You Are On Camera! Gurgaon’s Photography Community
August 19 is celebrated as World Photography Day. From what began as a passion to becoming a full-fledged profession for some, Gurgaon’s tribe of camera savvy is busy clicking
The world of photography has completely changed over the years-from the bulky cameras with reels to digital cameras, professional DSLRs, to now the most widely used method of freezing memories is in the handheld phones. The mobile cameras have completely changed the very essence of photography. Each one with a Smartphone is a photography enthusiast.
The Gurgaon Factor
In the last decade, there is a spurt of passionate photographers in the city. Gurgaon has some of the best examples of many working professionals who developed a passion for capturing moments and sights in their camera and are pursuing photography as a hobby.
“I was working for a VFX company in Hyderabad and was surrounded with such passionate photographers which really fascinated me and I wished to add photography to my skill set,” says Aman Bhutani, a creative professional with Sapient. “In 2009 I bought my first Canon Prosumer camera or super zoom capable camera which allowed to me to manually choose my setting and not just use auto mode setting. As I started understanding the craft better and experimented more with my clicks, in 2010 I bought a DSLR to upgrade and capture better detailing of my subjects.’’
Sanjeev Kumar Saxena, founder of the Gurgaon Photography Club (GPC) is all praises for the growing participation and enthusiasts in the city that the group has seen since it was founded actively in 2010.
“People in Gurgaon love the art and craft of photography and the number is rising. We as members of the club share photography tips, conduct free workshops and trails for the camera enthusiasts. Budding photographers join the club and learn about photo composition, light control and other technical aspects of the subject.”
With over 7000 members in the group, GPC regularly organises photo walks to Gurgaon’s favourite hotspots like Sultanpur, Basai Wetlands, Aravallis, Bio-diversity Park, Tau Devi Lal Park as well as other areas of Haryana, Pushkar, Delhi and more. Photographers from Delhi and Faridabad too join the group frequently for their trails.
Groups like Let’s Walk Gurgaon (LWG), Northern India Off-roading Club (NIOC) in the city among others offer budding photographers immense opportunities to experiment with their clicks.
Aman who loves to capture nature in his lens joins these trails as official photographer and over the years has captured some great pictures. He also enjoys taking workshops for beginners in mobile photography and principles of photography.
Gurgaon has a lot to offer to people with varied interests – food, fitness, photography, cycling, art and more. People with interest in photography go for photo walks to explore new terrains and enjoy photography opportunities. Let’s Click Gurgaon is a popular photography group which has photography enthusiast as members.
Priya Ranjan works with a leading beverage brand in Gurgaon and he is a self-taught passionate photographer with a camera as his constant companion. “I picked up my DSLR three years ago and ever since have read hundreds of books, watched YouTube and attended online tutorials, followed international photographers to understand the technical aspects of camera and aesthetic aspects of photography. Locally, I enjoy following the Delhi Photography Club as they cover some unique and interesting places though I am a solo traveller. I have travelled to various countries and never without my camera. I am working on my project called ‘Potrait of Humans’ where I wish to showcase people of 30-40 countries and capture the beautiful diversity they represent of the human race,” shares Ranjan who has penned a book on ‘Street Photography’ which was among the best-sellers on Kindle recently.
Contingent of Women Photographers
It may come as a surprise to many that most of the professional photographers who turned to photography out of pure passion and interest are self-taught and learnt the tricks and technical aspects through YouTube videos, blogger videos and learnt from their fellow photographers. Shailija Narita is one such successful example of a self-taught photographer.
“I was a marketing professional and an avid writer who would click my own pictures to go with my articles. Three years ago I quit my job to take care of my children and bought myself a DSLR. My personal favourite is macro photography wherein one takes extreme close-up shots which can capture even the pollen in a flower. I never shy away to learn more from my peers.”
It was a chance shoot for a blogger who asked Shailija to click her personal pictures in sari that became the turning point for her. Once she uploaded the images, they went viral and the biggest compliment was them being compared to Raja Ravi Verma’s paintings.
Talking about cameras, “I am currently using Sony A7R III which is mirror less and my latest buy. For beginners I suggest Sony Alpha 6000 which I am very fond of as it is mirrorless, easy to handle and is light on the pocket,” she adds.
Passion to Profession
Life often has its own little ways to show you a new direction and with perseverance and passion, you can follow the path that was meant for you. What at one point of time may have been just a fleeting hobby emerges to become the career you never imagined.
Rashmi Chaudhary was a part of the corporate culture for ten years before she hung her boots in 2010 to take care of her growing family. To keep herself productively occupied she organized workshops for moms & kids on various subjects – one of which was photography that gave her the opportunity to meet professional photographers.
“In some corner of my heart I always felt that photography was my inner calling as I loved being behind and front of the camera. With my DSLR I liked to spend time with the photographers and soon I myself enrolled in a few workshops to understand the technical aspects of photography and enhanced my knowledge in the subject. Slowly with baby steps I took up photography professionally by starting my brand ‘Rendezvous with Rashmi.’ Street photography has really evolved me as a person in all aspects. It has made me humane and thankful in life as it has exposed me to people across the spectrum and their emotions which totally brought a revolution in me, says the photographer with a glint in her eyes.
“I call myself a people watcher and love capturing people on the streets and of diverse backgrounds.”Priya Ranjan
Another woman creating waves in the photography circuit is Gagan Brar, a self-taught photographer whose portfolio consists of diverse projects from fashion, portraits, travel, street, events, product concepts, social projects, events and CSR photo stories.
“I am a self-taught photographer who has learnt from YouTube tutorials and I never ever shy or hesitate to seek and enhance my knowledge by asking and discussing with fellow passionate photographers.”Shailija Narita
“I love to weave and narrate stories with my photography clicks, while capturing the celebrations and struggles of daily life with the ability to see the extra-ordinary in ordinary surroundings,” says Gagan confidently who has an uncanny ability to capture the essence and soul of the environment.
“To be able to re-visit a memory that has been captured by a photo is priceless.”Rashmi Chaudhary
While she feels Gurgaon has a lot to offer to its photography enthusiast citizens, there is still much scope to further boost and enhance the photography scene in the city.
“Gurgaon is a city inhabited by people from across the continents, with different diversities and culture. There is also a contrast which exists between new and old Gurgaon; places and people are full of stories waiting to be told. One can easily find group of like-minded people to pursue a hobby or hone a talent. The city has so much to offer to true passionate, she says.”
“I strive to bring creativity and connect in my work to almost make you exist in the moment of that picture.”Gagan Brar
So if you are part of the digital savvy generation who can’t let a meal go without uploading the picture of the dish on Instagram or have to click a picture of every celebration; go ahead and keep those clicks coming!
Chaitanya Chadha is a professional photographer whose scope of work includes corporate films, brochures, advertising, architectural photography, fashion and portrait shoots.
Professional photography tips by Chaitanya Chadha
- For Background Blur or to create a Bokeh: Choose an open aperture between f/1.8 and f/5.6. The lower the f-stop number, the lesser is the depth of field, resulting in a nice Bokeh. Choosing a longer focal length of 50mm or higher will get you a higher blur in the background by having a small depth of field. Lastly, make sure that your subject is closer to the camera than the background.
- When photographing in the shade, place your subject fairly close to the edge of the shade so they are looking out toward an area of sunlight. This will help keep them well lit and catch lights in the eyes.
- A slow shutter speed lets more light into the camera and also allows the sensor to record movement in the frame.
- The higher the ISO, the brighter the image but it will also bring in more noise in your photos. To minimise this noise, keep the ISO level down as much as possible.
- Any window or door that doesn’t have sun streaming directly into it can work as a great indoor light source.
This feature was first published in the print version of SUBURB August 2019 issue.