Not to click decisions

There was a time when I clicked at everything that came my way with the exuberance of a boy with a new toy at hand. After a while and four 16 gb cards, I became very choosy about which images to release and which ones to delete. Then it became which ones to click and which ones not to click. A move from garbage collection before release to garbage collection at source, resulting in tremendous amount of savings of effort. What is the key trigger for this movement?. I will attribute it to mastery over photography. Capturing an image perfectly became a no brainer over a period of time, and that challenge was replaced by the ability to spot an opportunity to capture a great image. Today even though I had the camera with me, I did not click at anything because nothing impressive came my way. And I feel good about it. I see it as signs of maturity. Once you have a reputation to loose, then the not to click decisions are very important, else you will create gigabytes of mediocre stuff.

The project management wisdom says that projects fail at the beginning, not at the end. This is very true. Either we say yes to the projects where we do not have the skill sets, or we start projects which do not have a solid business case…the reasons could be many, and the fate of the project is always decided very early. Same is the case with a photograph as well. So the not to click decisions are as important as your click decisions, because you have a reputation to loose.

Here is a photograph which I clicked with full conviction…using my canon 550d

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Business case of dreams

Yes, opportunities are many these days. Which one should I grab, and which one should I refrain from, are the key questions. If I really count the money I already spent on photography equipment, it looks like this;

Canon 550d DSLR Rs 27,000
Canon lens 55-250 Rs 17,000
Canon 50mm lens. Rs. 7,000
Tokina wide angle lens Rs 37,000
Tripod. Rs. 10,000
Camera bags Rs 5,000
Nikon coolpix compact Rs 15,000
Lumix fz 200 Rs 27,000

That is lot of money. It is 1,45,000 so far. Which is approximately three thousand American dollars, which is lot of money. I myself did not realise it till I jotted down all these now. With this money, I could have done lot of other things as well. If I am more serious about photography, then I can easily spend another five thousand dollars to upgrade the photography equipments. Then we are talking about 8,000 usd for the equipment alone, excluding travel and my own time. That makes me think twice about my stillsofindia project. Do I have the time, money and health to do it?. That is the first question. The next question is about the return from this project. So far I got only 50 usd as revenue from google ads as returns from stillsofindia. I could have done lot of other things with this kind of money. What is the business case of my dream of traveling all over India and blogging about it?. Thank you wordpress for making me think about it, instead of plunging into it without proper financial planning. This is another reason to say, ‘projects fail in the beginning, not at the end’. An early exit from an unviable project is better than an abrupt closure in the middle of the project. Do I sound like a pessimist?. Unfortunately, as a manager, I cannot run away from problems. I must confront the harsh realities up front. Confront the issues upfront, is the most preferred approach to issue resolution by all successful manager’s world wide. I think, this is a very valuable point for all artists who otherwise prefer to live in a dreamy utopian world, like the artist in me. Good day to you. Hope you are enjoying.

Here is this beautiful sunflower I captured at the Bangalore airport, using the canon extension tube along with my canon 550d, and the 55-250 zoom lens.

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Captured 5000+ photographs…so what?

During the past three years, I captured, thousands of photographs good, bad and ugly. So What?. That is the question bothering me these days. What is the purpose of my photography?. Is it just an expensive time killer?. I definitely feel on top of the world for a while, when lot of people like and comment on my photographs. I never feel alone when a camera is with me. It is a great distractor to escape from the very important serious work. Believe me, my project management clients have started chasing me to raise the invoices to them for the work I did for them., so that they can pay me money. .and I am not doing it…instead I am immersing myself into the pleasures of photography. I have reached a level where I feel very insecure when I do not have a camera with me. I always fear about that probable golden opportunity to create that masterpiece, which is every photographer’s dream.

In project management, there is a saying ‘Projects fail at the beginning, not at the end’. If the project selection is not right, we end up wasting lot of time and money on projects, to realise later about the lack of a sound business case to support it. This is very much true for photography projects as well. Before venturing into any project, it is better to spend some time to analyse;

1) Why you are doing it? (the business case, or the lack of it)
2) Who are the stakeholders?, Why they will be interested in what you are doing?
3) What are the deliverables?, just photographs, book, photoblog, travelogue, themes
5) Budgets
6) Time frames
7) Risks and Risk management

There is no question of leaving out something beautiful without photographing them. The thrill of photography is about it’s spontaneity. At the same time, I want to achieve something more tangible from my photography, and I bank on project management concepts to achieve it.

Here is a photograph for you, which I clicked for the sheer joy of photography and beauty…

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