NEW DELHI India --
Can you click great photos with your smartphone? India’s
most celebrated photographer proves that it is very much
possible with his new photo book of these photos, and gives
you some tips for outstanding photography, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.
Click with your heart, not your brain, said India’s most
celebrated photographer, Raghu Rai.
Speaking at a meeting of young photographers in New
Delhi, he was sharing his experience of an assignment using
a smartphone, Gionee Elfie E8.
The photos he shot have been published as a coffee table
book, ‘India Through the Eyes of Raghu Rai’.
You can’t buy this book but can get it for free when you
buy this smartphone online for Rs. 36,000 (US$ 545 approx.)
Raghu Rai travelled the length and breadth of India
clicking with this smartphone in colour and black and white.
An exhibition of his photos was mounted outside the
auditorium by the mobile company that displayed enlargements
of these photos up to 3 by 6 feet.
The audience lapped up his tips and experiences.
Shoot with your emotion, your feelings, your being, he
repeated throughout his talk.
Use your sensitivity, your emotions while taking photos.
If you have a great photo saved in your brain, forget it
when you shoot something similar.
Shoot for that particular moment, that special
experience, that unique atmosphere.
Most people try to focus on a central subject; but move
away from that to capture the big picture, the background.
Some photos are better in black and white, even today,
when colour is all the rage.
If an event is sad, black and white is more suited to
capture the occasion or the event.
Asked if he had a digital camera in the 70s and 80s,
would his career been different, he replied that since he
started using digital cameras from 2002 onwards, he found
that it gave him more freedom to shoot more frames and
instantly see the result.
Yes, digital cameras would have helped him to shoot
thousands of more photos, he said.
Using a smartphone is easier.
He always used a professional Nikon camera and a 24x85
A smartphone is easier to carry than a camera and a zoom
The six inch screen of Gionee E8 provides a much bigger
screen than a normal camera.
But he used a Selfie stick to handle the slippery
No, he does not favour 'Selfies' as their zoom effect
distorts faces unless a 'Selfie' stick is used.
Sharing how he began his career in its 50th year, he
recalled that he ran away from his home as his father wanted
him to become an engineer and started to live with his
brother who gave him a camera.
He shot some photos and his brother sent one of them to
‘The Times’ in London where it was published across a
number of columns.
And the rest is history.
The newest book of Gionee E8 images has stunning photos
in sharp detail and clarity with the trade mark Raghu Rai
touch: a person or object in foreground, but not central,
and the background setting the stage or the mood.
For 21 days, he travelled from Kashmir, the most scenic
state, to Kanyakumari he calls the feet of Mother India and
all over the beaches and the temples, the cities, towns and
the places he loves all across the land.
"It was the freedom and the ease which I got from this.
"I simply kept playing with it like a toy.
"For me at this point in my life I don’t want to behave
like a serious guy.
"I want to play around with tools and things.
"This project was a fascinating affair with no
responsibilities and no liabilities," he told PTI on the
sidelines of his book’s launch.
Confirming that he still looks at everything like a child
who never gets bored, he advised the young generation to
pause and let the heart take over before pressing the
It’s not instant, like junk food.
A great chef takes time; he carefully chooses the
vegetables, prepares them delicately, takes his time and
then serves a delicious meal.
The same with taking a great photograph.