The story in the popular imagination is that Carter was so overwrought by the human suffering he documented –most notably the starving child and vulture scene in Sudan-that he could not take it anymore.
But it turns out that Carter had a long history of psychological issues. He had attempted suicide once before, much before he even became a photojournalist. His psychological issues were compounded by his drug abuse and in his suicide note he writes about his personal suffering in which financial worries seem an overriding factor.
Steve McCurry however has an unabashed fascination for Asia. Africa comes a distant second. His images from these developing countries has invoked awe in the viewer, showered a kind of benediction on the subjects and contributed immensely to our knowledge of some of the lesser known cultures from these parts.
I believe in their pursuit to specialize, all professions only become more and more parochial. In our world we respect the specialists but the specialists are often only navel-gazers. Knowledgeable in their field yes but one-dimensional and therefore shallow as a whole. If becoming an ‘expert’ requires narrowing our vision, its worth asking if its worth it after all. I believe we must have a healthy contempt for all specialists.
A photographer is someone who gets his feet dirty out there in the field. He is not a wheeler-dealer in pin-strips selling images in sanitized boardrooms. At least that’s not what most of us signed up for. This is why I think Photo Stock agencies are a bane to photography and photographers. But alas, they are here to stay.
Change is welcome but this is just another example of cultural homogenization where one day everything looks the same (read American). We have seen this in architecture ( steel and glass replacing our own Indian motifs). Indian weddings are a completely different beast from the staid, solemn weddings you have in the West. So if weddings are shot in a different way in India it is just as well.
It will be a pity indeed if one day the studiowallas, who not only understood all the nuances of Indian weddings and who added so much mirth and humor to them , one day became ‘invisible’ .
Celebrated Indian Photographer Raghu Rai has often said that newspaper and magazine editors are visually illiterate. He should know. Rai spent much of his photography career working for newspapers and magazines. I started my career as a journalist too and never understood the importance of photography in a paper. I especially did not understand why my newspaper would spend so much money sending a photographer with me on travel assignments. He just has to press the button I thought.
Does photography make you see more – as is popularly believed – or does it sometimes make you wear blinkers to the world around you? Photography of course should make you see and absorb more and this is what we all believe but I think it can do just the opposite. I feel photographers are so busy with the visual assimilation of what is at hand that they don’t (and perhaps can’t) care much about what it is they are photographing. They are not so much interested in understanding the subject as they are in `capturing’ it.
The IIT campus where the workshop was held began to swarm with a wide smorgasbord of people- students, photographers, hobbyists, parents of students, housewives, few foreigners and general hanger ons like yours truly. By the time the ace photographer arrived the classroom was busting at the seams. People had to squat on the floor and many just stood at the end of the classroom as there was just no space in the room.
I am putting up this post with a disclaimer: I don’t believe you can learn photography in quick short tips as listed here. These `tips’ can at best be viewed as pointers. Thats why I have titled this post -` Maggie Noodle Photography Tips’. A magazine however insisted I write few quick tips on the various aspects of photography, so here they are for what they are worth.
Because of its intrinsically fun element, many couples are beginning to attach more importance to the couple- shoot than their actual wedding photography. The shoot is virtually their last date as unmarried couple and the photos are immensely important. It’s always a good idea to have a couple shoot before the wedding – ideally a week or so in advance. That time the couple is looking forward to their wedding and the excitement shows in the photos. After the wedding, the couple is wedding weary and the shoot becomes just another in line of wedding rituals to be done with.
I believe Indian women are beautiful. And they are beautiful the way they are and the way they have been down the ages- unapologetically full-bodied and far from the curse of anorexia. But unfortunately, the aesthetics of the female body is often determined by a clique in the fashion industry.
Over the years I have been getting queries on pregnancy shoots from pregnant mothers but did not shoot any until recently. I had been wondering why would anyone need to get oneself shot while pregnant?