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Let the Camera roll: Tikam Chand & the magic of his Vintage camera.

19 Aug

Each camera, be it vintage or digital, has its own tale to be discovered and told!

Photography has the power to tell stories, inspire generations and bring an enormous change in the World. It creates a vision for the unseen. We can share and view pictures indefinitely across the globe in milliseconds. The digital age has its own perks.

Miss Alice capturing Jaipur's History in her lens

  19th August is universally pronounced as the ‘World Photography Day’.  Seems surreal right? Even I used to think the same till I met Mr. Tikam Chand and many other observant and marvelous photographers, in our very own Jaipur!

Hawa Mahal is quite a catch for tourists visiting Jaipur. And Outside, you’d definitely find Tikam Chand or his brother along with their era old ‘Huge’ camera coping up with either the scorching sun in summers from 7.30am to 7.00 pm or the biting winters from 9 am to 5.00pm!

Capturing the smiles since years

Tikam Chand, a man in his late 40’s proudly owns an 1860 Carl Zeiss wooden camera which he has been using for daily duties since past three decades! The camera and its legacy are unbelievable!

Wooden Camera

 Tikam Chand’s grandfather called, Pahiri Master, was a Royal Photographer for the Maharaja of Jaipur in the 19th century who treasured this piece of beauty, manufactured in the 1860’s Germany. Since then it has been passed down from generations, which ultimately got conferred on Tikam Chand in 1977. And hence, He decided to preserve the heritage and also created a livelihood out of it by charging Rs. 200 for each Black and White picture.  The strength of a camera which might seem menial is astonishingly enormous!

Black & White Picture

This camera which is more or less trying to find a place in this digital age of Photo- technology stands on a broken tripod, still not losing its focus, a set of 4×5 Carl Zeiss lens along with a dark room built in it. Though body of the wooden camera is quite worn out, It’s the only piece left of its kind in the World.

Earlier in 1860s, they used to get Gavit Paper for developing the pictures which later gave way to InduPaper. Now they use Noa Lustre, not available in Jaipur which makes it all the more difficult for him to sustain. But his determination takes him to studios in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Ahmadabad and even Chennai to get the paper!  So much for keeping the heritage alive…

Tikam Chand

 Well, Photography has the audacity to capture memories, those auspicious moments of life we would always cherish!! Photography is an invention which has evolutionalised the way we view the World and its majestic dimensions with flamboyant people in it. We can visit places without even leaving our own porches! And most importantly, we can watch our grandchildren grow up while we are miles apart from them! Photography has led to splendid revolution in our lives! The history of celebration of this day time and again demonstrates the passion towards Photography which undoubtedly is the true foundation of this day. Many of those tiny set of black and white Polaroids can act as a souvenir of our old days and bring along pangs of nostalgia. Embrace each day with zeal and love!

So do not hesitate, Keep calm and let the cameras roll!!

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