Eye of the Beholder

Several years ago, I saved up for months and then spent a small fortune buying my first “real” camera: a good, sturdy “state of the art” Nikon SLR . I then proceeded to save up for a few more months and spend a slightly bigger “small fortune” to buy different kinds of  lenses: wide angle, telephoto, etc along with a host of accessories.

Whether this interesting saving and spending pattern was a reflection of meager means or lack of parsimony though is not the point, point being that I thought I could become a “good” photographer by owning proper equipment, learning how to use said equipment and then simply keep taking good photographs until National Geographic came knocking. Of course, “back then” taking a photograph was a process that involved buying film, being careful (really careful) with the framing, timing, exposure, aperture and light settings, using  up the “roll” and then expectantly waiting -days in some cases- while the prints were developed into photographs which then made their way into ornate photo boxes or photo albums .

Fast forward a couple of decades. I saw a rainbow on my way home from work this evening (no I am not going poetic on you – I literally saw a rainbow!). I whipped out my phone and tap, tap – seconds later, the memory was captured forever and on its way to my email inbox where it can be archived, indexed and retrieved at a moment’s notice.

Now I will not even try to pretend that the accompanying pictures are photographic masterpieces. However what the camera in my phone allows me to do is, quite literally, capture the moment. And increasingly I have found that to be very compelling – to chronicle life as it happens rather than wait for the perfect confluence of superior optics, electronics  and circumstances. I value these ad-hoc pictures as much as I do my finest “pro” attempts, so much so that I only use my own handiwork on these pages to go along with my words. I will pick a fuzzy rainbow –but one that happened in my life on my terms- over the finest one that graces the cover of National Geographic any day. Beauty may only be skin deep, but it does lie best in the eye of the beholder.

Oh – and despite my love of the written word, even a badly taken “right” picture is still worth a thousand words…

7 thoughts on “Eye of the Beholder

  1. Heyy

    Somehow i got to stumble upon your blog through ( Search for Camera – Nikkon / Canon ) and loved the Scenic Pictures you have posted and the description.

    More Power to you and your Camera and btwn today am attending the 1st Flickr Photographic Gathering in Mumbai 🙂

    On my way … for the love of Photography ….

    Warm Regards
    Netra Parikh

  2. Hi Rashesh,

    Your photographic eye is keen. I enjoyed all of these photographs, especially two: the rainbow and the umbrellas.

    Is this going to be a blog for your photography?
    If so, I shall surely follow.

    Cheri

    • Cheri – I am very much an “amateur” photographer; this blog is more of my “random thoughts” space…photography was just the topic on my mind when I wrote this. Thanks for visiting/reading.

  3. Love the pictures! They remind to take a break from a busy day of work and reflect on all things beautiful.

  4. Very well written and so true. You are truly a wise old man, Jethi 🙂

    Nonetheless, I find myself going down the same path as you did – but backwards! I already have a camera phone, and although that comes handy to capture “life as it happens” as you so aptly put it, there are occassions in life when “capturing the moment” is a deliberate attempt. And I want to be ready for it. As they say lady luck smiles upon the lucky ones. But “they” also say – when the goddess of opportunity knocks on your door – make sure you don’t run to wash your face.

    So when I go looking for opportunities I think I want to have that washed face and a clean high-powered lens (from my brand new SLR) looking at it 🙂 And maybe along this path, we’ll meet somewhere in the middle – and I’ll be able to take a shining picture of you capturing those moments with your camera phone!

    Cherag

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