I do not remember exactly but it was sometime around when I was in class 6-7. I was quiet active in extracurricular activities and used to win prizes in many competitions. Those days, digital camera had not hit the market. During all those prize distribution ceremony most of the kids would come with their parents and with a camera to click a photo of their child getting prize. That was the time when I got developed the craze of being photographed but I was helpless and I never have a photograph of any award ceremony till 2006 when I got my first camera gifted by my brother-in-law Mr Biswa Bhusan Chhotaray.
It was also a funny incident when the marriage proposal of my sister got confirmed all were happy for the obvious reason but I was happy more than anyone because he was a cinematographer and I could now get a camera gifted. I told my sister Anusruta that I want him to gift me a camera, because he must have loads of camera, which I was perhaps too ignorant of then. However, I got my first camera KODAK EC 200. It was not a digital camera but I kept clicking. My first guide in photography was a friend who is a great artist now Sitaram, who had amazing ideas of photography. No wonder he was amazingly creative then and happens to be a very popular before he joined JJ School of Art. It was a silver color glossy Kodak which I still have and I cherish my memories with the beauty. However, the irony remained same though i had a camera but i had no one to click when i gets prize. However, this made me trying my hands on photography. The journey started with KODAK EC 200.
I used to save money to buy reel and get those photos printed. I still remember I was growing and my craze for a digital camera was increasingly growing. Then it came a time when i took admission in my mass com. I took this as a huge opportunity to buy a camera of my own as I was supposed to apply for study loan. It was Dhenkanal and Indian Institute of Mass Communication and I got a brand new black color Fuji Film HD 1000 Camera. The real journey of color, light, distance, micro, macro everything started with the sexy black beauty whose curves were my weakness those days.
I kept clicking with that for more than 3 years apparently which gave me loads of good names as a photographer, which I never had considered myself neither today I consider. Those days It was like I used to sleep with the camera and it had become my companion. It was very close to my heart still it reminds me those good old days.
It was a time when it started showing issues and I wanted to upgrade to a DSLR. I had then revived from my joblessness and struggle. However, I wanted a good decent DSLR which could give me both experience of digital photo and video where I can experiment a lot. However, I had no money and I wanted to get it by loan which was a difficult task for me to get it from bank. At the same time I was also saving money , so that I can afford the down payment of a new car which I needed badly as doctor had strictly restricted from riding bike after my ligament tear surgery. However, it was also a fact that i had got the phobia of riding bike. So I wanted to go for a car which I still do not have. One of the sad angle of the story. Anyway, according to the plan, I messaged a lot of people who were very close to me and asked for some money, I had thought I will get small amount of money from these people who won’t ask for it for next 2-3 months. It is worth mentioned that these were the people whom I had helped a lot both in cash and in kind earlier; ever few had borrowed money from me. But not a single person replied and helped. So I had only option to buy either car or camera.
For both the thing I needed 50,000 ruppes and only one friend Bikram who still is one of my closest friend borrowed me 10000 rupees and went Narayani Motors. Car was my first priority and that time only Maruti Alto 800 was available with a down payment of 50K. I went inside. Discussed everything and all documents were verified. They took me to show the car and comfort. I get into the car. Sat onto the driver’s seat and I could feel my extra-long legs were touching the steering wheels and it was such a discomfort to people with height. With the stroke of that disappointment my wishes of buying car got scattered and I am yet to have since last 3 years.
I came from the Narayani Motors and then immediately headed towards Bapujee Nagar, Spectra Vision. Our very own Prasant Bhai was waiting eagerly with his typical smile. I got the beast CANON 550D wit 18-135 Kit Lens.
Alok Mohanty, is the person who taught me basics of DSLR photography. I owe this to him. In due course i learned a lot of techniques. Starting from Sankar, Sunnil to Raj Sampad a lot of people have influenced me in their work. A lot many people have appreciated my work and i owe them for their constant encouragement. I would like to thank few subjects, who inspired me to click them. Anuradha, Madhu, Puspa these are few of my friends whom i loved to click and some of my best shots have featured their beauty.
The rest is history. I still consider myself an amateur and feel ashamed of saying myself as a photographer. Yes. I am a story teller with visuals. But there are a lot more to learn in photography. But yes, one decision I feel I took right that I never learned Photoshop. Because someone initially had told me Photoshop makes a photo better not a Photographer.
HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHY DAY.