Guest Post by Photographer Kshitiz Anand
“Buying a Nikon does not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner“ – Anonymous.
The question that I get asked a lot by the participants of my workshops and people who attend my photography talks is ‘Which camera should I buy?’ What’s even more surprising is that a lot of the folks already have a good compact camera and still want to upgrade to a DSLR just for the heck of it, and bring along with them a common disbelief that one needs to have a DSLR to learn photography.
Blame it on the falling prices of Digital SLR camera to now an affordable price range and now almost everyone wants to get it.
I have often believed that it’s the mind composes the photograph, it’s the eye that takes a photograph, the camera is just a medium to capture the photograph for future reference and help you relive the moment later. The point I am trying to make is that in order to learn photography, and I mean the art of photography, the decision about the camera should be the last on the mind.
When learning photography, there are three fundamental things (though not in any particular order) that one needs to keep in mind first.
First and foremost is the ‘Composition’.
This is something that I hold in high regard when I have to judge a photograph. In order to understand composition, it helps to read up the classical rules of one third-two third, the keeping the horizontal straight, leading lines etc. Those that is easily findable and easy to understand and use it. If there were one thing that I would like to stress upon, it would be compositions. And in my opinion, the compositions should be kept simple.
Secondly is the ‘Light Condition’.
Photography, as the name itself says is all about light. Understand the available light is the next important thing. The advice I give to my students is to understand natural light first. It’s not a bad idea to decide not to use Flash also for a while.
Third is the ‘Moment’ in which it was captured.
The beauty of photography is that you are able to freeze a piece of time. Like Bresson says, “Of all forms of expression, photography is the only one which seizes the instant in its flight.” Whether it is an event that you are capturing, or a moment with nature, it is all about the timing.
The challenge for a good photographer thus is to ensure that they are able to compose properly within that short span of time, using the available light for that the exact fleeting moment.
I do however agree that the using a SLR camera gives you more options at hand and one can experiment. Personally I have seen many photographs that have been taken by the simplest of cameras and still stand out amongst the rest. I have nothing against people buying expensive cameras. It’s just that I often advise people who want to learn photography to practice these three fundamentals for a considerable amount of time before taking the jump and investing in something that could take the interest to a totally new level.
Like in the words of a Bresson, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst“.
(The views mentioned in the post above are entirely personal)
Kshitiz behind the lens:
About The Author:
Kshitiz Anand is a Social Documentary Photographer and a Design Entrepreneur based in Bangalore. Amongst his critically acclaimed projects have been the ‘Promotion of Child education in Bihar’ and the ‘25 years of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy’. He conducts photography workshops across India and is often invited for talks at events.
He can be contacted on Facebook and Twitter
* If you are a photographer and would like to do a guest post for Canvera Blog, please drop a mail to blog [at] canvera.com