Sunday, 21 October 2012

POV: The Gotipua And Style Evolution

Photo ©Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

I wrote how time flies in my yesterday's post, and that remark brought me back to 2004 when I traveled to Orissa via Chhattisgarh, and stopped for a short while in Raghurajpur, a small village near Puri.

This village is quite famous for being the centre for training Gotipua dance troupes. In the local language, “goti” means “single” and “pua” means “boy”, and this folk dance of Orissa has been performed for centuries by young boys who dress as females to praise Jaggannath and Krishna. The acrobatic movements in the dance is performed by the young boys, who are inspired by the life of Radha and Krishna. More information can be found here.

Looking through my image files of the time, I noticed how I still favored verticals back then. I now know that 90% of my photographs are shot in the landscape mode, principally because they lend themselves much better to multimedia storytelling.

In 2004, I used a Canon 10D (remember those?) which was my first digital camera. I used the venerable Canon 1D MarkII as my workhorse film camera. This image of this young gotipua must've been made with a 70-200 f2.8 lens...it was my favored lens back then. I seldom use it now.

I state the obvious but yes, time flies and personal styles evolve. I'm certainly not alone in this. On most of my photo expedition-workshops, I have photographers who are in the midst of their own evolution cycles. Some favor their 70-200 lenses, while others have already gone wider...and others are in the middle of the cycle.

I encourage the former to leave their heavy lenses back at our hotels, and use wider zooms or primes, and get closer...sometimes they listen..sometimes they don't.

In 2004, would I have thought that 8 years later I'd be principally using a Leica M9 rangefinder and a Fuji X Pro-1 on my travels? I don't think so.

Evolution comes slowly...at least for me. But one thing for sure...time flies.