World Photography Day: Perspective of its meaning

What is Photography?

Before giving the answer, let me tell you something.
See the little girl in the photograph below.

Isn’t the picture amazing? I feel this photograph must have been clicked by any talented photographers. Such a clear photograph, such a prominent one, the portrait of the young girl is so distinguished.
What is your opinion?
But, now I would like to say you all, that it is one of the world’s most famous photograph clicked by Steve McCurry. Still, now those who were thinking it to be an ordinary photograph must have started thinking that the photograph has to possess something special within it, as it has been clicked by one of the WORLD’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHER, Steve McCurry. Many people will be curious to know whether there is having some mystery within the photograph like that the portraiture of Lady with an Ermine drawn by Leonardo. But, to speak the truth there is no such mystery within the photograph but the real mystery lies within the eyes of the 10-year-old little girl. Sharbat Gula, a Pashtun orphan in the Nasir Bagh was present at the refugee camp near the Afghan-Pakistan border, in December 1984, when Steve went there. Won’t the look of this little girl an incredible one with a penetrating gaze? Yes, that gaze is the special one because the eyes will say you many things. The girl was gleaming into the camera lens. She had this curiosity and anxiety over her face.

So, now if I ask you all, what is photography, then we can say by keeping the dictionary definition apart that it is a vast idea with different opinions from a different type of people. For some, photography may be putting fingers in the button and ‘clicking a photo’ or posing in front of the camera and sharing in social media. But for many, photography is like a passion. Most of the photographers have a common dream to snap a photo that would eventually become world-famous and enter the history books. Photography is nothing but an art which is used to show us the various visions of our life. It will also give us an opportunity to showcase our skills with the camera.
Each and every artistic creation has some inner values, emotions and valuable history attached to it. Artistic creation may vary from painting to sculpting, or from architecture, printmaking to photography. Artist of each category wants to convey to us some real life-related message. Messages can not only be conveyed through writings or scribbling into papers and reading those scribbled words, but they can also be conveyed from between the written lines, between the written words, those words that are not in black and white on the paper. Similarly, a clicked photo has much to say us. Moving or still, and however it is taken, whether, by pinhole camera or phone, the photographic image is the successor to the great art of the past. A photo is a very clever creation may be cleverer than us. It constantly tests our intellect and sees whether we are able to collect the true message from within the frame. It will never reveal its true meaning. It’s us who have to find the true meaning of it.

Wildlife photography tells us about all the different points of wildlife. In wildlife photography, the photographer has to be patient and spend a lot of time to get good pictures and maybe longer time to get some of the best photos. Now, animals will do what they would like to do, one couldn’t command them to be a little soft or to behave cutely. You always have to be ready with your camera so that you don’t miss those shots which are really appreciable or something special. More you spend time with the animals more you will be able to understand their behaviour.

Nature photography shows us an overview of the situation, sometimes in a very aesthetic form, but in recent years it has evolved into photography that reveals a context that, like any documentary photography, explores the relationship of the living to a territory.

On the other hand, war photography involves photographing armed conflict and its effects on people and places. Photographers who are involved in this type of art has life risk, may get harmed due to explosions or gunfight and may many times succumb to death. The main motive of this type of photography is to make the whole world know about the miseries of war. The typical condition in which the soldiers live, they go to the Warfield in order to kill those people whom they never know.

Another photograph clicked by Steve McCurry during the First Gulf War Kuwait, 1991. It shows three camels silhouetted against an explosion of fire and smoke.  “Saddam Hussein had blown up 600 oil wells. It was an environmental catastrophe. Lakes of oil were leaking all over the country, and seeping into the Gulf. Half of it was on fire. There were geysers of oil spurting out of the earth, making it like midnight during the day,” recalled by Steve McCurry. He spotted the camels running along the edge of an oilfield and followed them in his jeep. But they had been blackened by the oil, and there was no way to capture a picture of them against the black cloud behind. Suddenly the camel started running towards the burning area and they have been illuminated by fire and then he clicked the photo and then he realized himself within a minefield. He carefully backs out following the tyres so that he doesn’t get blown up. Thus proves the risk of the work.

So each type of photography has its own purpose. It was rightly said by Elliott Erwitt, “Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them”. Obviously, it is the viewer’s eye which is responsible the way it would interpret the beauty of the photo. A photographer’s fame and popularity depends on the viewer’s eye because the greatness of photography lies in human insight.  From news images to the Hubble telescope, Photography is the art of real-life – however, manipulated, and real-life creates true art.

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