YOU CANNOT LEARN GENIUS BUT YOU CAN LEARN SELF DISCIPLINE 

Woody Allen was asked to comment when Ingmar Bergman died.

He wrote, “As if I had anything of real value to add to the grim news besides once again simply extrolling his greatness.

How has he influenced me, I said, he was a genius and I AM NOT a genius and GENIUS CANNOT BE LEARNED or its magic passed on.

But I did manage to absorb one thing from him, a thing not dependent on genius or talent but something that can actually learned and developed. I am talking about what is often very losely called a work ethic but is really plain DISCIPLINE.

I have learnt from his example to try to turn out the BEST WORK I’M CAPABLE of at that given movement, never giving in to the foolish world of hits and flops or succumbing to play the glitzy role of the film director, but MAKING A MOVIE AND MOVING ON TO THE NEXT ONE. Bergman made about sixty films in his lifetime, I have made thirty-eight. AT LEAST IF I CAN’T RISE TO HIS QUALITY MAYBE I CAN APPROACH HIS QUANTITY.”

Today Woody Allen is making his 48th film.

I once had asked a similar question and I got my answer through this: The answer is to keep on working continuously, not to loose focus. The answer is persistence. The answer is since we are not geniuses we need to work a lot more harder.

I too want a genius to mentor me, help me with my work but it cannot happen till one works hard continuously without worrying about the outcome.  I have to be worthy to even become someone’s prodigy.

I am sharing these pictures , as artistically these pictures  might not be very interesting but they are technically very good. They are an achievement for me.

They are of the times  when I was learning photography and I had a 200 m regular lens, which is not a lens used to shoot birds.

My teacher taught me this very important lesson, “never blame your equipment. You can shoot good photographs with mediocre instruments if you work hard and push your self. You should have the right attitude.”

First time when I had to shot photographs of birds, I came back and checked.  None of the photos were good. My teacher told me, “any animal or bird’s photo is good when you have taken the circle of the eye cearly, the light should reflect in the eye, then its a good photograph technically”

I complained,”how can I do better now that I don’t have a lens meant to do wildlife photography plus its very cold at the lake”

He gave me the most simple answer, “learn to keep your hand steady, the eye will come.”

Then for the next few days I would go on my terrace early morning stand in the cold with out a sweater and take photographs of pegions. Like Arjun I would focus at the pigeon’s eye. The whole time  I would think of the song, “the eye of the tiger” and it would go on in my head and it would help me focus at the eye.

Again the day to go to the lake to take photographs of birds came. It was 1 st of January. That was the only day everyone was free. I had got very drunk at the new year party the night before ( I only drink from New Year’s to new years, so drunk hona toh banta hai) and passed out by 2.00a.m.

But at 6 a.m. sharp I was at the lake with my 200 mm lens and my hand were steady cause my mind was under control. That was an ecstatic day as it was a day of victory of the mind over the body.

I took photographs which had clear eyes of the small birds sitting far off on the branches.

The whole time “The eye of the tiger” song  was running in my head.

These images are cropped as my lens would not zoom this close.

These pictures always remind me of how hard I worked to learn photography and this update is to push me and remind me to work as hard as I can with self discipline for my present project 😊

A Special thank you to Dr. Shrikant Rakhe for teaching me everything about photography.

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