May - 2019 - Suresh Naganathan

May - 2019

From this month onward, I aim to write more blog posts on my website. The goal is to create at least one at the beginning of every month where I take a look at what I have shot in the previous month and share some of my thoughts.

This will give me an insight into what has been interesting me, work on some new project ideas and give me an overall sense of direction. And hopefully, you guys will enjoy it too!

My journey restarted by paying homage to my favorite tree

May 2019 was the new beginning of my photography journey after a 2-month break to recover from ankle surgery. 2 months is a hell of a long time when you are addicted to something and nothing gave me more pleasure than to finally restart shooting!

Restarting this passion-obsession felt like a double-edged sword. On one side, there was tremendous excitement to get back on the streets, wandering slowly, being one with the crowds around.

On the other side, there was also a strange kind of pressure. A part of me felt that the forced break made me lose my eye. I feared that I didn't know how to take pictures anymore. 

04 May

Usually, when I get insecure, my remedy is to switch off the brain, follow the gut, and just shoot like there is no tomorrow. Strength in numbers is a tried and tested strategy and after a point, the old reflexes start coming back. 

12 May

One of the ways I use to get back on track is to go back to some of my old joints, in this case, Sassoon Docks. Usually, going to one of these extremely crowded joints helps me get back into the groove. I love trying to make sense of the chaos!

May 2019 was also the month when I started playing around with an external flash. It made me realize how hard photography is!

Before you take a shot, you have to make so many choices: where is the light? Where do you position yourself? What depth of field do you want? What do you want to capture? Over the years, you develop a style, a way of shooting and these questions become unconscious. You develop a habit and slowly things become easier.

Then you change things up: you bring in a flash, decide to shoot black and white, focus on a series, etc. and this makes you realize all over again how hard it is! With the change in approach (in my case, adding the flash), comes so many errors! I framed things wrong, I had to focus on how the flashlight interacts with the natural one, the distance with my subject is changing. I couldn't be invisible anymore, I needed to interact, smile, talk, get out of my comfort zone.

Photography is so hard! But that's what makes it so fun!

Finally, May was also a month where I finally started going to the bazaars in South Mumbai. This has been something I have been putting off for years but I finally found the courage to go to this daunting area and shoot the crowd.          

All in all, a fun month! The light was amazing, I was able to shoot to my heart's content and got some shots that I really like!

With the monsoon around the corner, the approach is going to change again and more challenges will come. Can't wait!

  • Hiren Khambhayta

    on June 2, 2019

    Beautiful article and Images Suresh Bhai, for me it's tough to event think about using flash on streets. Wish that level of guts gets developed with time. Keep them coming.