Wikipedia defines it as 'the science,art,application and practice of creating durable images'.
I always assumed the act of taking a photograph as quite simple: you point at something you like, and you shoot!
Boy, was I in for a rough surprise.
From childhood itself, I was fascinated with images: the colors they emit, the emotions they convey. The most amazing thing about photos, is that everyone is unique. You may take a hundred photos from the same location along with a hundred other photographers, but your's will always be somehow, someway, different from the rest. Never again in the history of time will the same image be replicated.
Having grabbed my first ever job as an IT guy at the age of 23, my first ever investment with my salary was getting a DSLR. I had to learn how to use an SLR at the first place, and keeping the monetary constraints in view, I got myself an entry level device which packs a lot of punch: the Nikon D5200.
I spent hours learning the workings of a DSLR, and I spent even more time learning about photography and what it is all about. However, soon I reached a point where books and videos satisfied me no more, I had to go out and shoot.
My long working hours left only the weekends free for me to go out and take photos, so I had to make the most of my time.
Being a resident of Kolkata, India, there were tons of places around where I could go out and take photos. The hustle and bustle of Kolkata, it's colors, people and culture are well known all over the world.
My first venture out with my camera was in the evening of a Saturday.
I took a walk through Esplanade, with my settings on full manual. Little did I know the dismal quality of photos I would come up with.
Having taken a lot of photos, I came back home happy. It was only when I popped the RAW files in lightroom that I noticed almost all of them turned out to be blurry.
The evening lights wasn't enough for a fast shutter speed, and while trying to keep my ISO levels low, my shutter speed dropped too much for handheld shooting. My 18-55 kit lens wasn't helping much either.
I was very disappointed with the failure of my first ever photowalk. The weekend was at an end, and the next day I went back to office woefully crestfallen.
A week later, I was ready to try again. This time I was confident of not making the mistake of shooting handheld in less than ideal lighting conditions . It was 3pm when I left my house for a photowalk in Girish Park, hoping to catch some good photos in the golden hour light. I came to know it was advisable to keep the mode dial in Aperture priority for street photography so that you don't have to fiddle with your settings always, and I did the same. I was happy with the results I came up with this time.
Thankfully, the light was just good enough to cast a golden glow on everything around me, and for the first time in my life, I experienced the thrill of chasing light.
I knew then and there, this was just the beginning of something wonderful.