A little less than 2 years ago, I laid my hands on my very own Nikon camera. The journey has been nothing but an adventure, clicking and collecting snapshots every day of the week. Here I present to you my journey with Nikon so far:
At first and to be honest till date, I am very hesitant to take street portraits- to go up to somebody and take a photo of them with such a big camera in your hand can be quite daunting, but I have always wanted to photograph street scenes. I had longed for it for ages, so I started to photograph these scenes from a moving auto on my way back home from college. As adventurous as it was, it was scary too. Hence this is one of my first “street photographs”.
On one of my first visits to KR Market, Bangalore, with some of my college friends, I sat out to explore each and every corner of the market. I had almost clicked each and every street and face I possibly could. When you start out with street photography you tend to go ballistic with the number of times you press the shutter button without giving a second thought to the frame in front of you. This visit to KR Market was one such.
Commercial Street, Bangalore.
After gathering enough confidence, I convinced myself to step out into a completely unfamiliar part of the city to do some street photography. Out of the many photographs that I clicked that day this photo perfectly sums up the motive behind this visit that was to explore a new side of the city. This part of the city is reminiscent of the old Bangalore with no tall buildings around, just beautifully constructed old houses.
On my visit to Delhi in January, I started to come across different subjects; it was at this time that my taste in photography and what I liked to photograph really started developing. It was as if I wanted to photograph everything that I saw but in a different light. It was during this visit while discovering different areas of Delhi, I got interested in night photography, photographing beautiful sunsets among street lights.
On my way to college, I try to capture the early morning mood of the garden city. It is something that has always amazed me- to find the same streets which are bustling with people in the evening, to the sun shining brightly and lighting up the roads as far as the eye can see, to find them empty early in the morning.
March 2019 was all about walking across the length and breadth of Cubbon Park every single day. Whether it was before college hours or after, you would always find me in Cubbon Park. I wanted to capture the beauty of the park during the spring season. These two photos don’t do justice to Cubbon Park in spring but they are two of my favourite photos from that month.
To me, the first photo is my best street photo till date, I really like how it tells different stories within one frame, and the uniformity of colour throughout the photo is what I admire. The second photo is also one of my dearest ones, I like photographing clouds and what truly attracts me towards this photo is the true contrast between that one lit up cloud and the surrounding thunderclouds.
I used to mostly photograph daily life, but I wanted to try something new, so I started to take up certain projects on my own. These projects were more often than not a different perspective to the daily life and our surroundings. One such project was photographing primary colours, frames which have just one of the primary colours in it. The idea behind this was to simplify the colour palette in my photos and make a collection of rather easy looking photos.
July is all about the monsoon here in Bangalore. With a thundering downpour every other day, I usually find myself on my terrace trying to photograph these rain drops on the edge of the leaves, or to capture the tall palm trees dwindling from one side to the other as a strong breeze flows through them.
I vividly remember each sunset of this month; every day the sky would be coloured with hues of orange and magenta. I would spend the whole evening on my terrace, watching the sky turn from light blue to a deep azure.
In September, after my college reopened and I finally got back to my daily routine, I started to photograph daily life again. But after one point, my photos started to get monotonous- they usually had the same subject or story behind it. So in order to overcome that, I challenged myself to photograph a new subject every day and this how I found my new fascination of photographing houses and birds. Below are two such photographs from the month of September.
By now, I had really started to work on my compositions and the colours in my photos. I would spend hours going through YouTube videos and endlessly scrolling through Instagram accounts of photographers to gain some inspiration. Then in October, I captured these two photographs whose colours and composition.
As I started to photograph the streets in a much more refined way, I started to admire the light even more. I started to notice the different natures of light and the shadows it forms. Here are the two photos from the month of November.
With semester finals around the corner, December was all about cramming study material and burning the midnight oil. I spent the whole month photographing from my terrace whether it would be the moon hidden amidst the clouds, the skyscraper next to my apartment, or taking some portraits of my sister.
Going back to Delhi for a 15-day trip, I was hoping to explore my hometown in ways I hadn’t while growing up. I started to appreciate the city in itself- the chaos it always seems to be in. The one thing that really fascinates me about Delhi is that it is a city having many cities within it, referring to the many cultures traditions and people that are sort of crowded in one place. Also, the one thing that I really love about the city is its light and especially the light during the golden hour. It is much more saturated and that’s what made me photograph this portrait of my sister in the dying minutes of the golden hour.
After returning from Delhi and witnessing the mayhem once more, I had a new level of appreciation for Bangalore- for its calmness. I started to photograph the city in a different light. As I look back at the month of February, all the photos had a totally different look and feel to it, this time it really felt like I was photographing not just Bangalore but also the environment that surrounds it.
That’s how I remember March, witnessing the beautiful landscapes, narrow roads with palm trees on either side, cool breeze blowing through them, children playing football out in the open fields, the clear blue skies and the turquoise colour of the sea which seemed as one.
As the two-month quarantine started and as I was restricted to the boundaries of my home, I was eyeing every possible new frame or subject within my home. Bored of not finding anything new, I started to photograph this one tree over a period of fourteen days, as I saw it change its colours from dark red to green.
With another month of lockdown, I felt the need to photograph the silence that had overtaken Bangalore, a city which is usually hustling and bustling with people and traffic. So I decided to make a series of photos ‘sunsets in quarantine’ as an ode to this silence.
It has been a transformational journey with my Nikon D5600. I have seen the world around me through the lens of my camera. The journey has only just begun!