On weekends Chetan Jain, 23, goes trekking to neighbouring Kasauli or Morni hills or loses himself in the picturesque Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary. Jain's urge to capture nature with his digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) is driving him to wake up early to follow his newly-found passion.Jain, who is studying Law at Panjab University here, is one among the fast mushrooming brigade of city youngsters who have found a new love in the medium of photography."I know photography is not going to help me in my law career. But it gives me some kind of freedom of expression and makes me feel strengthened. I upload most of my works online on social networking sites and have got thousands of likes and supporting comments," Jain, a resident of Chandigarh's Sector 33, told IANS.
Jain is also the member of a city-based Amateur Photography Enthusiasts club that boasts of over 50 members in the 14-25 age group. These members often share photography tips and experiences on an online forum and also organize regular excursions to make full use of their DSLRs."Photography started from having a quotient of 'cool-feeling' among my female friends but gradually converted into a passion. I am in the final-year of engineering but this career could wait for another two years as I have decided to first follow photography, by travelling in different states, for at least two years after my graduation," Mohit Atwal, another club member and die-hard photography enthusiast, told IANS.
Experts in the field of art and photography say that enthusiasm for photography is growing, especially among youngsters."When youngsters pick up these cameras to capture the visuals, at that time they are not confident enough to make art of their own. Later with time, they need training of mind and techniques to excel in the field. Photography is a form of art that uses the power of the lens to give voice to the objects it captures," Diwan Manna, a conceptual photographer, well-known artist and national academy award winner, told IANS."The need of the hour is to provide proper environment to these budding artists where they can get proper training and guidance from experts," he added.
Charu Ghai, a fine arts student, said: "We are a group of eight youngsters from different colleges in the city. We wake up early on weekends and go around the city with our cameras. This is our way of expressing our creativity through our cameras."While for some youngsters, photography is a sheer expression of creativity, for some it is an art to learn about the technicalities of the functioning of complex cameras. Also, corresponding to the rising number of youngsters trying their hands with professional cameras, Chandigarh has also seen an innovative trend of amateur photography exhibitions gradually coming up in the city."Photography gives me an opportunity to see the world with my own perspective. My camera is like my third eye. Every morning when I wake up, the idea of capturing new things excites me in a big way," Vitthal Bhardwaj, a B.A final year student at DAV College, told IANS.