Capture the isolation

Updated: 25 April, 2020 09:27 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani | Mumbai

With nowhere to travel, no restaurants to eat at and no events to dress up for, two award-winning photographers suggest tips to aesthetically document life under lockdown

 Rai with children Nitin and Lagan
Rai with children Nitin and Lagan

Find the magic

We are back to living in larger setups at home, now that we are locked in, so rediscover the bonds, and begin to discover your own self. Photographing big events is not creativity, as they have dramatic moments and give you a higher possibility of dramatic pictures. It's what you create out of daily life which is special and important, and you will then be a master of big moments. Find the magic in your kids, your parents, your spouse, what will you look for outside if you haven't interacted at home and not sensitised yourself at home. Be it boring, special or aggressive, every emotion matters.

What you shoot should be an instinctive response that has emotions and feelings. For example, if you shoot a politician in a meeting, and show important people seated there, that's normal. It is the emotional response of the politicians to what is being said that makes for a good photo.

A portrait of daughter Avani. PICS/@raghurai.official
A portrait of daughter Avani. Pics/@raghurai.official

Our mind is the biggest storehouse of ideas, thoughts, sights and sounds. But connect your eyes to your heart, as the heart responds to feelings; it has original feelings towards the world that you are living in, so let it become the sensor of your camera.

Raghu Rai


Milk bags. PIc/chirodeep chaudhuri
Milk bags. Pic/Chirodeep Chaudhuri

We are all suddenly looking at our surroundings a little more acutely than earlier. This is a beginning to good photography. We are looking deeper within our lives, trying to not negate aspects that we had earlier considered routine. For example, I never noticed earlier, that all three of my cats are drawn to the sunlight in my drawing-room at a particular time. All three hop on the ledge and sit there, which reminded me of queues outside grocery stores; that's the connect I would have never made earlier. These connections might happen, so don't force it. Even the plastic bags hanging outside everyone's doors for milk, it's common across all houses, but we never bothered before; it made for an interesting daily life observation post on my Instagram.


I am also looking at objects in my home that take me back to my childhood. Like my baby utensils that we continue to use now including a set of baby spoons that were gifted to my mother for me, and that were specially bought from America. I find Instagram interesting for this; you may not find other forums to post personal stories through photographs the way Instagram lets you do. I don't like to use filters or edit a lot, but for basic edits, you can try Snapseed. Keep the material light though.

Chirodeep Chaudhuri

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First Published: 25 April, 2020 09:20 IST

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