Simran Kathuria examines the world through her camera lens on a trip to Bray.
An interesting thought crossed my mind as I was sitting inside the train, looking out the misted window. It was a day’s outing to Bray, a beautiful town in County Wicklow, some 20 kilometres away from Dublin. The sun was bright, and rain was unlikely, but the wind outside was making me cuddle up with the warmth inside the train carriage a bit more. Looking out the window on an approximate one-hour journey, all I did was cherish the beauty of nature that this land holds. The blue water with painted brick walls along the coastline, the colourful houses that seemed more like dollhouses in their cheeriness, open green meadows with grazing sheep, and the sky above, spotted with clouds. It was like eye candy everywhere I looked. As the train gained speed, so did my thoughts. ‘What if I make a story out of my day?’ Or ‘what if I capture beautiful snapshots (not just for my phone’s gallery or Instagram) for my family and friends back in India, compile the memories from today, and show them this part of the world?’ How else could they know what Bray looks like? How is my family supposed to live through my travel journey? I mumbled to myself while taking in the stunning views along the way. It is the pictures that speak and the lens that clicks, I thought at that moment. Today would be all about ‘the world through my lens.’ As I was amused and captured by this thought, the train stopped and announced, “You have reached Bray.”
Bray had its own character and look. The place was close to city life in proximity, yet felt very far away from it in spirit. Following on from my musings on the train, I decided to let photography become my way of journaling about the day’s happenings, and sustaining those images for my loved ones back in India. Right from holding an orange-coloured coffee cup to playing with a random pet dog along the beachside, to looking far away at the end of the sea, the day’s photographs became a witness of the joy I felt. Photography is a way of telling stories. It acts as a bridge between an individual’s thoughts and the outside world, giving a new perspective on different parts of the world that are new to the individual. It allows mankind to see the hidden gems of nature, the beauty of this planet, and the miracles on this earth. It is unlikely for us to remember every detail of a new place. The way it looked at the time, the colours of its sky, the shape of its mountains, and the faces of its people; but photography allows us to relive those moments at any time, far after even the sharpest memories may have faded.
Photography is a way of telling stories. It acts as a bridge between an individual’s thoughts and the outside world, giving a new perspective on different parts of the world that are new to the individual.
The best way to discover everything there is to know about a place is by exploring on foot, but the best way to preserve your exploration is by snapshotting it. Be it on our mobile phones, a DSLR, or any other professional handset, the motive remains the same; ‘capturing the moment’. It is equally fun for amateurs as for professionals in my opinion. As an amateur photographer, you start by clicking something that looks pleasing to the eye. It can be a child’s laughter, a blooming flower, or an ice cream seller on the roadside. Photography isn’t bound by rules, but by emotions. Showcasing what you saw to the rest of the world comes in handy with a lens. And every journey captured with a photo becomes imbued with our own lens and view of life, which helps us to capture a different shade of life.
“Clicks and memories are like a box of sweets, once opened, you won’t feel fulfilled with just one piece,” is a famous Bollywood saying. Photography lets you time travel and witness your best self. It holds the power to bring change into this world. A travel story posted by someone can become someone else’s motivation to get up and explore. A warzone captured on a camera can bring in international aid, helping those in need. And most importantly, the faces of someone’s loved ones, captured by the lens, can give them hope and memories for the rest of their lives. It’s the power of photography that binds moments in time.