Gagan Narang’s love affair with the camera commenced in 2004. “Former coach Stanislav Lapidus was a hardcore shutterbug and he infected me with the bug before leaving,” smiles the chubby rifle marksman.
What started as a hobby soon became a passion.
Not a “stereotype photographer”, landscapes, sunset and interesting faces fascinate Narang. “I like taking pictures of marksmen but not many faces come out because the gun stock perpetually comes in between. I think shooters would be more open to me as I am one of them. ‘Chilli’ (RVS Rathore) once told me ‘it is easier to smile for you than for strangers,” says Narang.
Though a professional course is yet to happen because of the preoccupation with shooting, Narang has a book on photography to his credit and even staged an exhibition in 2006. “Initially, I was using the SLR Canon 300D, but I bought this powerful camera from Beijing.”
Quiz him on his collection and the face lights up. “I have clicked 65,000 photographs and all of them are on my computer.” On memorable instances, Narang has a ready reply. “I clicked my best pictures while at Phillip Island on the southern-most tip of Australia. The great ocean road, the penguin parade...” Photography serves him in more than one way. “It helps me relax and keeps my fellow shooters happy.”
Scanning the Thodupuzha range with the camera in hand, Narang wishes “he had time for a professional course” but before one feels that the focus is wavering, come the words, “For now, the task is to get better in shooting. My kneeling posture is a bit weak in the 3-position event and hopefully it would be in place before the next World Cup.”
Apt words from a world champion, who incidentally notched his second gold at the 52nd National Championships on Saturday in 50m three-position.
Results final: 1. G. Narang (IA) (1163 + 98.4) 1261.4; 2. S. Rajput (Navy) (1159 + 99.5) 1258.5; 3. IH Khan (Army) 1249.3.