He was once the guy that u spotted in every college. Long, unkempt hair, an untidy beard covering his small face, sunken eyes deprived of sleep and a sling bag across his lean shoulders. This was the picture of the typical photographer that you saw in every college or locality till a few years ago. He was much in demand at every other wedding or family function to fill up those huge albums in every family’s cabinet. He carried tons of equipment and spent a huge deal of time on preparing for that perfect shot. Photography reels were expensive and one couldn’t really afford to experiment or improvise a great deal.
But that was only till mobile phones had entered the Indian market. The evolved mobile phone cameras have created a rage all over the country. It’s definitely one of the best things to have happened in recent history because one can capture every significant moment of one’s life and pour over these memories for years to come. These photos are further uploaded on every other networking site so that all your loved ones can have a look at your precious moments.
Encouragingly, youngsters have not limited their camera work to the simple mobile phone cameras. Plenty of college goers and high school students have invested in high brow DSLR cameras and the quality of photography has definitely improved by leaps and bounds in recent years.
In spite of the increased interest, critics often complain that DSLRs have become more of a fashion statement for youngsters who use these cameras mostly for clicking their Facebook profile pictures instead of using it for capturing other intriguing subjects. It is also stated that whenever these amateur photographers move out from their comfort zone in an attempt to capture nature, wildlife or social life, they inevitably end up capturing the same set of repetitive images. A decrepit old man smoking a beedi, a group of destitute children playing a game of ball or a general village scene–these photographers do not seem to think beyond a stipulated number of subjects or in other words they aren’t really as creative as they ideally should be.
These criticisms might be true to a certain extent but in general, it is undeniable that at a tender age of 18 or 19 one cannot really expect a youngster to capture something really serious or sombre. They are conscious about their looks, personality and status amongst their peers, so, they indulge in getting themselves captured with such high quality cameras. But fortunately, that is a fleeting phase and every youngster grows out of it after a point of time. What is a little frightening is the mentality of the other group of youngsters or pseudo intellectuals who capture those repetitive set of images instead of capturing something wild or funky with which they can truly relate. Creativity as they say is an extension of one’s inner self and if these youngsters can just be themselves instead of trying to be someone then their creative juices are bound to flow automatically.
But at the end of the day, what remains encouraging is that plenty of youngsters have preferred to take up the camera and indulge in something creative and worthwhile rather than waste their time on futile pursuits. It is even better because taking up a hobby at such a young age is always an advantage. You get an entire lifetime to improve, evolve and develop as a true-blue professional. Moreover, even if every other youngster doesn’t go on to become a great photographer it never hurts to have a hobby because GenY is definitely not willing to be a boring nerd cooped up in the corner. They are efficient and ready to multitask and they don’t flinch twice before taking up anything that captures their mind and photography definitely seems to be the hobby or profession that’s truly in vogue for today’s youngsters.