My Run at the Canon Photomarathon Delhi

This weekend I took part in the Canon photomarathon held for the first time in Delhi. A chance to visit Hungary was up for grabs for two winners. Initially I didn’t think I’d make it to the venue because of the timing of the event and my sleeping pattern due to timing of my job. But somehow I managed to get up early and made it on time.

There was a little chaos (ironically one of the themes of the competition) at the counters. Slightly mismanaged and clearly not prepared to handle the crowd. We were in a queue in a minute then had to be called aside in another. Thankfully it wasn’t a huge crowd considering it’s Delhi, India.

Let me also applaud Canon for organising such events in Delhi. As one of the panelist at the event pointed out, Canon is the only manufacturer that actually makes effort to connect with its consumers.

Not only that Canon had set up a service center at the venue where you could get your cameras services free of cost we also had some fine display of lenses and cameras. While at most events you don’t get to touch them, here Canon actually allowed visitors to get a hands on feel of the huge lenses and cameras. Got to appreciate that. Well done Canon.

Canon also had a few eminent personalities from different fields of photography. Dabbu Ratnani, the ace fashion photographer, being one of them. Another eminent photographer associated with Canon was present to answer all queries. Mr Kobayashi below on the right.

Delayed by amlost 2 hours the marathon finally started. We were to be given three themes during the course of the event and within a time limit we were to come back and submit our enteries at the several counters.
While searching for subjects to suit my theme I took some other shots that I thought might make for interesting photos. But this time deadline created a pressure and forced us to look for better subjects.

We were given our first theme and a 1.5 hrs timeline to capture and submit our entries. There was a cricket match in progress nearby when a ball came across the fence. Suddenly a light bulb lit above my head but while I was still thinking about the shot the fielder jumped out and back inside the ground with the ball. The introvert I am I couldn’t ask any other player to help me create the shot what could have portrayed ‘How to fly over’. 50mm lens felt like a bad choice as I miscalculated the distance and before I could get the shot the scene was gone. I took too long thinking about the composition, settings and the end product. Think faster I said to myself. But I did manage this shot.

As I walked the streets to search my photo for the theme ‘How to fly over’ I came across this dog and his owner. I’m sorry if I don’t remember correctly but I think the dog’s name was Bolt. I requested for a quick photo shoot and thankfully the dog owner agreed and was pretty helpful while I tried to capture the right shot. I interpreted this theme as a question. A young puppy wondering on the steps ‘How to fly over’. Since there’re no limitations in photography on how you can interpret a theme I thought this suited well after losing on the first opportunity. This is how I shot, chose and submitted my first entry.

By the time we got our second theme I was tired. Considering I was forced to stay awake and think at a time when my body clock actually says just one thing sleep. Time contraints meant I had to think fast and decide which photo I’m going to choose as my entry for the given theme. Now as I sit and write this post I’m thinking how I could have found better shots and may be I should have submitted other photos. One of them being this shot of tools spread in a chaotic manner on the table of a roadside repair shop. This was my second choice for my entry for the theme Chaos.

My final choice to the theme Chaos was this shot of nuts and bolts in the bag of the mechanic. Of course the word Chaos could be defined differently by different person but for me finding the right nut in this mess meant chaos.

When it was finally time for our third and last theme I wondered if I had enough energy to stay awake and stay in the race. But I kept telling myself I had to do this. I didn’t want to regret I didn’t give my best shot. If I had wokenup early and made it this far I have to finish it right. I thought the organizers had saved the toughest theme for last. Humour. Making someone laugh is difficult as it is I had to find a shot that portrayed humour. I could think of a certain ideas but then I didn’t have enough time and resources to create those just in time for submission. This one required me to force myself to speak to strangers. May be find someone funny who’ll do something funny for me. I did find Mr Dan Matthews below who inquired why there was a group of photographers crawling on the streets today and I gave him a brief idea. Until I asked him to pose for me he was being very funny and was coming up with different ideas. I think he got a little conscious when I started directing him to make a funny face.

This was my first time as an attempt to approach strangers for photos. I must say here I was surprised with the warmth and willingness of the people on the street to be photographed. I did not think strangers would like me approaching them asking to take their photos but I was happily surprised.
Anyway I was still nowhere near getting my photo for the Humour theme. I just couldn’t find anything. I did have some ideas running through my head but I just didn’t have time or resources available to make it happen. I had to work with what I had available. At the same time I was so tired I just wanted to go home and get some sleep. But I kept telling myself, I can’t give up at the last step.
For some reason I noticed this cart in the dump that made me think this could be the shot. If only the jury sees what I’m seeing in it. I captioned it Cleaner in dumps to convey what I was trying to capture. May be they’ll see it more as irony, sarcasm than humour but with that deadline I had to submit what I had than not submitting anything at all.

In the end, like any marathon, it’s the participation that matters to most athelets. The satisfaction of making it to the finish line. Medal is an icing on the cake. Same was the case here with me. It took me entire day, but in the end I made it to the finish line. Tired and satisfied. The winners will be announced this friday. Fingers crossed πŸ™‚

Hope you’re enjoying being part of my journey. Please feel free to share your thoughts, this blog, suggestion, question, or just drop in to say hello πŸ™‚ Take care!



  1. You are awesome Ved .I wish you all the best for this attempt that you have made.The way you took these photos it is amazing..Keep clicking:-)

  2. I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with magician delhi, event management companies Delhi, party organisers delhi and love to enjoy the stuff on the same as its rarely found on internet. Thanks again for writing such a good post.

  3. you have amazing shots done. i’d like to say it’s great.
    and plz can i have group photo of canon photomarathon 2012,

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