Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A search for the perfect shot

While roaming around in the crowded CR Park Kali Mandir yesterday, I stopped by a family which was busy taking pictures in their digital camera. The dad was explaining his daughter how to smile and pose and the uninterested daughter was trying to put in her best effort. The dad, as it seemed, had an eye for photography as the camera looked very expensive. A big fat SLR it must be; costing a big fat amount of money. His son and wife were standing nearby as Mr. Papa was clicking the perfect shots (or trying to). After every click the daughter would come running towards him and see herself in the preview of the photograph in the camera screen and her father would say, "Hochhe na!" (Not done!) and she would slowly walk back to her spot where daddy had fixed her and her smile and try out the same smile once again. I didn't know for how long they must be trying, but I saw the dad repeat the cycle 2-3 times.
The smile in his daughter's face grew darker and darker, faker and faker with every take but dad's spirit was undaunted.
I got reminded of my growing up days. We used to have a Kodak camera which had to be refilled and each refill used to give us 36 snaps. Those 36 clicks were so precious that we used to savor each one of them and we clicked only when it mattered the most. And we used to wait with bated breath when the reel was sent for washing. The family used to gather at the round dining table and each of those photos were remembered, the captured moments were relived. Neither did we worry about how we looked nor did we have the pain of uploading it anywhere and sharing it elsewhere. Those times were simpler and a lot lot fun with none of us caring which angle the light should have come in, or which exposure setting we should have chosen for the picture to be greener.
With the advent of the digital camera, the culture of taking photographs in the photo studios has entirely gone out of the picture. Earlier to mark a special day, or a special occasion, people used to go to a photo studio to get clicked. There used to be bicycles, film posters, caricatures of beautiful actresses with which people would pose and get themselves clicked. Today the only studio in Kaushmbi is in ruins. It's purpose is to click passport size photographs once in a while and the old photographer has nothing to smile for. But inside the dark room with umbrellas and lights kept high, the poster of young Sri Devi still smiles.


PS. I have no idea why most of my posts sing a melancholic song about how golden the olden days were!

1 comment:

Horus said...

Being the grandson of a professional photographer, I remember the pain he used to take to ensure each time he pressed the button the result has to be equally stunning... and that too with glass negatives and celluloid later - and then use the dark room to bring it alive.. he always maintained pictures come out best in black and white.. color never gives you the same depth !