Amit Mehra: Photography, the Moment & After
This article was originally published in July 2016.
Photography may be about the moment, but there is a certain beauty in what happens before, after and around that proverbial fraction of a second. Images are made in one’s head, in one’s heart and the instant when we recognise that a picture lies in front of us, is the actual moment of truth, not just the moment when we press the shutter. This is why a cameraphone can be a serious picturemaking device, even though it may be relatively slow in terms of response time. The slight lag, I find, is sometimes good for me. When we slow down, we observe more.
Earlier, I used to recognise opportunities that were not within the heart of action, they would happen before and after, but wouldn’t shoot them as often. Now, the phone being always at hand, encourages us all the more to look beyond the obvious, to explore the periphery. It is this periphery where some of the most satisfying images lie. After all, the magic is not in the destination, it’s in the process. And once you have reached the destination, there is a charm in how it all ends, in the way things wrap up. As the curtain fell, I saw something similar, something beautifully rhythmic, and I immediately realised… that’s my picture.
Constantly trying to walk on a tightrope between 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: cellphone photography, Amit Mehra, Cellphone Diaries, september 2014