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23 Feb 2024, Edition - 3146, Friday

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‘Photography has nothing to do with camera’

Indrani Thakurata


“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving” a famous quote by Ansel Adams has aptly described the emotions that a photograph evokes. To celebrate World Photography Day, we talk to few experts and take you through some of their gems.

Prakhar Pandey, Photographer with more than 15 years of industry expert has done comprehensive photography on multiple dimensions ranging from hardcore news items to the stories pertaining to social issues. He loves to showcase conflicts in his photography.

On Composition: I have always believed that one has to be true to the subject. I have always tried to capture the moment. When composing, it is important to not merge the foreground and the background. There are many technical aspects that are essential, but what is more important is the story that you are trying to tell.

The idol of Goddess Durga is being immersed in the Yamuna. The immersion ceremony symbolises the end of the goddess’s annual sojourn to her paternal home.


Asif Khan was the creative Head at Raheja Productions. He along with his team members received the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism for its path-breaking film `On losing ground’. He is a wildlife enthusiast, and his love for the wild makes beautiful pictures.

On composition: A picture is not just a click for me, it is a canvas which has to be painted beautifully. So the camera, the lens you are using doesn’t compose anything. It is the mind and the soul of the photographer that captures it. I think Lucas Gentry was bang on when she said, ‘Photography has nothing to do with camera.’

Picture 1: People who love birds would know of Coots. Coots are small water birds that are members of the Rallidae family. They constitute the genus Fulica, the name being the Latin for “coot”. Coots may locally comprise more than 80% of the diet of bald eagles. This was taken in Nalsarovar Lake, Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat.

Picture 2: Greater Flamingos are natural favourites for photographers. They are so gorgeous that you can’t take your eyes away. I had to shoot this.


Alankar Chandra is an acclaimed wildlife photographer. He is also the CEO of Wild Voyager Pvt. Limited, an emerging travel start-up that offers carefully curated journeys to some of the best landscapes across India.

On composition: As they say a picture is worth a 1000 words, some brilliant pictures can even tell a story equivalent to a whole book. Those pictures essentially rely on composition to convey a message, depict a way of life, show some animal behaviour, some struggle for existence, different human emotions and a lot more.
When we think beyond technical aspects of photography and start talking about stories, then we are talking composition.

1. This picture is unique to me as though it seems very calm but the real weather conditions in this picture were extreme. Strong winds, freezing cold and slippery ice were what we braved to reach the point from where this image was made. This image shows one of the most famous landmarks of Iceland against the divine Northern lights. Just to get this one composition right we had to walk 1km in extreme conditions and brave the same conditions for over 2 hours.


2. This picture is special to me as this endangered bird, lesser florican, jumps once every 10-15 minutes for courtship display to its female and that is the only chance to see it. It is a vertical jump for 2-3s and we do not know where it will emerge next in a vast field. Getting its image requires huge patience, camera skills as well as little luck. While it jumps, it is almost impossible to track the bird on auto focus, so we have to keep the focus locked by assuming its position. If the position turns out to be right then we are lucky, but still we need to get the composition right and place the bird comfortably in the frame showing the height of jump from the ground.


Jayanth Sharma is a well known name in India in wildlife photography. The recipient of Sanctuary Asia magazine award as the Wildlife Photographer of the year, he is also the Co-Founder & CEO of Toehold, India’s numero-uno Travel & Photography Company that provides photography and photography-oriented travel services in India.

On composition: It is a fierce work commitment that is motivating me to capture awe-inspiring compositions. I believe that my strengths are the tools which help me create powerful vignettes of optical excellence designed to pamper the aesthetic corner of a nature lover.

Picture 1 A pair of chinstrap penguins engage in pre-nesting rituals in the Lemaire Channel of the Antarctic Peninsula. Chinstraps are excellent parents. They gather stones to make a nest, following which the female lays eggs and incubates them, while the male brings her food, before they swap roles.


Picture 2 A striking silhouette of an African elephant evokes the iconic beauty of this amazing continent. This image was captured in Amboseli National Park, renowned as one of the world’s best places to watch and photograph elephants.


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