Expectation Meets Realisation: The Trials and Tribulations of a Photographer


_DSC1662_Ligh painting

Lijo Pathilchira goes behind the scenes in Jaipur to take you through the effort photographers are putting in to get the perfect shot.

It’s obvious the people participating in this competition are skilled. Why else would they be here. However, that doesn’t mean they weren’t feeling the brunt of the contest. As you’ve heard countless times before, you never stop learning. The contestants have their technical knowledge down to a T, but trying those tricks out in a setting like this feels new even to them. As I spoke to the second group of photographers this became more apparent. Each of them were able to hone their skills in one way or another. I heard from multiple photographers that the reason for coming to this competition wasn’t to win, but to become better at their craft.

The second day of the competition began with four new contestants, and they didn’t disappoint. Ishan started his shoot with light painting, which seemed like a challenge at first. Incorporating the Mercedes-Benz CLA in a light painting shot wasn’t something he had done before, but he managed it. Trying something new has been a recurring theme for this competition. Two of the four contestants hadn’t really tried tracking shots before. Pushp Deep overcame that obstacle by facing it head on. He tried his tracking shots in the tunnel leading to Castle Kanota. He even got down on his feet inside the high-speed tunnel to take some shots. Considering he has a baby on the way that was a pretty risky move, but he did it all the same. It took him three whole trips inside the tunnel to get all the shots, which seemed like an eternity to me in the back seat.

Kartik was also a novice when it came to tracking shots, never having tried them before. The winding roads of Jaigarh fort tickled his fancy and he decided to shoot his tracking shots there. That served as a lesson in futility due to the uneven terrain of the roads. It took a while for Kartik to get accustomed to the task at hand and he was able to adjust himself accordingly. By getting the Mercedes-Benz CLA closer to the tracking vehicle he managed to get the shots he needed. The bumpy roads of Jaigarh fort may have presented a momentary hurdle, but it wasn’t something that Kartik couldn’t handle. And he was all the more wiser on his trip back home. There’s nothing like the emergency of a contest to force you into action.

_DSC1644_Ishan attempts Light Painting

Back at Castle Kanota, Ishan managed to do something that no one was able to do in the previous group. He got the horses at the palace involved in the shoot. There is a beautiful shot of the CLA racing against the horses in his final dump of images. Kartik tried a long exposure shot with the CLA against the backdrop of Castle Kanota. He had to wait a while and keep the frame steady, but his effort paid off and the sky looked particularly good in the picture. There was fair competition between the contestants as they had no problem exchanging equipment during the shoot. Ishan ended the day by finishing what he had started back at Narain Niwas, light painting.

After getting back to the hotel I sat down with Pushp Deep to get his thoughts on the whole event. While packing his bags he explained to me that he had never really clicked pictures with a car as the subject. This seemed strange because he has a keen interest in car engines and a background in mechanical engineering. However, he was glad that he got to try something new and that he had the opportunity to portray the aesthetic beauty of the Mercedes-Benz CLA. He told me that for him the whole point of the competition was self-improvement, and that he wasn’t really worried about winning. His interaction with fellow photographers of his calibre and getting to learn from them was well worth the trip. I guess if you’re a bit wiser than you were the day before, then there’s nothing like it. Or at least that’s what Pushp Deep would have you believe.

Tags: Rajasthan, Jaipur, june 2015, frame the star, Mercedes-Benz CLA, Mercedes, Lijo Pathilchira