motion.  This is an extreme example.  I sat right in the front of this performance of traditional Rajasthani dance and took a series of handheld long-exposure shots.  Emerging technologies like image stabilization will make images like this much easier to capture in places that do not permit the use of a tripod, but here I just had to keep as steady as I could.

(35mm, f/20, 1/3 sec.)
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