Hyderabad's photography scene is as vibrant as it gets, writes Neeraja Murthy

Out of the screen of a computer, it's the picture of a bridegroom smeared with ‘haldi' and smiling happily into the camera. There's nothing unusual about this photograph from a wedding album except that it's a ‘haldi' ceremony captured by a former software engineer, who now specialises as a wedding photographer. Kalyan D. was working with Dr. Reddy Laboratories before he quit his job to tell stories in digital frames. Sanjay Borra is an IT professional and on weekends he is a shutterbug wandering in the streets looking for people and events to capture in his digital SLR. Make way for the new age shutterbugs sparkling in the photography scene of Hyderabad. If digital cameras inspired many to take up photography, with digital SLRs it's a step ahead. While some have quit jobs to follow their hearts, there are other professionals who are happy at their jobs from Monday to Friday and discover photography on the weekends. Some are self-taught, and others attend workshops and join photo walks to learn and explore the intricacies of photography.

“When we relocated to Hyderabad after living in the US for 13 years, I was not motivated to go back to work,” states Madhavi Kuram. During the ‘what-to-do-time', she casually took to photography. “Even before I realised, I got sucked into it,” she smiles. She is now a wedding photographer and she feels, “The field is quite active for people who want to move away from traditional photography.”

No one can dispute that photography's rise is proportional to the popularity of social networking and photo-sharing websites. “The amount of growth seen in these last five years is tremendous. See, shoot and share is the new mantra,” says Sanjay, who likes to shoot candid photographs. He adds, “The cost of a basic SLR is around Rs. 30,000, equal to a professional's one month salary. Now, he/she doesn't mind spending the month's salary to buy it,” he says. The scene in Hyderabad is vibrant and Kalyan attributes it to the lack of opportunities in the city for aficionados to pursue their interests in fine arts. “There is nothing much to do on weekends so showcasing one's talent in the field of photography has picked up,” he says.

Another interesting feature is that the field is becoming a meeting ground for people from different walks of life.

While experts say this is a happy trend, they opine that one should not rate one's pictures according to the Facebook comments. “Young boys and girls are kicked about the fact their wall is bombarded with comments for the photographs taken by them,” says Anil Singhal, who conducts workshops for budding photographers.

“They don't realise that it is the family and friends tied to you emotionally who are commenting. One should understand the nuances and never be in a mad rush to just click pictures. If you have an eye for a photograph, even a basic camera can do the job for you. Never think of replacing your skills with a high-end camera.” Echoing that view is photographer Arvind Chenji. “The online sites have made photography an expression of connectivity,” says Chenji. “Everything in the future is going to be visual. We might just have one gadget which will be your phone, computer and even a projector. However, no one can replace a professional and the difference he brings to photographs taken in an ordinary situation.”

So, what are you waiting for? If your head is full of adventure and you want to express your feelings through pictures, grab a camera, frame your subject and click away.