APS Behind the Lens: Experiences
When I was young, my father encouraged me to always observe the world. He taught me ‘to see’. He would stop suddenly and say, ‘Look at that!’ The colour of one leaf, texture on a rock, or the shapes of the clouds.
At school, I selected art and art history in my studies. I acquired an early understanding of the importance of colour, light, composition, and the lessons one can learn in art movements throughout history.
Just out of school, I began to travel in Africa and Asia. I bought a small Instamatic film camera along with me, and soon learned that with only a few exposures, you needed to ensure the shot was well framed and interesting.
Now, much later, I have continued my goal to capture an image that freezes a moment in time, pleases the eye, and tells a story.
This photograph, Experiences, encapsulates my approach to photography, and it continues to elicit a strong emotional impact each time I see it.
It was captured in 2010 on a trip to India, when I had returned to Varanasi. I was walking along the top and less populated area of a ghat, when I noticed a Saddhu (Holy man) sleeping on his back on a mat.
I had an immediate urge to take a photograph, but was conscious of offending, so I passed by and took some photographs of life and activities along the river. At the time, I had with me my first DSLR, a Canon 40D.
When I returned, the Saddhu was in the same place and was still asleep. This time, I could not resist my urge to frame the shot. Looking back, I wasn’t so much interested in his photograph; I was captivated by his feet.
On this ancient ghat, his feet talked to me and told me a thousand stories. This Saddhu’s feet carried with him a lifetime of history, culture, and stories.
I approached, took two shots, then continued along my way. The Saddhu continued to sleep. This photograph has continued to inspire me to capture life’s moments and treasure what I see.
Since that day, I have photographed a kaleidoscope of different peoples and their cultures. I have celebrated the colour, their cultural diversities, admired the beauty, and listened to the stories and histories of the ages. ❂