(Last Updated on : 01/11/2012)
"The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness"- holds true as the mimetic instinct of man is universal, so it is his promethean urge to scrutinize the unidentified, capture the un-captured. As an obvious result, camera of mind's eye techno suited itself to camera of existence, of life. The interest in human nature to capture and save "self" and familial images for the rest of their life, dates back to the myth of Narcissus, the fixation with self and Aristotle's concept of Mimesis, (imitation). Photography is twice placed reality, created reality out of fixed real forms.
Photography based on the infrastructures of such; both as a concept and as an art form have indeed come a long way in its evolvement. The journey of Indian photography is long; the advances of digital camera, artful image manipulation by photo shop, and even the role of paparazzi in media - and the pervasiveness of photographic images in our lives, proves such, all within the broad tributaries of penumbra of consciousness.
Beginning with the pinhole camera, that gradually came down to the first permanent black and white image; inventors were fervent to witness more. The coloured era cradled with it the magic of unrealism to realistic pictures while the later ages were fast observers to the even more mind-boggling development in photography and digital cameras. What was previously just held as a passing passion for childlike desires, photography is seen today as a serious living, with more and more enthusiasts getting into it as a profession.
The term 'photography' came to be known from the very early years of the 19th century, with the invention of the camera obscura, that used the mechanism of a pinhole camera to capture images. Since then, man had become obsessed with fine-tuning the long photographic process and eliminates the drawbacks associated with the early photographic versions. With passing time, the film developing process became more sophisticated and men like Nic‚phore Ni‚pce and Louis Daguerre experimented with the arrival of a permanent photographic image. From then onwards there was no looking back. A worldwide furore arose once more with the advent of colour filming, and photography came to be understood in a completely new light and meaning.
Painter Paul Delaorche; threatened by the invention of photography cried out: "From today painting is dead". Protagonists of art recommended photography as the apt solution to preserve paintings instead of replacing them in the similar manner as printing and typing/shorthand had helped to preserve literature. The Company school of art was on its decadent mode and the camera gained a pedestal of privilege. Again, it is extensively assumed that photography created an impetus for painters to relinquish and forsake uncomplicated account in favour of more interpretive or abstract styles, such as impressionism, cubism, and abstract expressionism. To platform that fiery imagination, artistic sensitivity, and individual style quotient were possible with the camera, many photographers explored to manipulate the photographic route more unswervingly. Photography has also been an active catalyst in far flung fields of the advanced development of industrial progress, colonialism, propagandist governmental activities. Even sea of change, burst of evolution has been noticed in the fields of social reforms, and various disciplines of social sciences, especially ethnology (the study of human cultures) and criminology (the study of criminal behaviour)
Photography provided an exciting new medium for the colonial powers to catalogue their territorial acquisitions and possessions, interpreter of colonial maladies as photographers captured the shifting era, documentation of cultural complexes of the Orient that had existed over centuries. Ensuing in a frenzy of motion to record the military campaigns, native peers, monuments, and momentous proceedings of the era, art of photography flourished. Tied to the foreign regime, photographers in India existed to create images of the east only to be produced back home to Britain and presented as an exotic colony that they had subjugated. Indian photography thus the juxtaposition of art form and indeed as a concept gained a fourfold dimension with the advent of the British.
With a panoramic array of historical evolvement, photography in India has never looked back since then. While the pattern of photography's growth in the Indian microcosm largely kept pace with developments in the macrocosmic wider world however, local factors also contributed to the characteristically Indian photographic work. However, as an art form Indian photography gradually broke the pangs of British shackles and it was by the 19th century, India positioned herself at the forefront of photographic development. Indian photography has long since arrived in India. The wide acceptance that has ensued in the context brought with it its bad and good sides. People started to argue for and against the fact that whether photography can be attributed the title of art form or not. However, with the diverseness in its numerous genres, like nature, night, wedding, war, wildlife, family or concert photography, one cannot but accept the fact that every corner in these styles are laden with wonder. Be it in black and white photography, sepia photography infra red or colour photography, art is employed in every outlook in photography. The video photography genre also adapts to photographic aesthetics. Whether it is the sophistication of the black and white photography or the glamour of coloured photography or the romance of the sepia photography, it is the very tone, hue and lustre of each type of photography that evokes curiosity and interest among the onlookers. Indian photography thus can be classified into four major types, i.e. Black and White photography, Colour photography, Digital photography and Sepia photography.
Photographic work in India thus can be divided into dozens of categories, many with lots of sub-categories. But there are in fact distinct variations in the manner in which photography is approached in different genres. These genres of photography require a different style and perspective. Photography has always been considered an art and a creative process. This creativity is enhanced by the availability of camera features that make possible a wide range of ideas and styles. Some of the path-breaking styles include - Aerial Photography, Architectural Photography, Glamour or Fashion photography, Landscape Photography, Wedding photography, Wildlife photography, Sports photography and War photography
Photography in India now-a-days is used almost in every field that needs documentation, both for professional and private purposes. Indian photography has really advanced with the paradigm shifts, and with the advent of digital camera, its usage has broadened, perhaps beyond imagination. Photography as a career also has gained a huge impetuous in India The present booming expanding structure of Indian newspapers, be it in any category, is hugely profitable. A reader is automatically attracted to that very special news section containing a meaningful, captivating picture. As such, photojournalists with a keen sense of the inner feel and flair for photographing anything and everything exciting to the onlooker are under great demand. Photojournalism in India is indeed quite lucrative, provided one is determined to make it to the top.
Indian photographers with their talent and creativity have further reshaped the domain of Indian photography. Indian photographers are diverse in their respective field of work. Truly, the more is said, the more is left unsaid about their praises. Whether in black and white mode, or in the sepia touch, photographers have made it to the top and experienced the sense of triumph- is the footnote. Accordingly, they have also been awarded to their stature.
Some of the few Indian photography awards in the listings include:
* The India Habitat Centre Photography Fellowship Awards
* Ramnath Goenka India Press Photo Awards (by the Indian Express Group)
* The Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open photography awards
* TOTO FUNDS THE ARTS (TFA) Photography Awards
* Wills Lifestyle Fashion Award
* TPOTY Awards (primarily awarded to travel photographers)
* Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI)'s Indian Sports Journalism Awards
Precisely by slicing out the moments and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt. Life is fleeting illusory and deceptive, and photography captures these beauties of fleeting moments keeps a moment from running away organising a sense of picturesque deja vu, forever to be bathed in the grand forward march of human history everything existing to end in a photography.