Let’s Be in a Hurry to Slow Down


I have always wanted to fly, and sometimes, when I have a camera in my hand, my imagination takes flight. That is what photography does, I guess, creating superheroes of us mortals and making us believe that we are powerful enough to be able to capture time. But it is time that has a bit of a laugh right then. Time, the one that blinks as we blink, the one that moves a moment forward as we capture the moment gone by. It is time that our flights seem to transcend. But it is time that brings us crashing down. That photography is about time may seem like a boring generalisation, but it speaks of more than just the obvious. A photograph is not just about the moment when the picture is made. It is about all the moments that have led to it. Not just the hours that lead to that fraction of a second, but the years that lead to those hours.

After all, no photograph is an island. It is a result of vision… a vision that develops over time and not one that is born in a flash. Vision, even for the most studied of photographers, is your aatma, your instinct, responding to all that you have seen before. To all that you have learnt, all you have practised, all you have done and all you have tried.

This is why dreams of flight remain just that, dreams. We all aspire to be great photographers, but despite the Insta-ness of the world we live in, the best chai is the one that is brewed over time, and brewed with love. The latest cellphones may fire away 60 photos in two seconds, but a memorable moment is one where you hold back, slow down and allow the picture to form itself.

I still want to fly. But let’s pause and ponder over what we are flying towards. A materialistic goal? To be better than the rest? To the next big camera? Or to preorder a phone whose name ends with 5s? Let’s fly, but with our vision. Let’s wonder and wander to better our own selves, to be on that neverending journey where photos come by.

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Better Photography.