May 18, 2007

Style and uniqueness

Its amazing to see how the human mind frames the same subject differently and how it also gets interpreted subsequently.I had been on shoot last weekend with one of my mentors and a great pal - Mahesh Shantaram.Mahesh is a full time documentary photographer and his captures have always inspired me. His photos are not like the mundane lanscapes, the Great Indian Sadhu, the butterfly on a flower or the usual guy with rustic looks; they have a story in itself and can be interepreted in various ways.It was a pleasure shooting with Mahesh.

After the shoot when i was analyzing the captures made by him and by me , i was fascinated to see the following result :




(A) is by me and (B) is by Mahesh. Ths subject here is a simple door. I wanted to capture the window, the door lying down and also the lift door; i do no want to explain on what i intended to convey by that shot, but i was little happy on how it turned out to be (except for the fact that the composition needs to be worked on). Mahesh's capture of the same subject is even more powerful - though IMO it conveys a different aspect of the same frame, but the composition simply rocks, his style is different.

Mahesh shared a story when we were walking along MG Road, and this inspired me a lot :
Jack was really good at photography, his photographs were like Henry Cartier Bresson, and at certain occasions in fact bettered him.Jack's style and skills were exactly like Mr.Bresson, but he was finding it really difficult to get into the mainstream photography. He shared his grief with a good pal of his - Georgui Pinkhassov.Georgui told him that Jack was indeed good and there were no qualms about his techniques or skills, but since he style was like Mr.Bresson, people would rather prefer the latter than the former.If Jack had to succeed, then he had to mark his own distinctive style. (Mahesh points me to this smacker Georugui quote : "Cartier-Bresson resembles no one, but you resemble him!")

This story is very true in today's photography arena. I Flickr 1hour daily and find that 98% of the photos are alike in terms of its subject and its style. To be a successful photographer its very much required that a person carves his own niche initially, and then works on it to mark his own style and then the style becomes synonymous with his name.
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