Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Say cheese ... please! 

I'm not one of those people who loves posing for photographs. For starters I look terrible in most photographs. Secondly, I look drunk in all my photographs (for a teetotaller that's not a compliment). And thirdly, my eyes are open in one out of ten photographs. Hence, I normally play the guy in the group who says "Go go. You guys stand. I'll take the photograph."

However, I have friends who love to be clicked. They carry a camera to every freakin place they visit. They want to capture every restaurant, house and lawn they've been to. Even public restrooms are not spared from their passion. They take the photographing bug to a different level altogether. Every event has to be captured twice. First they'll take a photograph of the golden moment themselves. Then they'll ask someone else to take the exact same picture but this time with them in it. Then they'll come and take a look at the just taken snap and sulk for twelve seconds before saying "hmmmm! the angle is not right, errrr, hmmmm ... do you mind taking another photograph?" and pose again. Quite the ordeal I'd say.

But seriously, with the advent of digital cameras, there's this whole new specie of photographers now. What used to be an art form is now a standard. My dad has a Pentax camera which he took (and takes) great pride in showing off. I was raised with the notion that you have to be a genius to even come near that device. Every snap he took was preceded by careful planning and a looooooong lecture ("No no. Mampan .You are facing the light source the wrong way. One, two, three, smile, four, five, Mamapan move to the right, six, seven ...") During family weddings, Bubin would get only the very special level of treatment. All the family members would try to remain in his good books so that they got clicked a few extra times. Then there was always be the hoard of annoying children who'll follow him and somehow appear in every photograph that was taken. My dad had the liberty of bullying some of them. "Go get me a another Thums Up," he'd tell one of them. The kid would try to strike a deal. "If I get you that will you take one photograph of just me?" he'd plead. Sometimes my dad would agree. Other times he'd just press the flash (yeah, we were innocent enough to assume that a flash meant a photograph) to hush up the crying kid. All in all, my dad occupied a different pedigree, courtesy the shutter box he carried. Aaaah! The good times.

Then in mid eighties a company called Hot Shots came and spoiled it all for him. They advertised themselves as the common man's camera, one that everyone and anyone could use. And suddenly my dad was no longer getting the extra ice cream he demanded during wedding ceremonies of distant aunts. People half my dad's age would take out a small camera and go clickety click. "Go get a Thums Up for me," Bubin would tell the glug wiping kid and he would snub back saying, "Even my dad has a camera. You go get your own Thums Up."

Still there was an element of mystique surrounding cameras. Once the photographs were taken, they would get sent to the studio for development. The whole process took two-three weeks. In that time people would wait in apprehension. Aunts who had taken their daughters all dressed up as future brides would queue up the moment the photographs appeared to see how well their damsels looked. The success of a group photograph could be gauged by how many "copies" of it was ordered. And then ... then the digital camera arrived.

Things changed again. Now people could take a snap, see what it looked like and take another snap pronto. Couples who were shy of even hugging for photographs, lest the creepy film developer keeps a copy of their intimate moment, now readily shot pics that would put playful bunnies to shame. If mp3s were what filled up the hard drives in the late 90s, then digital photographs became the major space occupier of the modern computer. People would have hundreds of carefully labelled folders of photographs, with names ranging from "Trip to Japan 2003" to "My new bathroom I, II and III". People like my father were almost ashamed to take out their cameras lest people start referring to them as grandpa.

You would think that would be it, right? You would think that as a generation we would be happy with a camera that allowed us to save thousands of images in it - right? But naaay! We greedy bastards wanted more. A lot more. And thus, some bright guy came up with the idea of adding a camera to a cell phone. And that did it. At least people were posing for a digital camera. But with the cell phone camera people started taking photographs of anything and everything they could see. "Darling I saw a dog pee on the road. It reminded me of you. So I took a snap and mailed it to you." "I'm watching Munnabhai again. Here is a snap of Sanjay Dutt standing ... here is a snap of him sitting down ... look, the guy next to me is wearing a red pant!!! Sorry it was a brown pant. Here, take another look at it ..." Yessss, that's the level of subjects we choose for our photographs now. It's no longer the wallpaper worthy flowers, or the Shhhhh! saying baby or even your smiling girlfriend. The subject of modern photographs range from dog poop to fornicating love birds ... and that's not what is scary ... what's scary is the question "What next???"

Coming Next: What people do when they get their photographs taken!!

Good to know that there is someone who doesnt want his foto clicked.. Join the club.. :D

Hehehe.. you reminded me of Dad\'s Yashica and my own recent vacation snaps, in which I rarely featured. Friends commented that it looked like out of a travel mag..

Btw, any idea what next? Na.. not on ur blog, what next subject for fotos.. ?:);)
U don't like to be clicked? sheesh! what are 160 gb hard disks for?
doodh .. ur quite funny! read thru ur earlier posts n sounds like "satc" thru a guys perspective.
@thesmilinggal - coming next is intelligent cameras that will tell you that you missed something obscure - so that you dont even miss the dumbest of dumb things!

@akanksha - for storing archives of this blog :)) what else??

@shwetha - thank you :)

@anonymous - knock knock. who's there? boo. boo who? stop crying you lil baby.
since you went to BITS, i'm sure you know what an 'art' all those DOPY photographs (incidentally, many taken with a Pentax SLR) were. :)) i had a friend who took pics of himself in the restroom mirror on a train from Santa Barbara to SFO with a digicam. :D
I hate getting pictures taken! Hate it when people insist that you be in the pictures they take - gosh!
But love to take pictures - I am a wannabe cool photographer! :) One day...! :D

Thums Up - waah... blast from the past indeed - I was more a Campa Cola person! :)
Dang...u came up with this one too!
I love being clicked, and I love clicking pics. Actually I am the heroine of ur post. :)

Now, for the "what's next" part. Let me turn to one of those pages in my future fiction book that I carry in my brain. I also update it time to time with my innovative bizzare ideas.
So next is...body embeddable cameras. So you can embed a camera inside ur index finger and click pics anywhere and of anything.
Recently I went to the next level; Camera embedded in your eyes! and a memory card embedded inside ur brain.
p.s: if in future these things actually come true...pls remember that I hold the mental patent of that technology.
@chary - i actually had dopy in mind. i almost want to go back to Pilani and see how the importance and functionality of Dopy has changed with the advent of digital cameras!!

@qsg - thums up still exists!!!! campa cola used to be cool though - and there was something called just Campa! blast from the past indeed!

@tweety - I have seen a lot of nasty people put their fingers in places you definitely don't want to seen photographed! eeeew! i just grossed myself out.
Oh where are you Mr.Teetotaller!! Girls just love one. I cannot understand why guys consume Alcohol!! If you were here, I would have proposed to you. I don't believe in Guy should propose a gal :)
Since you are begging.. cheese.
My photos don't come out great...make that abyssmal. So I try to take pics of others, but unfortunately for me, people I go with like my brother don't like to be photographed:))

So, most of the time, all the photos are results of candid camera:))
HeadLines is hilarious:))
@anonymous - oh how shueet. but i am not so shallow that as to letting distance come between our love. if you are young and hot and cute and rich and smart and funny and hot and hot and hot, i will come down wherever you are to propose to you :D

@shreemoyee - ha ha! lovely!

@theconscience - trust me that my photos are a lot worse!!! and thanks for liking the now defunct headLINES!!
Do you have a camera phone
@Anonymous here..what if I am Paris Hilton (meets your criteria), would you come to West Hollywood? Not so far away from you.
Hey, did u write anywhere where you work... just wondering and wanna confirm if we r really colleagues.. :) *really really wondering*
Well.. I just figured out where you work.. nopes, we are not gonna be colleagues.. :D
Blogs get you married too? :O

Sagnik jethu, the day your dad will be called a grandpa is not that far away. Ki kando.
@soo - i have a camera and i have a phone and i barely use either one of them :D

@paris - baby, if you are paris hilton i will travel to the hilton in paris for you :D

@thesmilinggal - chah!!!

@rimi - never underestimate the power of blogs and vip banyan. learn from history girl!
suddenly vetti again :).. went back to 2004 :) wish i was here earlier:)) >:D<
I grew up here in CA and my dad had a Nikon. You captured my childhood memories of my dad and the camera perfectly - just a world and a few minor cultural details away.

Loved the post!!!
its 1 AM.. and i'm still reading 2004 archives! do i have nth better to do? looks like it.. although i do have to wake up and go to office.. well the guy just confessed that he's confused, indifferent, crazy and disturbed! i cant wait to read what happens later!!
@akanksha - ha ha :) my posts read very different in 2004, mainly because the guy I used to steal ideas from then stopped blogging :D

@sunshine-lady - thank u for reading the blog :)
Dear Sir,

I am 'umbly and reshpectfully requeshting an update to your blog and HeadLines.

Have you seen that episode of FRIENDS where Chandler and Monica go to get their photograph taken for Christmas cards (or some such) and each time the camera is pointed at him his face freezes into this ghastly expression? Well..lets just say I identify totally with that. Sigh.
This is one of those posts which makes me question why I enver noticed stuff like these, though it was so obvious?
Of all your latest posts that I have read, ever since I started reading blogs, I like this one the most.
What happened to your one liner posts ? I hardly get time to read my emails :( can you draw pictures instead of writing those long posts :)
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