The art of hobby-making : Part 1, Photography

New series everyone! Yes, my blog needed a kind of structure, and one way to do so is establishing a theme. The theme here is babble that I have created around my journey of settling on a decent hobby, one that I can say is truly exceptional… and by exceptional, all I mean is that it fulfills my creative drive. In my previous post, I described how the art of Hobby-Shedding was perfected due to the time poor nature of my adult life crisis’s. I’ve had plenty of these, and over time, what seemed like a random set of hobbies that took time and effort turned into nothing more than listless habit. Well that’s about to change!

The first hobby I want to consider is… Photography!

There is a simple reason to start here. Not a long time ago, photography was hard work and true aficionados would buy expensive cameras that required film, yes, real film and spend countless hours in dark rooms developing these pictures. While photography still requires expensive equipment, there has been a true revolution in the field with the emergence of the internet and digital photography. Essentially, this has led to a democratization of photographs. While 10-15 years ago if you wanted a quality picture for some artwork you would have to buy licensed pictures at a price from some photographer’s portfolio- today the story is very different. There are millions, billions… squillions of images on the net. Many are archived in license free websites that server all our needs.

But while the ‘business’ of photography has changed so much, the art has remained very much the same. It’s still a medium where your skill counts for more than your camera. A professional with an iPhone can take a better picture than an amateur with a DSLR and that basically tells me there is a lot of creativity involved.

Photography also takes a lot of time. It involves travel. There is no point trying to take pictures of what is around you everyday. On an emotional level, a photograph can represent nostalgia, passion, grief & sorrow, joy, surprise… any moment captured stays trapped in time. Your ‘memories’ may fade, but a picture will not (well, not with today’s digital imagery)

Yet, photography and me have a chequered past. My issue with pictures is, that it may depict a falsehood however. In most my pictures, from childhood, I know I am smiling because I was told to. I never like to get my picture taken. Camera shy? Well, not really, I just feel that the picture, if it indicates a falsehood, then I do not want it. Trapped in the images is a memory and I do not want it to be untrue.

The other issue is, I do not own a decent camera. And I do not intend to invest in one now. (or an iPhone) for that matter. This is no big concern however because even with my simple HTC, I can take decent pictures and run them through the filters of instagram to have a stunning image. Oh how I love technology, it can make my grand-mother a brilliant photographer.

The biggest concern however is the lifestyle change this hobby entails. I do not travel a lot you see? I plan to, atleast that’s the big learning point I talked of a few months back. I have decided once I complete my MBA, I will start taking more trips, taking in the sights… really spread myself a little. So, photography may come handy then… eh? Compelling me to take more trips, to investigate a sight… go that extra mile before sun down because I have heard there is a good spot.

Well, on balance, realizing that photography is all this fun, still does not change things around much. I am predisposed to avoid any hobby that makes me ‘do a lot of travelling’ to get me to the creative bit. See this is one reason why graphic design is sort of better. Or sketching even… you can do all the travelling in your head in those hobbies.

Alas… it seems photography and me are not going to be crossing paths just yet.

The hunt… continues!



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