From astrophotography to capturing the moods of the ocean, these five photographers prove that each picture opens the doors to a whole new world. Here’s a look at their work.
As American photojournalist Burk Uzzle rightly put it, photography is a love affair with life. Pictures allow one a blissful escape from the ordinary, an opportunity to live in a million different worlds.
We’ve put together a list of photographers whose journeys have been nothing short of remarkable. Through their shots, they are opening the doors to new worlds.
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1. Capt Navtej Singh
Stills from remote places around India dot the pages of Capt Navtej Singh’s photography journey. He credits his experiences during his 32-year stint in the Indian Navy for this. There is a story that the Navy officer wishes to convey through each picture that he has captured — one about the essence of Indian culture and history.
As he emphasises, the job comes with its own set of demands. “You work in a hostile environment wearing gear, helmet, bulletproof jackets, etc, all while trying to click the perfect picture while in the thick of the action, and ensuring you are not obstructing someone’s duty.”
But the real challenge, he says, is taking advantage of every moment. “A missile is only fired once and you have a moment to get your shot. That moment won’t come back. Every instance, every picture has its own glory.”
2. Vidyasagar Hariharan
When banker Vidyasagar Hariharan caught his first glimpse of the flamingos that visited Mumbai in 2016, he fell in love. He recalls the moment as “magical”.
“I heard a loud noise as we were nearing the waterbody. It was the sound of thousands of flamingos cackling. The rising sun painted the murky tidal waters and the pink birds golden. I was enamoured,” adds the 47-year-old. Since that day, Vidyasagar has made a visit to the wetlands a part of his routine, while also extensively researching the birds.
Here’s a peek into his work.
3. Waswo X Waswo
A desire to do something “uncommon” led Waswo X Waswo, a photographer from the US, to go on a touristy escapade to Udaipur on his trip to India. The city felt so much like home to the photographer that he stayed behind for over 16 years, eventually building himself a house and two studios there.
“I felt too many photographers had used India purely as subject matter,” he shares, adding that his exhibition ‘Photowallah’ intended to sidestep this notion. ‘A Studio in Rajasthan’ is a hand-coloured series of black and white photographs that pay homage to traditional Indian portrait studios from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Waswo worked closely with Udaipur artist Rajesh Soni who highlighted the black and white pictures with colour paints.
4. Suyash Keshari
The self-taught photographer has always relished tranquillity. In 2019, it compelled him to quit his job in the US to pursue his childhood passion — nature photography. Hours spent in the Bandhavgarh National Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, introduced Suyash not only to the beauty of wildlife but also to issues such as deforestation and poaching.
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His debut five-part series ‘Safari with Suyash’ showcasing a cub Solo’s life in the reserve got him international acclaim. The series went on to establish an emotional chord with the audiences as well, who saw an eye-opening account of why wildlife must be conserved at every cost.
His work won him Nature’s Best Photography Asia Award at 19.
5. Dorje Angchuk
The promotion of astronomy in the Ladakh region is fundamental to Angchuk’s work. The 49-year-old Dorje Angchuk became the first Indian to be inducted as an Honorary Member of the International Astronomical Union. Ask him what keeps him going and he will tell you it’s a deep love for the skies.
But, a major turning point was in 2009 when he met Ajay Talwar, renowned astrophotographer and a member of The World At Night (TWAN) — an international project to produce and present a collection of high-quality photos, videos, and virtual reality (VR) images of the night sky.
“My journey into astrophotography began by taking star trails that were quite famous back then,” he explains.
Edited by Pranita Bhat