As life slowly returns to normal even amid the pandemic, photowalks are seeing an increasing interest with camera enthusiasts. With social distancing norms, smaller groups and safety protocols, organisers are conducting tours at offbeat, hidden gems in and around city to avoid crowded places.
Participants too feel that the new norms especially small packs are helping more in learning about the craft, building the community or getting away from the mundane life to pursue an activity.
“It is now a completely new experience. The formats for photowalks have changed. Participants are excited and want to break free but at the same time are a bit hesitant due to the Covid-19 situation. The photo group used to earlier have 30-40 members which have now come down relatively smaller batches of 10-12. Also, we did not earlier reveal the names of participants but now we put it out in advance to ensure everyone’s comfortable with the group,” says Virendra Shekhawat, founder, Delhi Photography Club. Post lockdown, the club’s first photowalk took place at Dhanauri Wetlands in Greater Noida and latest one being at Qutub Minar.
An avid photographer and retired Indian Navy officer Avanish Dureha, who attended one of the walks after a gap of six months recalls, “The list of participants was shared with us beforehand so it made for a pleasant experience as we knew each other. We were careful about health. We had masks on and frequently used sanitisers. Social distancing norms were maintained, and walk was as interesting as it used to be earlier.”
Smaller groups are turning to be beneficial for those who picked photography as a hobby amid pandemic and are keen on learning about the profession. Gurpeet Kaur, an entrepreneur from Gurugram says, “I recently attended a phototrail with a group of 7 people and with a limited number of people, it was easier to communicate acquire knowledge of photography. The undivided attention from the head was a plus point for us, since we could understand the tricks and tips very patiently.”
With the reduced size group, Rajeev Goyal, co-founder, Delhi Photo Tours too recently conducted a photowalk in Old Delhi. He says, “Although there were 4-5 participants but doing street photography in the by-lanes of Old Delhi has it’s own charm. When it’s not crowded and market is shut, you can actually look for interesting details, and click elements such as old doors and locks. It gives a chance to capture unique subjects.”
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