Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Making of a Pinhole Camera : Nagaland Post

Putting Mkg in world photography map

    The article was first published on The Morung Express Feature | Mokokchung | April 21

For the first time in Mokokchung, a group of young photography enthusiasts have come together to put Mokokchung in the world photography map through a novel project called ‘Mokokchung Visual Diary’ – a more than two week photography workshop for any interested photo enthusiast in the society.
The Mokokchung Visual Diary is a joint project of Mokokchung Photography Club and Goa – Centre for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP), and this project aims to equip the young photo enthusiasts in the society on the basics of photography. This photography workshops, the Mokokchung Photography Club (MPC) says, is open to everyone, though the seats are limited to thirty people only. The participants should have only one thing – a love for photography and willingness to learn the art and science of photography. It is not necessary for the participants to own a camera; mobile phone camera, digital camera, analogue or even if a person doesn’t own a camera, can attend the workshop, the organizers stated. Even the registration fee has been put at a minimum, Rs 1000 per person for the whole workshop.
The resource persons – Edson Dias and Chaitanya Guttikar – all the way from Goa will be the resource persons for the whole two week workshop.

 For the love of Photography
 The two professional photographers from Goa-CAP have one thing in common – a love of photography and travelling. Unlike other photographers, Edson and Guttikar uses only analogue camera. Guttikar uses a ‘Large Format View Camera’ while Edson TLR (Twin lens Reflex) camera and they like to develop their own pictures in their lab.
“Using digital cameras takes away all the fun of photography…we love to capture pictures and develop it…it’s like taking fast food and real cooked food,” these two photographers asserts. They have the knowledge about digital camera, the analogue, the light settings, the shutter speed and et al; but they love storytelling through photography.

Visual Stories
Edson and Guttikar arrived in Mokokchung last November with a simple objective – to document the contemporary Ao youths. “The world knows of the Nagas as headhunting tribe. All the pictures are about the people in traditional dresses, so the people have a notion that the Nagas are still in the past, whereas it is not,” said Guttikar. So last year, these two photographers simply documented the contemporary Ao youths (entrepreneurs, working professionals, and ordinary people) during their visit in Mokokchung.
“When we first came here, we thought Mokokchung to be a small village, but once we came here we came to know that is a big place! And you people have a lot of stories to tell to the world,” said Guttikar, who has a PhD in Mathematics from Princeton University. This non-assuming Guttikar was teaching in University of Miami, until the love of photography got the better of him. His friend Edson Dias added, “We are outsiders here, and we hope that the (local) people here would be able to tell a better story because we have so much stories to tell, and the local people being insiders will have a better story to tell.”
The story telling through visual images might just be beginning.

Mokokchung Photography Club
Perhaps one of the smallest clubs in Mokokchung, but this club is composed of some people dedicated for the promotion of photography in Nagaland. There are some trained photographers, journalists and entrepreneurs in this club sharing a deep love for the promotion of the society through photos. Formed only last year, the Mokokchung Photography Club has successfully organized the first M-Fest Photo Exhibition Cum Contest in Mokokchung; this will be the second big venture for the club.

Mokokchung visual diary
A website has already been created- – a blog has been created already and plans are underway to observe the World Pinhole Camera Day at Mokokchung. A camera shaped in the form of a traditional Naga Morung (six feet in length, six in height and four in breadth) is being constructed at Ungma village. It will be the biggest camera ever built in Mokokchung. So far the response has been great with a lot of young people showing interest in the Mokokchung Visual Diary photography workshop. And perhaps, after two weeks the world will see a different picture of Mokokchung through visual diary uploaded by the participants of the workshop.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mokokchung Visual Diary kickoff

Mokokchung, April 22: The long awaited Mokokchung Visual Diary workshop began on April 21 at Mokokchung Press Club office. A joint venture of Goa-CAP and Mokokchung Photography Club.
The orientation program was chaired by Senti and Goa-CAP members Edson Dias and Chaitanya Guttikar explained the details on how the workshop will be conducted and the requirements about the program.
They said there will be alternate class and practical sessions for the whole course where they will teach from the basics of photography to more advanced photography.
They also explained about the organizing of World Pinhole Day in Mokokchung and the concept of pinhole camera. They also mentioned about the exhibition to be held on that day. Moreover, Goa-CAP will be doing a camera project which will be one of the first in the world which they will unveil during the Moatsü festival at the Ungma Village. It is worth mentioning that Moatsü festival is one of the premier festivals of the Ao tribe in Nagaland.
Moatsü is celebrated on the first day of May, at the onset of Spring. It is more of a Spring festival where in olden times forefathers prayed to God for plentiful harvest. 
A Press note from the Mokokchung Photography Club stated that the venue for the ongoing workshop is changed to a new location since a larger number of participants have turned out than expected and will be conducting the workshop at Eastern Talkies from 3:30 PM onward

Friday, April 20, 2012

Visual Diary: A story narrated through pictures

Mokokchung, April 19: Mokokchung will soon be in the world photography map as young dynamic youth calling themselves the Mokokchung Photography Club in collaboration with the Goa-Centre for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP) will organise a 15 days workshop beginning from April 21.
Talking to media persons during a press conference Chaitanya Guttikar from Goa-CAP said, “Documentation is important and through the workshop we would like to teach the people to tell stories through pictures. It is not very important what camera you use to capture at the same time you should have a story to tell through the pictures you shoot.” He cited, “If for example, we miss to document 2012 it will never come. It is very essential that people document their everyday affairs and culture so that in future it will become a reference.” He also narrates about the Alternative photography and how it works. He said Alternative photography means taking pictures and creating images using non mainstream equipment and methods. He said Alternative photography might be taken from a pin-hole or any other film cameras using alternative ways of image making.
Edson Dias, one of the founding members of Goa-CAP, said that Mokokchung at present is not well equipped for a full fledged Alternative photography due to lack of resources. He also commented that even one could use something as basic as mobile phone camera to visually convey the content of the story.
Goa-CAP in collaboration with Mokokchung Photography Club will start a blog to upload pictures concerning Mokokchung district alone in a website from the day of commencing of workshop. The participants will be trained on how to use blogs and upload images.
Goa-CAP during the press conference said there are lots of professionally taken pictures of Nagas that convey only one sphere of their life. “Outsiders on seeing those pictures of Nagas dressed in their traditional attire feel that the whole of Nagaland is still in its aboriginal stage.”
It was stated during the press conference that Mokokchung itself has lots of stories to tell and “a visitor’s perspective could never tell the whole story.” Goa-CAP could help Mokokchung document itself and also would be an agency to train people to document the everyday affairs that will be soon become priceless in coming future. Goa-CAP is optimistic to conduct an Alternative Photography Workshop in future in Mokokchung.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Press Release.

Mokokchung Visual Diary’
Mokokchung, April 17: The Mokokchung Photography Club in collaboration with Goa-Centre for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP) will be organizing a two week Photography workshop called ‘Mokokchung Visual Diary’ at Mokokchung town on the theme from April 21, 2012. The workshop will focus on creating visual storytelling, about the everyday life in Mokokchung.

Two professional photographers from the Goa-CAP have arrived in Mokokchung town to conduct the photography workshop. The two photographers – Edson Dias and Chaitanya Guttikar will be training and educating the participants on the basics of good photography.

The two will be training the participants on general photography, like how to use camera – both digital and analogue – mobile phones, and most importantly how to make pin-hole camera out of matchboxes and other disposable boxes. The workshop will cover a lot of subjects with regard to photography, and will include both theoretical and practical classes. The participants will be awarded certificates from the Goa-CAP.

The main focus of this Mokokchung Visual Diary will be training how to capture good pictures and how the photographer can tell stories through their photographs.
The Mokokchung Photography Club informs those interested and aspiring photographers to collect the registration forms Ao Milen office during office hours. There will be a nominal registration fee.