So, how do you tell your folks that you are in love with a gadget..:-)
Imagine you are with a bunch of friends or family and the proud owner of a digi-cam. You are taking a group picture of them. At the same time a geek comes besides you. He’s wearing clothes in which he probably must have slept the night before. A hat and half a jacket with all pockets sagging to the ground with things heavy as stones. He’s carrying a stand just to keep his camera on, what a waste you wonder. You ignore, probably scoff, and while on your way back after a few hours, you still find the same dork, at the same spot squinting through what looks like a ugly giant brother of your smart digi-cam at something as exciting as a dried leaf..! Ever wondered where this breed of people belongs to? I did, and that’s how I fell into this rabbit hole called “photography”
Photography, for most of us means super expensive cameras and rich people bored with life, trying to find entertainment and praise by flashing their gadgets. Or maybe, some foreigners curious about beggars on the streets or may be, filmstars getting their pictures clicked. Though this might be true to a certain extent, but is far from common reality. With the digital technology becoming more affordable, anyone, who till now had a hidden talent for visual art can now express themselves completely.
So, what is this art of photography anyways? Literally, ‘photo’ means light and ‘graphy’ means to draw. Hence, photography is drawing with the help of light. On a more practical note, it is about creating visual art from subjects available around you. An artist starts with a blank canvas; you have a canvas everywhere around you. In photography you isolate elements from the surroundings and create a visually and emotionally appealing picture within the constraints of your frame. Now, after so many years, many schools of thought and application have given rise to many branches of photography, vise: reportage, abstract, fashion, travel, food, minimalistic, High Dynamic Range, Architectural photography to name a few.
How do I know if I am a potential photographer? If you like to observe and think about things generally ignored by the folks around you, then you know you have a creative streak. If seeing a kid splashing water in the rains makes you feel thrilled, and you enjoy the expressions in the child’s eyes, the symmetry of the splashed water, the soothing greenery around, then you know, you could frame the same and click a picture to preserve the moment. If you love the way the sun bursts from behind the clouds, you wait for it to happen more often. If you spend hours watching national geographic instead of Big Boss and have a vague idea about names like late Gautam Rajadhyaksh, Raghu Rai, Henri Cartier Bresson and Ansel Adams, then you know that a camera can be a perfect soul mate for you!!
Do I need to have the best/costliest camera in the market to be called a photographer? Hell no.! Camera is by far the last piece of the puzzle. Firstly, you should love to observe, travel, interact, and understand the behavior of light, people, shapes and colors. Then you need a camera to click a picture of them all, and express your creativity. But there is also another side of the story. You give any great photographer the silliest of the cameras, they would work wonders. But unfortunately, many of us are not that great an artist yet, hence we need a decent enough gear, to assist us in our learning. A gear which fits your budget, and gives the kind of pictures you want, is all that you will need, ever.
“Aah..photography is child’s play these days, thank you Photoshop!!” Again, a common myth. People think that Photoshop can turn a donkey into a stallion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like a painter has colors and brush, a surgeon has his instruments, an engineer has his calculator and a cook has his kitchen wares, we photographers have Photoshop. The cornerstones of photography composition, light, focus, concept, can never be replaced by image enhancing tools like Photoshop. So, in short, Photoshop has only made the field more competitive, with forcing people to sharpen their basics along with giving them the ease of doing modifications later. But you have to come up with a good picture in the first place, to make it better.
Alright Im game, just got my first camera, but where to start? Let me spell it out for you: Right here, right now! You can find any and I mean absolutely, totally, anything to begin with. Your toe nail can be your first subject, your friends next, the beautiful backyard you never realized you had, that zoo you thought you were too old to stop by..get the drift? Ideas are limitless. Once you have your first batch of brag-worthy pictures ready, its time to show them to the world, get the ball rolling. Social networking comes real handy to upload and share your photography. Blog, Tweet, share, compete, join your local photo enthusiasts club..time to embrace an entirely new you..!!
P.S: and before you know it, you would be sitting right besides the dork you once laughed at, speaking to the brotherhood in Pixel-tongue .Adios.