I have been shooting streets from past eighteen years and I’ve been practicing, yes practicing! I feel photography is something which we keep practicing all our lives, the day we master we cease to grow, we evolve and start seeing things differently and it reflects in our work. I have met some phenomenal photographers and at the same time have met people who aspire to be photographers, an interesting thing which came up was that lots of budding photographers didn’t even have the answer on whether they picked up photography to relish the art or they just wanted to be known as photographers. They are shooting images from eating in the restaurant to shooting while they were in a gallery looking at Renoir’s work, nothing wrong, but one has to learn to live in the moment to be able to make good street images, if we take street photography as a chore then we are trying to please an audience and look for wow, outstanding, epic, mind blowing, beautiful etc, words to satisfy our ego and enjoy few minutes of fame. If one can’t be a part of moment then the outcome feels as distant as the image and the core idea of any good street image is that the viewer wants to feel as if they were part of the moment.
Lot of us photographers face a photographer’s block which is quite similar to a writers block and to overcome this one should read books, attend seminars, talks, workshops and exhibitions and one extraordinary festival which I attended and was honoured to give a talk and workshop was the first edition of XPOSURE, launched by Sharjah Media Centre, an International Photography Festival which has now become an annual feature in the calendar of professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, filmmakers, students and educators from around the world. From the opening talk to the closing ceremony, every moment spent was overwhelming, every little detail was intriguing, the man behind the show and a dear friend Simon Newton made sure that the event was not only about photography but a platform where photography and photographers were showered with extravagant love and respect. When one is blessed with that kind of honour, it just makes one crave to be a part of that festival and I’m no exception. During the talk and while I was showcasing my work, it just stuck me that my work was predominantly in colour and I was relying heavily on colours to be a integral part of my frames, then & there in my heart I challenged myself for shooting in monochrome for at least a year, and I’m almost mid way through my journey. The JOURNEY which started with the onset of XPOSURE festival and I must say I’m enjoying every bit of it, one doesn’t need to look for an inspiration, inspiration simply finds you, one needs to constantly challenge oneself and the only competition one should have is to be better than the previous image. The joy of street photography is that it is independent and also selective at the same time. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways in street photography, there are ethics which only we decide, do street photography for yourself, be different, be yourself and enjoy the journey called street photography. Sharing few shots I took during this journey.