TODAY -

My appreciation to Manipur Photography Club

Samarjit Kambam *



Photography is something that always enchanted and awed me since I was a childhood. During those yonder years there were instances of many urges from my gut to be a photographer. Not having the resources, I deviated my path from it. In fact, I really love photography. It is said that "It's never too late to learn" but to me, I kinda think that I am old school for photography and I don't want to foray amongst these herds of youngbloods and young breeds as a newbie for I'd find myself too out of depth.

It is really heartening to learn that, of late, the Manipur Photography Club seemed to have grown from an embryo to a full-fledged entity, coming out alive and kicking. By leaps and bounds, the club has begun to make its presence felt throughout the state and even outside. It has accrued its number of members to a phenomenal might.

It can rightly be construed that it has passed its juvenile stage, it has matured, really. Sometimes back, the pictures uploaded on FB by the wannabes of MPC were taken just for granted, not really given a second glance.

But, nowadays, things have taken a turn for an invigorating change, the club has unbelievably walked the extra miles, traversed the untreaded territory, tried the untested water in the world of photography.

A photograph should be able to produce bedtime stories and morning glories. It should act as a lullaby, a hymn, a song, a prose, a poem, exhilarate the heart and produce a feel of euphoria to the viewer. A good photo should be able to make you feel as if you are floating among the flurry clouds, take you to where the angels tread, glide on the water of the blue seas, traverse you to the Garden of Eden and float among the tree of knowledge and tree of life.

I have come across works of numerous renowned photographers. The photographs of Alexey Titarenko captures the human condition of ordinary people in a metaphoric way, Chema Madoz's great simplicity of his images is where the beautiful trick behind them lies which is a very easy to digest art. His creations make us feel guilty for not being able to see the obvious that he so naturally can portray.

Trey Ratcliff's style is that he documents his explorations through his camera and the sense of adventure is completely tangible. Even though his images are not a style for everybody, his works reflect careful consistency which makes his photos quite valuable. He has his own set of rules which creates beautiful HDR images thereby staying inside the thin scope between Tonal Range Enhancement and Unreal looks. Lurie Belegurschi's work made Iceland the most popular photo destination.

Sohail Karmani, the wilderness expert depicts the most epic moments of true nature. His photo captioned "In Goat We Trust" portraying a couple conveying in a scooter-bike hybrid with two goats, one at the front and one at the rear is one of my favourite. John Free teaches us to be aware of the time element in street photography which is the most difficult element of the discipline, his works even accurately reflects that time is what governs street photography.

Watching the works of William Wegman over and over again will never bore you. Instead, you will be allowing yourselves to get surprised by the personification and the sense of humor he portrays. He is best known for his evolving series of images involving not just dogs, but only his dogs, that are just one breed, the Weimaraners. One can't get enough of the photograph of one of his dogs in a coat and a tie. A unique creation, hard to find anywhere which gets you affected with its melodramatic effects.

He is a photographer of a kind, a great contemporary artist, working with a very limited subject and still able to produce a tremendously large body of works. Such is his greatness. Hiroshi Sugimoto's active fine art photography is one of the most renowned works for his minimalist and gradient like seascapes. And there are many many more.

Another mention may also be made of Andreea Petcu, a videographer cum photographer hailing from Bucharest. She has put up some tranquil video clips in YouTube and the viewers have crossed multi millions. Her photographs are a class apart which is circulated throughout the globe through electronic media. She has a huge fan following.

She is someone who loves to lay the colours of her soul on her creations and to bring joy and smiling faces to the people, through her work. She can create the miracle of transmitting joy, hope and smiles to the ones around her. Trust me, when you witness her works, the magic created by her will flow towards you.

A beautiful song can be visualized in thousands of images. Likewise, a beautiful picture depicts thousands of words. A picture, to be more specific, a photograph is an astounding two dimensional entity that has a lot of virtual ingredients stored in it that can really juxtapose the viewers' imagination to various levels – be it wilderness, calmness, serenity, ecstasy, histrionics and even adrenaline rushes.

A photo taken at the right moment and place with the specific main focal object can be a masterpiece. Why is Mona Lisa's portrait so damn world famous? I haven't been to the Louvre, nor have I seen that great art of Leonadorda Vinci.

But it is a known fact that the beauty of the portrait has been creating awe and admiration since generations for Mona Lisa is not just a painting, it's a story in itself. It's a scent to those smell freaks, a poetry to the poets, a beautiful lyrics and unchained melody to the musicians, the tastiest wine in the world for the wine connoisseurs, a voyage to a distant galaxy for the astronomers, a collection of diamonds of different hues of 34.6 carats, Juliet for a broken hearted Romeo, a blue crush for the surfers, a gold made Berretta for the son of a gun, a big white untamed stallion for the highwayman, the hammer of Thor to a highly spirited blacksmith, a mythological Greek Lord to the dreamy eyed casanovas, a doomsday conspiracy to the envious women who felt like they had gone down many levels below in terms of beauty, a symphony of the orchestra, a holy grail for the dying.

Depends upon the perception of each viewer. Like the painting of Mona Lisa, a photograph can be as just great.

This year, and most particularly this spring season, the members of Manipur Photography Club have uploaded pictures through social media sites with great enthusiasm and most of their works are, umm, boombastic…makes me crave for "Mais Um" all the way.

Most photos uploaded by our Kangleicha brethrens of MPC are superfantastic as well as visual treats especially those related to Yaoshang festival. I beamed with pride to see some the gaze-hooking and mesmerizing photos which I hadn't in my wildest imaginations could have thought that such photos could devour moments or digest the truth that my Kangleicha brethrens have gone one level higher than I had expected, but they did.

Most of the photographs kept me spellbound for moments on end. I give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the members of Manipur Photography Club for their enchanting collections.

Photography is a great hobby. But you can be a pro too. Once you make a big bang among the many national and international photography competitions, there will be a beeline for you from many firms and corporations and you can really make a career out of photography. Once renowned, throughout the world, fat cash will follow you.

There are also websites that pays for good photographs. Keep climbing higher, my dear brothers and sisters of Manipur Photography Club. Your mesmerising works will bring out Manipur in front of the world and make it a "real" tourist destination.

My best wishes to all the stakeholders of Manipur Photography Club for their splendid job and a Happy Sajibu Nongma Panba "Cheiraoba" to all and sundry.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at kambamsamarjit0(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on March 31, 2017.


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