Glad to Fly

I love to fly. Maybe it’s because my dad is a pilot or its the young boy in me that can’t get enough of seeing jet liners, but it’s undeniable either way. That being said, I don’t like being late to ALL of my flights on a trip.

Last friday, my girlfriend, er Assistant, and I left for the airport at 4am. Strangely, it took us almost half an hour to get a rickshaw. We ended up waking a sleeping rickshaw wallah and offering him a huge bonus for taking us. I get us moved past the line because of the immediacy of our impending flight, and we rush through security, getting to the gate just as they are boarding. Yes, I took longer to pack in the morning than I should have, and yes, I should have arranged for a rickshaw the night before, but we got there – barely.

Flying over Vizag, Andhra Pradesh, I was quite surprised at the beauty of the city and the surrounding landscape. The city wasn’t even on my radar of places to visit, but now, someone else was paying me to be there. I’m fine with that. The beach on the Indian Ocean looked inviting and not polluted and the city itself looked worthy of a good exploration. The ad firm representative greets us as we get off the plane, and we start off on our busy three day shooting schedule.

Up till now I had received little details of what I was actually taking photos of, but I learn that todays shoot was all about infrastructure. The construction company is working on an oil refinery just outside of Vizag, and a dam project about two hours drive from the city.

They give us rubber boots to wear around the muddy construction site, but after walking for a while I develop large blisters on my sockless feet. So, I find it more comfortable to walk barefoot through the mud. I imagine that OSHA would throw a fit about the safety of me walking around barefoot on a construction site, but you got to do what you got to do.

A little bit closer now.

More Images and Story after the break!

My lovely assistant looking natural on a construction site.
The beautiful interior of what will be a very large reservoir in a few years.

The construction company is finishing the structure of the dam, but shepherds still graze their goats and cattle here on the lush grass while they can.

Pre-mentioned shepherd.

We eat our dinner at a classy hotel, then gladly sleep after a very long day of traveling and work. We sadly don’t have a chance to explore the city of Vizag before leaving in the morning. The night before we were told to be ready by 7:45am, so we come down at 7:40 and are told to have our breakfast. The ad rep still is no where to be seen till sometime after 8am. Our flight is at 8:55, but I sit back unworried. If we miss our flight, I am in no way responsible. We get to the airport by 8:30 and hurry through security. Getting to the gate well after the boarding time we find the line still long to enter the gate.

In Hyderabad we shoot a few projects underway around the airport and head towards a major residential apartment complex being constructed in the suburbs of the city. It will eventually be 13 towers of 30 floors, with any amenities you can imagine, including a putting range.

I cover any angle of the constructed sight I can think of, then they send me up in a giant crane to get some overview shots. I enjoy this. I would love to shoot a lot of things from this angle.

Amy enjoying herself with the construction workers while I float around in the crane basket.

I love the possibilities of shooting directly down on your subject. It’s a view that is rarely seen

Amy glad for a break from holding the weight of my camera bag.

Sunday, we do a shoot inside one of their completed residential projects and finish up some odds and ends. Finally, Amy and I have time to explore. I take her to the site that Hyderabad is known for, Charminar.

Being a tourist

The first time I came to Hyderabad in 2007, my friend Shrav took me (and his bride’s family members) to this ice place not far from Charminar. I couldn’t remember exactly where it is, so I ask the rickshaw driver where there is a famous ice cream place on this street. “Nearby? No. No ice cream. Do you mean Nampally?” he asks. Umm, yes?

Why yes, this is it! It’s even called Famous Ice Cream! How convenient

A friend of mine is having a World Cup Final party, and we watch the regular time match, but it’s already 12:30am and we have to wake up at 6. A friend of Joel’s takes us back to our guest house (Hill View, a beautiful place sitting on a hill in Jubilee hills that overlooks much of the city, including Golkanda fort). We celebrated, yelling very loudly, at 2am when spain finally scored a goal, in the 2nd half of their 30 minute extra time.

I ignore my alarm at 6am and the ad rep finally calls at 8am asking if we are ready. I am supposed to do headshots of one of the directors of the company, but a car never comes to pick us up. We finally get to his house around 10:30am, when our flight is at 12:10pm. We rush through the shots, then jet to the airport – further away than I remember it being. We are the last ones to check counter (They immediately call the gate saying we are coming, please wait for us). We hurry through security and to the gate while they repeatedly call our names over the intercom, “Mr Clark Scott and Mr Amy Zeigner, please come to gate 24. This is the last call for boarding.” Thankfully, we get to our seats and enjoy the flight home.

It’s good to be working again. Although its stressful and frustrating at times, I enjoy what I do. I can’t ask for much more than that.

I’m getting ready for another bout of traveling. I may be able to update along the way this time.