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!

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