Archive for April, 2010

Speaking with a camera. The challenge of photographing Amar Bharti Baba.

In Haridwar I spent some time in the camp of  Amar Bharti Baba. He is well known for having held his arm in the air since 1973. At the Kumbh Mela photographers (including myself) crowd around him all day long to take the obvious “cliche” shot…a close-up of his face along with his now atrophied arm and long curled fingernails. After a few of those shots I quickly became interested in trying to come up with a more unique way of seeing him, using my own visual vocabulary.

Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey speaks about authorship often and well on his burn magazine site. He recently told me to express myself with a camera just like I do with words:

“You have created a personality here on Burn..with words…we all know a “Cathy comment” when we read it…it is actually your personality in real life…now, just do the same thing with pictures…the language of pictures is newer to you than is English, but just use the new language in the same way…show us “Cathy pictures.”

In this blog I hope to share with you my journey in refining my photographic voice. At this point I have more questions than answers but hopefully together we can inspire each other to better “speak camera.”

In my final select I chose to highlight his raised arm against the backdrop of the white calendar. The boy behind him looking up at it along with the others surrounding him added to the story.

p.s.I’m looking forward to improving my  Lightroom skills so I can eventually do some burning and dodging on this photo. More about that another day.

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