The Magic of water (By Celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani)

Kool pictures always makes us Kool .

The most awaited calendar of the year is out! Celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani talks about the making of his calendar, and shares his journey of shooting with the biggest names in Bollywood.

Want to know how he created magic with water? Hear it from the man himself.


This pictured can be titled "Kajol" because only she can do
something so crazy with so much ease. Her expression was
perfect when she hurled coffee into the water. We had to do
this shot about 25-30 times but finally it turned out to be
pretty nice. She had to kick her legs in water and chuck the
*Perfection needs - Try ,25 -30 times or more
coffee and give the perfect expression, all at the same time.
So it was quite a complex process. We had to take care that
the water or coffee does not fall on her face or on to the
camera. But finally Kajol pulled it off, and

we captured the
shot when the coffee actually circled her face. The coffee
droplets, which were in fast motion, were also captured
perfectly. It was a lot of fun working with Kajol.

Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik's picture was done at hotel J W Marriot. I was
shooting in Bangkok about 3 years ago and we had spoken about
this picture then. We had decided the theme at that time, and
we conceptualized him reading a book- sitting on a chair and
concentrating on the book even when the chair is tipping over
water. Finally we got a chance to implement it, as "water" was
my theme for the 2007 calendar. So we met a day before the
shoot to figure how it's going to be. We tried many shots with
the chair. Finally the d-day arrived. Hrithik had got along
seven spare outfits so that he can wear a dry one after each
shot till we get it right. We tried to do a shot without the
chair, and luckily we got through in the very first shot. So
we decided to go with it.

The most important thing in this image was Hrithik's
expression because he is reading the newspaper so intently
while he is tipping. From the minute he started falling to the
fraction of the second when he hit the water he still held
that expression, which is amazing. There is a lot of hard work
he had put in, he gave us one full day for the shooting but of
course we did not need it. But the sincerity that he has put
in comes through, especially for a non-commercial calendar *ONLY SINCERITY PAYS
that has been done just for the sake of art. Hrithik is one of
the best male models we have in the industry and gives the
best pictures, but his dedication is like that of a newcomer.
He doesn't ever want to compromise; he looks into detailing,
and makes you feel special with the time and enthusiasm he
gives. It was a delight to work with him.

Amitabh Bachchan

We shot Mr. Bachchan's photo with my dog Flash who is quite a
model himself. Mr. Bachchan grew quite fond of dogs ever since
Abhishek was gifted a pup for his birthday. Since then Mr.
Bachchan has grown quite easy with dogs and also holds an
emotional attachment towards them. Whenever he comes to my
studio he always plays with Flash and fools around with him.
So this time I felt Mr. Bachchan must shoot with Flash. I have
tried to get Flash in my calendar every year since the last
six years, so this time when a concept struck me I decided to
go ahead with it, especially because Mr. Bachchan loved it
too. We did this shot at J W Marriot again by the poolside. We *focused. approach is all about
kept the frame ready and Mr. Bachchan came ready with his
make-up and outfit from home. We completed the shot in ten
minutes flat and then he left from there. So he is very fast
to work with and totally focused. The picture is very
emotional as it shows a dog that can not bend his neck down to
have some water from the pool. Seeing the strong sunlight, Mr.

Bachchan has collected some water in his hand and given it to
the dog. So we have followed a very emotional mood in the

Bipasha basu
Bipasha's photo was not entirely shot underwater but it was
insinuated like an underwater picture. This was the picture
for which we needed the maximum amount of time because this
was the only picture for which we used visual effects. We had
to make the hair and the dress look like it is in water so we
consulted some underwater specialists. We also saw a lot of
underwater pictures to see how the clothes and the hair would
react and to gauge how much distortion happens in water. The
concept is that of an angel, or a mermaid, releasing a gold
fish into the sea. It is a bit of fantasy mixed with

creativity. We got bizarre ideas like showing a shark swim
near her, but then we stuck to simplicity. The picture looked
beautiful and did not end up looking scary or dangerous.
Bipasha generally portrays a hot and sexy image but here she
looks angelic. Although this picture is also serene and

*Creative wins in the longer run
sensual, Bipasha has never been seen doing an angelic picture
like this before. That is what I like about this picture.

I told John that my concept is "Water". I didn't want to do a
body-shot of John like it has been done by others time and
again. I wanted to portray John in a way that has never been
seen before. So I suggested we do a real tight close-up with a
tear drop in his eye. John was skeptical in the beginning but
I told him he was one face that would look beautiful even with
tears in his eyes. So he went with my instinct and got the

*Killer instinct is what we need
picture done. When I showed him the image he was totally

amazed with the lighting, the glow, the tear-drop. We had to
do this shot a few times because we had to put glycerin in his
eye without letting his eye go completely red. There were lots
of shots when the tear rolled down his cheek but I liked the
one when it just broke out from his eye. We got the shot
within fifteen minutes of shooting.

Aishwarya Rai

For Aishwarya, we decided to go in for a black and white,
post-rainfall picture in a vintage Austin car. I briefed her
on the concept and she pretty much liked it. You can see water
droplets on the window and the roof of the car. It looks as if
she rolled down the window and somebody called out to her. Of
course we shot it in colour but when I punched it into black
and white, it looked stunning and did more justice to the
vintage feel. Ash looked beautiful with the make-up and she

was wearing a white top anyway, so when I de-saturated the
skin tone, the black and white effect looked awesome. With Ash
it is always a pleasure to work. She is a true delight to work
with because she is
focused and gives stunning shots every
. It is very difficult to photograph her badly! *And All above Consistency

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