The Magic Frame: Why Photography?

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This may be a strange question for a post. However, I think it is a pertinent one.

Some of you may know – or may not – that I spent most of my working life in the corporate world, and I still do a little bit of advisory work. Most of my work now, is in photography, writing and setting up a media business. This is where I will go in the future.

Anyway, I have been in discussion to do some advisory work for a chap, and they wanted me to be their spokesperson. That is, until some of his team saw photographs of me, on Facebook, taking photographs. This shook them, and they hinted that it would  be nice if I would tone down / give up my photography, especially since I am not yet a big name photographer. The image of me in a studio did not convey the requisite amount of seriousness. I took umbrage at this, and declined.

So then, I asked the question – why photography?

When I was in my teens, my desire was to go to the USA, and do my PhD in corrosion. For a variety of reasons, that did not happen. While ‘chatting’ with Merilee Mitchell, I mentioned that, if indeed I had gone to the US, I may not have turned to photography. She disagreed, and said that either which way, photography would have found me.

So, here I am, with a camera. I do indeed sometimes dress like a complete ruffian when I am out with my camera, and this is cool. I like to be comfortable. The memory of suits and ties has not gone, and while I don’t object to them, I no longer feel the need to wear them everyday.

So, why photography? I can’t answer this in one post, so maybe I will split it over the next few posts.

Briefly, photography, for me, is life. It is life, as I perceive it. Now here, i am talking of my personal projects, and not stuff I may do commercially. There was a time when I would shoot randomly. As I grew, I started to think about this more consciously. Then, less consciously. Then, more consciously again.

The choice of my subjects has changed over time, and the way I shoot and edit has changed as well. It will change again over the next twenty years and, I intend to remain fit, so that I can photograph.

But, to repeat, simply – photography is one of the two ways (the other is writing) that I perceive the world. 

And that, is why photography.

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In the middle of the night.
Homelessness, sadly, is a fact
 
If you look very carefully, you will see the homeless people on the pavement.
 
Revellers walked the streets not 20 metres from where they slept.
 
It’s not a pretty picture. The elbow of the chap next to me has made its way into the frame. You can barely see the second person, as he lay in the darkness.
 
The old man sat there in the light of the neighbouring shops, as they did good business.
 
Sad, yes?
 
Photograph taken in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi.

 

20 Comments

  1. I love your post, Rajiv. My feeling while photographing is that I am the witness of the World around me. Am not being presumptuous saying that, it’s just like that…

    1. Thanks! I appreciate this very much. Sadly, in my part of my country, people are now prone to protect cows more than they do people

      I have not seen your blog in a while!

      1. It seems people are not that important anymore I am at a new blog . To appear in your mail or reader you would need to refollow me at houseofheartweb.wordpress.com

  2. Your post is very true. And, yes, I do see these people when I walk around New York. My heart goes out to them.

  3. Rajiv-san, this post really resonates with me. Especially as I too feel myself at a crossroads re: corporate life. I know I have yet to send you that email, but hope to share stories soon. All best to you and your family!

  4. Awesome post!! I enjoy photography a lot even though I am not a professional or anything. I just enjoy being able to capture moments wherever I go. Another reason why I started this photo blog. Thank you so much for sharing and it’s awesome to see when people LOVE what they do and enjoy it so much like you do. Thank you for sharing!!

  5. That’s a good answer to the question. People also can ask it meaning not literally why, but more of “how”. Like, how did you end up doing photography? Maybe they wanted something like this too, but failed or didn’t have enough courage, who knows.

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