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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  1. #1 by db on April 6, 2010 - 11:54 PM

    well done cathy – wordpress theme looks great :ø)


  2. #3 by anne henning on April 7, 2010 - 3:46 AM

    It’s a Cathy Picture. It’s good to know that’s a calendar. you might want to remove that glaring bright light mid-left in the frame. I’ve never been there, know nothing about it, so i learned something. Perhaps yours going to say more? You’re fierce; you say you need to be there…i’d like to know more about that. Why do you have to go there?

    Good for you with the blog. this is interesting.


    • #4 by cathyscholl on April 8, 2010 - 4:22 PM

      Thanks Anne for your comment and for giving me an idea for a future post…
      Why I have to go there.
      Yes, I hope to say much more :))


  3. #5 by terrigold on April 15, 2010 - 9:03 AM

    well done
    really enjoying the cathy pictures
    the text and images
    and the design
    you have a unique voice
    wish i had stayed and gone with you
    what an amazing place
    and the zeal of the participants
    you can feel it from the images

    looking forward to more

    and will be posting more of mine too

    all warm wishes terri


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