Photographer Udyawar reveals his tricks of the trade, emphasising patience, and perspective as key elements of his craft
Having made Mumbai’s streets his canvas and DSLR camera his paintbrush, photographer Star Udyawar’s narration of everyday life in the maximum city is riveting. As can be seen in his various portrayals of the city like the historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Dhobi Ghat with its colourful backdrop, and the famous Sea-link. For Udyawar, perspective is key as it defines the in-depth relationship between the objects in a picture along with the dimensions that a viewer perceives.
“I attended a photography workshop two years back and the person there said, ‘If as a photographer you click a frame and a month later click that exact frame again, then you have not grown as a photographer’ and I have engraved these lines onto my heart,” reveals the 34-year-old photographer who eats and sleeps on the streets of Mumbai when not running his business.
“With the CST frame, I didn’t merely want the CST reflection but the man to come in the frame too,” he explains.
For the self-taught photographer, who started as a wedding photographer till he found his true calling, a frame is incomplete without a subject. Even if it requires staying put in one spot until the desired result is achieved.
“When I started clicking the city, I used to click empty frames. But over time, I realised that an empty frame doesn’t make sense. I need a subject to complete the composition. Now I wait for a bird or a human to pass through the frame that I have decided on,” he reveals, adding, “For instance, Dhobi Ghat is full of colours with clothes aligned in rows. There, you can find a frame in every corner. I found mine and waited for the guy to enter and start washing. With a subject, it helps you show action or emotion in the frame.”
While Udyawar mostly has frames in mind, like the one with CST reflection on the shop, he insists on mastering the art of patience for out-of-the-box perspectives.
“If you know the frame in front of you is good, it is important to wait and see what comes out of it. The problem is that we simply run off to a different location, giving up too easily. Recently, I took one picture of a bus passing under the bridge in Nana Chowk. I waited for two hours for a non-advertised bus to pass under the bridge,” explains the photographer.
Determined to capture everyday Mumbai life in extraordinary frames, Udyawar aspires to chase more sunsets and sunrises. “I hate doing portraits. I like landscapes and have numerous pictures of sunrise and sunset. And 2020 resolution is to chase more and more sunrise and sunset,” he concludes.