A year spent behind the lens

LifeI love my job

 

October 12th, 2007 

October 13th 2006, that’s one Friday which I’ll never forget in my life. A year later, I see that today happens to be a small milestone for me. I will be completing one year of my life as a ‘photojournalist’. Last year on that fateful Friday I bid farewell to the Corporate world and IT industry. And on the very next day I began my tryst with serious photojournalism. As the days progressed, my bank balance began to recede, my patience swung like a pendulum (my dad’s patience… don’t even ask about it!). There were nights I couldn’t sleep. On the positive side, my confidence increased slowly as time went by.

My experiments with camera taught me something new every time when I had to shell out money in getting negatives developed, scanned and printed. Oh, I forgot to tell you something! I never had a DSLR camera then(Even today I don’t really own one. My company has given a beauty for me to use). I had borrowed my friend’s(Srikar) Film SLR to practice the craft. I swapped his Canon SLR with my Fuji digital camera for few days, which finally stretched to few months. Then, for a while I got Obi’s(another friend ) Canon 350D to do some minor assignments.

Those days, I spent my time on the streets of Bangalore shooting life around it. I am grateful to the narrow lanes and alleys of Shivajinagar,Avenue road, and the timeless Russel market, and not to forget my hometown Kaup, which have let me indulge completely in the art of photography. Three hundred and sixty five days later, after shooting for NGOs, online magazines, in-flight magazines and few portraits, I have come to be part of a newspaper ( Bangalore Mirror). I have been a press photographer for last eight months.

When I look back I see that I have travelled quite a distance in a short while. Last month, I got to cover my first major Cricket assignment. I actually covered the India – Australia ODI (One Day International) match held at Bangalore:-) [Can you believe it?]. Next day , I saw my photographs in the lead sports page of our newspaper. Oh boy, what a feeling it was to be watching a cricket match(for free!) from the boundary lines, capturing the action in camera and then tirelessly editing pictures, captioning them and mailing them back to the desk on a laptop with WiFi Internet access. You had to be there to know exactly what it felt like. Next day, I got a pat on my back from many people for the pictures I had made during the match(I’ll blog them shortly). I am looking forward for more of sports assignments. How many of you gave me a chance that I’d be handling such an assignment with in a year of having started my life from scratch? To be frank, I myself had no clue that I’d reach this milestone in a short time.

Today, as I woke up early, I was wondering how would I celebrate tomorrow. But, as unpredictable a day in the life of a photojournalist can get, I had something wonderful in store for me. I had to visit Bannerghatta Biological Park‘s Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre(WRRC) on an assignment. The story was to cover the WRRC‘s first attempt to breed a Tigres with a wild tiger to bring in its wild genes to give birth to healthy offspring. This was a successful attempt. Today, Manasa the tigress has three healthy cubs. It was a beauty to photograph the Tiger cubs. And, finally came the moment when I decided to hold one of the cubs. I picked this little one (too heavy to be called little one) and it felt like carrying a two year old kid. I never thought I’d kiss a Tiger’s forehead. But, Yippee! it was too cute for me not to do it. Here, I share one of the photographs which I clicked on this shoot along with a picture of me carrying the cub(thank Niranjan for photographing me). I love my job. I feel I have the best job in this world (apart from the Zoo keepers at WRRC who are doing some great work)

I thank everyone who has been part of this journey of mine as a photographer. I thank my family and all the old friends who have stood by me and have supported me as I went about doing what I liked the most. Many thanks to all the photographers who I’ve met along the way and who have not hesitated to share with me a lot of valuable information and experience. And finally, I thank all the people in the field of journalism, whom I got to meet at some point of the time or the other; they have made my life really exciting, either by contributing to my growth as a photojournalist or by just having been part my life. I’ve made few friends, I’ve lost few, went bankrupt for a while, faced tough times but I’ve come through. And, I dream of going the long way. I’ve made a promise to myself long back. I shall live up to it.
Good night.

(Note: If you like my work, then please do share the link to this website with others. Also, if you’d like to support me in my projects, then feel free to click the ‘flattr’ button at the bottom of the post. Flattr is a social micro-payment system. )

Nishant Ratnakar
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Nishant Ratnakar

Photographer | Visual Storyteller at www.nishantratnakar.com
Nishant is a Bangalore, India based Wedding, Portrait & Editorial Photographer. He is available for assignments across India. He also conducts photography workshops and offers personal photography mentorship.
Nishant Ratnakar
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Balanarayan
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Balanarayan

Roooooooaaaarrrrrrr

congrats for the year.. n hey i forgot to mention abt the sports pics.. they were cool.. i saw sports desk scanning through the pics.. wen i saw nishant name there i was like – oh cool…

Keep on goin mate…. theres a long way ahead…

Balanarayan
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Balanarayan

Roooooooaaaarrrrrrrcongrats for the year.. n hey i forgot to mention abt the sports pics.. they were cool.. i saw sports desk scanning through the pics.. wen i saw nishant name there i was like – oh cool…Keep on goin mate…. theres a long way ahead…

Kiran
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Kiran

Hey Nix, Congrats on the milestone! And hey have I mentioned that u have become sort of inspiration, not only for photgraphers or journalists; but also for many people who r fed up with IT industry? I imagine you’d be fully aware of the discussions which went on when you quit your job; particularly questioning the wisdom of doing so without financial security. I also know you’d not be too pissed at such discussions because it was partly jusified too. But hats off to you for proving your mettle in such a short time (oh ya – 1 year is… Read more »

Kiran
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Kiran

Hey Nix,Congrats on the milestone! And hey have I mentioned that u have become sort of inspiration, not only for photgraphers or journalists; but also for many people who r fed up with IT industry?I imagine you’d be fully aware of the discussions which went on when you quit your job; particularly questioning the wisdom of doing so without financial security. I also know you’d not be too pissed at such discussions because it was partly jusified too.But hats off to you for proving your mettle in such a short time (oh ya – 1 year is a very short… Read more »

MANJUNATH SINGE
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MANJUNATH SINGE

Hey Nishant… It was an absolute pleasure to read your success story. Keep going…

Div
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Div

hey!!!
congrats on completing a year.. its been a wonderful experience even to read ur blogs, so i very wel agree how amazing it wld be to write thm…. lovely man… keep going…..

Div
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Div

hey!!! congrats on completing a year.. its been a wonderful experience even to read ur blogs, so i very wel agree how amazing it wld be to write thm…. lovely man… keep going…..

Sushan
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Sushan

Congrats Nishant,Things will only get better… they tend to do that. Looking forward to many more stories–in pix and blogs. It’s great to see people who follow their hearts succeeding and doing well.. Our lives are ours to live, and to live is to be happy how we live it! All the best.

Sushan
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Sushan

Congrats Nishant,

Things will only get better… they tend to do that. Looking forward to many more stories–in pix and blogs. It’s great to see people who follow their hearts succeeding and doing well.. Our lives are ours to live, and to live is to be happy how we live it! All the best.

kailash
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kailash

Nishant
I think of these lines from Rudyard Kipling when I read your journey
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son! “

Sometimes the journey is more important ….
Godspeed
Kailash

kailash
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kailash

Nishant I think of these lines from Rudyard Kipling when I read your journey”If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you,If you can trust yourself when all men doubt youBut make allowance for their doubting too,If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son! “Sometimes the journey is more important ….GodspeedKailash

Geetharaj
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Geetharaj

It’s a really amazing career ! Being a software guy you have real courage to choose the Photojournalism career and achieved lot in short period ! I am looking forward more and more good work in this field. Best of luck ! Cheers !

Geetharaj
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Geetharaj

It’s a really amazing career ! Being a software guy you have real courage to choose the Photojournalism career and achieved lot in short period ! I am looking forward more and more good work in this field.
Best of luck ! Cheers !

prabhat
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prabhat

Nishant
Hats off to your courage and zeal for photojournalism. You have to go far ahead. All my best.

prabhat
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prabhat

NishantHats off to your courage and zeal for photojournalism. You have to go far ahead. All my best.

??????
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??????

Very Good Nishant..
I wish u all the best..
cheers,
Archana H

??????
Guest
??????

Very Good Nishant..I wish u all the best..cheers,Archana H

Sushma Gubbi
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Sushma Gubbi

hiiii,Just the perfect start, yet very unconventional journey for an IT guy. I think enjoying this journey is important than thinking about the final destination. Famous lines from Kuvempu once said that, never reach a destination, never think of building a house, never stop anywhere, just enjoy ur ride of life, u will feel u have reached ur goal. So Mr Nishant just carry on with ur good work and enjoy… Cong ‘rats’ on ur 1st year… byeeeee

Sushma Gubbi
Guest
Sushma Gubbi

hiiii,
Just the perfect start, yet very unconventional journey for an IT guy. I think enjoying this journey is important than thinking about the final destination. Famous lines from Kuvempu once said that, never reach a destination, never think of building a house, never stop anywhere, just enjoy ur ride of life, u will feel u have reached ur goal. So Mr Nishant just carry on with ur good work and enjoy… Cong ‘rats’ on ur 1st year… byeeeee

Nishad (a.k.a. 21|dahsiN)
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Nishad (a.k.a. 21|dahsiN)

You are awesome. Even I am a software engineer and I pursue a dream of being a Magician some day. You are an inspiration for me !Thanks & Wishing you luck for your future assignments !

Nishad (a.k.a. 21|dahsiN)
Guest
Nishad (a.k.a. 21|dahsiN)

You are awesome. Even I am a software engineer and I pursue a dream of being a Magician some day. You are an inspiration for me !
Thanks & Wishing you luck for your future assignments !

Bina
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Bina

Damn cute. I can’t believe a cub could look so utterly smug:-)Must’ve been one helluva thing to do..kiss a tiger cub…grrr i’m jealous!Didn’t know you’re from a tech backgound..great going!…cheers to another eventful year

Bina
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Bina

Damn cute. I can’t believe a cub could look so utterly smug:-)

Must’ve been one helluva thing to do..kiss a tiger cub…grrr i’m jealous!

Didn’t know you’re from a tech backgound..great going!…cheers to another eventful year

Madhu P. Nair
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Madhu P. Nair

Great going Nishant. Keep it up. It’s always a privilege to get to do what you like the most. I think a few of us have the courage to take up what we like the most and go for it and do it even when there are huge hurdles on the way. It’s great to see someone going the Alchemist way! Wish you all the ‘best of the best’ in future! 🙂

Madhu P. Nair
Guest
Madhu P. Nair

Great going Nishant. Keep it up. It’s always a privilege to get to do what you like the most. I think a few of us have the courage to take up what we like the most and go for it and do it even when there are huge hurdles on the way. It’s great to see someone going the Alchemist way! Wish you all the ‘best of the best’ in future! 🙂

Sanju
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Sanju

Nix…. Not once have i left without feeling motivated once i visit your page.Shine on!!! I hope Floyd come soon again and you get to do a interview with them backstage and of course……

Sanju
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Sanju

Nix…. Not once have i left without feeling motivated once i visit your page.

Shine on!!! I hope Floyd come soon again and you get to do a interview with them backstage and of course……

MANJUNATH SINGE
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MANJUNATH SINGE

Hey Nishant… It was an absolute pleasure to read your success story. Keep going…