World Photography Day: Frames of inspiration through a different lens
On World Photography Day (August 19), a few differently-abled shutterbugs share their visual tales. From battling visual impairment to coping with down syndrome, ADHD or dyslexia, these photographers have overcome a lot with their grit and determination, to click it right.
Photographs reflect ideas and emotions in a way that only a few things can. And when the person behind the camera has an inspirational journey of their own, every moment they capture turns even more magical. On World Photography Day, a few differently-abled lensmen from the city share their visual tales.
Pranav Lal, 43
Pursuing photography for over two decades is Lal, who overcomes his visual impairment by infusing technology with skill. “I like to share what I see with the world and that is what photography is! It all began around 2001, when I started using a visual prosthesis. This was the closest shot I had to get vision and was very intrigued by it. I have a piece of software, called The Voice, which gives me a form of low vision by converting live images into sounds,” explains Lal, adding, “What I look for are interesting shapes, landscapes and man-made structures. My objective is to perceive the world around me in my own way.”
Tarit Khanna, 29
Diagnosed with Down Syndrome at a young age, Khanna never let anything come in the way of pursuing his passion. “I am a professional photographer. I enjoy taking pictures of small animals like squirrels, birds, butterflies and also flowers. I often spend several hours at parks to spot them,” says Khanna, who has had his work featured at several exhibitions in the city. His mother, Anju Khanna, shares, “Initially he used to struggle to retain information due to lack of concentration and memory loss. But it’s been six years since he started his tryst with photography, and has since then, he has displayed immense skills and ability.”
Bharat Kumar, 44
Diagnosed with ADHD in his 20s, he has aced the art of photography by seeing things through his unique point of view. “A workshop curated for the differently-abled made me start my journey to take up photography professionally... Every time I click a good picture, and listen to people appreciate me, it feels really good,” says Kumar, and his mother Kirti, adds, “The art has made him much more confident and happier. Bharat liked photography despite a lot of challenges, such as closing one eye for focusing. Initially, he struggled to press the shutter on his camera. But, now, he has won the first prize in a pan-India competition held by The Art Sanctuary.”
Vikas Kapahi, 46
Overcoming the challenges poses by dyslexia and staying strong despite slow-learning abilities, Kapahi loves to experiment with portraits. “I have been clicking photos for six to seven years now. Mera kaam kaafi saari photography exhibitions ka hissa reh chuka hai. Every day, I visit my photographer friends and we all practise together,” he says. His mentor, Mohit Ahuja, a Delhi-based photography teacher, adds, “Vikas is the friendly photographer next door, who loves meeting people, talking to them and photographing them. While he loves travelling, the best of his work has come out in studio portraits. The emotions, the drama — he captures it all.”
Author tweets @karansethi042