Photography : This is how I started

Disclaimer : This post will not teach you how to take good photographs.

A week back I got a text from one of my kid brothers asking how I started photography.And,he was the fourth person to ask me the same.It was then I thought,why not write about my nine months experience in photography.

For everything,there is a starting point.I was surrounded with brilliant photographers but they were not my inspiration.Yes,I loved being in front of the camera and I had enough excuses not to click pictures — DSLR cameras are heavy,technicalities behind taking pictures are boring and if I click pictures,then who will click my pictures.Like everything,photography was also an accident.The first DSLR camera was a gift for my Husband but he was too busy to use it.Then considering that there is a camera at home and nobody is using it ,I thought why not try my hands on it.Like every other beginner,I started off with AF(Auto Focus) clicking furniture,vegetables and clouds.I was too lazy to learn the mechanisms of DSLR camera and for a month I shot pictures in the basic mode.It was then I went for a photo walk and learned that there is much effort behind every good photograph.But,then I wasn’t ready to learn.

There are plethora of photography pages on Facebook and there were few which I was following without any particular reasons.Then something strange happened that I started noticing the photographs very closely.Some photographers had shared the EXIF details and they looked Latin for me.By this time,I had already started a photography page in my name for flaunting the pictures I had clicked.It was then I realized that I don’t have  any pictures to post on my Facebook page.That’s when I started to get out of the house to my neighborhood areas to shoot pictures.Then came the biggest difficulty — I didn’t know what to shoot.I had pictures of every flower,every cat and dog, and every road.Upon searching online,I saw photographs of my area and I couldn’t digest the fact that somebody else have clicked my locality so beautifully.Then it became a challenge and I started shooting the road in every possible angles and one picture came out well.That was a relief and a big break for me but I stopped clicking pictures from that day.

After few weeks,during a dinner party somebody brought up the topic of my photography page and appreciated me for starting one.I smiled and thanked him.But his wife,very naïvely,started asking me doubts such as what is a RAW image,why are photographers using a stand(tripod),how to take silky waterfalls etc.That was one embarrassing night because I had no clue what RAW image was or why people used tripod or what silky waterfalls were.Again,I was lazy to learn the photography jargon and I checked with some of my photographer friends.Most of what they told me went over my head but I understood one thing — I cannot click pictures without knowing the technical side of photography.Below are the steps which I followed to learn photography.

Step 1 : Of course,buy a DSLR camera

Invest in a good camera and lens.Like everybody,I also started with an 18 mm – 55 mm lens and then slowly started using 70 mm – 300 mm. There is a phase when you know that it is time to try a different lens.

Step 2 : Learn the technical side

There is a YouTube channel PhotographersonUTube which is run by photographer Jibran Aslam.His videos are very helpful for a beginner.He teaches you every minute technical detail in layman’s terms.I also follow the website which tells you about a lot of projects.

Step 3 : Everything starts from home

I am very thankful to my family and friends for patiently posing for me. I have pestered my Husband more than enough to experiment different shots.My friends helped me in doing a jewelry shoot which was more of a learning process of “how to shoot portraits”;you can check the pictures here.

Step 4 : Mimic other’s work

Follow a lot of photography pages and try to mimic their works.A lot of photographers give the EXIF details so you have the settings ready and you just need to find the correct angle and light.I keep a journal about the settings which have worked for me on my camera during various occasions.

Step 5 : Travel a lot

These days,I make sure to look up on internet before visiting a place to know the existing photographs of the locality.Researching helps in getting some predetermined shots.Traveling to one place a month makes a big difference in both you and your photography.

Step 6 : Do Photo Projects

Once you start reading the above mentioned website,you will come across a lot of photo projects.Each project will help you in learning various techniques.My favorite project was “Shoot everything you can”.In this project,I was suppose to be in a room and then click everything that is in the room.This project helped in learning how aperture works and by the time I finished this project,I had good control over using manual mode.Above all,I learned how creatively you can click an ordinary object.

Step 7 : Keep clicking!

Don’t get discouraged by seeing your first 200 photographs.Patience is the key.Always take your camera along with you.I turned my camera into my new handbag.Poor camera,now takes rest among the cosmetics and comb.Get rid of the shyness to take out the camera in public.Of course,people might laugh at you but you will get used to it.Don’t ever stop taking pictures.

I hope this post will encourage a lot of people to take up photography.

Happy clicking!


NB : Thanks to Vinod and Brags to pulling me into photography.

Painted in Red

When I was a kid,I loved the red-painted hands and legs which made me admire the color.Sajna was looking pretty in her parrot green knee-length frock and a cage in her right hand.A toy parrot was inside the cage and a tiny steel bowl too.

I was in 2nd std then and Sajna was my classmate who danced a folk number for our school youth festival.I was dark,lean and had glasses too.Red paints will look ugly on my hands and legs.Also the chilanka which we wear for dance was too big for me as i had the thinnest legs.

Those days my Mom was taking care of a family of 7 alone as my Dad was working in another state.Little could he sent us  from his earnings.But my Mom looked after us well even after having loads of liabilities with the family.

I watched Sajna’s dance as if I was dreaming.I wanted to dance too but didn’t know how to dance.I had heard from my relatives that my Mom was a brilliant dancer during her school and college days.As she had more than enough responsibilities on her shoulders,I am sure she must have not even thought about it for quite sometime.

Then one day I told my Mom that I want to join dance classes.To my surprise she didn’t even wait for her that month’s salary.I was put in a dance class where my Mom’s colleagues’ kids were learning dance.I joined with them for few days but typhoid took away my health in the following month and I stopped going for dance class.

After moving to Calicut,I was altogether a different kid.My marks went up,all in a sudden I became very smart and talkative,I become a different person in the new place.It was then I started learning Bharathanatyam seriously and sincerely.I realized that dance was in my blood.I quickly learned the steps that I went ahead of rest of folks in a short time.It’s a great feeling to be on the stage ;dancing with pleasure which makes you forget yourself.I did my first choreography when I was in 8th std for the CH Colony annual day for which two of my juniors danced.I saw my Mom’s face gleaming with happiness and pride when strangers walked up to her and talked about my choreography.

I wonder why did God give a sensitive skin.In my 10th std,during one of my performances make up caused a skin allergy.My face got burned and I became ugly.I refused to go school for couple of days.I started bothering about my looks.Though it healed slowly,measles made it again worse.That was the end of my dancing career.

Once I started working I wanted to join classes but either the weekend classes were far from my home that I will be losing the weekends or classes will conducted daily which I cannot attend.

Then after 3 years wait,when I moved to new apartment,I found that weekend dance classes are going on there.It’s a few blocks away.Though I felt little awkward dancing with kids less than 10 years,the urge inside me took away my ego.On the first day of the class,my legs were not even steady and by the end of the class I howled with pain.But I was happy that I came on track now.
The classes are during weekends for an hour.

If I had two extra hours daily I would have danced to compromise for what I missed years back. 🙂

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