Amogh Pant has been photographing for a long time on the streets of Mumbai but when he discovered the new LC-A+, it made him see a whole new world without boundaries and inhibitions. Hear what he has to say about analog photography.
Tell about us a little about you and your work.
I started shooting in earnest in early 2008, five years after moving to Mumbai. It was probably motivated by the fact that I lived in the most beautiful part of town, and it seemed I had discovered a seemingly hidden side to it. My urge had little to do with ‘photography’, just to document what I saw and experienced. It brings me to question the notion of what a city is. You see this remarkable breadth of people in Mumbai every day, passengers of contemporary culture, each carrying a picture of the city and holding it dear.
How did you chance upon photography and what does it mean to you?
I am curious, and with a camera in my hand I feel unusually secure. Photographs give me pleasure beyond reason. If I were to step out every day, there would be something so unique to see each time that I wouldn’t know what to make of it. Sometimes, when you’re very lucky, you could make a photograph out of it.
I believe that a photograph can unify the diversity of human experience. That which is universal is probably true in any medium.
Still, I am subject to the filters of my perception. I derive, sometimes, as a writer or a musician would from their environment. As a photographer noted, “Only a blind man can take an honest picture.”
There is a general dark mood which goes on through your pictures, how did that originate? What drives that mood?
I’m not sure I can put my finger on it.. I guess it’s a keepsake from every rendezvous.
What is your interpretation of Lomography?
It’s like experimenting without having to think about the outcome. That’s freedom.
What is the first thing you thought of when you held the LC-A+ ? How was your experience in the first shoot with it?
It puts ‘handy’ back into the game. It felt liberating to be out with something that didn’t weigh down or stand out like a rock dangling from your neck. I think it’s fantastic.
What’s it about analog photography that you relate to?
There is something of a commitment to when and why you choose to press the shutter. It’s not different from sitting before a typewriter facing a blank sheet. It’s better to have something to say before you lift a finger.
Initially you had been shooting a lot of digital and editing later on. How did Lomography change your viewpoint?*
It didn’t change anything, it just brought in another way of looking, an invitation to serendipity.
When you’re shooting, what goes on through your mind?
Not much, but often, “**** I missed that”. I tend to shoot first and think later.
Is there another Lomography camera that you secretly wish for?
It would have to be the Lomo Lubitel 166+, I’ve always wanted a TLR.
One secret which you want to tell other lomographers?
It’s never too early to smile. Lomography is like good karma :)
As a special treat, we followed Amogh for one of his shoots in Mumbai. Check out the video!