Digitisation isn't a real threat to photographers

  • Anindita Acharya, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 17:17 IST
From L: Cinematographers Sirsha Roy and Soumik Haldar.

One of the most common sights at Princep Ghat these days is the increasing number of visitors clicking random photographs. So much so, that there are more photography enthusiasts who are to be spotted at this place than nature lovers who have come to unwind and enjoy the sunset from the banks on river Hooghly. You will experience a similar thing the moment you log on to Facebook where your timeline is flooded with innumerable photoshopped images with plentiful likes and comments.

Smartphones, it seems, have changed the way we have clicked photographs so long. Today, everyone claims to be a photographer, thanks to the rapid advancement of technology. Applications such as Instagram, Little Photo and Snapseed give you options of not only clicking but also editing photographs just with a simple touch of your fingers. So, has that made everyone a pro or are we mere amateurs, who just love uploading photographs on social networking sites to get the maximum number of likes and comments?

Soumik Haldar, cinematographer of films such as Chander Pahar, Autograph, Mishor Rahasya and Jaatiswar, accepts that clicking photographs have definitely become easier these days given the easy access to high-end in-built mobile phone cameras. However, that doesn't pose a threat to professional photogs. "Digitisation has made photography look simple but one needs to have the eye of a photographer to click a perfect photograph. People are definitely expressing their emotions more through photography these days but I don't feel this advancement in technology, particularly in-built cameras in mobile phones, poses a threat to the art of photography at all," says Haldar on World Photography Day.

Photographer Atanu Paul of Third Eye echoes Haldar's sentiments. "There are so many applications that can be used to edit photographs on mobile phones these days but we still love leafing through the pages of a Raghu Rai book. Same goes for newspaper. We might be reading news on the web today but we can't do without a newspaper in the morning. Yes, these days mobile phones provide high-megapixel cameras but there are both advantages and disadvantages of technology," says Paul.

Thanks to the advancement in technology, today not only documentaries and short films but also full-length feature films are being shot on mobile phones. As we progress, the content and medium too will get diversified. Cinematographer Sirsha Roy of Badshahi Angti and Ebar Shabor fame says that every art needs to abide by some basic philosophy. "We can also click great pictures on my iPhone. During such times, we don't follow those rules. There are photographers who still prefer using analog cameras. Now people are making short films on iPhone and sending it to various film festivals across the globe. The smart phones might have flooded the market, but that doesn't affect the quality of photographs clicked by professionals," he says. So, happy clicking.

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