I Never Thought ‘Negative’ – Abhinavanand SinghSeptember 25, 2017
“If I don’t get to click more than about 100 different pictures everyday, I don’t let the day pass.”
Well yes, that’s me, Abhinavanand Singh. Currently a student of English Literature (along with Physics as my minor) in the University of Delhi. I didn’t even know how to hold a DSLR properly till about three years ago and today I’ve used some of the most rare photographic devices ever made. That’s how things have changed for me.
I always knew I had a poetic vision (much before I understood what literature was). Some sort of depiction of emotional and metaphysical varieties always trickled into my expressions. Be it while enacting, while writing, while directing a shot or while sketching, I had a knack of perspectives, but I never saw it in the ‘negative’ way.
In the month of September, of the year 2015, I got an android phone from my father (namely – Intex Aqua Y2 1GB) for my personal usage as I had entered my college life. This boon marked the major beginning of my career in photography. Prior to this, I’d used Point and Shoots (like the Sony Cybershot) in birthday’s and picnics and other phones (like the Nokia Asha 302) to capture the awkward faces staring at the cake or the irritated faces that stood against the sun just to get captured next to a monument. But it all changed when I had a capturing device to my disposal.
People ranted and chanted as to how having a DSLR is probably the only way to be a photographer, but I, being the poetic-rebel I am, began giving screen to my queer perspectives. I said to myself explicitly (and to the world implicitly) that I’d show everyone my perspective through whatever resource I have (an 8 megapixel rear camera that was equivalent to a previous generation 3.15 megapixel camera from which you would expect only disappointment) and I defined my course that day. First I joined Instagram as I wanted an appropriate space to shell out my content and then I started posting whatever best I got from each day’s random shots. I clicked every day, every time. I chronicled all of my uploads with something funky – #DUswag or #DUkeBaharWalaSwag . They were shots of random things – from the clichéd flower close-ups, to my theatre society practicing a script, to weird patterns in the granite below me. Slowly I started to understand the latent technicalities of this process and willfully read about the physics that ordered the lenses (just to let you know that I love Physics more than any girl). My unique visions got their elementary dimensions and I saw improvements in what I captured. Keeping in mind my motive of posting the best of every day on Instagram, I edited that specific shot on my phone and uploaded it. My intention was to make it my best yet and I received positive responses from people as they started asking which camera I used (and most of them couldn’t tell that those weren’t from a DSLR). Such developments led to the birth of the hashtag #PhotographyAgain , that I started adding to those posts apart from the swaggy ones. I edited my photos in the measly (yet mighty) editor app that was inbuilt into the gallery of Android 4.4.1 (Kitkat), but the results were worth a glance. Days passed and the praises started accumulating, but I wouldn’t stop. Shortly after I got a remarkable sign of capability in my work, I decided to post daily. One photo, one write-up, daily (the write ups bourne the post with #TheHummingPoet ). During all this, I tried to get my hands on any phone, any camera which I could find with my friends or the people around me. I constantly asked people, friends, acquaintances to give me their phone to capture their moments. While my benchmates played lusciously-animated games and savoured high-definition movies on their phones, I spent my sight over editing my photos. For editing was no less than a creative play to me, or nothing below enjoying a great movie. I edited sets and sets of photos for fun and the magic kept happening. I never ran out of photos (and still don’t, because you never know when I’m clicking). I like to click all the time, in order to capture every vision I have because I never stopped having visions.
When asked about what is photography, I end up smiling (like I always do). My explanations keep evolving, but for now I’d just say that for me, photography is visual-poetry. Just like the discussions that happen in our (English Literature) graduation classes, that I call ‘playful-wisdom’, photography is another form of ‘playful-wisdom’ for me that is visual and poetic in nature. Drawn more towards abstract photography, I love to click patterns, hidden symbols, architectural caveats, symmetrical spectacles, etc. Of course I also do the other (more general, commercial, and better known) forms of photography, because what finally matters to me is that I get to capture a fraction of this universe. What is very intrinsic in my shots is the uniqueness of vision. You’ll find a strange and uncanny perspective of a very familiar location or object which I show in my photos. That’s a must. Something new and something random is necessary, or else I don’t exist. Eventhough I’m a photographer (as per what people like to call me), I never forget that I am a pencil-sketch artist too, as it gives me the same pleasure of delivering images that clicking does. Even a few of my stand-up comedy performances had a unit upon “a photographer’s experiences” in which I talk about the funny plights of a photographer in today’s world. Photography is deeply rooted inside this soul.
After around 16 months (from that September), my Instagram saw a sudden boost and I reached the count of 5000 followers around the March of 2017. This was a tectonic shift in my journey. People started taking my passion quite seriously. Brands, models and companies began approaching me for assignments. The world acknowledged the presence of my vision among others perspectives. Since about 3 months now, I’m also daily uploading a series called the ‘TAP TO EDIT series’ in my stories that feature the unedited and edited versions of the post of the previous day. And I’ve got an amazing response from my audience to this series too. Today I’ve worked for start-ups, medium level brands and also for some top level companies and their major projects. Apart from the still medium, I’ve also worked in short films and web series.
I was a performer since childhood but slowly I also made my way to being behind the lenses and trust me, both sides are equally delighting. When I see people copying the signature elements of my shots, my style of series and themes (and of course my quirky hashtags), I find myself to be elated and drawing even more enthusiasm than ever before. And all this happened due to my will to show this world in a different and more artistic way (as compared to what people see everyday). The huge amount of support and criticisms I receive propels me to race further on this path. Today I handle much better phones and state of the art gears at my command, but I still carry my Intex phone with me, always and also click with it.
To all those who have a frugal device that has a camera, keep clicking for what matters is the vision and not the resolution. If you have the will to say, go, click and show.
And you know what, the only regrets that I’ll have the day I die are that the day’s Instagram post (the photo and the caption) and the TAP TO EDIT series’ edition won’t go on air.