Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012


They say time waits for no one,
But I saw the hands of time standing still;
Where am I?
Who is out there?
I know I am trapped..
But by who or what?
Someday, somewhere,
Some will find the switch;
And I'll be free

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I took a picture in my mind

I read somewhere that a photographer should be able to take a picture in his mind, even when he/she doesn't have a camera in hand. I think this is a good start for training, and in exploring our imaginations. Of course, if you have a camera in hand and you are right in front of a decisive moment, you should never miss that moment.

Today I was having brunch at my college canteen. I chose a table in the corner, as I ate my buns, scrambled eggs and sipping ice tea, the sun was shining down on my table. I also felt the warm heat of the sun on my face. Simutaneously, the reflected light from my plate hit my eyes. The sunlight wasn't harsh, I was sitting alone, I cannot see myself as there was no mirrior. But my senses told me that it was a perfect lighting for a photograph. So in my mind's eye, I picture myself from the opposite end - eating and sitting alone on a table, sunlight hitting some parts of my face and my hair, and the reflected light from my plate highlighting my eyes. That would have made a pretty picture, whether it was me or any other person. 

And just opposite to me, there was a girl sitting alone as I was, sitting under the shade of a tree. She was also eating her lunch. There was a streak of sunlight shining through the branches of the tree. It highlighted her hair. And below the table, one of the campus dogs was deep in his sleep. I captured that in my mind, it was truely a beautiful frame. 

Sometimes, its good to take a break from clicking and just enjoy things as they are. At the same time, in my imagination, I never really stop photographing. I endlessly makes frames from the things which I see.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Grammar of Photography: A few thoughts on Photography

Photography was first a scientific invention. It immensely simplified the art of image making. Soon after its invention, photography became not only a tool for image making, but also a medium of expression. By the turn of the early 20th century, it was slowly accepted as a form of visual art. While other forms of image making such as painting and sculpture were limited only to the elite class, the intervention of photography gave access to the world of image making even to the lowest economic class. It became so accessible that it is used in almost all walks of life. It is the fastest medium of communication; as the saying goes ‘seeing is believing’, photographs do not require letters and symbols to be read. Anyone who is not visually disabled is literate to read photographs and interprete it in his/her own understanding. And the act of taking photographs as Susan Sontag has said is ‘a way of certifying experience’. The millions of images which have been recorded by the camera are manifestations of experienced events. Even when one did not experience those recorded events, it still creates a new experience to the viewer.  Photography guides the viewers’ perception on things in various ways, be it positive or negative.

Photographs have a spell of its own, the camera is the magic wand; the shutter when released activates the magic spell to create a picture. All it takes is just a few fractions of a second, which requires lesser time than uttering a magic spell. The still image created again has a life of its own. Though silent; it can speak a thousand words.  Photography is a way of life which records visual histories of individuals, families and countless areas of social and community life throughout the world. Through photography, a person writes his/her visual autobiography or helps write the visual biographies of others. It is a never ending process. In our present day, the pictures uploaded on the social networking sites is one example of such visual biographies. One may selectively upload his/her pictures, but his/her friend will also upload different pictures of their choice. Moreover, for the different series of photos, the photographer cannot be the same throughout. Therefore, there can never be a single author in these biographies.

Language is not confined only to speaking and so is with grammar. Languages can be spoken with incorrect grammar and the intended message can be still perfectly understood. The same way, like many other visual art forms, photography is a language. Moreover, it is a powerful grammar for expression. Where words fail, photographs summed up the parts of speech. In this age where the camera is at the reach of almost everyone, photography is the grammar of expression – both visually and verbally.