You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Many people have many different and interesting hobbies, so is with Aditya Arya. He is a photographer by profession and has taken his interest to another level. Today he is the proud owner of more 400 vintage cameras which he proudly displays in the basement of his house in Gurgaon. “I have been collecting cameras since I was in college, hence decided to start a museum with a view of introducing the digital generation to the history of analogue cameras and their evolution over the last 100 years. While I really like what can be done with digital technology, I happen to love the mechanical cameras from a previous point in time. They are all wonderfully magical boxes that were used to capture the light, the heart and the soul of life,” says 53 year old cameraman.
Indeed it is a noble idea to treasure the knowledge for the younger generation who wants to take up photography seriously, as his museum not only displays camera but all the equipments which goes along with it. “I took up photography professionally in 1980, though it was a hobby of mine since the 70s. I find photography as the only profession that takes you to various destinations all over the world to enjoy, observe and work- a rarity among other professions. It enables my yearning to wander, explore, and discover.” He is so much in love with his apparatus that for him it’s a tough job to pick one. “Each vintage camera is a classic that represents an iconic era in photography therefore it is an impossible decision to choose any one. These cameras of the past evoke nostalgic authenticity and simplicity which is just unparalleled. They allow me to experience a bit of history. To me, they are nostalgic and historical treasures. I love old cameras in part because they are amazing examples of mechanical technology, and amazingly most of these cameras were built long before electronic flash, automation, electronic shutters or even light meters.” Throwing more lights on his collection, “The oldest camera in the collection is afrom the 1870s. This British manufacturer based in Altrincham, near Manchester was an early pioneer in the development of the camera industry.”
Finally, he explains why is so fascinated about Photography, what it means to him. “It is a way to see, observe, and understand others and the world. It also helps me meet new people – touch their lives like they do mine and discover new places. I do not regard photography as a ‘job’, photography for me is a way of life. Photography is a lifestyle I have chosen, not a career.”
(Published in Society Aug ’13, Page No. 16)