Hava Nagila!

Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid

The Art Of Looking Through The Lens

How does it feel to look through something other than the eyes? Feels great only when it is a camera…. the only device that feels comfortable even when it is so close to the eyes… I consider cameras one of the greatest inventions…
I have always had an attraction towards cameras and photographs. Probably because, when I was young, I thought that being photographed will make a person famous. There are numerous photographs of young me. There is a photograph in my grandparent’s home of my grandfather recieving the National Teacher’s Award from then Chief Minister M.G.R. Looking at that made me feel proud and happy.
Not only me, I have noticed many people have this attraction towards camera and photographs. A photo appearing in the papers (for the right reason) is considered a prestige. Photographs taken with important people become topics of conversation. Photographs provide a way of reliving fond memories and are a way to connect to the past. Photographs have also played their part in court trials as important evidences, in marriages, in medicine and in many other fields. They allow us to see things far away. Not long ago, they were used by NRIs to send pictures of their children to grandparents living elsewhere.
All said and done about photographs, what about the instrument that makes photographs possible? And what about the technology? Yeah… what about cameras and the technique – photography? Agreed, there are no substitute for the eyes; yet cameras are a revolution. They can do the things the eyes cannot. They can zoom images and make them smaller, make them appear distant or near; more importantly they can retain them for others to see. If you see something through the eyes, only you see it. If you capture through your camera, others can get to see it as well.
I asked my dad for a camera when I was in sixth standard. He asked me to get first rank if I wanted it. I got first rank only at the end of my seventh std. I was the proud owner of a Konica camera in my eighth class. I loved it; I would defend it with everything I had. From then on, whichever tour or party I went to, I would take it along. The photographs that I took were my constant companions. I would buy 2 rolls of film before I went on a trip. I would use one and once I took it out and put it in the film box, I would insert the other even if I did not need it. I would use film rolls very carefully because the cost of washing and printing was mind boggling. I still have that camera. It was one of the best auto rewind models. It had a great flash and auto focus. It also had a self timer. I used it extensively until my final year at college. I took the camera to my training in Infosys, Bangalore. There, it stopped working. I do not know why it stopped. I felt very bad. I still havent found time to repair it. But very soon I will.
I was young when P.C.Sreeram and Santosh Sivan were at their peak. I longed to take photographs like them. Learning about cameras and photography was the only thing that would keep me riveted in a place.
Here at Infosys, I found people having digital cameras. One fine day, I went to the Konica Studio near my home because my mom wanted to take some passport size photos. She went inside and I had to wait until she came out. The beast inside me raged when I saw the demo of a SONY camera at the counter. I asked the sales guy to show me a couple of models. I called up Senthil, asked him for specifications and that very evening I owned the sleek SONY DSC – T5. I bought a pouch for it and a memory card. I felt great. It is small, sleek and has great specifications. It is a 3X Zoom with 6X precision zoom. It is a beauty! In any function, when I use it and someone says Great Cam, I get elated.
I have particular interests in photography. I like taking pictures of bright objects and moving objects rather than the still and dark ones. I also like taking fotos while on the move like from a train or a bus. I enjoy movies more than still ones. And I like long shots and real closeups compared to the ordinary distance ones. I learnt about digital photography from the net. But no matter what, looking through the lens and capturing the right picture is an art. It comes only from practice. You gotta get a camera, take loads of pictures, make loads of mistakes and learn from them to get the right pictures.  
Currently there is a lot of technology going into cameras. Its good in a sense because it gives amateurs a great sense of confidence. But technology is only as good as the person behind it. No matter how much technology there is, its no substitute for genuine talent. You need to give your photographs a large dose of creativity for them to be good and natural. And that talent comes very rare!! And, you need to have genuine flair for photography. More than everything, you need to love your camera and know it inside out. 🙂
Its been one of my ambitions to have created a nice album of stills and movies by the time I am fifity. So, watch out!!

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This entry was posted on May 25, 2007 by in Hobbies.

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