I just got back a bit ago from traveling up to Oakland, California for the travel photography show of Michelle Walker. I know Michelle through the wedding industry and often see her at many of the industry events I attend.
When she invited me to her first, solo, travel exhibition at Luka's Taproom & Lounge on Broadway and Grand in downtown Oakland, I was immediately intrigued and very much looked forward to attending.
After chatting with Michelle a bit this evening I learned she travels once a year and spends a month photographing the people, unique cultures, wildlife and geography of each country she visits. Tonight her pieces were from her trips to India, Africa, Peru and Cuba.
I was instantly drawn to one photograph in particular. Titled "Aarti" and taken in Varanasi India, it depicts a young boy stooping over to light small lamps on a staircase to prepare for the Aarti festival. Even though it doesn't appear to be in a church, and even though there are no religious icons in the photo, it struck me as being very sacred. I did order a small 8x12 print of it then came home and Googled "Aarti" to learn what the festival is symbolic of. Turns out my instincts were spot on.
Since the show was tonight, same night as the Oscars, Michelle planned ahead and had a huge projection screen set up with the Oscars running with captions for those who wanted to watch the Oscars. On a side note the only Oscar nominated movie I saw last year was Ratatouille, which I loved.