'Everyone aspires to be a photographer these days'

Useful advice

When it comes to art photography, few people have actually made a difference. One such person is ace photographer Raghu Rai. Known for his slice-of-life photographs, the Padma Shri-awardee spoke to Metrolife on various things including the reason for the lack of creativity among photographers.

“Thanks to the advent of digital photography, everyone these days aspires to be a photographer. But the problem lies with the youngsters, who are living in a comfort zone and don’t want to explore beyond a certain limit. There is a need for new ideas else there will be a lack of creativity. They need to be daring to bring out new things,”
he advises.

When asked if technology has hampered the quality of photos, he says, “There is a difference in how a surgeon uses a knife and how a butcher uses it. Technology is good in its own way. But whether it is a boon or bane depends on how we use it. If widely used, photo-editing software can help enhance the quality of
a picture.”

Raghu, an art photographer, is considered as one of the 20 most influential Asian photographers. But he lashes out at fine arts photography, which is considered to be in trend. He says, “During the early days of my career, we rejected photos that focussed on texture, lights and colours. Today, youngsters are falling into the trap as they don’t know how to explore and document photos. The emphasis lies only on physical matters. If there is no heart in what you do, the output remains shallow.”

Ask him about the people considering candid photography as a profession and Raghu says, “Candid photography has been there for more than 50 years. Who we are and what we do is rightly captured in these photos as the expressions make all the
difference.”

But are there equal opportunities for all? He smiles, “There are various opportunities. People must look out for what they want to do.”

As he sums up, he has a message for the youngsters who aspire to get into photography. “One needs to invest differently and choose what he/she wants to do. Open your eyes to the things that others cannot see. To be a good photographer, you need to open your heart to photography.”

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