Dear YashvinBlogs readers,
It’s been quite some time I haven’t written for my friend Yashvin’s blog, so I’m back with a new article on my favorite hobby : photography. As you may already know, photography is vast. So vast that we can keep on talking on different aspects such as gear or techniques, a “never-ending” discussion. Instead, today I’ll focus on sharing how I started photography and what I enjoy so much about it.
Before going any further, let me briefly introduce myself. I’m a Mauritian consultant based in Paris since a couple of years already. Prior my settlement in here, I worked in an IT consulting firm in Mauritian, mainly dealing with foreign clients.
When I was still in Mauritius, I was practically surrounded with friends who were always hanging around with their big cameras. Most of them practice photography as a hobby but there was also a few of them who earned their living as professional photographers. For years, I never ever showed interest nor would try to understand and appreciate pictures and the hard work behind. For instance, I still remember how Yashvin (who was my colleague) was always talking about photography and having his camera on him every time! In fact, I think that this might have been the trigger towards photography in my mind.
My first steps
Like most of us, it all started with a simple point and shoot which I was already using to capture pictures of my travels. I also ventured in guest blogging when I shot my first political meeting, that of Party Malin during the last general elections: That article went viral at that time and that was cool! 🙂
In fact, to be honest, my first pictures were really crappy and of the snapshot type but they did capture the interest of people and conveyed the respective feelings. This interest gradually grew bigger with social networks, enough to make me step further into my new hobby by purchasing my first DSLR when I moved to Paris.
Wow! When you have a DSLR in hand, it’s a whole new way to look at photography :
- The picture quality,
- The precision,
- The different preset modes in the camera.
For a whole year, I mainly shot using the automatic modes until the next visit to Mauritius during which I really learnt the basics of photography and started shooting without the need to switch my DSLR to automatic modes. One day, Yashvin picked me up for a tour in the south of the island to show me how to handle the camera and understand the basics which included a complete crash course on how to correctly manipulate the triangle settings : ISO, aperture and shutter.
The experience on that day was a quite a “shock” to me since I started to realize the technicity and approach behind taking pictures, without using those built-in landscape, night or portrait modes on the camera. I suddenly felt my pictures were again crappy, making me realize that I badly needed to progress.
The new start
From that point, photography became a real passion. Yes, now I could be sure, it was for “REAL”.
I used the internet extensively to read articles, watch tutorials on Youtube, follow great photographers (for example, Matt Granger and Tony Northrup) participate actively dedicated photography forums to exchange ideas, techniques, constructive comments and above all, accept criticism to improve my own skills. The Mauritian Facebook group PAPM (Photographes Amateurs et Pros Mauriciens) is an excellent exchange platform which I highly recommend. Along with tons of amateur photography passionates, some very talented photographers are actively participating in the discussions there.
After investing some more thousand bucks to purchase additional gear (unfortunately it’s an expensive hobby as Yashvin wrote some years back) and participating in multiplying several photography projects including going through the learning curve of shooting in raw and post processing in Adobe Lightroom, today I feel much more confident as an amateur photographer. I’m totally loving it.
Improving my skills
Having said that, today my work mainly consists of sports, model and portraiture photography while I also have a “coup de coeur” while photographing those sceneries during my travels. However, I should admit that beyond the technical and creative aspects of photography, what I enjoy the most is the human contact :
- Meeting and exchanging with models, sports men, musicians, politicians, actors and of course other photographers
- Feeling that enthusiasm when someone loves that picture you captured
In Paris, I joined several exchange groups in which models, makeup artists and photographers often meet up on various professional or collaborative projects. I sincerely feel this touch was missing in Mauritius and so, together with some friends, we created a similar group for Mauritius on Facebook: Photographers and Models of Mauritius. Please feel free to explore this group, it might trigger that missing element to motivate you to join or dive deeper in model photography.
I still firmly believe that there’s a lot on the path of progress, especially each time I have a look at the works of renowned photographers… While I keep on discovering new techniques, extensive practice remains the key to better photographing skills. And last, I would like to share my personal portfolio which can be viewed on my Facebook page: Bhanu Gujadhur Photography.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any particular questions.