You can’t go wrong with photographs of a sunset. No matter how ‘dabba’ your camera is (even the one on your mobile will do) or how shaky your hands are or how totally unaware you are of angles, you can be sure, whichever way you click the setting sun, it will still look awesome. This is a huge morale booster for me. I’ve deluded myself many times over, into thinking I am this great photographer & my shots of sunsets always make me feel I ain’t half as bad. Oh and some flowers are like that too. You can click them from anywhere, they will come out beautiful.
Among the few things I envy others, good photography tops the list. I think very few have the sense of what goes into taking a good snap. Fewer still can master the timing that is required for a perfect picture. I am sure knowledge of the camera & its features, lighting & shades, the technique & the camera itself play a role in the quality of your pictures. But mostly it’s about your powers of observation. If you aren’t captivated by the world, & the people, & the beasts & the way each one relates to their environment, can you invigorate your viewers? You need to be moved by creation and its many splendors.
I dread to think of the covers of Femina, Grazia & a multitude of other lifestyle magazines. They are so repetitive. Only the names of the cover-girls change, but the pout, which is so done to death, remains constant. Few have the eye required for a memorable photograph. Lonely Planet is the place to be for great photography.
I like those who know how to photograph people in a way that they don’t assume a pose or some kind of a mask. They must look for the essence of what it is about others that fascinates them. Steve McCurry is one of the persons to look for. He is the guy whose photo of the Afghan girl with the piercing eyes featured on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. 17 years later it inspired a documentary: Search for the Afghan Girl.
I like the human face. I find it endlessly interesting. There are certain types of faces that almost speak to you. Which of us can ever forget the face of the man, struck with fear & grief, staring right into the camera lens, during the Gujarat riots? That face was the most gruesome face of the Godhra tragedy.
I like people who have this amazing collection of pictures of the most ordinary things you find lying all around you but those take on a special character in their snaps. One day, I will enroll for a formal, beginner’s class on photography. Someday.