Since childhood one of our favorite question to ask while making friends is – ‘whats your hobby‘. When we entered in graduate school then also we didn’t mind sharing our hobbies and had long discussions on the same. Once we started working, we started trying to find time for our hobbies, infact creating new hobbies.
It is a no brainer to see that the most popular hobbies are – Reading, Listening Music, Video games apart from Watching TV/ Cinema, playing musical instruments and internet surfing & sleeping (yup, it’s a serious hobby). But in the past few years, photography has emerged as a serious hobby (also for some extra money making :)). Digital cameras, and mobile cameras has given birth to so many budding ‘Photographers‘. We started clicking with some mega pixels without worrying about dark rooms hassles or how many roles were used to get a perfect picture. Digital camera is a one time investment and you learn composition, light and many more things while clicking. Gradually you don’t mind buying not-so-better looking but better result giving ‘Digital SLR‘ (DSLR).
Earlier SLR and photography books were not readily available (read expensive) and there was no concept of social media. Now you buy a cool gadget during your foreign trip or order from amazon and then keep clicking thousands of shots and upload the best one on Facebook, get ‘likes’ from friends and get ‘wah – wahi’ for your photography skills. Gradually you start using those photo editing softwares and even create a Facebook XYZ photography page to actually say, photography-is-not-your-hobby & you no more want to be tagged as an amateur photographer and want to get paid for your hard work. After all you invested money in buying those big huge lenses!
Something which was a profession and something which was not sought by everyone, gradually became ‘PRO hobby’ of technology aware people! Every other day, I see so many awesomeness on my Facebook page, tweet links on my twitter that I wonder how challenging it has become for a real photographer to survive & give a competitive pricing. As an example, a wedding photographer finds it hard to differentiate from a newbie photographer who got a cool- flash -website and whose work looks awesome in that wordpress theme, due to his last vacation (office) trip with variety & exposure. Will it differentiate from someone who is really enthusiastic, learned from scratch, walked a lot at 4am to get that perfect sun rise shot from mountains? Not until he first learns to be social media savvy.
Due to emerging breed of amateur photographers, few started going back to roots to differentiate themselves. They really started learning basics of photography from developing a role by using analog camera to printing with polaroids.
Someday, I will share my own photography journey. For now I will just say, I love well taken photographs even if it’s direct imitation of Steve McCurry’ Afghan girl or inspired from Henri Cartier Work.
Keep spreading the awesomeness in black & white or colors or with Bokeh or in panoramic shots, just keep clicking. You never know, someday while pursuing your hobby you may click a ‘master piece‘.