A morning spent with antique cameras and old-school photography
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A morning spent with antique cameras and old-school photography

On the occasion of National Camera Day, we met senior photographer Ashish Bhattacharya

A morning spent with antique cameras and old-school photography

Among all inventions, the camera allowed us to preserve memories in the shape of real images, changing the face of the future forever. Every year June 29 is observed as National Camera Day. The origin of National Camera Day is unknown, but the day is dedicated to celebrating the existence of the camera and its importance in our lives.

Ashish Bhattacharya

On the occasion of National Camera Day, we met senior photographer Ashish Bhattacharya (58) at National Bal Bhavan Delhi’s photography department. The man who has been teaching photography since 1989 has spent his life around cameras and photography.

"I believe in previous times, photographs reflected a deeper meaning. Nowadays, technology has upgraded but art and skill have lessened", says Ashish.

He continues, "Camera is not only a tool which you can buy and become a photographer. From previous times to now, many cameras came to market but one thing which remains the same is art and skill. You need to invest your time, hard work, and especially your heart into it. The more you play and explore with your camera, the more you will learn."

Ashish took us through their rich collection of antique cameras. Some of them were Antique spy cameras, Folding cameras, Vintage flash, Box cameras, Rangefinder cameras, Miniature cameras, Twin lens reflex cameras, the latest SLR cameras and many others.

Talking about how he started his photography journey, he says, "Photography is my first love since childhood. At first, I used to click pictures as a hobby but when one of my friends gifted me a camera, I did nothing else than photography."

“The times have changed. Young people think they have become professional photographers the day they buy a camera. During the 90s, it used to take me 1-2 months just to learn how to set the camera's focus. Nowadays people click pictures in Auto mode and do photography. But operating a camera and clicking pictures in all the modes, in a professional manner is not easy. It can take almost 10 years to become a professionally skilled photographer. Now people click 100 pictures in a few minutes but during my times, we had to cover everything in 36 shots only.” he says.

CitySpidey also talked to some kids in Ashish's class who had come there for their photography class.

Amit Kumar (18), a resident of Shahdra, says “I’m still confused about what I want to pursue as a career. My parents want me to become a Doctor but I want to be a photographer. I’m here to learn photography because I always wanted to learn how a Single Lens Reflex SLR camera works and how to click pictures. At Bal Bhavan's photography course, we don't need to pay anything to learn this skill and we also got a chance to see various types of cameras from old times. Right now, I click pictures on my phone but I hope one day I will buy my own SLR.”

Amit Kumar

Rishabh Jha (16), a resident of Yamuna Vihar, says “I love nature photography and enjoy watching the moon and sunset. My mother always scolds me because they don’t want me to pursue photography. But photography is my passion, and for this, I travel a lot in Delhi."

Rishabh Jha

Anmol Chaurasia (16), a resident of Kanahiya Nagar, says “My interest in photography increased when I entered class 10, before that I used to click pictures for fun. Some of my friends in school told me about this photography course so, I joined. I want to become a product photographer and pursue photography as a career. My parents always support me and I’m planning to pursue my graduation and Master's in photography. I also want to do a professional course in photography and learn Spanish.”

Anmol Chaurasia
All pictures credit: CitySpidey