Hall of Fame
Guru Charan
PeopleStreet 26th January, 2017
   Guru Charan, is by profession a software engineer who paints his captures in the colour of emotions. One of the promising photographers of the country, he chases his passion for photography in the most adverse situations and believes following his heart and creating his own style.

 

 

Tell us about you…

I am born and brought up in Andhra Pradesh. I am a software engineer working in Bangalore.  

When did you start photography…

I started photography in early 2012 with my i-Phone 4. I used to write some blogs and wanted to shoot a script I wrote. So I started practising photography.  

Yours gears - then and now…

My first camera is D3200. I bought it in July 2012. After a year with it, I got D800 in July 2013. I am sticking with that still. I have 18-55mm, 300mm f/4, 85mm f/1.8, 14-24mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/1.4 lenses

 

What do you love to photograph…

I love to shoot anything; but whatever I shoot, I try to capture bonding, interaction and emotional connection - be it agony, pain, happiness, joy, sadness or anything to depict in my photographs

 

Why do you love this genre that you practice…

I don't really believe in concept of loving a genre more than any other. I cant say shooting nature gave me more happiness than shooting wildlife. It's just that I find it convenient to shoot people and life around. I practice that these days.

 

Your most loved photo and why do you love it…

There are 2 pictures which are extremely emotional. I visited Wayanad in 2013 August. My wife was 6 months' pregnant. It was a tough time as doctors said the baby had irregular pulse, oxygen supply was keeping very low to the kid and all such scary things. In Wayanad, I observed 2 monkeys hugging each other and I tried spending time there for couple of hours. After that the monkeys just loosened their hug only to reveal their baby to the camera. This was probably the most emotional and heart touching moment that gave me strength amidst all odds. That photograph has very close personal connection with me.
The other is a cat and dog image. At that time in May 2016, I had met with an accident and fractured my right hand - my main shooting hand. That was a time when few thought I was finished; they spoke behind my back. It was very painful to even hold the camera around the neck. I took one week rest and later tried shooting with my other hand. I reduced my kit completely; only to carry a D800 and 85mm f/1.8 which is the lightest I could get. I gave up lot of perspectives from down or from the top, ultra wides. I had to plan my shoots according to monsoons, as my POP to my hand ware off in rains. In that journey, one fine morning I was waiting for my friend to come. I started observing a cat and dog on the road and started shooting for an hour. I shot around 100 pictures and this picture became my favourite. This picture is for all who get toiled and suffer in pain while practising the art. Medicine cures the injuries while art cures the soul.
My current project is on the celebration of life by the widows. I shot this photograph during the Holi celebration by the widows of Vrindavan. This photograph is very close to my heart because the euphoria coupled with the light from top makes it a photograph which immediately connects with my soul. I love to see the joy in this image despite the suffering of the widows in our society.

 

Your journey so far…

Its been wonderful. I have learnt so much in my approach and way of life while practising this art form. There had been lot of stories that I have heard and brought me closer to many struggles and hardships that people endured. It taught me a belief that a good photograph exists anywhere. You are not supposed to look for it. Look for a good learning experience. A good photograph automatically comes with your efforts. It has become like a part of life rather than a mere hobby.

 

Difference in ‘photography then’ and ‘photography now’…

There is huge difference in many aspects - both positive and negative. The positive being the digitisation which has brought close to explore photography. It has become very easy to click and process these days. Moreover it has become a food giver to many people. I can see lot of absolutely beautiful work from many young people. The grooming for photography is being started in few from their teens which is very healthy. Because of being user friendly lot of creative techniques and perspectives have come into picture. The flow cam technology in cinematography is like silk.
Apart from positives, there are negatives as well. To lure beginners, many people advertising themselves as teachers stating "you too become master if you listen to us" has become a norm. Da Vinci also taught students how to paint, but he never advertised "you too can draw Monalisa if you listen" kind of marketing. Moreover the competitions have become a daily habit. For every theme, there exists a competition now a days. 'We feature your picture if you hash tag us' norm is becoming more prevalent. Does an iconic picture becomes less iconic when hashtag is not present? Does appreciation of artist's work has become so much commercialised? Many youngsters have stopped clicking and started branding themselves as curators as judging was way more easier than clicking. 'Making more followers' craze has to be stopped. People after clicking pictures think they are a brand and start marketing so much. Attraction to numbers, attraction to attention, attraction to easy money - amidst all that somewhere the aesthetic value of photography is being lost. The iconic picture number was being diluted with these negatives. Photography has to be a way to express, inspire and throw light rather than a mere tool for attention seeking.

 

Your future plans…

I want to explore more and more subjects and more stories; keeping things simple and sticking to that. It is difficult to tell the plans as there has never been a long term planning for me; que sera sera they say... whatever will be, will be...

 

Your suggestions for the budding photographers…

My suggestion to them is shoot always. Shoot whatever you want and however you want to shoot, but shoot your own emotions. Attend workshops, read books, explore poetry, listen to music, do whatever you want to do; but do not forget that this is your soul that you are trying to soothe. There will be tips from many, respect them; but do not let someone to brainstorm your thoughts; do not let someone to forcefully put their idea into your mind. What they are doing is a way to make you conventional. It's like an old school text book training. Do not ever be conventional. When you start experimenting, only then you will learn to express your ideas. Always believe; do not underestimate any single moment when you want to shoot. Be truthful and ethical. When someone asks you some approach do share. Do not get attracted to cheap money. Do not judge, rather inspire. Try to get feedback from your soul. If it makes you better, you have won your day. Keep competing against your emotions. Practice only makes you a better human...