Have you ever felt that warm glow of happiness course through every fiber of your mortal being? It can be described as what a woman feels when holding a new-born child for the first time; what a manager feels when his team wins the Champions League.

Yeah, I’ve felt it before. I felt it when I held it for the first time, nervous at first, more confident as time passed. When I fiddled with its settings and pushed its buttons. I still feel it when it captures the moment in an impeccable fashion and brings with it immense pleasure. I’m talking about my Canon EOS 500D. (I had you going for a minute there, didn’t I? You horny fuck.)

To many, the word ‘photography’ is synonymous to the word ‘Instagram’. If you felt a sense of foreboding or an eerie shiver crawl down the small of your back after reading the previous sentence, you should probably stop reading now; because let’s face it, iPhonographers annoy the hell out of me (and a lot of others). You guys take your noisy photos on your depressing 5 MP ‘cameras’, upload them to Instagram, add one of those dark and hazy filters, attach a cheesy caption and share it on Facebook, while hoping to get maximum ‘likes’.

Anyway, enough about that. So, what is it about photography that makes it such an irresistible and interesting art form? You begin your photography careers at the tender age of five with a point-and-shoot camera. Soon, you’re carrying it around everywhere. The curious contraption in your hand, which captures exactly what you’re looking at, excites you.

Your Dad decides to buy an SLR for himself; of course, within a fortnight, it’s yours. When you switch to ‘Manual’ mode on your SLR for the first time, you are lost in a sea of cluelessness; all the various numbers, dials and graphs encouraging you to stow it away and move on. And that is what happens for a while: you either use the SLR on ‘Auto’ or ‘store it in a cool and dry place’ as prescribed in the instruction manual.

But soon, as you slowly get used to that familiar weight in your hand, you begin to switch to ‘Manual’ more often. You begin to Google what all the little numbers mean as curiosity gets the best of you.

Photographers are artists – combining colors to perfection; choreographers – organizing, directing and innovating; architects – imagining, perfecting and building.

Not too long after, you shoot your first sunset on ‘Manual’, increasing shutter speed and decreasing the ISO.

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Then you begin to experiment with exposure composition, white balance and aperture.

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As you get better, you convince your travel-lover Dad to take you on an exotic holiday – a Kenyan safari.

Boom.

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Boom.

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Boom.

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– Adit Ganguly

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