Sunday Chronicle headliners 30 Nov 2019 Portrait of a photo ...

Portrait of a photographer

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NIRTIKA PANDITA
Published Dec 1, 2019, 12:00 am IST
Updated Dec 1, 2019, 12:00 am IST
Photographer Nishchay Jain shares his secret to capturing unique stories via photographs.
Floating market in Dal Lake, Kashmir
 Floating market in Dal Lake, Kashmir

Self-taught photographer Nishchay Jain was always inclined towards telling stories through a single frame since his school days. With a great love for encompassing human emotions through portraits, the 24-year-old started his journey by clicking pictures of flowers with an Android phone.

It was only in 2015 that Jain picked up a DSLR, gifted to him by his mother, and took to the streets of Mumbai. “I love to interact with people and know their life journey. It is when people talk that a lot of otherwise dormant memories are shaken, and that brings a different mood on the face, which always translates into a worthy portrait. I don’t randomly click people’s pictures,” shares the photographer, who gave up the corporate world to pursue his love for photography full-time. He eventually ventured into landscape and aerial photography.

 

With no formal education in photography, Jain intently observed the works of fellow Instagrammers. “Right from how the other photographers on Instagram are clicking pictures to the kind of editing they are doing on the picture. It gave me perspective, and then I experiment with my work, figuring out what gives voice to my style,” says Jain. Having started with a kit lens for portraits, his friends suggested buying a prime lens for portraits.

With no dearth of photographers lately, thanks to social media, there is hardly anything left to have escaped a lensman's eye. With this in mind, Jain’s primary objective is to bring out a unique aspect of what is already seen, for which he emphasises on using one’s presence of mind. “In the case of landscape, we have already seen so much of it being clicked in so many different ways. What is required is your presence of mind to absorb the surroundings and imagine how I would I like to see, adding my style to the frame,” he reveals, adding, “The picture is best in its rawness that has flat colours, giving more flexibility to enhance the colours.”

Be it his portrait from Pushkar of a camel smiling with his owner, or that of a religious festival in Tamil Nadu, his portraits indeed speak a thousand words. “I was sipping tea and chatting with this camel trader, who suddenly got on his feet and said he will do something for me while I was ready with my camera. That is how I got the picture,” Jain smiles.

As for the portraits from Tamil Nadu, the photographer calls it one of his special projects that gave him a sense of fulfillment, owing to the vehemence of the festival. “It was very intense inside the temple, where people are possessed, which sent out crazy energy and hence came with a lot of movement. We might carry high-end cameras, giving us a great focus, but the entire gamut is on when to hit the shutter. Again, it is important to be present at the moment, because it is hardly for a few seconds; the presence of mind is again at play,” the photographer explains.

Jain has also dabbled in drone photography, where his USP is to capture the serene landscapes that can be mistaken for satellite images. For this, Jain first takes a stock via Google Maps, “but that doesn’t always work out. Since a few places don’t have Google access, it is more of trial and error. If you get lucky, nothing better,” he concludes.

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