World Photography Day for a Non-photographer

Just yesterday I returned from an 11 day paradisiacal trip with Photo Commune.

Photo Commune, iphone travel photography

When photographers are photographed!
Photo Commune posing early morning at Chandrataal, Lahaul.

Mr. Idris Ahmed is the founder and mentor of this group of happy photographers. An ace travel photographer and a dear family friend, Idris bhaiya mentioned about a photography camp that he was planning at 4500 m (above sea level) to Lahaul-Spiti. Haven’t heard of Lahaul and Spiti? That’s exactly what has kept it ethereal still. He said, it’s going to be a life changing experience and I decided to join in simply as a traveller from another field of arts. The icing on the cake was Yeashu, my husband, joining us for what became his first ever holiday during work days (which tend to be 355 days a year given the workaholic he is). Yeashu owes his photography bug to Idris bhaiya who has been one of his inspirations since childhood. As for myself, I have only been an onlooker, sometimes a subject, to the little windows of his clicking spree, without holding any active interest in clicking.

However, the time and space spent with Photo Commune made me, a non-photographer, feel the spirit of photography in a completely new way.

5 reasons Why and How:

  1. Photo Commune and Mr. Idris Ahmed

    Takcha, Lahaul-Spiti, travel photography

    The man behind Photo Commune, Mr. Idris Ahmed.
    (picture credit: Yeashu Yuvraj)

  2. Yeashu, the better half

    shadow shot, solang valley, rainy day

    Yeashu and I. One of my favourite shots from my phone

  3. The breathtaking Spiti with its negligible tourism

    From Dhankar Monastery, Spiti

    Confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers as seen from Dhankar Monastery

  4. A phone with a camera but without network

    phone photography, Budhha silhouette

    Budhha, Sun-set, Langza Village, my phone and no network

  5. An open mind

    abstract, monastery

    Another favourite from my phone camera. This is the interior of a cylindrical cloth chandelier decorating a monastery

I am no formal member of Photo Commune (so far :P) but I was made to feel like a seamless part of the commune. The beauty of travelling with 17 to 45 year old photographers was the range of perspectives, not just in picture frames but in just about anything. My ears, strangers to photography talk, quite enjoyed the most natural kind of discussions that a group of photographers would have- serious photography, time tested DSLRs, this lens and that lens, all kinds of settings, the coolness of the GoPro camera to the fun of phone photography, slo-motion vidoes, panoramas, time lapses, 360 degree photography and the endless of all apps mastered by the youngest member, Aarjav. While I felt the spirit of travel photography so close, I also made friends over nature, music and food which brought photographers and non-photographers onto the same platform and allowed meaningful exchange; they shared about visuals while Yeashu and I shared about voice. Surprisingly, we ended up conducting a small singing-recording exercise on-the-go.  Coincidentally Yeashu was carrying just enough studio equipment with the hope that we might just need to record the sounds of paradise. It eventually came in handy when Photo Commune sang into the mic at 4500 m above sea-level 🙂 How we sang will be out sometime!

All in all, the real spirit of photography that I’d like to recall today is the freedom with which my fellow-travellers from Photo Commune shared tips to pitfalls, cameras to lenses, angles to settings, buckets of jokes, oodles of Nutella and dollops of peanut-butter.

As for the life changing experience, it deserves explanation in several more posts as this is just not enough.

For now, Happy World Photography Day 🙂 Check out Photo Commune on Instagram

P.S.: Pls bear with the compromised size of the pictures. Given the average internet speed, chances are they won’t load in better quality.

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