Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Photography- as a hobby

Technology  has made a huge difference to photography as a hobby. Today  anyone can claim to be a photographer. You not only can capture interesting moments  in your life on your mobiles but also instantly share the same with your near & dear ones spread  across the world  through `Whats App` : the latest fad being taking `selfies` on  mobiles.

My mind goes back to the time when I would click black & white  pictures  using a `Gevabox` camera presented to me by my uncle.   I  shot these pictures on 120 mm square format. The film rolls  had 12 exposures. After  clicking every picture  I  had  to move the film forward using a lever provided in the camera. When the roll got fully exposed ,  I  had to remove it from the camera and load a  new roll to carry on shooting. It was not unusual to find the film getting stuck in the camera and  I  had to use force to pull it out damaging the roll and some shots.   I would have no idea of how the shots had come out until the rolls were` `developed`: first as negatives and later as prints from negatives. 

 I was a regular customer of Harish  at Zenith Photo Studio in Matunga, Mumbai, who always developed & printed the pictures taken by  me.  Waiting for Harish to tell me the results of  my  efforts was like waiting for the news of the birth of a baby  outside a labour room in a hospital.  

Once I started  earning,  I took up photography as a serious hobby. From black & white to colour, from 120mm  to 35mm film rolls, from colour prints to 35mm colour slides, from  simple `aim & shoot` cameras to sophisticated  SLR cameras- I went through all the phases that any photographer  went through those days.

Shooting pictures on 35mm slides and using them in my presentations to clients became a regular feature of my life.  I also used my talent to produce scores of  A.V presentations  promoting the projects of several Round Tables in the country which  helped the  Clubs raise crores of Rupees  as donations for their projects.
I have had  some interesting and some nerve racking moments shooting pictures. Like the time I was  taking a shot of  an `Open Heart surgery` being performed  on a 17 years old girl by doctors at the Railway Hospital in Perambur, Chennai.  Wearing the mandatory blue uniform and mask  and standing on a stool next to the operating table I had to take the action shot. I was scared of falling off the stool. Two room boys were physically holding  me in order to prevent me from falling.  On another occasion my camera caught  the  dying  moment of a baby girl  as doctors were trying to make last ditch efforts  to keep her alive. It was a very disturbing experience.

On the lighter side there were many occasions when  after shooting a  roll of film I would find that the numbers on the counter in the camera had moved forward without the film itself moving. Resulting in an unexposed roll at the end of a painstaking shooting session. Similarly , a  fully exposed film roll revealing no pictures when developed was also a possibility!

 I stopped indulging in this hobby 10 years ago. I am not complaining because I spend the same time  ` writing` which I find  equally creative &  interesting   without being physically taxing.

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