Random images from my flickr stream...



Say Cheese...

When was the last time you asked

- A Writer about the pen (s)he uses? Oh, so you use a Mont Blanc? No wonder you write so well !

- A Painter about the canvas and the brush (s)he uses? Oh, so you use the brushes made of rosewood? No wonder your paintings are great !

- A Blogger about the keyboard (s)he uses? Oh, A Logitech ergonomically designed split keyboard? wow !!!

- A Chef about the kitchenware (s)he uses? Oh, reinforced plastic with titanium knifes, no wonder your dishes are great !

If you don't remember that, then do you remember when was the last time you asked a photographer about the camera he uses?

Oh, a Nikon d200 or a Canon 40D? Wow !!! Is it a dSLR? Yes! WOW !!! no wonder the pictures are fantastic !!!

I think a lot of us would remember that!!!

While I am not in disagreement with the fact a good camera has the capability to make a picture look better, OK much better a lot of times, I personally think this is not the question that should be thrown at a photographer to start with !!!

Photography is as simple and complicated an art as the rest of the them, and only because it involves holding a camera, pointing at something, pressing a shutter which everyone can do, does not really take away the effort that a photographer puts in !!!

I think the above lines look a li'il more harsh than I would like them to be, but I am not really sure how to put them in a softer way across !!! apologies if you are reading it and found it offensive !


  1. I think that makes complete sense.
    I have all kinds of cameras, but the one I prefer the most, is the smallest, least complicated one.
    And whenever I take a "good" picture with it, hubby tells me why are you wasting your time with this bad camera, why didn't you use the better ones?

    I think I would do a better job with the one I like, not the one which is "technically" better. Hai na? Well, yeah, it can't do a lot of things the dSLR can, but still...

  2. These days anyone can do photography, if you play around with the camera a bit i am sure EVERYONE with some interest can be a photographer.

    You can see that in your own stream..how your composition skills have improved from the first picture you ever clicked to the latest picture.I really didnt get the point you were trying to make. But, Photography CANNOT be compared to Writing, painting, cooking and other practised art forms. Thats a totally different ballgame. If i ask any layman to write a poem he will definetly struggle even after a year i dont know if he will be able to come up with a decent lines..but if i give him a camera and ask him to click i am 100% sure he will come up with something.

  3. anony you have a point... but then photography is a creative art as well... had that not been the case all the well known photographers like gautam rajadhyaksh etc will not be known so well... nobody says oh they are only using a good camera cause... i feel creativity is inborn not inculcated... and all these add on things like good camera great lence etc etc brush up or fine tune that skill of yours. No not everybody can be a photographer if given a good camera i have hoards of eg to support this arugment... u need to have a flair for it... fot it to show in your pictures...

  4. agree with you 100%, bhai. have heard this question and answer a lot... and many times, i have asked the questions in return...
    anonymous bahi - i dont know you, but i dont agree with you fully. I agree, with the cameras, any one can take pictures if they fiddle around, and in teh same way, any one can write if he know teh alphabets and have a fair understanding of English language. but he/she cannot write good poetry or story - in the same way, any one cannot just fiddle around and take good shots.
    Photography is as creative as any other art form, and though equipment makes difference, that is not all to it. it sure depends on the talent.

  5. hmmmm ......

    I don't see a reason why different kind or type of creativity has to be compared in the first place!!

    Irrespective of whether ones creativity is appreciated or not they are all a way of expression...be it anything

  6. I agree with you when you say the first question to a photographer cannot be (or should not be) "What equipment do you use?". However, I think it's a valid question at some point; since equipment in Photography is much much more important than a pen for a poet or a brush for a painter. Their product is their imagination and the equipment they use is just a tool.

    In photography, however, the camera is an integral part of the end product. Can a sports photographer use a Kodak Chroma 35 mm film camera to capture an athlete in motion? Or a fashion photographer without extra flash / lights?

    At the same time, I completely agree with your and others' comments that just giving a DSLR to a person not inclined in Photography doesn't guarantee good pictures. Imagination and vision are required of course.

  7. Om... i totally agree with your sentiments...
    after all a camera does not decide the subject, does not fix the frame and does not metamorphose into a contortionist to get that perfect shot...right?


  8. Imagination and vision is required for EVERYTHING in life...not alone for photography. If push comes to shove everyone CAN be a photographer but not a poet or a dancer.

    Whats the big deal if people think camera makes the pictures. Let them think, why do we need to have credit for everything we do in life ?

  9. b.o'hemian : touche

  10. Hmm.. I'll go with the bohemian... I take pics with my 2 MP cellphone camera...(sounds below poverty line but can't help...) and agreed that the composition for a pic depends solely on the creativity of the photographer... but the beauty which translates depends a lot on the equipment... your shots in which you focus on a particular flower.. even though I might have the same composition in mind... I can't translate it into reality with a simple camera...

    But yes.. the question can be very frustrating.. its like asking an IITian.. where did you go for coaching.. Kota or Kanpur..?

    Check out one of my friends work.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vikrambagri/

    Great blog by the way..

    Enjoy and take care..

  11. @ anoany -"why do we need to have credit for everything we do in life "

    because we put our effort and imagination and will power and our time to do it. we need the credit because we DO it. It is something which we have done by OUR effort. If you don't understand the distinction,if you don't take pride in the work you do, then mate, you will never understand the sentiments.

    Sorry prasanth bhai, but couldn't resist replying to this comment.

  12. well mearly asking for credit takes away all the effort you have put. Looks more like you are doing something because you want everyone to appreciate rather than for your ownself.

    When you do soemthing for your own sake the results will speak for itself and if appreciation comes along the way there is nothing like it.

    Taking pride in one's work and expecting credit are two different things.

  13. pray tell me - how do all the effort vanish if I ask for what is due to me? do all the effort you put in your daily job vanish when you ask for salary? If you are working in a company, and you dont get credit to teh effort you put to finish teh project in time, is it ok for you? well, itis not ok for me. If i have done some work, i should get the acknodegment that i have done the work than the work have been done by somebody.

    I was not saying I want every one to appreciate the work i do, i was stating that the credit goes to me - to my effort - than attributing it to the instrument or to some other factor. Having the best or fastest car / bike wont make you winner, it is your driving and talent that matters. I am not discounting the importance of having the right equipment. how ever talented you may be, you wont be able to defeat a guy driving a souped up lancer in a drag race if you are driving an ambassador. same way, different cameras do make an impact, but attributing the photo quality to camera and putting a blanket statement like 'given time and equipment, any one can be a good photographer' is like saying photos are made by cameras, not by talent.

    Appreciation and acknowledgment are totally different - I don't seek appreciation. but I do seek acknowledgment. If acknowledgment doesn't matter, why all the great writers put their name on the books they write?

    I do take pride in my work, an I expect the credit of my work goes to my effort than attributing it to toe fact that it is the outcome of having a capable instrument than having an eye to catch the shot.

  14. 1)You dont ASK but EARN it

    2)You get the project in time and get credit - NO, you are just doing your job right and you are paid for it

    We are definetly not talking about piracy here, you should take pride in your work not demand credit for it. Appreciating
    or not appreciating is in "others" mind. Just leave it to them. If someone thinks what you do is an easy job, let her think, She will know
    when she gets her hand on it.

    If someone thinks that camera does the job, let it be. No point in proving him/her
    otherwise, they wont buy it.

    One thing i have found very difficult is changing peoples perception on things. its not worth my time and effort. They will
    continue to think what they want to think.

  15. i still think that photography is like F1.

    or like playing guitar [or any musical instrument], if i say it taking your side

  16. anony bhai - it was never my aim to change ur perception, but I had to counter strike whn i saw some blanket comment against the principles I believe from your side.
    (It is your life, and you have formed your perceptions based on the experiences you had. why should some one try to change it? change of perception should come from inside - not from some out side element. after all, it is your life.)
    Thanks for providing chance for a healthy debate. let us go back to our cubes.. I believe what I believe, and you believe what you believe - a win-win situation :)

    Thanks prasanth bhai, for providing the platform :)

  17. Prashant: you already know what i think of your post.

    Anonymous: You do have a right to your opinion, but even as you say......

    "One thing i have found very difficult is changing peoples perception on things. its not worth my time and effort. They will continue to think what they want to think."

    -you save spent considerable time and effort on this forum...trying to do exactly that...thus, you do contradict your own statement and undermine your own position here.

    one does need an eye to appreciate great photography....just as all monuments are not the taj mahal, all photographs can not be compared with the same yard stick.

    photography is not about merely looking though the viewfinder...it is about heart and soul.....its about inner beauty that gets translated into a visual medium....it is about the photographer' perceptions of the world...for some the glass of water always remains half empty......a skilled photographer at times even with minimal equipment can create the magic of quenching your thirst even with the half filled glass......

  18. Thanks xh...i thought ill let it go as we were NOT going on track


    thanks. But, when i said "its not worth my time and effort" I meant to say
    convincing someone that its MY skill that has got such a good picture and camera
    is just an instrument. I meant 'THAT' effort. Somethings are meant to know by experience even if 100 wise men tell you sometimes people just dont get it

    One needs an eye to appreciate EVERYTHING not just photography.

    And i do agree with all that you have said " heart,soul,inner beauty,photographers perception" Never said no to it.

  19. Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘चाय की दुकान...’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

    You can also win an exciting t-shirt by winning the contest which is going on in rambhai.com…. hurry up the contest is from 10 – 24 august…


  20. People who feel its the effect of the camera...i feel sorry for them...coz I know and can vouch for it- photography is an absolute ART...
    Though I am not sure , wat triggered this post, but incase it was someone specific,jus ignore - as it is only ths much they can think!!
    SMILE ...n say CHEESE

  21. Happy world photography day!! =)


  22. # Kashmira...
    a better camera would definitly do something to the picture, but will not make you a better photographer :)

    if you can do it with a small camera you can do wonders with a better one for sure :)


    # Anony...
    I have a feeling you were in a hurry to comment instead of getting the point...

    I am not talking about the learning part, or the getting better part... we all do with time and feedback and encouragement...

    My point here was a camera fecilitates the photography as an art, however is not the FIRST reason for a good picture...

    I am fortunate to know people who do wonders with small point and shoots and I have seen people who mess up pictures even with dSLRs of the top quality...

    as far as everyone doing it is concerned...
    everyone who takes a picture is a photographer and has an audience
    everyone who writes is a writer
    and everyone who cooks is a chef...

    no big deal given the right circumstances and a will to do it...

    I am sorry to know that you do not treat photography as an art ( thats what it seems like from your comment)

    # Sri...


    # Anony...
    Photography is a creative ART... this needs to be accepted better... I guess we are moving towards it..


    # Anoop...
    I am sure you must have !!! not that everytime this question is asked to just credit having a good camera, however more often than not that is the case...


    # Tanu...
    fair enough..


    # subbu...
    Yes its a valid question... very valid question as the camera as a tool can help you do a lot of things which a small or a different camera might not...

    that like we agree does not take away the effort that a photographer puts in !!!

    Now that you mentioned sports photographer and fashion photographers, they are labelled that way because of what they click better and not because of the camera they use... right?


    # Preeti...
    A camera does fecilitate a lot of things, but is the FIRST thing which makes anyone a photgrapher..


    Suspended Animation...
    Things that you cannot do with the camera you do in post processing... and I have no reasons to believe that you using a mobile phone camera cannot do wonders... I get surprised at the results people produce with small simple non-sofisticated cameras too !!!

    all the best :)



    # Tushar...

    well going by what some people say, give someone a better guitar and he would become a better guitarist :)


    # Joy...
    I personally feel photography as an art is still very under estimated... hope things change with time !!!

    # Ray...
    thanks for the kind words.... I think I have read about Rambhai somewhere on a blog... I shall go back to the website and read about it...

    thanks for dropping by...

    # Tunna...

    nothing specific triggered this post, just a thought which was roaming around in the mind for a while...

    # Richa...
    hehehe... same to you !

  23. Yes ofcourse!

    Holding a camera and taking picture is a complete art....the science is inside the camera...but the output is entirely 'art' dependent...which needless to say is function of photographers ability to click...
    ..completly agrees with the esence of this writeup

  24. # FighterJet...

    I think a lot of people do not agree to that !!!

    but i guess that is their opinion...

  25. ohh how i wish...if the camera was technically good and professional... i cud take a good pic ...at leaat a decent one for a change :D

    me n dad...went for electronic shopping..[one of those days, where in we universally believe in buying stuff,just for the heck of it :D... i lov those days :D] and bought this SONY CAM...looks like a professionalone of course...and costed way over the budget also... i said shud we buy it dad?!

    he was like of course...the cam shud look professional, even if the people behind it dnt knw hw to click :D


    so here is a short story for u to laugh abt!!

    u r absolutely right when u say that... i 2nd u...otherwise i wud have been the best photographer innit!

  26. by the way...cut the photographer out from the last line... it is too ambitious a word for me to use :D

  27. Totally agree with you.. no matter how expensive equipment one has but if one does not have the eye... well then its of no use.. but if one has the eye... a simple low end camera can also create magic.

  28. # Veens..
    arre anyone who can take a picture is a photographer :) be proud to use that term for yourself :) with that one foto a week thing you should do well :)

    # Pallavi...
    yea... thats what !!!