BENGALURU: As a hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience, Reuben Kataria is all too familiar with the fast-paced life and constant hustle and bustle of the industry. But Kataria seems to have found his escape in capturing moments, be it big, small, sepia toned or monochrome. An avid photographer since 2009, Kataria, who is also the general manager of JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru, is currently exhibiting his work at Bon Voyage, an art and photography exhibition at the hotel, which will go on till the end of the month.
Fourteen of Kataria’s photographs from his time in Egypt were on display but the number has eventually come down to four now. “The response has been good,” says Kataria, adding, “Ten photos were auctioned off, the highest bid going at `27,000.” These 14 were part of a larger collection of 1,000 photographs and featured a side of Egypt that went beyond “temples and tombs”. For example, one of the 10 auctioned photographs shows a dancer performing the Tanoura dance, which is an Egyptian folk dance. This photograph was sold for `20,000 and interestingly, was clicked just days after Kataria started using a DSLR for the first time.
“I’ve been told I have a good eye for composition,” he says, revealing that his interest in photography took off in 2009. One could say it’s an inherited hobby, with Kataria taking to it after his father and eventually passing it down to his seven-year-old daughter as well. Mostly self-taught, Kataria, 45, has also used online courses to hone his skill better. “But there’s nothing like continuous practice or constantly clicking pictures to improve,” he says.
And that’s been a technique Kataria has diligently followed. His camera – a Nikon DSLR – has been his trusted companion through his travels in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Zurich, Florence and Hong Kong, where he captured a series of the region’s double decker buses. But it wasn’t until two to three years ago that the “trigger happy” man noticed a change in his skill. He explains, “My wife would joke that I would run after every cat and dog for a photograph. But now I have a better trained eye.”
And this well-trained eye has no qualms about going back to a same place again for more pictures. “There’s always a different light or a different way to capture the same moment,” he says, adding that he is looking forward to his upcoming trip to Sri Lanka and the photo opportunities there. “Photography has taught me how to slow down. You stop, pause and observe much more. You just pick up your camera and explore compositions,” he adds.