Amit Mehra: Finding Something Out of Nothing
For a serious photographer, the shooting process often revolves around the proverbial ‘moment’. In the process of doing so, one ends up looking for, and looking at certain kinds of subjects and actions. It is a difficult, but rewarding approach and I constantly strive to do the same, but recently, I have also been attracted to a certain kind of stillness and silence, one that is almost devoid of any momentousness. It’s strange to explain this in words, but then, some photos just cannot be described. Maybe, that is what is intriguing about them. There may be nothing happening in the frame, no action as one may expect, and yet, what one sees becomes a photograph that is able to trace the visual notes of one’s roznaama, or daily diary. In a strange way, it is about finding something within nothingness.
I’m not talking about the kind of banality that is there in photos shot by casual cameraphone users. After all, the most common use of cellphone photography is to upload visual status updates on social media. But if one combines this seemingly casual device with the rigour of serious photography, there is magic waiting to be found, all around. There are plenty of tiny, unnoticed elements within the mundane goings-on of life. An open mind, a curious eye and an alert response are all we need…
Constantly balancing the worlds of commercial and documentary photography, Amit describes himself saying, “I’m like an octopus who likes to deal with different things at the same time. You can call me a schizophrenic photographer.” The moments in this monthly diary are excerpts from his ongoing work titled ‘Roznaama’.Tags: Amit Mehra, April 2015, Cellphone Diaries, cellphone photography