By J.V. Lakshmana Rao
Chicago: Photography is a fine art. To create a good photograph, a photographer has to take care of a number of things — right lighting, right composition of the picture, right lenses, right opening of the aperture, right exposure of the object, use of right film or memory card, right camera and finally a good lab to make the prints.
To become a good photographer, one has to acquire thorough knowledge about all these finer aspects of photography. Hemant Patel, who has mastered all these aspects and developed his own unique and rare technique of photography, has specialized in wedding photography, fashion photography, wildlife photography, commercial and ad photography, product photography and industrial photography.
Speaking to India Tribune, Hemant Patel says that a wedding album is a very valuable document for the couple as well as their parents and relatives. Therefore, the photographs that go into an album have to be created with candid shooting of each frame. “They say a photograph speaks 1,000 words. But in my opinion that a wedding photograph should not only speak 1,000 words, but also capture the mood and emotion of the people photographed and the whole ambiance of that once-in-a-lifetime event. Except the fragrance permeating there, the photograph should capture and bring back all the memories of the rare event,” he adds.
He says that for a wedding, people spend thousands of dollars and get flowers from Switzerland, decorate Mandaps with intricate details, hire well-decorated wedding halls, buy expensive jewelry and clothing for the bride and the groom, throw lavish lunches and dinners. They also arrange, besides the main wedding ceremony, several pre-wedding and post-wedding events like Sangeet, Mehendi, Barat, Pujas, reception, entertainment and dance to the DJ music. However, as the time passes by, the memories about all these events fade away, but a well documented album can bring back the memories even after several years. That is the real purpose of a photo album.
Hemant Patel says that a good wedding photographer can capture thousands of moods and expressions of the bride and groom. Some of the moods that are most momentous are when the bride undergoes the bridal makeup including the henna decoration, walks the aisle, sits in the Mandap, and gets those much-awaited three knots. Similarly the groom also has several occasions — his horse-ride during Barat, his arrival at the wedding venue with his family and friends.
Speaking about the technique he uses, Hemant Patel says that he tries to use natural light as far as possible. In closed and covered areas, he uses 16 radio-controlled high-mounted flash lights placing them at various locations, besides the one attached to the camera itself. He says that he adjusts the lighting with correct exposure of aperture to get the best photographic results. He claims that it is his unique technique and he has specialized it. Though he works from his home, his team consists of 10 people among whom two are photographers and eight are technicians assisting him and his co-photographers in the lighting and other technical settings. “For fine-tuning, I work on a computer giving right brightness, colors and field of depth for each photo. With this utmost care and artistic effort, the pictures come out exceedingly well. I select the best printing paper, labs and work with them for making memorable prints. The albums I make are of high quality that retain the color, gloss and shine of every picture for several years,” he says.
Hemant Patel immigrated to the US in 2001. He was a native of Ahmedabad. He managed his “Studio 98” in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. He worked as a cameraman for Doordarshan from 1981 to 1986. He also worked as a photojournalist for the Sandesh Press.
As a product and fashion photographer, he worked for companies like Cadbury, Reliance, Patel Airtemp, Kalaniketan Sari Emporium, Span Apparels and several other commercial, industrial, fashion and ad agencies.
He had his initial training in photography under his father, Mahendra Patel, who was a photojournalist. A bachelor degree holder in arts, Hemant Patel was trained for three years in photography at RCA College in Delhi. Being on the faculty of Kodak India Ltd., he conducted 44 workshops for professional photographers. He trained several photographers. He has won several prestigious awards, and his photographs were used as cover pictures by many magazines in India.
As an experiment, he says he will go green with his photography, using recycled and natural materials, including the photography paper, the natural color inks and even the albums.
For more information about Hemant Patel and his work, please visit Web site: www.photobyhemantmafatlal.com or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org