Thursday, 31 March 2022

Through The Lens

Clicking live vs clicking a shoot 

Ever since the pandemic began, life has changed, and the art industry which is a completely visual and aural medium, is no exception. Not shattered by lockdown, artists explored various ways via social media to stay connected with rasikas. Being connected is the key.

As a performing arts photographer and a Carnatic music rasika, it surely was a big disappointment for me when the announcement came that concerts will be recorded live and streamed.

Clicking in a live concert without disturbing the audience is like an energy tonic for photographers. There is no alternative to capturing the emotions in a live performance. During the pandemic, I got an opportunity to click during the recordings in one of the sabhas. The distance between the stage and the sound pit was about 12 feet and no close human contact in whatsoever form was allowed. Moreover, all those present were masked for the entire period that we there (including the recording team). It was a different experience as my movements were constricted for a different reason—not because I would disturb the audience as there were none! It was primarily because of the cameras that were used for recording wide/close up. It took me a little while to understand the camera position and move accordingly. However, when you are clicking in a recording, the advantages are that you do not need to bend or duck and move to click.

The usual euphoria among rasikas that emerges after the concert was surely missing. As a photographer, when the artists look at us, acknowledge and smile, it definitely gives a ‘josh’ or happy feeling—which in general I have missed during the past two years. Likewise, the quick snippets of conversation that we have with rasikas when they tell us about having seen our earlier photos posted on social media or be it the exchange of smiles of acquaintance are also greatly missed.

There is nothing equivalent to clicking during a live concert. The emotions that come automatically when the artists see the rasikas enjoying their music are the “real waiting moments” for a photographer—to be clicked and treasured. What we also get to enjoy is the unedited casual 10-second conversation among artists! As a ‘performing artist photographer’, the joie de vivre definitely lies in live performances. I sincerely hope that 2022 paves the way for the arts scene to get somewhat closer to ‘normalcy’.


Hemamalini S

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