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  • Navin Vatsa

Unpublished Your Shot Blog on National Geographic

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

Q: What’s the story behind this photo?

A: I am a regular visitor of this place known as Yamuna Ghat in my city Delhi. During winter’s large numbers of migratory birds, Sea Gulls started coming here from the month of November and will stay till mid of March as per the temperature... Sometimes it’s more than magical and inspiring to watch their behavior, so I never miss to come at this place during winters, especially early morning...I am shooting this place from last 3 years.

Q: How was this image made?

A: This image was taken on 4th December, 2018 early morning at sunrise. This was a sudden moment, I saw this boy standing in a thinking mode and in the background large number of Sea Gulls where chirruping at their feeding time. Besides the physical layers between boy, birds and the boatman, the early morning golden light from east mixed with blue light of west was spreading completely a different essence in the surroundings. As a photographer recognizing the power of such light was completely a gift to me as this was creating a nice philosophical layers from right to left…Achieving philosophical layers and physical layers simultaneously in photography is one of the most challenging task. Really that day whole atmosphere has lot of literature to write…

Q. What do you think about when you’re photographing? A: I love to notice all those moments that are often overlooked…Observation is the primary key in photography that develop our patience to stay at the same place for ours in anticipation of some decisive moments that is probably going to happen. So I spent many days and many hours to places that I have observed and by reading the various activities, I try to imagine stories and finally I compose them when some defined situations occurs…During the process of making photographs some of the time moments are so spontaneous, that we don’t have time to think and we just compose them in fraction of seconds and add our views later…

Q: Why do you take pictures? A: Taking pictures is a natural phenomenon, even when I have not adopted photography as my profession, I love to shoot with my film camera and Point and shoot camera. Initially, capturing family moments were in my priority. After 2014 November, when I purchased my first DSLR, I started shooting much, started going out regularly, even early morning almost every day…with the start of the year 2016, I have started understanding my potential and started taking story telling photographs and realized that when I connect with my subjects deeply, I am able to make realistic compositions that defines something more than just a photograph, even from the most ordinary looking situations. After that I decided to tell those simple but extra ordinary stories that is unnoticed in this fast going daily life... By roaming on the streets of Delhi, many times I found my own life journey defined by many other characters either human, nature or animals. So reading and exploring my own personality or taking photographs are just vice versa to me…

Q: What do you like to take pictures of and why? A: I love to shoot people in their natural environment... For me it’s a process of writing stories or poetries form the surrounding. They are like various voices that somehow I got connected… It’s a medium to express my personality to the world that who I am… what I think…how I think…And I shoot only those things that I connect either that is of street or daily life or from my travel diary… I believe in imagination that comes from observing various situations that I encounter, either in my city Delhi or at my hometown, or travelling to many other places…

Q: What was the first photo you took? Or the first photo you took that was meaningful to you? A: Some images are more than a life time memories. Almost 12 years back I took this photograph when my son was just 3 months old and my wife was enjoying every moment with him. On those days I was habitual of clicking both with my film camera. After a sudden accidental death of my wife 10 years back, my life changes completely but I reunited myself with time and growing as a Single parent with my Son each and every day. But still this image is my most meaningful image of whole life time. This is the image that forced me to pick my camera again.

Below is that image:

Q: How would you describe your photographic style? A: For me Photography is not about style, it’s actually a thought process that take a shape through our compositions, either color or black and white, and should have the capability to force our audience to read them for longer duration. With time it automatically becomes your Identity that other people call style.

Q. What do you want to say with your images? A: In simple language, “with my Images, I try to explore myself as much as I can do”.

Q. Are you a self-taught photographer? If not, how did you learn to make photographs? A: I am a self-taught photographer. Before coming into Photography I taught Computer Applications up to master’s degree and served a private university as Joint registrar for over 16 years. So with current observations and by utilizing my academic experiences, I love to draw my stories in the form of photographs. Even from my childhood I am very good on drawing and painting and so with time when I adopted photography, I started exploring my all previous hobbies, learning and experiences of life in photography and working on some thought process like “Canvas Approach”, “Third Eye Perspective”, “Philosophical Layers” etc in last 3 years.

Q: Whose photography has influenced you the most? A: Frankly I did not like this word “Influence”, it sounds negative and not good for any photographer to get influenced from others. It kills your own personality and U started doing same thing or better to say copying others and lost your own identity in the crowed. So I suggest don’t become the part of such crowed…

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