My Ten Most Important Pictures On Instagram

I’m on the cusp of 700 followers on Instagram. Knowing the nature of social media just a bit, I feel its better to write this note out sooner than later. I wanted to do something similar when I hit 600 followers; I wrote the note and slept off planning to post it the next morning. When I woke up, the followers were down to 598.

I started on Instagram in 2013. That time phones were more for talking and the cameras hadn’t evolved into the selling feature. Filters were basic, I remember my favourite being Amaro. I don’t use it any more.

Thinking deeply, the journey with Instagram has been an elusive affair – one that excites for a moment and gradually wanes into a shadow only to emerge again at a turn of life. I’ve created hordes of images and put them up only to see them disappear unless I scroll down to see them again. As filters improved along with my limited photographic abilities, I found myself doing images that were a shade(s) better than the earlier years. What’s remained constant is the number of likes I get – a mean figure of 18 – 22. But in a figure of speaking even Gods need followers.

I use this post to remember 10 of my favourite posts on Instagram and the stories behind them –

10. Transgenders In Celebration

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The photograph that got me featured on Instagram. A lovely moment & a wonderful story to go with it.

9. Zauk’s Delhi

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Delhi is where I grew up. It was my teacher in the formative years. But as life went by, I started to detest the conditions I lived in. I moved to Pune and was seduced by its limitedness. Until a few months back, when I visited Delhi again and lived as a traveller. That is when Delhi revealed it to me. On my flight back, I reminisced about the sights that I’d seen, the foods I ate and people I met.

8. Balamwa

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At a concert almost a year back, Pt Sanjay Garud sang an awesome rendition of the iconic thumri – Balamwa. I was recording video just before he started singing. As soon as he sang his first song, I switched off the video and started doing photos. A few moments later I realised how grave an error had been committed. Thankfully I have an audio of the same. I go back to it from time to time. The audio recording is here.

7. At 38

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While I like being photographed, there haven’t been many occasions when I have actually been. And as time landed me on the wrong side of 30, I became conscious of my ever thinning hair. Then I read that once someone crosses 36, he seems to be less mindful of the worries of the world.

6. Taken By The Hand

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Jaisalmer made me meet Deepa. She took me by the hand and made her way into my heart – forever. You can read about Deepa’s story here.

5. Important Things Are Said Softly

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During my trip to Nepal after the devastating earthquake, I came across this moment on the street which instantly took me to my childhood. I went to college in Bangalore and after that for work moved to Delhi and Chandigarh and then to Pune. As I moved forward, I made new links but forgot old ones. I am not in touch with any of my childhood friends and with very limited friends from college.

4. Manto

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I started reading Manto a couple of years back. I was taken aback. His stories shocked me. And they moved me. The raw language laying bare emotions at their naked best. Kingdom’s end struck me like a avalanche.

3. Mumma 

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Mumma has been my hero for ever and ever. And the one thing I’ve always seen her doing is change the bedsheets and pillow covers. She did it in times of happiness, sorrow, easy and tough. But this visual came at what perhaps was a turning point in her life – when her grandson came home after his birth.

2. Salaried for Life

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I met this family of 5 at the protests of 2013 in New Delhi. The family comprised the parents, two sons with special abilities and the daughter who was perfectly “normal”. The father offered to pay half of his daughter’s salary to anyone who could help her get a government job so the family could afford a life.

1. The Human Condition

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Shot while making Ecosystem, this image stands out in my memory as the most gripping visual of a human emotion. I don’t know what transpired in their lives at that moment but this moment was just so raw. The couple stood at the same spot for an hour or so. Her hands were around him and he dwindled between comfort and discomfort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Day Before The Turning Of Time

Photos from my travels
Waiting as ever ©Kartikaya Nagar

Open boxes and folded clothes. Much like memories.

He was a king at sometime. Proud he sat on his throne and on his subjects. They listened to him, prayed to his power and sought his counsel.

Love is unbound. Blind and eventful, it brought me here. I stand as proof of its madness. I was sane once.

When I looked at the world, it  came to me that I am the world.

Vanity Vanity – how much I love this.

Bring me the stars tonight. Nothing else would do.. my love.

What do you know of love?

Rush Rush!!! Take me there and take me here. Dont stop.. just take me anywhere. I need to be somewhere. I belong nowhere; I need to be somewhere. Rush Rush!!!

Happy New Year.

 

 

 

Show Me The Money

If you have come to this post thinking that this is a rant of someone who is not making money through photography, please go away. While I am not making money from photography, I think it is a few moments (maybe months) away. And I am sticking my neck out.

Photography is easily accessible. Pick up your DSLR and you’re one. Pick up a P&S and you’re one. Pick up your phone and you’re one. Editing is simpler than ever with all the softwares around, especially the ones that play easily on our phones – snapseed, vsco et al. So all you have to do is take  picture, put some filters and send them out to the world to call you a photographer. Some apps help one traverse that journey from human to what seems to me is a Chihuahua with ears and noses.

Those who have picked the trade up professionally, will agree that in the market of averages, cost is the determining factor. No matter how good you are, if you’re in the market of averages as I call it, the amount of work you get will depend finally on the price and the pocket. The middle class wont stretch itself and especially in these trying times of the economy. Even in lucrative markets like weddings, the averages play a huge role. They seem to rationalise everything when it comes to visuals.

Then there are many who undercut. Undercutting hurts big time – both to the serious photographer and the customer. Because the one who undercuts sometimes may not get the visual; plus he/ she has taken the business away from the one who could do it. The customer’s cries are over and above.

So while I am in this happy zone making pictures and videos, drawing my heart out and preparing for some exciting personal stuff in the future, one zone in my mind is always occupied with the bills, emi’s and savings. But it is an exchange that I am happy to settle for; because when I am photographing, the world doesn’t matter at all.

In my opinion, art has to reach the middle class. They need to have access to happy pictures of their prime, their kids and parents and all this must come at affordable packages. So the philosophy of bulk might have to kick in. But that requires a strong backend. Thankfully my team and I are working on it. Speed, accuracy and art remain the essence of our services and there are enough folks in the world outside who realise that they can bring happiness to themselves by either contributing or consuming. But pay your artist promptly.

I also think an artist needs to be multifaceted. Unless I am big enough to command a Steid to make my books, I am content doing it myself. Write, read, edit, blog, sponsor, network – everything yourself.

Some awesome baby pictures coming soon. Until next time.. which should be soon.