My affair with Analogue Photography
A couple of years back, after a meeting I was heading back home passing through Koramangala. A car stopped at a signal caught my eyes at first glance and it wasn’t surprising that everyone else around me were staring at the same car. It was a HM Ambassador Mark II, a green colored beauty still in perfect stock condition. Trust me this car is special, actually extremely special because it triggers nostalgia. Most of us who are born in the 80’s and the early 90’s will have at-least one family picture with “Amby” within the frame. When I reached home, I dug up into my old rugged bag of memories and flipped through the albums for while. Also, I found two of my Dad’s old cameras, Yashica Mat 124 and Pentax K1000. I remember holding these cameras with my tiny hands and pretending to take pics in my childhood. The next day when i met my former boss Mallik I expressed my intention to use these cameras, he instantly offered a couple of 120 rolls, Ilford Pan F Plus 50 which were lying unused with him. The “Analogue Journey” started again in my life.
My dad was a conventional photographer and thus for obvious reasons he taught me too as we had a business to run and I had to fill his shoes during his absence. By the fall of 1997, he started teaching me Imagery, Shooting, Developing, Printing and also ofcourse sweeping the studio’s floor and by the beginning of 2004; I had taken passport size images of almost 1/3 population within my hometown, Nargund.
After 17 years, I still love making imagery out of films. These old cameras were not made for perfection, they were made for people. There is nothing electronic about it and as long as it works it will take good pics for you. It will make you slow down and be more patient for a perfect time to capture the perfect shot. Once the roll is in, you would stop worrying and just start feeling the moment, it makes you listen to your instinct. Instead of “REPLAYING INSECURE LCD SCREEN”; the viewfinder would become your best mate. You will start feeling the subject much closer than before.
People argue with me that photography is just a medium and I would never agree as I believe “medium” is a very limited word to describe something so vast in nature. Once you use analogue you will understand that photography is more than a medium. Photography is about senses, feelings and is larger as life and analogue makes you achieve that in every click, in every moment.
Today in 2016; shooting on film is practically not a great idea, especially in India since most of the photography goods are imported and expensive. There is very less stock available at stores and you don’t have many choices. You pay same money for expired rolls too and I have gone through such risks. These old cameras and lenses are not very dependable and time consuming when we compare it to the Digital media. Many of my images are tinted with blue and pink, some of them blurred, some with too much of noise and few of my rolls got washed out; Yet there is a Magic in these cameras when ever I hold it in my hands I feel like a Magician. People say “Analogue Photography is dead”, I say “Analogue Photography is Ignored, Just because we need instant results”.
I keep saying to my fellow photographers – “I am married to Digital Photography and I have an affair with Analogue Photography”!!.