The Colors of India
Rajen Nair a photo journalist from India who has a very nice photography website. He is a freelance Photographer cum Journalist based in Mumbai. His works have been published in Guardian Weekly UK, Huffington Post USA, DNA an Indian daily, Himal a southeast magazine and other publications. He used to also contribute to Oh My News and we first met in Seoul, South Korea, during the 2007 edition of the Oh my News International Forum. (Seoul pics.)
His own website is indeed a great contribution to cyberspace. A place where you can see, almost touch and feel many of the fantastic aspects of India today. Sure you are going to enjoy the following interview, I am sure you will like his work: The colors, spirit, hardship, joys and beauties of India are there for you to browse as you please.
How did you begin photography?
I was always interested in photography. During my travels I used to carry a box-type camera and would try taking snapshots in various angles. A personal incident in my life led to photography. Four years back I had undergone an ear surgery. Thereafter I lost complete hearing in one ear and subsequently got … tinnitus (nonstop ringing in ear, which has no cure).
In order to get some relief from the buzzing ear I sought to pursue photography. I enrolled in photography class. I first brought a semiprofessional film camera F-65 and later switched to a digital camera.
The images you see in my site are taken from Nikon D-70 and D-90 camera backed by Nikon lens ranging from 18- 70 and 24mm. Since I was already into writing articles I felt adding visual images would enhance my writing. I think photography and writing makes a great combination.
What photographers inspired you?
A few names that come to my mind are the all-time great Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams and Robert Adams. I am greatly influenced by the work of Indian Photographer Raghubir Singh and Raghu Rai.
Can you highlight some of your work.
I had done extensive work shooting photo documentary on Mumbai slum including Dharavi which is Asia's largest slums and the background to inspire Oscar won movie Slum dog Millionaire. Besides I had covered most Indian festivals also. My latest work is a photo documentary on India's tribal from Nilgiri Hill in South India. (slideshow)
What do you enjoy doing most photography or writing?
I enjoy doing both equally. I believe both writing and photography acts as great complementary to each other and helps enhancing the quality of my work.
It is being debated that photojournalism is on the decline what is your take on this?
Everyone is aware that with the print media, globally is affected with the explosion of television channels and internet networking. So the prospect of getting work assignment for freelance photojournalist is limited and also the job opportunity for budding photographers.
What is your advice to young photographers?
Photography is an expensive affair, right from purchasing digital camera and enrolling in photography classes. To begin with one can buy a low end semi-professional camera and then learn the basics of photography, such as about lighting, exposure, aperture, shutter speed as this will help you to make optimum use of your camera as a tool to shoot your best shot.
One evolves as a photographer from practice and trail and error. As far as beginning a career in photography I would advice photographers to seek a job in the media as press or travel photographer which will be your learning curve to ultimately becoming a freelance photographer.