Friday, August 21, 2015

Photos that speak - Passionate Photography Thoughts

I have an active photography group on Facebook named “Passionate Photographers”. As the name denotes this is a group intended to ignite your passion for photography. How this group and your presence as a member can fuel the growth of your photography knowledge and photographic output depends on your active involvement within. It is the case in every aspects of our life.

Good photos make us curious onlookers of any posts either in print or web media. Many times some of the best creations are produced by experts with the latest equipment available to them. It may be a wide variety of lenses, lighting equipment, even models or subjects who are professionals to modulate the subjective topic into a magical visual experience. However, many of us do not have these advantage factors and the same should never hold us from continuing our passion to go in without inhibition and capture that magical and price moment which comes in front of us.

How can we do that?

This is where an open attitude towards this hobby and creative activity comes in. Let me take the example of cricket. Many of us are fond of cricket. Now imagine getting a chance to play at the beautiful Sheikh Zayed cricket stadium in Abu Dhabi for a T20 match. A golden opportunity comes in front of us from out of the blue as a bowler. You get to bowl only 24 genuine balls against your opposition. It is here your mind plays the key role. If you have been a player who plays cricket, you always play the game in your mind several times. The situation, its pros and cons, the weather condition, batsman whom you may play against or many other.  All those things are practiced and perfected in mind. Also your own positives and negatives, the effectiveness of your equipment like bat and other gears. You get the best result with the right applications of all the factors involved.

The situation is similar for you when a photographic opportunity comes to you suddenly.

I am sure all of you have a digital camera or an android phone, which of course now everyone has. First thing for you is to study its numerous features and their effectiveness on different light situations and surroundings. For this you have to keep on clicking, changing each and every option and testing it out. Like the bowler, who bowls numerous overs in the nets and perfect that unplayable Yorker, doosra or theesra or whatever, you too have to test the various options several times. This will make you comfortable and quick fingered to change the settings to the required mode to capture your object within the minutest of seconds available.

In photography, seconds or milliseconds are precious. It teaches you the importance of time within time. This is why I say and propagate that those who are interested in photography normally succeed in all other fields of life.

Constant practice makes you comfortable and experienced with your equipment.  This is the same way you get to understand your family or friends, their likes and dislikes up, close and personal, so that you get the best out of them always. Or like the same way you change gears on a fast track, if you know your equipment well, you will be able to switch over to various modes within the applicable precious seconds available at your disposal. This is how you get to see extremely interesting photographic moments captured by photo journalists. Regular members of photography related groups can visualize the amount of devoted effort by professional photographers to give us a golden moment. Examples of clicks when a mad elephant attacking a man, a sprinter finishing the race, an accident during a high speed car racing etc are some of them.

Lighting is another important factor that aid to a perfect picture. What do we do, if we are not equipped with specialized lighting equipment? What more you need than the natural and greatest light providers – i.e. the Sun and the moon. Through constant observation, a photography enthusiast will be able to learn about different light options available during different times of the day and night. Your photography life becomes easy once you start understanding these natural settings better. Positioning yourself in the right spot to gain the advantage of these lights will then do wonderful effect your otherwise normal equipment and settings. By constant practice and observations you will learn the best settings for any particular scene to look priceless.

Observe closely each and every photo you get to see, especially of experts and professionals. Play the settings in your mind like a bowler and you will never know when that priceless moment comes clicking in front of you. Try it and your Photo will definitely speak the next time.

My photography journey has been slow, but steady. A look at the photo section of the Passionate Photographers group will prove how each one of the members learn and grow in this passion of theirs. 

Every photo clicked is a history. You will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

God bless and have Passionate Photographic days ahead.

Ramesh Menon

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