understanding the aesthetics of photography


there are so many things to learn, how many will you cover? you will do good only in the things that interest you most or those that you have the urge to have a grasp over. besides, some qualities are just gifted to you by the one up there. this afternoon, i attended a workshop on photography and digital production organised by the digital production club of my university. although i appeared almost at the end of the workshop, i was impressed by the aesthetics and contents, nabil, one of the senior students at the university discussed and described. i found his presentation beautiful, especially the photographs he displayed and described.

i remember an image telling the story of a tea garden manager, where the photograph captures him on his motorbike large and bold from a low angle. the image rightfully described his supremacy and control over the garden and its staffs. nabil described the image very well. among his series of images on old dhaka there was one where an old lady and a cracked brick wall with very little space between two structures defined the aesthetics of the area and its heritage. the horse cart is one of the symbolic subjects of old dhaka but a crack on the taxi windshield, a reflection from the meter reading ‘for hire’ and a black and white effect synchronised the image all the more for delivering the feel of the area. another photograph i was drawn into was a young girl carrying sand bricks on top of her head and a brick bank behind her, which was photographically colourful and also captured the girl’s expression of pain.

along the process, i also realised, even though i have my eyes and emotion to describe and appreciate good works, i don’t quite fit in the quality to work behind the camera or capture these images that i found so interesting. there are certain things that you are better off watching others do. most of my batch mates are however, very enthusiastic about making similar works of their own. it’s good if they are able to groom themselves up for it.

throughout the workshop, i have also learned that photography is not just about clicking the camera. it requires a lot of effort to make a good photograph. you need to understand the balance between the shutter speed, aperture, frame, subject, content, focus, depth of field and many more to make an image perfect. all that i have gained from the workshop is a tip of the iceberg of photography and all the more respect for my photographer friends. it’s not an easy task. it requires a lot of determination.

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