Reciprocity and opposing forces

written by Pramod Viswanath on July 14, 2010 in blog and thoughts and ruminations with no comments

There are couple of questions that are bothering me since some time now.

Is a telephoto lens a must in the arsenal of a nature/wildlife photographer? Does having a telephoto lens makes me a renowned nature photographer?


Nature photography is a vast arena and one life time is insufficient to completely study and be a master student or to perfectly live a profession or become a genius artist. Let me break it into two parts. Nature and photography. When you think of nature, you can think of the tiniest of the creatures that is existing to the widest possible landscape to the biggest mammal on the planet. How you wish to portray depends on your creativity and perspective. If you wish to get up close and personal and the intent is to show the extreme details of the wings of a butterfly you need a higher magnification macro lens, if you intend to make a hair counting portrait of an eagle and yet work from a safe distance, you may need large focal length telephoto lens, if you intend to show a panoramic view of the Himalayas then you may need an ultra wide angle lens. Photographing all these scenario is very much possible and is what is done currently by me and many others.

Opposing Forces

Turning the table upside down. If I am seeing from below, why wouldn’t I think of seeing the same scene from top? How about shooting the same butterfly with a wide angle lens, a landscape with a macro lens and a bird with a wide angle lens? People will laugh at me. Who cares? Is it my image or do I wish to be a conformist? The image I created will be mine but am scared as the image is not saleable. Saleable?! I need to make that tiger portrait!

Having the best of the camera in the market make me a better photographer artist? I shoot with a semi-professional body and hence is my work not professional?


What is my end goal in photographing a scene? A print? An addition to my collection of online portfolio? or A creation? One of the best things that happened in the field of photography is technology. There is a downside to it. Shooting slides/film was always a challenge. Studying the scene, shooting it to technical perfection and seeing it on a big print to analyse the mistakes of image that WAS created are just handful of inherent challenges in slide photography. It is/was a really expensive profession. The craft could be mastered only by technically proficient photographer. Now with the emergence of digital technology, every person with the camera is indeed eligible to be called a photographer. I shoot with best of the cameras available in the market and that completes my awesome set of online portfolio of images. People appreciate my work and I am famous.

Opposing forces

Every photographer is NOT an artist.  Elevation from being a photographer to being an artist needs characters like vision, creativity and originality. Am I one?. Art is not cliche. But, I want to make some images with fantastic action of birds. I need a 10 FPS camera so that I don’t miss any opportunity that I witness in the field. I want to be an award winning photographer. I need a high megapixel camera so that I can print it large.

What do I do with all the images I make? Where is the photography community heading and where am I heading? Hunt for the answers is on, but will I find the right answers?

To the reader : What are your thoughts?

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