This is a picture Iclicked. O a falling rain drop, saying hello to streaming rain water running away from a tiled roof. This snap has very little connection to this post.
He crossed his hands and tilted his head, barely concealing a smirk. I had just replied “OF COURSE’ in a tone that could be mildly described as ‘violently affirmative’, to his question. Which was, ‘Are the pictures that you upload on Facebook, your own or do you have download them from somewhere ?’
How dare, I thought.
Within moments however, I quickly broke into a smile within myself while maintaining a stiff exterior. The thought that he, and his well ordained intelligence entertained the possibility that someone better would have clicked them, was a compliment aterall. I gloated with ‘orgasmic ecstasy’.
I trust you will indulge in my confessions on photography !
My dabbling with photography, started a few years back, when I first dabbled with blogging. In the first year of blogging I thought it quite a natural God given right to use any of the images that Google threw up in searches. Like how an average Indian male thinks of the whole of India fit to down the zipper or loosen his drawstrings of a striped underwear to empty his bladder. Naturally !
Life was good. Nobody read the blog, save myself. Or so I thought. I wrote for writing’s sake. Added a picture or depending on the whim of the moment, and shut the system down and reached out for a hot cup of filter kaapi ! I did this for what seemed like two centuries.
Until one day, someone wrote in. Asking a question, which I read in a rather polite tone. The question was simple : Should I not have the decency to check with the ‘owner’ of the snap, before using it? Or something to that effect.
My first reaction was of sheer delight! Someone was afterall reading the blog. I thought.
After a couple of nights of insane partying to celebrate the fact that the blog had indeed caught someones eye, deep remorse filled my heart and I went without food for three days. Ofcourse, I exaggerate. On both counts.
Truth be told, one of those days after receiving that mail, sitting in a hotel and diving into something tasty I wondered if I should click every picture that would get to the blog. Every picture that will get to the blog will be OWNED by me!
As a matter of propriety, I must confess here I also thought this ‘owner’ship of such pictures were perhaps one of the few ownership decisions that I could afford without a loan and an Equated Monthly Installment.
Before you could say, ‘in a flash of a few months’, I had migrated. From writing a post and clicking a picture to suit the post (which took a long time. Even Vajpayee spoke faster), to the exact opposite. Keep clicking pictures and writing blog posts on the photographs that catch my fancy.
So I clicked http://healthsavy.com/product/diflucan/ whenever I was in the mood. Or wasn’t. For that matter. From the photographs, came alive many stories. I ‘invested’ in a Canon S5 IS ! Which is the only camera that I have. A camera that I Iearnt to use by trials and errors suitably grabbing guidance from online well-wishers who now have heaps of karma in their account with the old man up there.
So I clicked whenever I was in the mood. Wrote whatever I chose. Getting filled to the brim with a deep sense of gratitude whenever people wrote in, appreciating the post.
On the same keel I was engulfed in guilt when people appreciated the photograph. And my protruding paunch ached with laughter whenever good friends asked sincere questions about something called ‘aperture’ or ‘focal length’ , ‘shutter speed’ and such else.
It was simple. I don’t know a goats horn about such stuff but for some bare essentials. There are well meaning colleagues who discuss their outstanding photographs through a set of numbers! ‘105 X 37 ?’ they would ask when I showed them a snap that took me some time to click. Or something to that effect. All numbers seem the same to me.
To my ‘picture seeking – story telling mind’, the moment they do that, they morph from being insanely articulate to inanely accurate. That’s precisely when I peer at cobwebs in the corner of the ceiling.
Call me hare brained, but let me confess to you and get it out my chest. To me, photography is about story telling. It is about inclusion and exclusion. To include in a frame and to exclude! That includes light and shade.
If an image, at the spur of the moment feels like it is a prospective story, the finger fiddles with the few buttons and bingo, there is an image. Ofcourse, I over simplify. But by and large, that’s the idea. Some of the outputs occupy the space that Zuckerberg chap created. A few come to the blog here with an appropriate post.
Some snaps swell my chest. Like the one that you see here. When rain water streaming away from the roof, said hello to a rain drop.
I told all of this to a well respected friend who listened to my meandering rant with an inebriated silence. After soaking it all in with several rounds of chicken tikka laced drinks he spoke at length.
The sum and substance was this. In his own dismissive way he has asked me to put an end all this ‘dramabaji’, stop this ‘clicking shiking’, buy a real camera and ‘go learn photography’. With another minute of silence and one more stiff drink in his system, said, ‘Your snaps. They are good’.
Since then, I have looked up real cameras and such else. Looking at their prices, I have now commenced looking for a venture capitalist with a kind heart.
First there are stories. Then ofcourse, there are stories of stories.