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The boy who chased dragonflies

At AVM Pictures, we believe that everyone should pursue a vocation or interest beyond monetary gains. We all are built in a certain way and fit into a certain area of vocation. The objective of this column is to discover talents who had the courage to pursue their passions.

Small insignificant whims from childhood days could pave way for a purpose in life as adults. The story of an Award Winning film maker and photographer Jordin Matthew seems one straight out of a Malayalam movie filmed in the picturesque district of Idukki, Kerala. He is a photographer, duh!

Idukki is like God’s own Garden of Eden where bio-diversity in terms of species of plants, flowers, spices and insects, abounds. Kanjar is a small village where young Jordin would start his days chasing dragonflies alongwith other kids. Not that he bunked school or flunked grades. But that school was just a means of learning to read and write since his heart belonged in the lap of nature.

You really need to visit his beautiful village to fully fathom the kind of exposure these young Mowglies had as they interacted with a new species of flora or fauna every other day. While Jordin had trouble remembering the previous day’s lesson in school, he was well-versed with the variety of dragonflies that existed around his ecosystem. The boys would tie papers onto the tails of the dragonflies and watched them stride like airplanes.

He loved to draw what he witnessed around him first hand exploring the various elements of nature and played volleyball whenever boredom set in. He got selected in SAI Volleyball Academy but his family didn’t think it was a good idea. Jordin eventually went on to do his BA in Multimedia from St Joseph College of communication, Changanacherry in the year 2015. Earlier, he finished his Diploma in Multimedia from BSS Thodupuzha in the year 2011.

When the chasing became capturing

By the end of his Multimedia studies, Jordin had found his passion – his camera – that he fondly calls his ‘third eye’. The chasing that began as a kid now transitioned into a full-fledged capturing of dragonflies in carefully thought-out frames. But that was no less dramatic either.

“Once on my way home from the college, I turned to a small road crossing between our college compound and hostel compound. I saw a small boy catching a dragon fly and giving it to his crying younger sister. I suddenly recalled my childhood days and realized that many people (especially Keralites) have several memories associated with these small beautiful creatures. I began capturing them through my lens. What began as a hobby soon became a source of knowledge and passion,” he shares.

“Till I started capturing dragonflies, I was totally unaware of them. These explorations helped me understand how useful these creatures are to us,” shares this 22-year-old photographer. Kerala alone boasts of a whopping 150 species of dragonflies while 500 species exist in India. “They caught my fancy not only due to the wide variety or their colourful patterns but also owing to the various advantages they bestow to mankind and environment,” shares Jordin.

His drawing abilities from school helped him understand the framing and composition of shots. Jordin has worked as a cinematographer in several short films and has worked as a Cameraman at Ujjain-based television channel called Ishvani for one year. He bagged a 2nd position in a short film festival organized by Thodupuzha Film Society, a Special jury award for ‘promising director’ in FESTELLEN short film festival and several first and second prizes in a few spot short film festivals.

The documentary that got him attention

Jordin finally decided to educate the rest of the world with a short documentary on the life-cycle, variety and utility of dragonflies. The documentary won a lot of media attention with more than 10 media houses covering it. Jordin became a star overnight, and was covered by noted South India media brands such as Reporter Channel, Mathurubumbi Channel, Manorama Channel, Jai Hind Channel, Malayala Manora, Janayugam to name a few.

Through the documentary and his interviews, Jordin is trying to spread awareness about the vitality of dragonflies to the environment. He has plans of launching a protection programs to preserve this natural treasure in India. Watch his documentary to know how useful dragonflies are. Or follow his Facebook Page.

The reverse lens method and inspiration

Jordin Matthew uses a special method of shooting photographs called the Reverse Lens Method. The normal lens is held upside down or reverse. This gets the effect of macro lens that enables the photographer to capture minute objects. “The main difficulty while doing this is achieving focus. Area of focus or depth of field is too small, so that we need to move the entire camera and lens to achieve the focus,” he says. Mounts are available to attach these lenses to camera but Jordin had to wait for a long time before he got one from Olx. The photographers who use reverse lens method have a history in patience without which this seems like a tall order.

Jordin admires photographers N A Nazeer and Salim Ali. “Both of them have a unique way of framing. They follow a unique pattern. They are more than photographers, they are people who live for the wild. Beyond its word meaning they are really “ones who have felt the wild,” he adds. Jordin is an ardent follower of the life and works of Jesus Christ and has a strong personal faith. He often visits schools to encourage young kids to follow their interests and discover their true calling.

Do you know your true calling?

Jordin finds true joy in his work because he followed his childhood instincts. What interests you most? Do you remember what you loved most as a kid? If not, take this career assessment test and discover your true calling -

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