Last month was eventful. My first magazine cover was published. I had my first solo photo exhibition titled ‘Landscapes of Ladakh’. And my work on Hyderabadi Biryani was exhibited at the Delhi Photo Festival.
Out of all the three, the most insightful was the Delhi Photo Festival. The Festival provided the perfect setting for the foremost photographic minds from around the country, infact around the globe, to meet, discuss and display their work. I was there as part of a week long workshop called ‘The Photographic Essay’ conducted by photojournalist Sumit Dayal at the picturesque venue of Sanskriti Kendra in South Delhi. Along with 10 other participants, we went over the nuances of putting together a successful photo story and in the process, learnt a lot about the world of photography.
It was my first formal training in photography and since all of the participants in the workshop were already budding photographers in their own right, we didn’t waste any time going over the basics of photography (like aperture/shutter speed/ISO) and plunged right into the interesting parts of image making. We went over each others photographs, critiqued them and helped each other to build a better body of work. The best part about reviewing each other was our honest and unbiased feedback which is fairly difficult to come by in the days of Facebook and Likes. It was also good to have a fresh perspective on my work which gave me an opportunity to rejig the thinking process and reevaluate my current direction.
The festival by itself was a fantastic culmination of several impressive bodies of work in a variety of genres. The theme of the festival was ‘Grace’, paying homage to the late photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta and his works definitely stole the show. Observing and understanding what other photographers were working on was eye opening. I met several new people and got a chance to put a face an image that I had only seen online earlier. Meeting the photographers behind well known images is a very interesting experience as you get to know their personalities and experiences that have shaped their career and subsequently, their body of work.
The festival and the workshop together changed a lot of my previous notions about photography and art. But change is good and it is at times like these that one should embrace change. It is refreshing to explore new frontiers and in the process, never stop working to move ahead. I work all day, but it never feels like work. It feels like a natural part of my life.
Currently listening to – Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
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