How Photography Changed My Life: Suhas Jogdeo, Insurance Professional, Pune.

An introduction about who you are, what you do for a living and how you got into photography. 

Hello Clickmasters,

Meet Suhas Jogdeo, an Insurance professional and an ardent Angling & PG Enthusiast.

Suhas was introduced to photography in his school days, by his cousin, working then as a Part-time Finisher, in a studio. When Suhas visited the darkroom of that studio for the first time, he was affrighted and was churned up with the impregnable olfaction of chemicals in white trays. Negatives were hung, no light was allowed inside. The nausea still prevails.

B&W was the only choice. Colour photography came later. A shaving blade was used for pp or finishing. To reach the viewfinder, the photographer had to shove his head into a dusty black cloth. That looked entertaining.

The first camera he owned, was Kodak, in 1981, then Yashika Electra 135. Then he bought Nikon FM with a standard prime & a Vivitar zoom, in 1983.

He pastes ‘L’ sign on his cams.

How was your first experience with your camera?

Leave aside expertise, neither knowledge nor info was handy; nor was it required either, as the first camera was just view & shoot. However, perhaps ‘ my own viewfinder ’ helped me isolate myself from the crowd..

Those were the ‘film role days’. Kodak roles, with ASA ratings like 400, 100, etc, were popular and expensive; and printing costs were prohibitive. Deleting images was out of question.

What were the things you did to get better at photography?

Took membership of The British Council Library and read plenty of books on photography. Google was not even dreamt of during those days.

I still remember the book ‘The World’s Best Photographs’. All the photos therein, were B&W. This book spurred my exuberance in photography.

Post DSLR, hunted for photography lessons on web, Google & Youtube, subscribed to Digital Photography Secrets, Digital Photography School, etc

And most importantly … proved myself to be lucky enough to have been associated with Cool Guroo Kush Sharma aka CGKS !

Your favourite shot of yours up till now and its details

Nikon D5300   f/5.6   1/125 sec   ISO 200

 

What is your favourite type of photography?

Candid – Unlike the other times, getting caught unaware, is fun also. The more fun is in catching the unaware. At occasions, it could be humorous, annoying, surprising, pleasing, embarrassing. It could make or break the relationships as well. Inter alia, it is most satisfying. To me, in non-candid or posed photography, people become conscious, delusory, kitschy. They hide their genuineness, wear a burka. Celebrities lead the gang.

Nature & Wildlife – I believe, all Nature & Wildlife photographs are candid; and hence, one has to be equipped, opportunistic, uncompromising.

Portrait – A yet another ‘self’ish ballgame. The logic is very simple. If you have attended a wedding or an event, and you happen to see its photo album, you linger over a leaf, in which you are seen.

By and large, Portrait photography, unfortunately, is commonly correlated to human beings, rather human faces. That is not the case. A portrait of a lion or a squirrel display the same qualities as of a human race.

But, one thing for sure, a nice portrait of a person brings the subject very close to the photographer. My acuity in Portrait Photography facilitated three Writers and a renowned Poet to publicly announce me to be their Official Photographer. No wonder then, why celebrities value photographers. Sateesh Paknikar and Gautam Rajyadhyaksha are my role models in this sector.

Macro photography – just OMG ! Challenging your everything. It stretches one’s patience to the extreme ends. Lot of technicalities, awkward body movements, limitations, lighting conditions, composition, framing, focusing for sharpness, uncertainties, everything could be against you. And still you have to capture the nervures from the eye of the smallest creature. That is your achievement. It is extremely satisfying, once you are done up with.

All the above give me immense pleasure and satisfaction.

Frankly, wide angle / landscape photography has not yet been seriously attempted by me. Still, it is in the back of my mind. Credit goes to Sunil Damle.

f/5.6   1/25   ISO 2000

f/22   1/2000   ISO 1280 (theme photography)

What is the equipment that you use?

Nikon D5300 with 50 mm prime, 18-140 & 55-300 Nikon & 4 extension rings. (The 50 mm is underutilized.) A heavy duty Benro tripod. three memory cards of 32 gb each, 2 of 16 gb & 8 gb, 4 of 4 gb & 2 batteries. A polythene bag is always available into my kit, for use in case of unpredictable rain & storm. Also, the moist absorbent bags. Of course, my laptop for viewing, pp & posting.

How has photography changed your life?

Photography taught me patience, persistency, practice, experimenting. Incidentally, these qualities helped me in Dramatics as well. For photography, I indulge in exploring new locations, talking to strangers, street-smartness, petty adventures, introspection & self-retrospection.

Prior to taking up photography, I was much lazier than today, impatient, inconsistent; and so on.

Also, Photography took me into the laps of the mother nature, explained the importance of meditation, how to meditate, how to enjoy the becalm.

Photography made numerous moments of my life, lively, e.g. covering, for 2 consecutive years, the 3-month life of a Bulbul pair & their 3 chicks – from selecting a safe place for weaving a nest to see the independent kids flying away. Photography also offered me opportunities to capture the glimpses of 18-odd joint family members’ memorable moments. All these things rejuvenate me to the fullest extent.

Last, but not the least, with the grace of Freddie, my daughter also has landed in the wonderland of photography. Freddie handed over his spare Nikon D5200 to my daughter, so that she could attend Kush’s Basic Photography Workshop; and she was happy to do it.

Yet another thing … Fishing & Photography go hand in hand; and I have my soul deeply sunk in to the both !

Other shots that you would like to show

f/5.6   1/800   ISO 3600

My garden gives me lot of opportunities, on a daily … no … on an hourly basis, to explore my camera and the garden as well. This birdie was captured in a summer, when lot many used to visit my garden to quench their thirst.

f/4.5   1/800   ISO 5000

The trio of Sunil, Freddie and I never give up. Freddie got caught by me in one of such sessions in Konkan.

f/5.6   1/640   ISO 800

Macro photography is hypnotising.  This is one of the crazy creatures from my garden. This tiny chap was trying to escape, but I proved to be smarter.

What are your future aspirations in terms of photography?

Would Luv to work with NatGeo!!

So far, they have adopted two of my photographs on their website. They run a prize winning “Daily Click Contest’, to start with. I am sure, a day will be there for me, when I will come out with flying colours in it. Dying hard for that.

Media / Press photography – Very challenging. It requires content writing skills also. This can cause enmity against the mighty as well.

Now a days, many newspapers have developed their own apps for their readers to become digital journalists. They also appeal their readers to email photographs of common public interests, news items having potentials to penetrate social awareness, social interests. At this juncture, enough light has been thrown on what journalists are undergoing.

Videography and video editing … hmmm !

Anything else you would like to add 

Upon buying my first DSLR, I read the camera manual umpteen times, plenty of visits to Google & Youtube, lot of net searches, but all in vain. I was scared of even touching my DSLR. Tried to change some settings, but the results were awful, disappointing, frustrating. Auto mode became my favourite, but then, ‘ why DSLR ? ‘ was a trillion sterling question for me.

Used to sit with my DSLR in front, staring at it for lot of time,  every day, wondering, why did I buy a DSLR at all ?

An attempt to google for an effective photography training programme/s in Pune & Mumbai dumped me at the feet of the Cool Guroo Kush. At a very early age, his knowledge in photography, style of teaching, patience, his dedication towards the students, mentoring, support,  … everything has changed my photography.

At occasions, Kush appears to be an alien, as Guroos with such qualities are becoming rarest of the rare !

Once the 2 training sessions are over, he doesn’t throw his students in to the world. He has created a wonderful Facebook platform, Creative Pad Photography Members, where we can exhibit our work, discuss the issues, seek guidance, express views, et all.

Moreover, the CPP has gifted me awesome photographer friends like Freddie Desai & Sunil Damle. Many strangers ask us, the 3 Musketeers, if we are class /schoolmates. What else we could say, but “Of course” , albeit we know each other for not more than 3 years !

A suggestion : Like painting exhibitions periodical theme-based exhibitions of printed photographs by CPP members could be held at different locations, to start with, in Pune.

CGKS, I take this opportunity to record my sense of gratitude towards how much you care for us. Without your appeal ‘to write’ I won’t have bothered to peep into the past and attempt, what I think about photography, about you, about camera, about Sunil & Freddie, what are my future aspirations in terms of photography, how photography has changed my life … Please keep it up !