Amit Mehra: The Beginnings of a Serious Affair

 
Amit Mehra

Amit Mehra

“It is the constant pursuit of photos, the whole joy of looking, searching, finding, that makes each photo precious. Then how does it matter what gear you use?”

The cameraphone has been one of my preferred tools of expression since more than a year. The medium is not the message, of course. For me, cellphone photography, like any kind of photography, is a serious affair. The soul of a picture is in its content and composition, not in its camera. As a photographer, I enjoy traversing different worlds and visually, one project always tends to lead to another. As we move from subject to subject, technology to technology, our vision is constantly evolving. This photo, an instinctive reaction shot with my cameraphone, was shot some time last monsoon, just a few months after my Kashmir book was published.

Photograph/Amit Mehra

Photograph/Amit Mehra

In that work, I had photographed several frames in which people or entities were faceless, to convey the tension and the story of the collective psyche of the people of Kashmir. This picture of a passerby out in the rain does not have that emotional burden, but the way I shot it, the way of seeing, was similar. It is interesting to understand why we photograph the way we do. Over the next few columns, I will try to explore how much my cellphone musings depend on my choice of equipment, and how much, on me.

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: Amit Mehra, Cellphone Diaries, cellphone photography, june 2014