How and why I photographed this view of Gateway of India-1

This is a fine art photo of the artwork titled 'Gateway of India-1' by photographer Sanjay Marathe. It is available as a fine art print on paper, canvas and metal.

This is the iconic Gateway of India from my Mumbai cityscapes series. Here's the story behind it.

Monsoons are not the best time for fine art photography. It is a challenge to carry and use the camera and lenses, while protecting the equipment from rain. Besides, there is no sunlight to light up the subject, nor shadows to create depth and drama in the composition. But there are other factors that can be used to our advantage; e.g. overcast clouds that lend a dreamy look to the shot.

I often venture out at such times and try my luck. On this day, when I reached the location, I noticed there was a high tide. I picked this side perspective over the standard front view for two reasons - the stone wall leads the eye to the main subject, creating depth in the composition. And I wanted to include more of the sea due to its raised level. The sea that is normally about 25 feet below, was quite high, and very close to the top of the restraining wall. The thrust of waves hitting the stone wall and the rebound created a tension, drama and sense of awe in the power of the sea. The reflections in the water and the motion also created a variety of tones on the surface, that I believe add to this shot. Tell me if you agree.

But the real cherry on the pie was the splashing wave that brought this composition to life. After several shots and waiting for the right wave, I finally found one which had just the right punch and body. After a few test shots, I used a medium shutter speed of 1/125 second, as I wanted to freeze the splashing wave, but not too much. The uneventful sky worked well here so the viewer can focus on the lower half of the image where all the action is.

'Gateway of India-1' is available as a fine art print on archival paper, canvas and metal.

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