Monday, July 26, 2010

Me, my cam and the clicks

"So when was the last time I held a camera in my hands to do some serious photography?", I thought before clicking my first photograph in a long long time. The answer to my question was "10 months back". I checked the EXIF on the last photo taken by me, and the "Date Taken" read 9/21/2009 6:19 pm. Long time, no clicks.

My interest in photography was born not in July 2008, when I had purchased my first Digicam. Nor was it born in the next couple of months when I toured, and captured lots and lots of snaps in beautiful places like Paris, London and Switzerland. Although I did capture thousands of pictures in these places, but these were not out of any thought of learning photography, or experimenting with it, but because of the fact that I was getting once in a lifetime opportunity to visit these places, and I wanted to capture and save most of what I had seen, in the form of photographs. And it turned out that of thousands of clicks, some came out really amazing. For instance, these -

However, it was not until early 2009, when I realized what true photography means. And I thank my friend Samit Tibrewala, as well as some of my ex-colleagues whom I know only by their names and through their snaps EXIFs (If you are interested to see their clicks, check this out). Samit gave me a small lesson on how to use Adobe Photoshop to enhance an ordinary photograph, and turn it into an extraordinary one. And on the SLR bulletin board of my previous organization, I found people sharing their knowledge and experiences on the rules one must follow during photography, as well as the importance of sometimes breaking these rules. Some of these people are Swaheel, Sandy, Ashay Dhavale, Vaibhav Garge, Bobokumar and Nikky Stephen. The photographs posted by these guys on the bulletin board were atleast 100 times better than those you would find on my Flickr photostream, and thats what inspired me to emulate these people. I started posting my own clicks on the bulletin board, and the members were kind enough to point out how I could improvize on these snaps to make them look even better.

And since then, I have learned a lot on SLR bulletin board, and on internet about photography and about using Photoshop. I also went through the complete manual of my P&S Sony cybershot DSC W-35.

Subsequently, the first thing I tried was to modify some of my not-so-good photographs, through Photoshop. The results were amazing. Here is one such example -



In addition, I also learned the rules about shutter speed, aperture width, importance of light, placement of subject in the photograph etc. And slowly and stetadily, I started to implement these rules while clicking photographs. And subsequently, the photos started coming out perfect, and didn't need too much editing in Photoshop. Below are some examples of photographs where no Photoshopping is done (except very basic contrast adjustments).

The most important thing I have learned about photography, however, is that you do not need a very expensive camera to get good photographs out. Even a very basic Point and Shoot can suffice most of your photography needs (unless you are looking for wildlife, macro or bird photography). All you need is the experience, detail knowledge of how your camera works, know-how about the rules of photography, and a keen eye to visualize good clicks in ordinary situations.

Yesterday, all these thoughts raced through my mind in a matter of seconds, before I pressed the shutter button down first time in more than 10 months. And now I have decided to pursue this hobby of mine more regularly and without such a long break.

PS: You can find my best snaps from yesterday here.

1 comment:

Samit said...

Well, any passion in life doesn't really become a passion until you've experienced it at least once and let it emerge naturally rather than chasing it for life - It's a pleasure to have you in company while we live our small little passion of photography - I hope to go on loads of trips with you only with the intention of letting our lenses speak :) After all, the true essence of a vacation is not in the place itself, it's in what you feel the place is :)

Cheers to this passion !!