Tables have turned since the onset of the New Year. Things really stared paying off for me. 2012 was probably the worst year of my life (or whatever that I've been through). But since January, things started turning towards the right direction. A lot happened. But, I'm gonna focus less about my personal life here and a bit more about work (keeping aside whatever that took place in college).
I was sometime back in 2010, Microsoft Windows Personalization gallery announced an open call. Photographs and artwork were accepted to be used for wallpapers for Windows PCs. Somehow, that very day, I was in a good mood, and had the energy to send them almost ten photographs.
Almost three months later, I woke up to the sound of a new email notification on my phone… one of the ten photos were selected. That was included in the Flora dynamic theme. My photo got in through the rss feed after a week or so. And this was the image.
And this was the content of the email I received…
Hello, Rangan Das
Thank you for submitting photos to the Windows Personalization Gallery open call!
We love your backyard garden photographs, and are looking forward to adding several of them to the gallery. The pink flowers photograph will be featured soonest, in a new dynamic nature theme called Flora Dynamic. This new theme will go live on Wednesday afternoon, although your photograph will probably be added to the RSS feed next week or the week after. We may also feature it as a standalone desktop wallpaper, on the Desktop Backgrounds page. We will add your credit in the lower right-hand corner of the image, and also in the JPG metadata.
Also, I just thought I'd let you know that we've received a huge number of submissions – well over 1,500; and of these we've selected fewer than 20% to consider adding to the gallery.
Thanks again for participating in the open call!
Site Manager, Windows Online
Personalization & Downloads
The last few lines were the best feedback I ever got back then. I started submitting more and more photos. Soon, this one got selected too.
This one was included in the Insects dynamic theme.
I received a mail for that. Sometime by the end of 2012, another photograph got in the theme Aqua Dynamic too.
….and at the end of the email they sent me was this…
We really like the new photographs you submitted, and want to include many of them on the Windows Personalization Gallery. In fact we are considering creating a theme devoted to your garden photographs of flowers and insects (for example, we could title the theme something like "Bugs, Buds, & Blossoms by Rangan Das.") If you have more garden, flower, and insect photos that you think would fit in such a theme, feel free to send them.
By January, I got my new camera. A new DSLR. After a weeks practice, I headed for the horticulture. There was still a nip in the air and flowers thrived pretty well in this weather. Came back home with loads of photograph that day. With just lens corrections applied and the watermark, I sent almost thirty one photos that day to Microsoft. A few of them from the rooftop garden. A week later I got the mail that they were overwhelmed, but they needed my watermark files separately, instead of being embedded on the photograph itself.
On the 1st of March, I got the mail that my first theme was published… "Garden Glimpses".
Another one came went live late March…and the link is here… Garden Glimpses 2
.A week later my works got featured in Jennifer Shepherd's blog
. Maybe this isn't much of an achievement as a photographer, but it still gives me the fuel to go ahead. It makes me happy.
I'm now planning to send more photos, but a bit different this time. Will shift a bit more towards landscape. Did a lot of macro photography, gotta try something new. My hometown does offer a few interesting landscapes, urban scenes. It's a big city, but I live away from downtown. Kolkata is a wonderful city, it has a pulse, a heartbeat… You can feel it as you walk down the streets, look at all the people. I never went out that much. Sometimes, I'd lie to my parents, go out and buy some old comic books, walk down the streets. At other times, I'd bunk classes, get out of college and head downtown. If I look more, this city can offer me a lot of interesting cityscapes. I hope they'll get published somewhere too; I'll start by sending them to Windows Personalization Gallery. Also, in the recent future, my family has plans to visit Kashmir. It's a troubled place. But, it's one of the most beautiful places in India, or rather, I'd say, on earth! I'll definitely take my camera along, and I hope, the guys at Microsoft will publish a theme featuring Kashmir. …and something so reminds me of Led Zepplin right now!