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  • Writer's pictureNani Bhalla

Let us Begin!

Updated: Jul 22, 2018

This is my first blog - I mean, first ever. I thought I would start with a bit about what photography brings to me. I am not an all time professional. On some days I am an enthusiast; on some days I am the point and shoot guy, and on other days I am a true professional. But regardless of my persona (schizophrenic as it may seem) at the time of a particular composition, one thing is a constant: I stay true to the image. So, what does it mean to be "true to the image." Here is what it means to me (and this is where you will quickly find out that I am not a fan of video): Capturing the truth in a single frame. To me it is not about the cliché of capturing a memory; it is more about capturing the story (in a single frame). One should be able to see through a photograph, not simply look at it. A photograph, like any other art, should evoke a response. It should stimulate the senses - the sense of wanting to touch, the sense of wanting to taste, even the sense of wanting to smell. In the end, a picture should indeed be worth a thousand words. Maybe you are beginning to see the reasons for my bias against video? More on this at the end (but a spoiler alert - my favourite video is "La Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon)). When I shoot, I have only one goal in mind - bring out the essence of my subject. Even inanimate objects have a story to tell - or maybe it is a story that we weave when we observe the photograph. Let me show you an example.

This is a simple photograph of a simple bicycle. The seat is torn, it has no shocks, and by the look of it, it is quite aged. If I was to sell it on eBay, what would it fetch - 30 bucks, maybe 50 bucks. But for the person who owns it, this bicycle is priceless. Notice that it has three locks on it: a chain lock, a cable lock and a u-lock. It has rear disc breaks and it has gears. The handles are made of wood; and, albeit was in NYC, it is of European origin as the height is in cm. Suddenly this simple old bicycle is not so simple. Would you now, not be curious to meet the owner? I know, I would. How much more wonderful is this thought process than a video, that would leave nothing to the imagination. The video would tell you the whole story. Now where is the fun in that! So the next time you look at a photograph, take some extra time to see it. See if it evokes an emotion, and awakens a sense; see if it brings to life a story. And in the end, see if it tells you something about yourself. This, dear readers, is what photography means to me.


Why the "La Ballon Rouge" - because there are no words; because there are only two characters; because I am free to weave an interpretation. If you have never seen it, then take some time to watch it.

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