Rajan Raju has been a keen photographer from the age of 10 – with a fascination for capturing images that highlight and convey the emotions in a moment. His photography journey, which he started with his first camera, the Afga 35mm, through to using his father’s SLR and TLR, according to him was one of discovery – littered more with failures than with successes.
A self-taught photographer, he continued pursuing his passion for the craft even after he started working in 1990, taking photos using point and shoot method of the places he visited. In 1994, when he moved abroad, he bought his first SLR and a set of lenses and set to learn about photography and its many aspects. He practiced and perfected the craft by first recording the settings used for every frame and then analysing the print to learn how to improve the image, thus perfecting his technical skills. During this time, he focussed on places and his family – especially his two sons – documenting their life from birth to adulthood. According to Raju, his true journey began after a chance conversion to digital photography in 2007, with the newfound freedom and control that digital photography provides he started experimenting with all genres of photography – portraiture, landscapes, wildlife, birds, sports, and street photography – adding immensely to his skills as a photographer. His efforts and learning further encouraged with his work getting displayed and commented on.
An accident in 2011, which left him tetraplegic, had made him, for a moment, think that it was the end of his journey as a photographer. But a positive attitude and with intense rehabilitation, he was able to take up the camera again. To counter the challenges of impaired mobility and a significant loss of hand and finger dexterity and speed, he shifted to taking more still life images like landscapes and portraits.
Now, he takes fewer photographs and gives his complete attention to each photograph – letting the mind think while the body takes its time to act. He publishes travel articles using his photographs and has had his work featured in competitions. Encouraged by the the comments on his photographs that tell him he is getting better at his craft, he relentlessly pursues his goal of making images that convey a particular emotion with which the viewer connects and to use photography to celebrate and showcase the miracle of being alive.
A true brave-heart, Rajan lives by this poem from Robert Forst –
These woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep