Well..well..well look what we have got today to write about none other than our world-famous park in Banglore – Lalbagh (English translation Lal – Red and Bagh – Garden), Botanical garden. This is called the lungs of Bangalore situated close to Jayanagar. Read further what makes this garden so popular with photographers.
History of Lalbagh
It was Tipu Sultan who completed the construction of Lalbagh but it was his father Hyder Ali who had commissioned for it in 1760. Well, that’s an obedient son won’t you say so.
Lalbagh was created on the line of Mughal gardens which were gaining popularity throughout India since our country was being ruled by Mughal at that time. Even though the plans for the garden was laid out by Hyder Ali himself but the crown of Lalbagh, it’s famous Botanical garden was the idea of Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan
imported all kinds of exotic trees from all over the world because he could afford it and the employed the best gardeners which money can find.
The good news is that the Lalbagh has been growing ever since it was constructed. In the 1800s the park was spread in the area on 45 acres. Now it is over 240 acres and that too being in the main city. You can call it Bangalore’s Central Park. But Bangalore is known as Garden City and Lalbagh is the crown jewel.
Lalbagh: The love of a photographer
Behind every photographer in Bangalore there is Lalbagh or you can in every photographer’s memory card there is always a picture of Lalbagh. Lalbagh is the birthplace of every photographer in Banglore. Go there on an early morning on any weekend, you would see so many people strutting along with their camera snapping every
inch of the garden. Even the park’s fauna is so used to the cameras that they happily pose and don’t fear these innocent looking photographers.
Lalbagh has all the ingredients to make it a perfect destination for an outdoor shot. It has something for everyone. The main attraction is the huge glass house in the middle of the park which looks absolutely amazing when it is lit up in the evening on special occasions. The Department of Horticulture hosts annual flower show on 26th January and 15th August every year. The other anchor point is the wooden structure where you will find a live orchestra or a group of people practicing Yoga.
So if you are Nature photographer, Lalbagh has a gamut of an offering. They have one of the oldest trees that are more than 100 years old. Plus the park has close to 1000 species of flora to keep you interested all day. Lalbagh also has a big lake which known as Lalbagh lake and also it has Lotus pond and a waterfall.
For a Bird photographer, Lalbagh is home to Parakeets, Myna, Crows, Brahminy Kite, Pond Heron, Common Egret, Kingfisher, Spotted Owlets, Spotted kite, Spotted Pelican, Ducks, Indian Cormorant, Purple Moor Hen. There are also a variety of other creatures running around the park like lizards, squirrels, rats, snakes, scorpions. The park is a
treat for people interested in Macro photography. Especially during spring time when the whole park is blooming, you will see photographers sitting next to flowers for hours to capture bees in action.
Lalbagh is the go-to destination for portrait photographers who can’t afford to rent a studio. Many pre-wedding and post-wedding photo shoots are done here. Not only that maternity photoshoots are also a big hit here. Then we have budding fashion photographers trying to capture the model during golden hours. The park provides a good
an outlet for photographers to practice their skills in every way possible.
My Tryst with Lalbagh
When I started with my photography in Bangalore I had formed a group of like-minded aspiring photographers. Just guess the place of our group first meetup. It was none other than Lalbagh. So our group was some 10 people strong and we would meet every weekend in Lalbagh to practice different forms of photography.
First, it started by clicking pictures of each other. When we got bored of each others’ faces, the park provided a lot of free models running around to practice portrait photography. We would try to shoot people very stealthy without them noticing us clicking their pictures. But it becomes difficult if you are in a group with 10 people carrying the camera and other gears and it attracts a lot of attention. And also it is bad to click someone’s pictures without taking their consent. Even though you might possess a big zoom lens which would make you even more discreet but still bad is bad. Voyeurism should not happen, friends, if one of the photographers do it the whole community gets a bad name.
Next phase was how to approach people to click pictures that too early in the morning when most of the people are looking for a quiet place to start their weekend. And all of the human race doesn’t look good early morning with the face slightly swollen, eyelids puffed. The camera would be the last thing you would want to see. All challenges were accepted by us and so we began approaching people. Some would not even pay any heed to us like we are some salesman trying to sell some cheap insurance. Others would stop for some seconds to look at the camera and then fly by.
Approaching females was the hardest part because they are most concerned about how they look before getting photographed. So here the girls of our group took charge of approaching the female population of Lalbagh. Through our many trials and errors, we found that those who accepted our request were actually those who were new to Bangalore. These people had come to Lalbagh all dressed up since it was a tourist destination for them. If anyone of them agreed on we would all lung on that person like hungry alligators and surround him/her from all the direction. This was scaring our models and most of them would run away after fa ew photos. Then we started to approach the people in small groups and this was finally working for us. This helped us in getting some good photos and new acquaintances.
A breeding ground for future photographers
All of us bonded with another group of photographers as well since there are many meetups happening in Lalbagh on weekends. It is a good opportunity to actually gauge your competition if you are seriously considering photography as your career. Also, some photographers who are far ahead in their skills might actually share some tips with
you and may be trying to let you use their pried possession like camera or lens for some time.
I would sometime think that all the well-established photographers in the city together would someday conspire against their future competition. In order to stop new people taking up a camera in their hands, they would try to blow up Lalbagh someday. Something similar like during monsoon season we get advisory from the government not
to let water being stored empty containers, thrown tyre around the house lest they might become the breeding ground of mosquitoes. I hope nobody gets offended just trying some analogy or humor. Don’t blame me for thinking like Bollywood movies. But even though this might not happen but something very unfortunate has developed in
Government’s blow to photographers
Recently the Horticulture Department has banned professional photoshoot inside Lalbagh. So no professional cameras are allowed and similarly, no other professional photography types of equipment are allowed inside the campus. This is a big blow for photographers who look for amazing backgrounds for their photoshoots inside the city. This news is particularly bad for photographers who specialize in Maternity, Pre/post-wedding, Family and Fashion photoshoot. The reason given by the government is that this move was taken to protect the park’s flora and fauna. Also, there were complaints cited by a few regular visitors to the park. Specially joggers and morning walkers that photographers make them feel uncomfortable.
Regarding disturbing flora and fauna, I would say that majority of the photographers don’t damage any plants or disturb the bees or butterfly. There might be a fraction of them out there that take the extra mile to make their photos look good by not caring whats happening around them. Also regarding joggers/walkers complaints, so yeah as I have told earlier photographers should not indulge in voyeurism and take permission before clicking.
Wrapping it up
Lalbagh is and will always remain an oasis in the urban jungle of Bangalore that provides respite to the lens of a photographer. It’s a school in itself which gives you all the tools to become a better photographer one day. But with all this comes great responsibility to take care of the park and to take care of its inhabitants.
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Hi there!! thanks for stopping by.
I am Manas, a budding photographer and a full time IT consultant. I love exploring new things, travelling, reading and riding bikes. In my free time, i enjoy taking care of my beloved plants and i sometimes talk to them !!