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The Photos You Click Today Should Be as Beautiful to Look at 50 years Later: Raghu Rai on Photography

The Photos You Click Today Should Be as Beautiful to Look at 50 years Later: Raghu Rai on Photography

S. Shanthi
If you want to have a quick glance of Indian history, walk into the world of legendary photographer Raghu Rai. Born in a small Pakistani village during pre-partition era, the 75-year-old ace photographer has witnessed some of the most remarkable events of last many decades. From producing the much admired documentary series on Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama and late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to being one of the first photographers on the scene after the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, he has done it all. He not only captured these historic events in his lens but stored them in his memory as well, which was quite evident during his recent presentation at India Arch Dialogue, New Delhi. He shared some of his great works with a wide audience from the field of architecture.

"Don't take all those good pictures stored in your head. They are pictures you have seen before. If you are only going to reproduce it, then no one needs you," he said in an exclusive interview with Lifehacker India, after his presentation. He also shared many insights on what budding photographers should always remember.

Don't be happy, snappy and easy
This fast food generation has access to best cameras and that has made the photographic journey easy. However, this has a negative side to it. Youngsters now do not observe the canvas they are working on. There is auto this, auto that, so they don't put their brains into it. This is not very encouraging. They should start working on visual literacy.

Format your memory
Nowadays everybody has a DSLR. So the moment they see something nice, they are like, "This is wow, let us take a pic". And a flawlessly well appearing picture comes and he or she is happy. It is good that so many people are interested in photography. The more the merrier. However, I feel youngsters should not click the photo that is stored in their memory. Because that has already been done. In photography, memory has no meaning, so delete it. Use the techniques that are available, but think different.

Keep your instinct alive
The first key to success in any profession is hardwork. Without that you can never achieve what you want. Added to that, it is important to be instinctive. We all are born with an instinct. If you don't use it, you cannot be a good photographer. You have to bring out your instinct in its truest form.

Keep yourself present mentally, physically and spiritually
Youngsters, aspiring to take up photography as a profession, should understand that physical presence is of no use if you are not mentally and spiritually present. The whole canvas is yours, so make the best use of it. Whenever I click a picture, my heart beats match with the beats of my object. Structure and form should work together.

Capture time-worthy images
The pictures you click today should be as beautiful to look at 50 years later as it is today. The picture I clicked a day before Babri Masjid was demolished is still appreciated by one and all. There is history waiting to happen every day. Capture as many time worthy images as possible.

(Also read: Experiment With Camera Angles For Outstanding Photos This Wedding Season )

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