World through the lens

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On World Photography Day today, let us celebrate some positive photostories of lockdown

Come Wednesday and thousands of shutterbugs around the world will be putting out their favourite freeze frames across social media platforms. For, August 19 is an annual celebration of the art, craft, science, technology and history of photography.

The idea behind World Photography Day is to encourage people from diverse cultures and backgrounds to enjoy photography as a hobby and upload with the hashtag worldphotographyday, says Dharma Chandru, Chennai-based candid photographer and a Canon mentor. He says in the last 25 years he has taken hundreds of clean and positive photos. “You will never find a negative element (poverty, dirt, plastic etc) in my pictures because I believe it is that flash of light and a moment that is captured forever to connect us beautifully,” he says.

The purpose of World Photography Day (WPD) is to bring together millions of novices, amateurs and professionals and help them to appreciate and learn from each other’s skills. “No matter what the ups and downs in life are, a photograph is always that one single frame the world sees of the world that you see,” says Chandru.

Wildlife photographer Sriram Janak is mood-driven. He says he posts randomly on his social media accounts whenever his mind gives him a nice caption and on any given day, pachyderms win from his portfolio. He says the importance of WPD is like Independence Day celebrations. “Local clubs organise seminars, honour photographers and galleries host exhibitions. This year everything will be virtual,” he says.

Gokul Guru Moorthy freelanced as street view photographer for Google maps for two years and had a full time job at Bengaluru’s Lollipop Design Studio last year but lost it during lockdown. On a visit to his hometown Madurai following the demise of his grandfather four months ago, when the pandemic brought everything to a halt, the new circumstances made him restless. “I went exploring beyond genres and boundaries whenever possible,” he says.

World through the lens

Each of Gokul’s clicks is an impressive snapshot of life taken for granted before the Coronavirus wreaked havoc. The idea of black-and-white frames struck him when he saw an elephant in the Alagar Koil forests. “The animal was chained and reminded me of our quarantined state…we are free beings but confined to our spaces, now yearning for freedom!” says Gokul.

That first lockdown image egged him to make his daily photoshoot a constant amidst the unpredictability. It took him on empty roads, where an old couple walking signified togetherness. The brimming smile on the face of a thandatti-adorning granny in Usilampatti cheered him up because she redefined beauty and fashion in the simplest way. From chasing star-filled skies to a sculptor focussed on chiselling a stone statue of Ganpati in spite of the uncertainty of vinayaka chaturthi celebrations this year, each visual gave a different feel to Gokul.

World through the lens

He says the last few months have made him realise how we crib about things we lack and forget to enjoy the many things we have. It now inspires the 23-year-old to develop a new perspective in life. “I am my passion for photography enables me to celebrate the world the way I see it,” he says.

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