Steps and stairs

I have to admit that when I held a camera in my hands for the first time in the summer of 1992, it wasn’t an earth-shattering moment. In fact, it felt very awkward to hold one. At that time, if I didn’t need one for my dissertation, I would probably never have picked up a camera. It was only later, in 2008, when I got a digital camera, that I really got interested in photography. A digital camera gave me the chance to experiment.

Within a month of sharing the first results of my experiments with a digital camera with friends and family, the feedback started rolling in. Predictably, some of it had to do with the quality of my photographs and suggestions for improving the same. But most of the feedback was on the choice of the subject of my photographs. Till the feedback came in, I did not even realise that the subject of most of my photographs were that inanimate objects like doorscars, stations, public transport, etc.

I periodically try to make sense of the vast collection of photographs that I have by ordering them into collections. Not only does this help in streamlining my photo library, it is also a great stress buster. This time around, I was able to identify and tag a trend of photographing steps, stairs and escalators. Presenting some of the interesting ones from my collection :-D

Chepstow Castle

Leeds Castle

Southbank, London

Southfields Tube Station, London

Steps at the Parc de Bastions, Geneva

Steps leading to Cave 1, Badami

Crumbling steps leading to nowhere at the heritage structure of Ightem Mote, Kent, England

Escalators at the Canary Wharf Tube Station, London

Steps at the Ibrahim Rouza, Bijapur

At the Gorai Pagoda, Mumbai

The next photograph was clicked in London. Yes, London, on the steps leading out of the Heron Quays DLR station. :-P

Paan stains on the steps leading out of the Heron Quays DLR station, London

As I was selecting the photographs to be included in this blog post I couldn’t help thinking that there is something very charming and symbolic and abstract about steps and stairs. And all at the same time too. And I can’t also, help but think about this quotation by Susan Taylor:

Use missteps as stepping-stones to deeper understanding
and greater achievement.

What do you see when you see steps and stairs?
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12 thoughts on “Steps and stairs

  1. I love this one. Steps have a way of communicating about movement despite being stationary themselves. Some stairways invoke curiosity, some awe, and some plain ordinariness of life. The photos are all wonderful. Super post.

    • Most times, steps remind me of the fact that I have not exercised enough. But seriously, steps remind me of a carefree childhood thundering up and down old, but sturdy, wooden staircase in my grandparents’ house. It reminds me of love, it reminds me of the song, “If I were a rich man” from Fiddler on the Roof. It reminds me of goals acheived and goals to achieve. The list can go on and on…

  2. Right now when I look at stairs I think exercise :-D…but that aside its quite a collection you seem to have here…very interesting..sometimes there is so much variety in even the most mundane things…you just have to look…thank you Sudha…this brought a smile to my face first thing in the morning…

  3. Sudha! I loved the steps leading to nowhere. Delightful. Excuse the philosophy but even in life, we so often walk down and go up stairs that take us nowhere.
    To say nothing of the paan stains… :P

  4. Steps are also a metaphor for our aspirations. Remember “If I were a rich man” from The Fiddler on the roof. Tevye, the impoverished milkman, wanted three staircases in his dream home- one for going up, another for coming down and the third leading nowhere. Just for show!

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