Thoughts

Memorable Photographs – How They Got That Way

A friend writes to me:

I’m no photographer, and therefore I’ve never understood what makes a photograph amazing? Nationalist sentiments aside, what’s in the photo – “Heroes of Iwo Jima” that makes it so awesome and memorable? Also, the National Geographic Magazine picture – “Afghan Girl“, what’s so special about that?

What’s special about those photographs? Why are they ascribed the words ‘awesome’, ‘memorable’, ‘special’? I have the answer for you. It’s all in the camera. Back in the day, they didn’t have cameras that counted megapixels. They had special films, and it’s the film and the cameras that make these photographs special. Also, the world was black & white. Really! Not kidding! That’s why I have the highest megapixel camera I can afford to buy today. And believe me… I’ve got some memorable photographs.

Ok, ok, so I really was kidding. I was trying to buy time, because the real answer isn’t as simple as that.

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Lose Yourself, Find Things to Photograph

Often people mistakenly believe that they need to go to a strange new land to discover new things to photograph. I discovered otherwise just yesterday.

Yesterday, I deliberately got lost in my city, Chennai. I went into a section of Chennai that I’d not been to before, and I discovered a whole new part of the city that I never knew existed. It was a simple step; wander through a section of town that you’ve not been through before, look around you at the people, buildings, shops. For me, it was like I’d gone back through time, to when the city was simpler, less modern, more rural. You may not discover new vistas around each bend, but give it a shot. If you’re truly looking for a photograph, you’ll find one.

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7 Ways To A More Observant Life

Every single person can benefit from being more perceptive/observant in their daily lives; not just photographers. From a quick assessment, it would seem as though photographers have the most to gain from being observant, but the truth is that every profession relies on the people who have an eye for detail. The people who seem to be in tune with everything around them.

Is it that these people care more? Or are they just paying more attention? I say a little of both, but if you care, you probably also want to learn how you can be more attentive, and observant in your daily life. Here are a few ways in which you can build habits into your daily life so that observation becomes an innate skill.

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Why You Should Know Your Equipment Better

Three weeks ago, my MacBook Pro crashed. It had seen a year of good service, and because it was my first ever Mac, I’d just about set it up to work exactly the way I wanted it to; and it crashed. The Apple service provider in my city said that the logic board had died, and they would fix it in a jiffy. The “Jiffy” turned into a 3 week ordeal that I will not describe here, but the Mac is back, and Oh! What a joy it is to have it back.

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Colour it Black (& White)

Black & White photography is obsolete. It is antiquated and exists for no real reason at all, except for our desire to see the world as we can’t see it. In Black & White.

Shouldn’t we just abandon it as a technology that is no longer needed? Perhaps not. Black and White is more than just the way that images are created. It’s also how we look at those images, and what they make us feel.

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