Photography, Travel, Art: Living it All – Dinesh KumarDecember 5, 2017
I belong to a village where people care about each other leading simple, interconnected lives filled with events of life, happy and sad, always celebrated with feelings. There lies its tradition and sense of shared experience and community. Knowing each other meant knowing people in and out, not just the peripheral life events. After my schooling, I joined NIT Rourkela where I met people from different places with different cultural and economic backgrounds. Smarter, passionate people following their dreams.
I saw people who still complain, despite having everything. People who curse life for every other thing that’s happening to them. However, I grew up in a place where life is not sophisticated yet people do not abandon the smile. I love observing people and study their emotions. Observing people eventually became a part of my life and I started to realize that I have to capture them whenever I can. I started capturing the emotions of people through my mobile phone. I was a nomad roaming the streets and villages in search of austerely simple yet inspirational and interesting lives.
Capturing people’s emotions was a way in which I can relive the stories again and not a photography- interest. Clueless faces looked at me when I clicked them and I told them that the world would know their story. People living on the streets, sharing their food even when they don’t have enough to fill their own stomach, moments like these forced me to think more about life.
One day I saw a photography competition and theme was ‘Friendship’. One of my batch-mate’s friends were conducting the competition. Having a large collection of street lives prompted me to submit some of my photos and forget, as there wasn’t a chance for me to win but I got shocked when my name was announced as the winner.
I was the only participant to shoot photos on a mobile phone camera. His parents were there to present the trophy. While receiving the trophy his mother told me “Those pics touched our heart. Keep clicking” and those words hung in me for a long time. My photos received critical comments when they were published in the college magazine, the only thing running through my mind was, my photos touched someone’s heart. I started clicking more after that. I started capturing everything around me. My focus was lives on the street. As I finished my college, I went on a Himalayan trek.
I never believed the saying, “An engineer went on a road trip and a photographer returned” until it happened to me. I was still an amateur to photography but that was the first time when people applauded my photographs.
I was a different person after that trek. The life of mountain people had a lasting impact on me.
Honesty, simplicity and away from the materialistic world. Life is not easy there but the simple honest thoughts of those people made me rethink about the world in which we live. Traveling was not fun anymore for me. It was something I deeply connect, a part of my life. That is when I started writing about my journeys and my website www.lifeinaframe.in came into existence.
I joined Tata motors with my mind fully occupied with traveling and photography. Working 6 days a week and capturing western ghats in the weekend was routine for me. This part of my photography was more of nature, landscape, and travel.
I was satisfied when people who criticized started to appreciate. On that day, I realized I can be much better than what I am. I decided to capture something more than the usual and I bought my first DSLR. After a few trial photos, I started exploring the options available in the DSLR to obtain better photographs. I decided to go on a solo journey so I decided to explore the Scotland of East: Meghalaya. I traveled more than 700 km in just 4 days and honestly, that wasn’t enough.
Starting from east of the mountain range to the west, then to south-west and finishing up east. I started as early as a 5’o clock in the morning and called a day at 8’o clock in the night.
My fingers lost the sense, the foot was sore and my back ached after such long drives. My backpack was too heavy and dragged me down. Was I tired? Didn’t know. Was I exhausted? Didn’t matter, many more questions filled my mind, but the answer was always the same: I knew I am alive doing this.
Maybe I am gradually inclining towards travel photography. In a 9 to 5 job it’s difficult to travel frequently and I had to have some other things to capture when I was not traveling. That’s when I started experimenting with light painting photography in my room.
Daytime at office and night inside a dark room experimenting with the light painting that’s how I passed my days. I was so obsessed with photography that I didn’t want to be an exclusive travel photographer,I wanted to create everything with the camera in my hand. I wanted to explore all varieties of photography especially that involved playing with light.
Secluded in a hotel room for months I tried to capture human emotions, more of this part involved portraits presenting various mood. People have told me that my photographs and paintings instill a deep thought and set in intense emotions to the viewer.
I believe art never comes from happiness. It’s a scream of freedom. A freedom that every artist tries to express in his or her thoughts. I draw inspiration from every artist I come across, be an amateur or a professional, as long as there is something to learn. I feel the emotion from every model or object from the photographs the artists capture.