June 2015 | Tapash Jyoti Goswami, Editor DPA

In the era of social networking and micro-blogging, many people of the society have started measuring and one’s popularity by one’s online footprint. Especially in the artistic field, a part of the population is actually trying to gather online fame rather than thrive for the betterment of one’s work.

In today’s world, in the minds of the majority netizens the number of likes in a post or retweets signifies the creativity or knowledge of the person. Hence, fed by the illusion of popularity created by this online fame, one’s sole purpose of work is focused on generating more likes or retweets. But the fact remains, that the majority of the people on these sites are at best amateurs and popularity amongst them does not necessarily reflect the technical accuracy or depth of one’s work.

The most harmful effect of this practice is reflected on the work of the people following the above mentioned population. It is often seen people “popular” in such platforms guides people following them. Thus the technical accuracy (?) of the said “teacher” is also reflected on the “student’s” work. And the cycle continues!!

Thus it’s quintessential for budding photographers and all to come out of this vicious cycle of “likes” and participate in more serious forums, catering especially to this hobby.

Another serious problem that has been seen particularly in Facebook is blatant violation of copyright. Just to garner some likes and feed one’s ego, many people resort to plagiarism without even understanding the basic concepts of the art. Many just Google images and upload under one’s name just for the so called fame. The question of ethics comes here, but that’s a topic for another day.

To end this cycle, for the overall betterment of the trade, the maestros need to engage more on the social platforms. The maestros actually need to come forward and assist the amateurs and also the self-proclaimed “masters”. Then only can we hope for a better photography world.


"Bad Habit"

January 2015 | Tapash Jyoti Goswami, Editor DPA

Gone are the days when you had to develop film in the studio to visualize a great captured moment only to realize that something went wrong and the shot was not what you expected. Gone are the days when you had to think twice before pressing the shutter button on your camera as number of shots was limited by the film. Now the entire art of photography has been digitalized. One does not have to worry about limited shots as modern digital technology offers almost unlimited storage and shots. And if a shot is not what one expected to be, it can be easily corrected up to some extent with post processing software.

With the dawn of the digital age, post processing itself has developed as an art in the field of photography. Intelligent post processing can turn an ordinary shot to an exemplary one. But the reverse is also true. Shabby post processing can completely destroy an image. It is like the magical ingredient of photography. Apply just the right amount of post processing and an image turns into an art.

But as almost every good thing has a dark side, post processing is no different. Wanna be photographers simply thinks applying a bunch of digital filters to an image makes it “artistic” or “classy” and which has affected the trade severely. And photo sharing apps like instagram are not helping either. With a plethora of filters and effects to apply, some beautiful shots are “murdered” in these apps.

Also with digitalization it has been difficult to maintain copyright of images. Plagiarism has severely affected many photographers. And some intelligent culprits get away with plagiarism with the help of post processing, as with post processing techniques one can digitally alter the photograph to a level that the source can’t be verified

So is post processing that bad, that evil? The answer to that will be “no”. Post processing itself is a boon to photographers that allows us to correct minor mistakes during a shot or enhance the essence of a shot. Even some photographers have used Post processing to create digitally manipulated images which are no less than any oil painting masterpiece. Post processing turns into evil only when one does not know when to stop. The “bad habit” as we like to say is over doing of post processing, which destroys an otherwise perfect shot. Or when one steals a photograph applies tons of post processing in it to make it unrecognizable and publish it as own work.


"Benefits of Workshop"

June 2014 | Tapash Jyoti Goswami, Editor DPA

Photography is an art. To create a great shot from daily mundane events surely requires a certain amount of creativity. But in the age of digitalization, only creativity can’t make one a successful photographer. Agreed, to make a great shot one has to be creative and visualize outside the box, but to make the same shot epic, one should know the core technical details of photography, the in and out of the trade.

Modern day digital cameras have made photography more technical and a more detail oriented trade. To create a masterpiece out of lights and shadow one must know the very details of how a photograph is taken and how is it processed by the camera sensor. This requires some core technical studies which one can do on their own, but it becomes easier if someone guides one in the right path. And here is where workshops come in. In a workshop an expert can teach someone the very basics of taking a photograph to advanced stuffs. And in a short period of time, one can acquire the knowledge the expert has garnered over the years.

A workshop can’t teach one to be creative, but can guide one to make use of his/her creativity. A workshop can guide a budding photographer to visualize the shots differently, to frame shots differently that can transform a seemingly ordinary event to an exemplary one. In a workshop, one can understand the basics of manipulating light, can understand what aperture or what shutter speed to be used in different conditions. One can learn about the perfect combination of ISO sensivity and color temperature, which usually comes with years of experience. Even choice of photographical equipment is very important in making of a good photographer. A workshop can guide one to choose the equipment suited for one’s photographical need.

Post processing, another aspect of digital photography, where epic shots are made or destroyed. Post processing itself is an art and one has to know how much post processing is needed for a particular shot. These things are learnt from experience, by hit and trial. But a workshop can teach one how to process an image, what needs to be corrected in a photograph. And most importantly, when to stop post processing.

The art of photography requires passion, creativity and skills. By practice one can hone his/her skills as a photographer. And by proper guidance the learning process can be expedited. And workshops are a great place for expedited learning, where one can acquire the knowledge gathered by experts over their lifetime in a very few days.