This Week In Photography: Gautam Narang
As a self-proclaimed artist myself, I can appreciate the commitment and talent that goes into creating any type of art. Not only that, but there is also a certain type of bravery to be able to chase your dreams and put your art on display for others to critique.
This Week In Photography: I had the opportunity to talk to a very talented young photographer about his own personal journey though photography. When I first had the opportunity to view his artwork I was quite taken with the beauty and variety of the vivid colours. I also admired his use of repetition and pattern.
Gautam Narang is an aspiring cinematographer, it was evident from an early age that he loved being behind the camera. He began his career as a stills photographer; his work has been featured in National Geographic, Canon EOS magazine, Medium Magazine, JPG magazine to name a few. His work has been exhibited in exhibitions such as the St. Peterburg Arts Center (Florida, USA), Museum of Memoria Tolerancia (Mexico), and most recently in Toronto his visual poetry video was exhibited at the Black Outfest.
His passion for photography is what inspired him to look for new ways to explore light and images. Gautam has been shooting for Canamedia as a camera operator with clients such as “Jobs People do” which is an educational website for students who want to find out about diverse jobs and skills sets needed for them. Other projects included a PSA for “undercover osmotic” which required Gautam to get comfortable with hand held cameras. Currently he is working with an Indian director Vel Kula, as a camera operator shooting his movie in Canada; in Winter 2012 he will be shooting in South America for the movie. Through this project he has learned how to work fast, with available light, and a small crew. He is also working with Fabian Garzon on short fashion promos! Gautam has a passion for cloths and beautiful people and is currently working on a short movie with an acclaimed fashion photographer. In the meantime, Gautam continues to focus on his studies at Humber’s famed Film & Television Production Program and in his spare time he enjoys reading about films and filmmakers, and working with artist in other fields collaborating making short movies.
Let’s get to know the man behind the camera:
How long have you been a professional photographer for? What was your first job?
A photographers assistant was my first job, I started around 22 as a freelance photographer.
What is your main source of income now?
What is your first memory of being interested in photography?
Well, as a kid a camera was always around my neck, my first project was on airplanes, WW2 fighter planes. That started the photography addiction, and the turning point was while studying photography and being exposed to Dorothea Lange work inspired me into documentary photography. My photography teacher was a huge inspiration, I still talk to him till this day, he was a great mentor.
Do you remember the first time you purchased your own photography equipment, what was it and how did it make you feel?
It was a Canon Mark 2, it was an amazing feeling to make money from your craft and invest it in a camera. A camera is an amazing tool, as it keeps giving. It’s just a tool, how you use it and what you point it at is what makes it more then a tool.
What or who has been a source of inspiration for you?
I’m an avid fan of art, art brings me peace of mind, it’s aesthetically pleasing, makes you think. From art, dance, music, design, film, photography and literature. I’m a huge fan of visual aesthetics. Some of my favourite artist are Edward Hoper and Keith Haring, William Eggleston, and Steve McCurry. There are too many to mention. I’ve got an eclectic taste so I get inspired by a lot of things. Art can inspire you to write a story, it teaches you composition and lighting. Reading about other artists also inspires me, you get an insight into their thought process, and sometimes see similarities and that pushes you on. They also drop gems of advice, advice that leaves you feeling that maybe your not crazy after all, it’s ok to be different, “oh they didn’t like school also,” “thank god I thought it was only me”, let your mind wonder.
What is your favourite subject to photograph?
Bold colors, and things that I’ve never seen before, usual, quirky things. If I went to Japan I’d probably go crazy. I love finding the details that people ignore. The things that you walk by everyday and don’t notice.
I’ve noticed a lot of Asian influences in your photographs, can you tell me why this is a repetitive subject for you?
I’m from India, but born in England and now living in Toronto. So I’m a mixture of many different cultures. I’ve tried to stay away from negative images of Asia, and focus on the positive. I think being an outsider is a good thing, people like Steve MCcurry inspired me in that respect, to focus on positive side of Asia, and the color.
You use a lot of bright colours and imagery in your photographs can you tell me why you are drawn to this?
I’ve always been a fan of color, at first I was a big fan of Black & White, but color is a challenge, to take a good color picture it’s hard. The colors need to contrast well. Color is also aesthetically pleasing when you mix the right colors together. I’m always looking out for patterns and colors that work well together. When I see strong colors I gravitate to it like a moth to light.
Tell us about your home life, do you have a partner or are you single? Do you spend time traveling often? If so how do you find balance?
I’m single, I’ve not found anyone who likes the stuff I’m into haha. I’m stuck in Toronto right now, because I’m at college, but when I’m settled I’m planning on traveling. To be honest, Toronto is like a foreign place to me. It’s not like England, here it’s more like America. The supermarkets are massive, shopping malls are big, the people are different. It would be great to meet someone who likes to travel and likes art. It be great to have a Yoko Ono, to work with and chill with.
Are you involved artistically in any other areas?
I’m working on my personal films and would like to start printingphotographs again on various materials with a friend from OCAD. I’m trying to do a personal short movie that is just based on related things. Photography is a great outlet for me as I’ve found film school to not be a creative environment at all, and photography lets me vent my frustration.
What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
Taking pictures, I never get bored of it, and watching documentaries. Stuff that gives you goosebumps, stuff that inspires a change in you or exposes the world or things that you didn’t know. Tumblr is really addictive, and far too much time is spent on it.
Lastly would you say you live a trendy lifestyle?
Well I walk, buy second hand cloths, try and stay away from fast food, and stick to natural products, use paper bags, you can make a difference just by changing what you use. So, I am not sure…
Thanks Guatam for letting us get to know you and your art a little better.
Do you want to be featured on Trueblue Magazine’s, This Week In Photography? Shoot us an email! Ahoy@truebluemagazine.com