Photography has been my passion from a very young age, fuelled by my father’s encouragement who was also an avid photographer. My first camera was a simple Rolliflex with its open up view finder. Its large square size helped me to learn the rudiments of framing and composition – two vital aspects of a good photograph. It also helped me graduate to the much smaller viewfinders of SLR cameras that I had later. Today of course the DSLR models are back to the good old days of large viewfinders but they cost a packet. I would advise young budding photographers to start with the simple see-and-shoot cameras that have a host of features that can be adjusted manually too and offers a great learning opportunity.
Coming to the basics of photography – it is all about light and shade. I always prefer shoots in the mornings and evenings as the angle of light does not cast bizarre and unwanted shadows. Take the case of an outdoor portrait or a group shot at noon. There is bound to be shadows under the eyes. Fill flash does take care of it but the face takes on an eerie whitish look. If you have to take a shot at that time, put the subject in a shadow and increase the aperture or lower the shutter speed depending on the extent of background clarity required.
All photographers have a specific line of photography that is close to their hearts and I am no exception. My favourite is travel photography but not the usual ones found in travel brochures. I look for a unique angle, an exclusive side of my subject, be it a monument, a mausoleum or a landscape. For the usual sights I prefer a crouched shot for a dramatic effect.
I have picked up this profession the hard way – years and years of trial and error both out in the field and in the processing lab. Be patient and use your imagination. There is nothing better than photography to get your creative juices flowing.