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Highpoints of 2016

2016 for me brought some mixed feelings. By far it has been the year which greatly brought my work to the forefront but also made me rue on the fact that I didn't take up as many projects as I had intended to I was fretting more on managing my finances while I work on my art. But the year has been great in terms of the recognition that it has brought me. I want to share all of that with you guys and a few of my personal favorite pictures .

 

One of the highest point for me this year was getting nominated for the EyeEm international photography awards in photojournalism (Click here to know more about it) . It was totally unreal so early in my photographic career. For a person like me who always questions himself and his craft, it was reassuring in a way to keep working at it. Here is the picture that got into the nomination.

 

This year I really got started into wedding photography and loved every bit of it. It wasn’t much of a challenge considering I already shoot a lot of street but lighting the scenarios is a new realm of world compared to that. This is the shot that really kickstarted that journey and gave me confidence to go about it. I am really proud of this one.

 

One of the most enjoyable projects was shooting for the Repertwahr theater and music fest. It was such a hedonic experience listening to the music of Parvaaz and Namit Das among others and meeting so many awesome artists. Here are some of the pictures taken during the music fest.

Wilson Kenneth on the bass with Namit Das and Anurag Shanker

Wilson Kenneth on the bass with Namit Das and Anurag Shanker

Namit Das & Wilson Kenneth

Namit Das & Wilson Kenneth

Parvaaz, in sync.

Parvaaz, in sync.

While shooting and recording the interviews of all these artists I managed to start a personal project of shooting portraits of these artists, always short of time, we managed to click these portraits under 30 secs each.

The ever cute Kalki Koechlin.

The ever cute Kalki Koechlin.

Anurag Tewari & Mynah Marie.

Anurag Tewari & Mynah Marie.

Prateek Kuhad.

Prateek Kuhad.

The goofy Jim Sarbh.

The goofy Jim Sarbh.

One of the most special events was getting my image exhibited at the prestigious International center of Photography New York.(Click here)

 

In conjunction to that School of visual arts, New York selected five winning images for Night photography as a human selection counterpart to the EyeEm's Virtual images selection algorithm, my image was one of those 5 photos selected by the SVA. (More details)

NIghtcrawler.

NIghtcrawler.

 

This is one of my favorite pictures, also it was taken just outside Sangeet Natak Academy where my theater journey began and kind of let me to this point in life. 

This month EyeEm has come out with their year book and four of my different images are a part of it. You can view the e-version of their collection of images from 2016 here.Below are those four pictures from the collection.

 

 

One of the very enriching experiences was to travel the length and breadth of Haryana and Punjab understanding lives and and stories of the female athletes of these two states as a team member of a research project for the new television series named, Meri Durga' on Star plus. It got me close to people who are like minded with the same attitude towards sports and athletics.

 

Finishing off, I look back at the past 12 months and it makes me realise that these exprience have helped me a lot in understanding my craft and the industry much better than I knew before. It also gave me much more than I had expected so early in my career but it also made me realise that true contentment comes from generating new ideas, images and projects, the recognition, the appreciation makes it all worthwhile but the real motivation to do better has to come from within.

 

2016 EyeEm photography awards result.

Can Dagarslani, 31, from Istanbul, Turkey. Winner of the 'Portraitist of the year' category for 2016.

Can Dagarslani, 31, from Istanbul, Turkey. Winner of the 'Portraitist of the year' category for 2016.

The results of 2016 EyeEm photography awards have been announced and I must say I really like the winning images in most of the categories. To check them out click here.

One of my friends called up in the middle of night to say sorry that I didn't win as she had been up to wait for the results but I didn't feel bad at all. It just felt like a kick in the butt to do better, the winner of photographer of the year, Zacharie Rabehi is a friend of mine from Facebook and seeing his video feature reminded me what it's all about, to just go out there and shoot, the exploration and not to worry if the images will come out good or not, just acting on the instincts. It reconnected me to the feeling which I had when I started out, to just have fun and risking to sound too modest, some things shouldn't come too soon, it would just make you complacent.

Checkout the 100 finalists from different categories that were selected out of 2,70,000 applicants. I was nominated in the photojournalist section for the photo below, you can checkout the other nominees of the category by clicking here.

My nominated entry in the photojournalism category.

My nominated entry in the photojournalism category.

All in all it was a great collection of images from the 100 nominees. below are my favorites across the categories. It thrills me to the bones that I have been placed among these amazing artists and a brilliant collection of images and that my work was selected and exhibited by some top notch people of the industry..

 

Chris Layton, 30, from Carmel, NY, United States

Chris Layton, 30, from Carmel, NY, United States

Mankichi Shinshi, 32, from Nagoya, Japan

Mankichi Shinshi, 32, from Nagoya, Japan

Dmitri Popov, 46, from Aarhus, Denmark

Dmitri Popov, 46, from Aarhus, Denmark

By Ihar Paulau

By Ihar Paulau

Isara Pittayasiri, 28, from Bangkok, Thailand

Isara Pittayasiri, 28, from Bangkok, Thailand

By Dennis kwong

By Dennis kwong

By Dasha

By Dasha

Image by 1000Worte

Image by 1000Worte

Debbie Fortes

Debbie Fortes

Image by Christina Taylor.

Image by Christina Taylor.

Nominated for the 2016 EyeEm Photography Awards. Yes, Me.

How would it feel? You secretly wish it when you start out in a field of your choice and passion, to get recognition, to win awards, to be known among the world's best and it happens so soon. I must say this year has been going on a jet speed for me, so many features and projects and then comes the nomination for an International photography awards function, top 20 among 2,70,000 photographs and 35,000 photographers.

Early this month I got a mail from EyeEm , to send in a high resolution version of one of my pictures with a description for it and that I am in running for top 100 photographers to be nominated in different categories for photography awards and an official invitation to visit them in Berlin on the award night, and to keep mum till they announce it officially.

Finally it has been surfaced and I have been placed under the photojournalism category. Check out the link below to have a look at the nominations.

List of finalists for the photojournalism category.

Do comment on which ones do you like the most and which one do you predict would win, it's exactly one suspenseful month away on August 27.

PS: Click on the photo at the top to view the finalists from all the categories, they are just an amazing bunch of gobblesmackers.

Another feature on EyeEm.

Yohoo, though I have been featured many a times on EyeEm contest as a winner and runner up, it's their weekly feature that has got an eye on my work. The weekly curated list at EyeEm uploads is out and a picture that I took casually during a prep video shootthat has caught their attention. I must say that I like the pictures of others on this list a lot and envy them on their looks too.

Please go through the list by clicking on the picture and comment too as to which ones are your favorite. I particularly like the one with the girl and the car mirror(good enough click bait, ha?) .

This picture I took during a practice video shoot where we were standing on a railway bridge and there was an open dairy below, a composition waiting to be clicked.

This picture I took during a practice video shoot where we were standing on a railway bridge and there was an open dairy below, a composition waiting to be clicked.

My first surprise win. An L16 Camera.

What a surprise it would be, this August while heading before the month long trip to Goa and Mumbai, I discovered a new photography app called EyeEm, a clean interface, Instagram like portal which officially conducts competitions in partnership with other photography giants to discover new talents in the photography industry. I happened to post some pictures on it and forgot about it. This December I received an email stating that maybe I haven't checked but I have won a photography contest held by EyeEm and Light Co. The theme of the contest was "Capture the moment". Check out the link below to view my winning entry.

 

                                   Click on the picture to view the contest results.

                                   Click on the picture to view the contest results.

 

I was zapped after reading the mail because I hadn't won any photography competition before and winning the top prize, that too a camera worth rupees over a lakh was too much. More than the prize it was the recognition that boosted my happiness because I considered this photo an important achievement in my portfolio. The picture was taken during the month ofMuharram in Lucknow, India and as a personal project I was covering it in the various areas of the city. I was doing that for a week spending the nights out in the city. On the last day of the month when 'Tazia" of each area is taken to the local burying grounds named Karbala I was lazying around my house and procrastinating going out when I got a call from my father that a processing was heading out not too far from our house.  Immediately I went there and started clicking.I was a little apprehensive first in getting too close to the people assuming it might offend them as it's a mourning after all but one of the men recognized me from our childhood days and and runs a Chaat cart called me in to display the Tazia of their locality and many of them happily posed. Once I got comfortable, I started following them and observed the procession for the first time in life properly while taking the pictures.

IMG_4843.jpg
IMG_5072.jpg

 

What particularly caught my fancy was the presence of children because we generally keep children out of bloodshed, nicks and bruises but here they were breaking light tubes on their head and blowing fire out of their mouth. This scene affected me and it became a sub subject of my series and has kept me to capture more this year too.

I remember that I was looking for a particular picture which I visualized in my mind and started chasing that, in some time I got the perfect timing and grabbed this one happily. I spent my day chasing other processions too but I think this one will remain a special one because it got me my first recognition at an international platform.

The equally exciting part of this win is the L16 camera which is quite revolutionary in its technology. Imagine your phone with 16 sensors and lenses on its back and that you can change the exposure, depth of field and focal point AFTER taking the picture, that's L16 for you. It would be actually useful for me as many a places I have to shoot discreetly and I hope it would be much better than taking out a big DSLR and making everyone around cautious. If you are intrigued about the camera, do click at the picture below and it will take you to it's detailed description.