Monday, April 20, 2015

Why does everyone want to be a photographer these days?

What is it with photography that's turning mostly everyone into a photographer these days?

Seriously, what? 
 
Everyone wants to be a photographer today (and I don't exclude myself from that list). If you come to think of it, the number of SLR-brandishing amateur photographers in the world has escalated way too quickly for anyone to really fathom the hows and the whys. Sorry for the misleading title, though, because nope, I'm not going to give any well thought-out explanation for this most interesting phenomenon that's currently taking the world by storm. It's definitely got something to do with the falling prices of professional cameras in the market, I think. And of course, Canon and Nikon ad campaigns have a lot to do with it too. But I'd rather leave the analysis to the experts, which I clearly am not.

So what is it about photography that's so exciting?

I don't know about others, but I for one have been smitten by photography ever since I owned my first camera. I don't remember my first - was it the 2mp Sony Ericsson phone camera or the Sony digital camera my family owned? Or was it the manual Yashica camera from the 90s? No, that can't be. My father wouldn't have let me touch it; it was his wedding present from mom and I was just a kid. But I know one thing for sure - I've always been fascinated by photographs and travel pictures. While I was an adolescent, my parents would get exasperated with me every time we'd go for a family trip. I'd always click more landscapes and sunsets than I'd click them! As we grew older and everyone got their own smartphones, the tussle lessened and they came to realize I had no interest in clicking family photos and was happier living in my own fantasy world where I was one with my surroundings.

Now I can understand the urge to post one's pictures to Facebook when one is just starting out and could do with some appreciation or acknowledgement. I shared some of my pictures too, in a cheesy album called 'My tryst with the camera', while I was in first year of college. But the practice quickly spread and there were so many of those albums on Facebook that I never revisited mine to add more work. I rather posted them as part of my travelogues and review posts on the blog, and saved the rest up on my hard disk. I sometimes revisit the pictures from my travels and smile at the memories of old times.

And that, finally, brings me to the gist of it all. Memories and moments. The entire purpose of photographs is to keep alive the memories of old times, of places and of people you encounter in life. And that's not even it. Sometimes a picture can evoke countless emotions and thoughts in your mind, transporting you to a heavenly realm where beauty manifests itself in every atom. To be able to elicit such passion and joy in another person through a work of mine is what spurs me on in my photographic journey. As a step in that direction, I've made a portfolio of sorts on Behance.net. Since I get little time to write, I'm running behind on some pending travelogues. Until I don't post here, you can visit my albums there to see the world through my eyes. 

As the Chinese genius Confucius has rightly said,

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

I know I'm not half as good as even the most mediocre photographers out there. But I also know that I see beauty in everything around me, and that experience is the best teacher. So I trudge on in life, my faithful Canon 600D slung over my shoulder, with stars in my eyes and wind in my hair. I'll let life happen to me and tell you how it was.

~
 
Disappointed that this post had no pictures? That's because I have something even better for you. The Sony World Photography Awards, fellas! Although I went through many of the submissions, and had my mind completely blown over, here's a lowdown on the 15 best pictures. Check them out here, and you can thank me later with tears in your eyes. As a sample, here's one of the best from the lot.

Cute Balinese orangutan with his homemade biodegradable umbrella, anyone? I'll have one for me, please, thank you.

P.S. I realize in hindsight that I've mentioned Sony thrice in the above text. This isn't a sponsored post, people, just in case you thought otherwise. I am not an ambassador of Sony, and the kanjoos Sony-wallas have not paid me a single paisa to write this (though they certainly should have). Disclaimer done. Ciao now!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Face to face with the man behind 'The Frog and the Nightingale'

I've been a writer for over 5 years. I know I'm probably repeating this, but it's just so astonishing that I sometimes can't believe it's been that long. It's been an incredible journey, and there's still so much more to do and learn! I started writing professionally on a whim some three years back when I was approached one day by the directors of an upcoming travel portal to freelance for them. Before that, I'd always pictured myself as a published writer in the foreseeable future. Signing copies, delivering talks, being appreciated for my works the world over. That has always been the dream. But as I began doing more of freelance work, my blog took a hit. The quality and frequency of posts on my blog began deprecating. Very soon I had started doubting myself, writing less, thinking but not translating the ideas into good pieces.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stepping out into the world.

My life is cliched and I make no bones about it. I am your typical Delhi-born, Delhi-bred girl. My schooling was completed here, and so was my undergraduate degree. So many of my friends left for other cities, some went abroad as well. I managed to get admission in one of the city's best colleges. And so, I stayed home. In many ways, it was a good thing too. No financial burden on my parents, more valuable time spent in my beloved city of birth, and of course, gharwalon ka pyaar. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

We're together in everything.

Life teaches you a lot of lessons, and often at times you least expect it to. I learned one such lesson this past month during a family trip to Himachal Pradesh. But first, some context.

Ever since the travel bug bit me some years ago, I have wanted to travel alone. I begin and end almost every single day with the hope that some day, not too far off in the future, I'll be able to pack my bags and leave. Without a specified date of return, without an address to write to. Just launch myself into the world with nothing or no one to pull me back. That's the dream.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The singing duck (in my head)

Imagine a duck walking ahead of you, down the path in the neighbourhood park, crooning to itself in Daffy Duck's voice: