Dominus Vobiscum, pilgrims!

Normally, I never write a photo-blog about a press conference.  So it’s ironic that the last time I did had to do with  Amitabh Bachchan at the launch of ‘Baabul’ back in 2007.

The first time I’d ever heard of the name ‘Rajinikanth’ was when I watched ‘Sivaji‘.  Don’t take this personally, but that film was so bad in my opinion, that it was that good.  I began to do more research about Rajinikanth and realised that he’s a legend, a cultural icon and a walking meme, not to mention, he has an immense fan base in Japan. You just don’t mess with the dude.  Even during my travels in South India, the his name is uttered in high reverence. People recommended I watched some of his older films to give me an idea of the actor for who he is, rather than the status that he has attained over the years, and one film that I would highly recommend is Mullum Malarum (roughly translated, ‘Thorn & Flower‘).

So, there is talk that Rajinikanth-sir is in the UK working on a new film, Kochadaiyaan, and there’s to be a press conference on Saturday with a line-up that would include his daughter, Soundarya, who is also directing her father in said film, and the composer A.R Rahman. I am ‘ordered’ by my ‘boss’ to cancel everything I had planned and attend said press launch.  Of course, who am I to disobey orders?

Arrived to the venue, and apart from the Asian press, there were also the national English press photographers, who, bless them, had no idea who Rajinikanth-sir was, at the time.  Cue a quick film history lesson, and how not describe Rajinikanth-sir as ‘Bollywood actor’.  That’s just sacrilege!  They were even more curious about the title ‘Superstar’, and how to address him, since they couldn’t pronounce his name.  My suggestion: ‘Just call him ‘sir’.

The moment finally arrived, and after years of training of how to pronounce his name, it’s amazing what happens when you call out politely for your subjects to look at your direction for a picture and add a ‘thank you’ at the end of your sentence:

After taking a couple of shots, it was a quick dash to the main room and grab my seat. And what happens: the batteries to my flash gun died.  I do the next best thing: I whack the ISO to 3200, and started to shoot at f2.8 at 1/200.  Have it!


There are only so many images you can take at a press conference without being repetitive, so here’s my favourite from the event:

That’s it.  I hope you enjoy looking at the images.  I was going to apologise for ‘carpet-watermarking’ the images, but with everyone just taking images and claiming them to be theirs, some precautions have to be taken.  Thank God for ‘Digimarc’, because now, I can track my images and send invoices for unauthorised use.  Ahh, you’ve got to kiss those tech-boffins!

Food for Soul & Thought: ‘Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.’ – Mark 14: 33


One thought on “Why have Superman when you have the 'Superstar'?

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