Hello World !
Finally I have started writing blogs. No, 🙂 this is not in the 2017 New Year’s resolution list (infact I don’t have any resolution at all) but a long term wish to communicate with you guys with my camera and writing. Well, I am not a writer but a photographer and therefore I’m sure the write ups would not be able to satisfy the taste buds of the readers who love to read literature. But I have to try and try hard to communicate with my readers with a poor English writing skill of mine.
The post, as you already have known from the headline, is about my journey being a street photographer. I would like to split up the whole story in
a) giving some background about how I started photography
b) my first experience with a DSLR
c) evolving into a landscape photographer (Landscape Photography)
d) finally found my passion in the streets (Street Photography)
A) The Background
I don’t remember exactly when I started taking photos but it was my school days in the late 90s when I borrowed a Yashika point and shoot film camera from a neighbor as I was going with my school gang on a trip to the Himalayas. The trip was a memorable one as I was few hundred Kms away from my home in the lap of the nature for the first time with my friends. There were no parents to teach you lessons on every thing you see and I was free from those sentences “don’t go too far” or “don’t do this / that” and the usual parental stuffs. Yes those days, being a school teen, camping alone with friends was a ‘no no’ from most of the parents in India. They feared that their kids would be lost in the jungle, drown in the rapids and possibly would pick up some bad habits (abusive languages/drinking/ smoking etc is considered bad in Indian middle class society) from some bad friends. In short parents were too much conservative those days and going out with friends at the age of 14 / 15 was strictly a very big “NO”. So you can understand that I was tasting freedom for the very first time. One more excitement was that I had chance to spend some romantic moments with my girlfriend . Now don’t imagine anything wild 🙂 . It is just a reminisce of how we spent time together appreciating the beauty of the mighty snow capped mountains – enjoyed the cool breeze – saw the mountain goats grazing in the green velvet like valleys.
We were basically out collecting specimens there for our botany class and rock samples for our geology lessons and I was the official photographer, without any experience obviously, to record the samples which we had to produce during our final project submission. Apart from photographing the botanical and geological samples I finished two more rolls shooting the nature – the mountains, the valleys and obviously my friends. As I have mentioned that I have had no experience of using a camera back then and the only information I got form the film store guy was that the ASA. He told me that you can shoot 100 film in a bright sunny day and 400 in a foggy or cloudy day. That was it and I had no idea of shutter speed or aperture etc although I didn’t need to know as the camera was just a point and shoot. You load the film, the battery, press the shutter and turn the wheel after every shot. The viewing angle was probably 35mm but again I had no such information at that time and later guessed it looking at the old prints.
After we came back from the trip the negatives were developed and printed. Most of the photographs came out to be ‘OK’ but some of the photographs were too dark or blown out and I had no clue then but I was interested to know more on that. Soon I got a chance to attend a workshop in our school where the local photography club guys displayed their work and shared some knowledge on photography as a whole. First time I came to know that I could myself control the light falling on my film provided my camera has the flexibility to manually control the shutter and aperture. I also attended the advanced workshop to enjoy the process of film developing and hand printing. But being from a middle class family I couldn’t afford a proper camera then and developing and printing was too far off dream. Also my parents were building up pressure on me to concentrate on studies only so that I could get admission in a good university and become either an engineer or a doctor.Well, I passed all the exams with good grades and got admission to an engineering university.
During the last couple of years of engineering study at the university some rich friends bought point and shoot digital cameras, the digicams as we used to say. The dormant volcano erupted again. I started insisting my friend to bring his camera during our spare time walks across the university campus and we would shoot flowers / trees / the big lake. Silly guys ! we didn’t know anything about the art of photography and were just documenting random memories of our days in the campus. Unfortunately I was probably too careless and lost all my university days photos in a virus attack.
After I finished my university studies I got a decent job and after a few months I presented myself my first camera – a DSLR.
That’s it for today.Stay tuned for the much more interesting part i.e. why I traveled through Landscape Photography and finally settled on the streets.