It was a time worth spent today at the Nikon Power Your Clicks workshop hearing India’s ace photographer Mr. Raghu Rai speak and the Nikon India team giving us a few tips on various aspects of photography. Nikon School regularly offers these workshops for amateur photographers but today’s was rather special for the presence of Mr. Rai.
Mr. Rai was here to speak about the nuances of art photography. He took us through a slideshow of his extensive work on the Bangladeshi refugees during the 1971 war and gave us insight to each photo, including sharing with us invaluable information like what lens he used to what his state of mind was while clicking each photo, what was the story behind.
Every word that a stalwart speaks are like precious gems, here’s are a few that I collected from Mr. Raghu Rai’s basket of wisdom:
- Everybody takes a pretty picture, but there’s is often no creativity in taking a pretty picture. Unless you add an element of expression, unless it tells a story
- Every small thing in a frame matters
- I have taken very few close ups, as they are easy to do, but the closeups that I have taken are in a context. Don’t just take the close up of a face with lots of wrinkles without a context.
- The body language carries expression, body language are very important
- Every photo don’t have to yell, feelings and emotions can be expressed quietly
- Real feel of a photo is in the print, please start printing your photos.
- You should be not be aggressive with your camera, become a part of the subject, in most of my photos you’d see nobody is looking at the camera, because they cannot see me, I’ve become their part. Be proper, mild to capture sensitive moments.
- People photography is everything to me, I love people, the human energy, even in a landscape I’d prefer people.
- Fine art photography that I see is all rubbish, there’s no such thing as fine art photography
I couldn’t help clenching my eyebrows a little bit with disappointment on the last statement. I don’t think fine art photography should be labelled as rubbish, I think photography is an art, and art often has no definition. Nobody can judge what is a legitimate art and what is not.
The second session of the workshop was about technical aspects of advanced DSLR photography for which the Nikon India technical team was with us to guide us and help us learn HDR, time lapse and creative lighting. However, there was a bit of predictable disruption with workshop schedule and so the session had to be wrapped up in a hurry. Even then, I managed to gather some very relevant points about DSLR photography:
- The fundamental differences between shooting in RAW file format rather than JPEG and how it is a big myth that shooting in RAW is for the professionals and JPEG is for begginers. In fact it is quite the opposite, because when you shoot in RAW you leave yourself iwtih the scope of doing a whole lot with the photograph as ‘post processing’ in terms of correcting it or making it better than ‘as shot.’ If you are a professional you probably already know the best settings while taking your shot and so you won’t need so much of post processing and as such, a JPEG file would appear perfect.
- Creative lighting techniques were taught using the Nikon speed light flash and I thought the fact that it has a 360 revolving head is just awesome. The team also introduced the Capture NX software for photo editing.
The time constraint in the technical session left a few participants disappointed. But overall I thought it was a day well spent. The sessions were followed by lunch which happened at as late as 4 pm. Participants were handed a goody bag with Nikon booklets and a Nikon School cap.