Color me red. Tripunithra Carnival, a city near Cochin at Kerala, Índia.
Two men, wet to the skin, running inside a river -- each one at an extremity of a rope. Side by side with two huge bulls joined by a woody stick and more ropes. A third one is at the middle of the scenery, hidden by the surf risen by the race. The powerful image of the race seems to be fully drawn by a whole universe whose significance is a secret for most of us. The traditions and the popular soul of the Indians, core of this universe, is what the Anoop Negi's point of view looks for through his camera's lens. Born in India in the 1950s, he has been making photographs for more than ten years. He crosses the country revealing places, rituals and fantastic existences, full of ethnographic accuracy.
With his endless courtesy, Anoop and me had a little talk about his work, internet and challenges: If it's an open air escape, I need to wait elements like lightning, sunlight, clouds and hour of the day are ok. Photographing during the morning is a tough process, not just because of the rough light of the sun, but also because it's too hot.
Your images of Goa are incredible, I fell in love for this place some years ago. It's the ski, the sea, the history. It's a forgotten paradise. India always fulfills our imagination...
I'm at Goa nowadays. It's a nice place, one of the best destinations for vacation because of the sea baths. Before, I spent 3-4 years in places like Cochin at Kerala, Calcutá, Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore and so on... I think I've already been in most part of India.
Tell me how photography came inside your life, how did you start? What instigates you on capturing...?
I think it has something about the curiosity concerning all the mechanical and inventive things. I wanted to know how they worked and what their results were. My photographs didn't start because I saw devastation images of the planet. I think I read the Life magazine a lot, which brought images of events around the world. This must had been the window of the soul towards my interest by photojournalism.
When I was young, I dreamed to take pictures. But, in fact, this kind of dream only becomes true when you can gather a certain amount of money in your pocket to buy a good camera. Then, you have to wait the time when you will put your hands at something decent. Currently, all kinds of camera are available on market, but in the 1980s and 1990s the things weren't such like this in India.
What instigates someone to capture something with a camera is always related to how much a person can make with the tools under his control and his ability to make the best of his talent, of his creativity and how challenging is the situation where this person is. If a determinate situation imposes a challenge in terms of accessibility, opportunity, the difficulty on fighting against all these things will turn the image you captured a reward.
Marriot's Gates of Paradise (Goa). After a very hot day, the rain offers new tones to the sky.
And can you work with photography or do you any "day job" to keep it? Do you receive local invitations?
Photography isn't a career that supports you on the current days. My day job lies in the financial market as a negotiator and a stock market investor. I pay the costs. All my photographs are taken on personal trips. Pictures' selling can't afford the charge I've got in this kind of trip. I personally do not accept invitations of institutions asking for photographic covers. They occasionally offer commissions for taking commercial pictures, but most of the time they want something cheap -- and it's not something I'd like to do.
Most part of your activity is on Flickr, could your tell us a little bit about this website? Why do you use Flickr? Pros and cons...
Flickr is a good website for most of semi-professional and amateur photographers. A bunch of images overflows its server everyday. There are good and bad pictures there. If you watch them you can easily start to say good and bad things -- after that, it's a logical process learning its concerning techniques, formats and styles. It helps a beginning photographer to get his wide point of view of the photography world.
The bad side is that it won't really help a photographer on developing critical abilities; he has to trust in his own experiments and imitations. The feedback you should have, as it's build based on a mutual appreciation of pictures, doesn't happen. And it becomes a "give and receive" game.
Now, even professional photographers have accounts on Flickr and post their non-commissioned pictures. Flickr now is a way of reaching a wide audience and access. It's like social net as Facebook, Twitter etc., but photography is the only way of connection.
Maramady at Adoor (Kerala). The bulls' race at the festival that celebrates agriculture.
Mussels' fishery -- by a sea diver.
Portuguese-speaking influence at a Panjim bar: vibrating colors are common through the walls of the city.
Goa's Beach, 2008 Christmas.
Crossing the skies. Circa, Kerala.
Russian invasion at Goa