Tuesday, June 10, 2008
BLOWING IN THE WIND
A picture can convey a thousand words, but it could also mean liberation, freezing time and etching in the memory for a lifetime. As French film critic Andre Bazin once said, “Photography does not create eternity, as art does; it embalms time, rescuing
it simply from its proper corruption.” But Roland Barthes countered it with, “A photograph is always invisible; it is not it that we see.”
Getting their hands on a camera may be a dream for some, but others use it to record events of life; for many, it's deliverance,
a mode of expression and a passion. Those who have taken to this addictive hobby, have experienced a shift in their perception and world view.
But women seem to shy away from aiming to shoot. Most photographers framing women are men -- Prabuddha Dasgupta,
Hemant Khandelwal, Atul Kasbekar, Tarun Khiwal, Denzil Sequeira, Farrokh Chothia, Subi Samuel. These are all men shooting beautiful women. Why aren’t women on the other side of the camera? Actually, there are some. Names you may want to remember -- Sumiko Murgai Nanda, Nisha Kutty, Sheena Sippy, Ronika Kandhari and Asha Kochar.
But there are those women who have proved to be trigger -happy – aim and shoot or aim and create. A hobby where they find a vent to their creative energy or just to relax, plain! Here goes some sharp shooters!
While not doing theatre, M Sajitha in Delhi loves to spend time with her Panasonic DMC-FZ7 camera. As a cultural consultant
with Ford Foundation, the 41-year-old is one of many women who have been bitten by the shutterbug. As a theatre person who dabbled in visual media for a short stint, Sajitha feels that her aair with camera began out of her love for visuals.
She also vouches that her constant companion had helped her to unwind through rough patches of life. Her passion has brought her fame too. One of her photographs has been selected
as the cover picture of the coveted ‘Indian Literature’ magazine this year.
“It is a complete stress buster,” says Sajitha. “Whenever I want to chill out or unwind, I turn to clicking pictures.” As a mother of a 10-year-old, she has shot her son in many moods and dierent locations. Her picture gallery today boasts of 800 pictures ranging from Karnataka, Rajasthan
to five other states where her job has taken her. What drew her to the candid camera? “I always liked visuals, dierent angles of sight, mood and light of a moment. I love to capture it in my own way.” Sajitha also loves to freeze in frame the myriad moods of women since she finds men dull. Her reason, “Women are more expressive and vibrant.”
OP Sharma of Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, who runs courses on photography,
says, “Photography is certainly a stress buster. The number of women who are trying their hands in photography is increasing. Nearly a quarter of my students are female. Out of these, a dozen take up photography as a hobby or passion. We also get a number of married women for the courses.” Do women have to face the music for pursuing a love other than work? Sajitha avers, “Though my love for camera has its roots in my childhood, my parents always objected to it. Later in life, I had to face flak from my husband for spending money and time on a camera.”
Interestingly, most women who we spoke to on their passion are self-taught. Pune-based Souparnika points out that though she started her hobby without any formal training, she fine-tuned her skills from her photographer friends. Though she feels that a formal training is not a must, one needs to learn more on shutter
speed and other technicalities from an expert.
However, Sharma disagrees.
“One needs to have a formal training in photography to pursue one’s interest. Technicalities need to be taught.” Bangalore-based Gargi is another self-confessed lover of the lens. As a corporate communication manager with a leading MNC, she takes out time to chill out with her three-year-old companion, Nikon. Though her aair with the camera started long back, she could aord one only three years ago.
Nandini Banerjee, a media professional, doesn’t want to pursue photography as a profession though she finds it the best way to unwind. “If I take photography as a profession,
I am sure it would become a grind for me,” she says. Her camaraderie with the camera started in class III when her father gifted a box camera. She confesses that the aair is still going strong though today she carries an F- 65 Nikon high-end camera. Nandini was introduced to the nuances of photography during her mass communication classes. Though her mainstay is portraits and landscapes, clicking wildlife also gives her a high. She rates her Sunderban Tiger camp pictures as her best. Rumika Tiwari, a designer by profession, discovered her passion for photography
by accident. While on assignment in the tribal areas on a government project, she fell in love with the camera clicking in the wilderness. Now as a student of Triveni Kala Sangam, she declares
her unabashed love for her F-80 Nikon. Tiwari gives full credit to the institute for honing her skills. “I went to Singapore just to click pictures since the parks are very famous. I took around 1100 pictures during that trip.” Monuments are also high on Tiwari’s list since they help her attain perfection.
By Preetha Nair