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Better Photography - April 2018

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FAITH AND STRENGTH OF CHARACTER AS SEEN THROUGH THE LENS OF PRINCE GYASI
21 PHOTOGRAPHERS ON
INTERPRETING
Gurinder Osan on the
need for compassion
in chronicling the world
THE MOMENT
Mahdi Pourebadi, Mohamed Alragheb, Paul Nicklen, and others
describe how they captured their award-winning images.
Subscriber's copy.
www.betterphotography.in
18
20
PA
WI
(Total 148 pages)
K
T AC
ES E B
IGG AR
'S B RDS
DIA WA
: IN A
EN HY
OP RAP
IES OG
TR OT
EN E PH
LIF
LD
WI
April 2018 • Rs. 150
in the reading of Photographs
e d i to r i a l
“A strict
adherence to
process and
rules also has
the danger
of making a
photographer
‘too focused’.”
4
Over the past few months, I have been finding myself mulling over
photographs of simple everyday life and occurrences. Some of
them remain in my mind long after I have stop seeing them. I am
not referring to the mundane, random snapshots by the masses
that consume photography just because it is easily available, but
photographs made as a record of an unconnected moment, by those
who have observed something unusual within the usual. There is a
certain detached honesty about these types of pictures, appreciable to the common eye.
Bodies of work edited from sets of images like these seem to find their way into festivals and
talks around the world.
And why not? Some legendary photographers, and photographic styles have emerged
this way. I have observed that, for the most part, an untrained but conscious photographer
unknowingly follows compositional guidelines. After all, these guidelines exist because
they are generally pleasing to a larger section of an audience. On the other hand, when the
same photographer tries to make personal statements with images about relevant issues,
they often fail badly. The images look forced and contrived. Good personal statements need
a moulding of the eye. Photographers need a guide who can show them how to use their
natural talent for meaningful pictures.
Good teachers have always had a role to play in this equation. In fact, some of the best of
mentors I have come across teach their students to see in a certain way, without imposing
rules. Thus ‘mould’, and not ‘train’. Hardened training has its own place. But it often forces
a strict adherence to process and rules, and consequently, also has a danger of making a
photographer ‘too focused’. This kind of disciplined conditioning produces technical
brilliance, so loved by juries, judges and magazine editors. It creates artists of a different
breed. When a highly trained photographer breaks rules deliberately and carefully, after
a lot of practice, the point of departure is so singularly refined that one cannot help but
admire the work. An uninitiated beginner in photomacrography, for instance, might manage
to capture an excellent image in the very first attempt. But the best come from those who use
the right processes and practices, spend years in the field, and add that slight twist to the tale.
K Madhavan Pillai
editor@betterphotography.in
Passengers Asleep
by Zuhe Ding
A farmer by profession, Zuhe
picked up the camera about
six years ago, to record the
extraordinary beauty he
encountered while tending
his farm. Over time, he began
making photos of just about
anything that caught his
attention. This photograph
won him the first prize
in HIPA’s General Colour
category this year. “I prefer to
document the ordinary.
There’s so much beauty to be
uncovered from the simple
day-to-day moments in our
lives,” he said.
For knowing more about the
thoughts of the winners of HIPA
—Turn to page 52
Better PhotograPhy
aPril 2018
V o l u m e
2 1
•
i s s u e
1 1
•
a p r i l
Chief human resources officer, network18
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on the magazine: feedback@betterphotography.in
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april 2018
April 2018
52
34
CellphonePhotography
24
cellPhoNe test
28
Infinix Hot S3
A device fit for the selfie
aficionado on a budget.
How does it fare on the
BP test bench?
Oppo F5
Does Oppo’s latest
‘selfie’ phone make
the cut with all the
‘self-a-holics’?
ON THE COVER
FAITH AND STRENGTH OF CHARACTER AS SEEN THROUGH THE LENS OF PRINCE GYASI
www.betterphotography.in
18
20
PA
WI
(Total 148 pages)
K
T AC
ES E B
IGG AR
'S B DS
DIA AR
: IN AW
EN HY
OP RAP
IES G
TR OTO
EN PH
FE
DLI
WIL
April 2018 • Rs. 150
21 PHOTOGRAPHERS ON
INTERPRETING
Gurinder Osan on the
need for compassion
in chronicling the world
THE MOMENT
Mahdi Pourebadi, Mohamed Alragheb, Paul Nicklen, and others
describe how they captured their award-winning images.
PHOTOGRAPH: MARINA SERSALE
DESIGN: MAHESH JADHAV
34
cellPhoNe ProFile
Prince Gyasi
Portraits that rebel against
preconceived notions
one may have of Ghana
InFocus
96
88
112
BetterPictures
52
PersPectives
HIPA Awards Showcase
A stunning showcase of all
the winning photographs
from the seventh edition
of the awards
ShowCase
88
96
sPecial Feature
Canon BP WPOY
2017-18 Awards: Video
Category Nominees
A showcase of the top six
category nominees
PhotoFinish
146 The First Ever
storY behiNd the Picture
‘Spacewalker’
ProFile
Gurinder Osan
On the endless pursuit of
knowledge and finding
harmony between
photojournalism and
landscape photography
Regulars
Feedback ............................................................10
PhotoFeature .................................................. 112
Feedback
Send your suggestions, thoughts, and feedback letters to
feedback@betterphotography.in
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Website: betterphotography.in
FIND US ONLINE!
Stronger Reference to Cellphone Photography in the Editorial
Recently, I overheard my parents talking about my dad’s health. He had constant chest pains, and they never
disclosed this information to me due to my ongoing board exam preparations. I started to assumed the
worst and felt that, perhaps, I’ll lose him. Later, his test results showed everything was normal. Like most
individuals, I never really prepared for the day I’d lose my dad, but this incident yanked me to reality.
I felt the urge to build our relationship, and in that pursuit I began to photograph him with my iPhone.
The small device helped me to capture unguarded moments, like when he lay sprawled on the couch, or
when he would sing or hum without realising it. Cellphone photography allowed me to observe minute details
about him like his calloused hands with damaged nail beds, and the way he wore his clothes (always putting
his right hand or leg in first). Throughout his life, my father portrayed himself as a stern man who held the
strength to move mountains. Now, years later, I see a different person. I’m fortunate to have these pictures,
but more than that, I can cherish the memories that accompany them.
Niloofer Sheikh, Srinagar
“Due to the The History of Photography
convenience BP has always published interesting
offered by pieces, and the main story in the March
issue was one of them. I am a huge fan of
technology history, and the timeline was a delightful
today, we tend to surprise. I liked the structure and flow,
take the medium and found the information condensed.
for granted.” Furthermore, I enjoyed reading the fact
column which mentioned lesser known
trivia about photography, such as the
various movements, or the day certain
important magazines were established.
The quotes too were refreshing to read!
I have realised that this story doesn’t
just mention the major milestones in
photography but also their impact at
the time.
Photography paved the way as an art form,
and as a new medium of storytelling.
Due to the convenience offered by
technology today, we tend to take the
medium for granted. This often leads one
to photograph, not because they want to
capture an important moment, but for the
sake of keeping up with the crowd.
Kartik Brahma, Chennai
10
Unique WPOY Nominees
I have always disliked wedding
photography for several reasons, one of
them being the archaic style adopted by
most photographers. I feel like people
no longer experiment with this genre.
When I heard about WPOY, I assumed
the photographers would stick to clichés.
However, much to my surprise, the
submissions published in the March
issue are excellent! For instance, Sreeraj
MR’s photograph in the Bride and Groom
Portraiture category was fascinating
because of how he managed to create an
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
We believe that the
joy of a family photo
is in displaying
it. To make your
special memories
stand out, this
Letter of the
Month wins a
special Photo Frame
from Red Moments!
illusory effect by capturing the reflection
of the bride as the groom leaned across
her to sign in what seems to be a wedding
register. I can’t wait to see who will win the
title this year!
Nimisha Jain, Jaipur
Photographing for a Cause
I was astonished to see Ansel Adams’
detailed documentation of the
Manzanar Camp especially since I have
only known Adams as a landscape
photographer. It never occurred to
me that he had photographed people.
Also, whenever such camps were
documented, they illustrated the
worst of living conditions. I felt that
Dorothea Lange’s criticism of his pictures
was rather harsh. Every photographer has
a different perspective and approach to
the same subject. Adams was an optimistic
person, and he wanted to show that the
Japanese were good American citizens.
He was aware of the situation, and he
chose to stress on their perseverance,
which is a rare thing to see under such
trying circumstances.
Rose D’Souza, Goa
Making Portraits by Collage
Recently, I saw an On Assignment article on
Nick Gentry’s recycled portraits in an old
December 2015 issue. Nick weaves together
the past and the present with elegance,
and I felt the project allows one to dwell on
the theme of decay. His photographs had
an eery quality that drew me in. It felt as
though I were viewing various lives, lived
and lost, in one single image. Thank you BP
for sharing the project.
Jaideep Oberoi, Odisha
APRIL 2018
Snap Shots
The Sony a7 III features a 24.2MP
back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS
sensor, a 2.36m dot OLED
viewfinder, an electronic shutter
mode, and a NP-FZ100 battery.
It has an ISO range of 100–51200, that can be
expanded to ISO 50–2,04,800 for photography.
The Sony a7 III uses 425 contrast AF points, along
with a 693-point focal-plane phase-detection
AF system, and the Eye AF feature. It can
record 4K videos, and has S-Log2 and S-Log3
gamma curves.
Pentax k-1 Mark II
12
The Pentax K-1 Mark II has an
anti-aliasing (AA)-filterless
CMOS 36.4MP sensor, a PRIME
IV processor, and an ISO of up
to 8,19,200. It features a 3.2-inch
1.04 million dot LCD, an optical
viewfinder, and 5-axis in-body image stabilisation.
The camera allows burst shooting at 4.4 fps
in regualr mode. It can record HD 1080 pixels
videos at 30p frame rate.
Panasonic leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50200mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPh Power oIS
The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50200mm f/2.8-4.0 is a telephoto
zoom lens that features two
Ultra Extra-low Dispersion
lenses, two ED Extra-low Dispersion lenses,
and two aspherical lenses. It has 9 aperture
blades, and image stabalisation. It has a minimum
focusing distance of 0.75m, and weighs 655g.
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro
The sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG
Macro is the first macro
lens in the Art series,
which features 9 rounded
aperture blades, along with
a full-time manual focus in auto-focus shooting.
The lens has been constructed using 13 elements
in 10 groups, and has a minimum focusing
distance of 0.26m, and maximum magnification
ratio of 1:1.
T
he Hamdan International
Photography Award
(HIPA) has concluded its
seventh season of competition
‘The Moment’. The award
ceremony was held at Dubai
Opera on March 12.
The grand prize winner of
the competition is Mohamed
Alragheb’s picture of Spring
in Aleppo, Syria. Winner of
the Time-lapse video
category is Beno Saradzic for
Elysium, Slovenia. The Portfolio
category winner is Paul Nicklen for A Harsh
Melt, Canada. The General Category has
been subdivided into two parts: Black and
White, and Color. The winner of the Black
and White category is Mahdi Pourebadi for
capturing Duelling with Nature, Iran; and the
winner of the Colour category is Zuhe
Ding’s image of The Dream Express, China.
Furthermore, photojournalist James
Photograph by Mohamed Alrageb
Sony a7 III
HIPA Announces the Winners of 2018 Competition
Nachtwey received the Photography
Appreciation Award, fellow photographer
and environmental activist James Balog
was presented with the Photography
Content Creator Award, and photographer
Muhammed Muheisen received the
Emerging Person in Photography Award.
HIPA has also revealed the theme for its
eighth season–Hope. To know more about
the runners-up, please turn to page 52.
Smithsonian Magazine’s Photo Contest Finalists Announced
T
he Smithsonian magazine has revealed
60 finalists for their 15th annual
photo contest. This year, 48,000 entries
were sent in from155 countries, amongst
which five Indian photographers have
been shortlisted.
Vikas Datta was selected for his landscape
image in the Natural World category;
Debashish Mukherjee for capturing a
boatman reading a newspaper; Yusuf
Chiniwala’s image of Yaks at Pangong lake
in the Travel category; Swaroop Singha
Roy’s image of a deer stag in the forest in
the Altered Images category, and Sirsendu
Gayen’s photograph of Gangasagar Mela in
the Mobile category.
Photograph by Sirsendu Gayen
w h AT ’ S n E w
Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame.
When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.
GArrY wInoGrAnD (1928-1984)
Garry Winogrand was born in the Bronx, New York. He is considered to be one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century because
of his unique portrayal of American life, and its social issues. He was the recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship in 1964, 1969 and 1978. In 1975, he
received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has published four book–The Animals (1969), Women are Beautiful (1975), Public
Relations (1977), and Stock Photographs (1980). His work was included in the 1967 New Documents exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.
Better PhotograPhy
aPril 2018
s naPs hots
Sony World Photography Awards Winners Revealed
Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art
S
The sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art lens
has been constructed using 17
elements in 12 groups. It features
three FLD glass elements, two
SLD glass elements, and one
aspherical lens element. The lens has 9 rounded
aperture blades, an arca-swiss tripod collar, and
a minimum focusing distance of 1m. It is also dust
and splash-resistant.
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD
The Tamron 70-210mm f/4
Di VC USD lens is for fullframe Canon and Nikon
DSLRs, and comes with
image stabalisation. It features 9 aperture blades,
and it’s constructed using 20 optical elements in 14
groups, which comprises of three low-dispersion
elements. The lens includes an internal zoom
mechanism, and a ring-type ultrasonic motor.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
14
The Samsung Galaxy S9 features
a 12MP dual aperture f/1.5-2.4
rear camera, and an 8MP
front camera. It has 5.8-inch
touchscreen display, and
comes with 4GB RAM. On the
rear, the Samsung Galaxy S9+
sports dual cameras–a wide angle 12MP dual
aperture f/1.5-2.4 camera, and a telephoto
12MP f/2.4 camera. On the front, it has an 8MP
camera. The S9+ comes with 6GB RAM, and a
6.2-inch touchscreen display. Both the phones
run on 1.7GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810
processor, and are powered by Android 8.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ have an internal
storage of 64GB, which can be expanded
to 400GB.
SanDisk Extreme 400GB microSDXC
The SanDisk Extreme
400GB microSDXC works
on Peripheral Component
Interconnect Express (PCIe)enabled cards. It has the
read speeds of up to 160MB/s, and write speeds
of up to 90MB/s. The card features UHS Speed
Class 3 (U3), and Video Speed Class 30 (V30)
ratings. It is resistant against water, dust, x-ray,
temperature, and is shock-proof.
Better PhotograPhy
ony World Photography Awards
2018 has declared the national
and open category winners.
The competition, in its 11th edition,
received 320,000 entries from
200 countries.
The Open category winners were
selected by the jury. The winners
of the 10 categories are Richard
Frishman from the United States
for Still Life; Nick Dolding from the
United Kingdom for Portraiture; Veselin
Atanasov from Bulgaria for Landscape
& Nature; Mikkel Beiter from Denmark
for Travel; Klaus Lenzen from Germany
for Enhanced; Manuel Armenis from
Germany for Street Photography; Andreas
Pohl from Germany for Architecture;
Panos Skordas from Greece for Culture;
Fajar Kristianto from Indonesia for
Photograph by Swapnil Deshpande
w h AT ’ S n E w
Motion; and Justyna Zdunczyk from
Poland for Wildlife.
The National Award recognises
the single images submitted by local
photographers from various countries.
Swapnil Deshpande, who won the
India National Award, is one of the 60
National Award winners. The overall and
Professional category winners will be
announced on April 19.
Canon Reveals New Entry-Level DSLRs
C
anon has introduced three new cameras
in its popular line of entry-level
DSLRs-Canon EOS M50, Canon EOS 1500D,
and Canon EOS 3000D.
The Canon EOS M50 is a mirrorless
camera, and the first in the company’s
M-series to provide 4K video at 24p. It has
a 24MP APS-C sensor, and a DIGIC 8
processor. It features an in-built 2.36M
dot OLED electronic viewfinder, a 3-inch
touchscreen, and dual pixel autofocus.
The camera has an ISO range of 100-25600,
which can be expanded to 51,200. It can also
record 1080 HD video at 120p, and supports
MPEG-4 and H.264 formats. The Canon EOS
M50 uses the new CR3 Raw format. It shoot
up to 10 fps, and 7.4fps in C-AF.
The Canon EOS 1500D features a 24MP
APS-C-size sensor, whereas Canon EOS
3000D has an 18MP APS-C sensor. Both the
cameras feature an optical viewfinder, DIGIC
4+ image processors, and an ISO range of
100-6400, which can be expanded to 12,800.
Canon 2000D and 4000D have a 9-point
AF system with a cross-type sensor, and can
record full HD videos at 30p or 24p. They also
offer 3p fps burst shooting. However, both
cameras feature different sizes of LCD.
The Canon 1500D has a 3-inch LCD, and the
Canon 3000D sports a 2.7-inch LCD.
aPril 2018
E V E n TS
6 March - 8 April
Maharanis: women
of royal India
City Palace, Udaipur
Museo Camera Needs To Raise Rs. 1.5 Crore
P r o TA l k
8 April
Street Photography
workshop
Crawford Market, Mumbai
16
The workshop aims to
help the participants
with practical exercises
on field, followed by a
contest. The images shot
during the workshop
will be judged by a panel
of experts, and three
winners will individually
receive a Manfrotto
goody. For more
information visit http://
bit.ly/2FuzFE1
8 April
wildlife Photography
workshop
hSr layout, Bangaluru
The workshop will cover
various topics of wildlife
photography such as
the nuances of different
light conditions, types of
wildlife photography, the
understanding of lenses,
and the basics of Adobe
Lightroom for postprocessing. For more
information visit http://
bit.ly/2p15InV
14-22 April
The north East India
Photo Exhibition
Phoenix Arena library, hyderabad
The exhibition will
showcase the work of
Saurabh Chatterjee,
who has documented
the North Eastern
states. It aims to spread
awareness about the
culture, and the places in
the states.
Better PhotograPhy
M
Photograph of Museo Camera Museum Via Facebook
The exhibit will display
half a centuary old
photographs of royal
women of India. It aims to
show the changing style of
photographic portraiture,
and gender roles.
Image Stacking is a
process common in
macro photography,
where the subject
is photographed at
different focusing
distances in order to
get the entire subject
in focus.
useo Camera is India’s first
vintage camera museum located
at India Photo Archive’s headquarters
in Gurugram. It showcases antique
analogue cameras, and other photographic
equipment dating back to the 19th century.
The collection is owned and curated
by photographer and visual historian,
Aditya Arya.
The government of Haryana, through
the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram
(MCG) has decided to build an 18,000
sq. ft. museum to exhibit Arya’s vast
collection. They have leased 0.75 acres land
in Chakkarpur, Gurugram. Museo Camera:
A Centre for the Photographic Arts will
have exhibition spaces for 200 visitors,
along with scientifically controlled
environments for the preservation of
artifacts, equipment, negatives, and others.
However, the museum needs to raise
Rs. 1.5 crore, through contributions.
Arya aims to make Museo Camera
India’s first crowd funded museum.
The contributors will also have their names
featured on the wall of the museum, along
with other privilages. To contribute, please
visit www.bitgiving.com/museocamera.
BenQ Launches Two New Monitors
B
enQ has launched two new monitors
in its popular line of SW and E series.
The SW240 is a 24.1-inch monitor
supported by AQ colour technology,
especially designed for photographers.
It features a 99% Adobe RGB and
100% sRGB colour gamut, and a 14-bit
3D LUT. SW240 has 16:10 ratio, a10-bit
color display, Delta E ≤ 2, and hardware
calibration. It also has two modes:
Advanced Black and White Mode, and
Color Mode HotKey. BenQ’s EW277HDR is
a 27-inch full HD monitor with brightness
intelligence plus technology, a 3000:1
ultra-high native contrast, 93% DCI-P3
colour gamut, and a 16:9 ratio.
Elinchrom Unveils The ELB 500 TTL
E
linchrom has launched a new strobe
light–the ELB 500 TTL. The company
claims it is the world’s most powerful
portable TTL light ever designed.
The light provides 500Ws of power
from a power pack.The whole set
comprises of a 2.48kg power pack with
removable battery, along with one or two
light heads. The high speed sync allows
the shortest shutter speeds of1/8000sec.
The ELB 500 TTL has the shortest flash
duration of 1/20,000sec. It features a
manual lock function, in-built Skyport
and Odin ll radio receivers, and a large
OLED display. The lithium ion battery
possesses a capacity of 72W/h, and can
deliver 400 flash bursts at full power.
Active Charging allows the battery to
charge in or out of the pack, and it can be
charged while being used.
aPril 2018
E V E n TS
15 April
Studio in a house
Photography
workshop
koregaon Park, Pune
The workshop is for
amateur photographers
who wish to learn
portrait photography
using simple equipments.
It aims to explain various
lighting techniques,
uses of speedlights for
hair and background,
and the use of different
reflectors. For more
information visit http://
bit.ly/2IdGjA7
P r o TA l k
Moiré is a wavy
pattern that appears
in an image when
the scene contains
a repitative detail
that exceeds
the resolution of
the camera.
22 April
Basic Photography
workshop
New Delhi Police Manhandles Photojournalist
A
nushree Fadnavis, a photojournalist
with Hindustan Times, was physically
assaulted by the Delhi police along with two
other reporters, while covering a march by
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students
and teachers to Parliament to urge to meet
several demands including academic
freedom on March 23.
The police tried to stop the march near
the Safdarjung flyover with a lathi charge,
and used water cannons on the marchers,
as well as the journalists. After ceasing the
use of water cannons, Vidyadhar Singh,
Delhi Cantonment station house officer,
attacked the journalists in the service lane
of Brigadier Hoshiar Singh Marg.
Fadnavis was photographing a student
being kicked on the ground when female
officers converged on her and snatched
away her camera. A video capturing
the struggle was uploaded online, after
which the police apologised. They also
suspended a woman constable and a male
head constable. It has been noted by many
that the police’s aggressiveness towards
journalists has increased in recent times.
liebhrr Service A G, Mumbai
Call for Entries
18
The workshop aims
to improve the basic
understanding of
photography for
beginners. It will also
explain various technical
photography terms
such as ISO, depth of
field, focal length, white
balance, and other
theoretical aspects of
photography. For more
information visit http://
bit.ly/2G8xRS4
6-7 May
Photography and
Post-processing
workshop
Sukhna lake, Chandigarh
The workshop will go on
for two days. Day one will
have discussions on the
basics of photography,
and a photowalk for
practical implementation.
There will also be an on
the spot competition,
and prize distribution.
Day two includes
explanation on postprocessing using Adobe
Lightroom. For more
information visit http://
bit.ly/2Fuhhe6
Better PhotograPhy
Prize: The recipient of the grand prize, and three
category winners will receive USD 1000 (approx. Rs.
65,185), and USD 100 (approx. Rs. 6518), respectively.
Entry Fee: Free
website: www.interaction.org/photo
Deadline: 6 April
4th CEPIC Stock Photography Awards
Submit your
applications to
the Interaction’s
royal Photographic
Society International
Photography
Exhibition, and stand
to win cash prizes
worth rs. 1,35,076.
royal Photographic Society International
Photography Exhibition
The Competition: The contest aims to provide a platform
to photographers all around the world.
Prize: The grand prize winner will receive 1500 Pounds
(approx. Rs. 1,35,076). Winners of under 30s prize,
the second prize, and the third prize will receive 1500
Pounds (approx. Rs.1,35,076), 750 Pounds (approx. Rs.
67,538), 500 Pounds (approx. Rs. 45,025), respectively.
Entry Fee: For RPS member it’s 22 Pounds (approx.
Rs. 1,981), for Non-member it’s 32 pounds (approx.
Rs. 2,881), and for under 30s it’s 18 Pounds (approx.
Rs. 1,620).
website: www.rps.org
Deadline: 6 May
Interaction’s 16th Annual Effective
Assistance Photography Contest 2018
The Competition: The contest aims to promote
humanitarian and development work.
Categories: Youth Potential, Mobile Phone, and others.
The Competition: The contest is open to photographers
from all around the world.
Categories: People, Wildlife, Concepts, and others.
Prize: The grand prize winner will receive 2000
Euros (approx. Rs. 1,60,354). Winners of the second
prize, and the third prize will receive 1000 Euros
(approx. Rs. 80,177), and 500 Euros (approx.
Rs. 40,088), respectively. Each category winner will
receive 300 Euros (approx. Rs. 24,053).
Entry Fee: Free
website: www.photocrowd.com
Deadline: 26 April
The Prix VIrGInIA International
Photography Award For women 2018
The Competition: The contest is open to all professional
female photographers from across the globe, with the
exception of Photojournalism and Advertising.
Theme: Open
Prize: The winner will receive a cash prize of 10,000
Euros (approx. Rs. 8,01,772), and exhibition of the
winner’s work at the Espace Oppidum in Paris. A book
will also be published of the winner’s photographs,
along with 10 shortlisted photographers.
Entry Fee: Free
website: www.prixvirginia.com
Deadline: 7 May
aPril 2018
s naps hots
eica has revealed a special edition
camera of the Leica M Monochrom
(Typ 246), known as the Stealth Edition.
The camera has been designed in
collaboration with Marcus Wainwright,
the Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of
fashion brand, Rag & Bone.
The Stealth Edition will be available
in all matte black styling, and matching
Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH lens.
It will feature a jet-black cowhide leather
trim, a black fabric carrying strap, and
glow-in-the-dark engravings for low light
conditions. The camera will be limited to
125 models all around the world, and will
be in stores from March 20th, 2018.
20
Photojournalist Kamran
Yousuf Released On Bail
K
amran Yousuf, a freelance
photojournalist from Kashmir, was
granted bail on March 12, by the Delhi court.
He was released the next day.
Yousuf was apprehended by the Jammu
and Kashmir police on September 4, 2017.
The next day he was turned over to the
National Investigative Agency (NIA).
In January 2018, a 13,000 pages chargesheet
was filed against him by the NIA, where
he was accused of alleged sedition, terror
funding, stone-pelting, and involvement
with Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salauddin.
Furthermore, the media was also accused
for the current situation of the valley.
However, during the trial, NIA was unable
to present any strong evidence against
him in court.
After 6 months of detainment, Yousuf
said, “I don’t want to see it (jail) ever again.
I feel this is all a dream.”
Better photography
S
udan, the world’s last male northern
white rhino, died at OI Pejeta
Conservancy in Kenya on 19th of March.
He was 45 years old (97 in human
equivalent age). A team of veterinarians
decided to euthanise him due to his agerelated problems and several infections.
He is survived by two female rhinos:
his daughter Najin, aged 28, and
granddaughter Fatu, aged 17.
White rhinos comprise of two
subspecies: the northern white rhinos,
which are nearly extinct and the southern
white rhino. During the 1970s and 1980s,
the poaching crisis largely destroyed
the northern white rhinos in Uganda,
Central African Republic, Sudan and
Chad. The poaching crisis was the result
of the growing demand for rhino horn
in traditional Chinese medicine to cure
various ailments and to use them as
dagger handles in Yemen. The remaining
wild population of last few rhinos were
killed in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, in the beginning of 2000s, and
by 2008, World Wide Fund, the global
environment campaign considered the
northern white rhinos extinct. To save
the species from complete extinction,
researchers have pinned their hopes on
in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). They intend to
use Sudan’s genetic material, and the eggs
of the last female rhinos to preserve the
subspecies. However, IVF has never been
attempted with rhinos before.
Photograph by Pratik Pradhan
L
World’s Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies
Better Photography magazine and
Panasonic India conducted wildlife
masterclasses for winners of Wildlife India
Photography Awards, and twenty other
participants from 25 June-1 July 2017, in
Kenya. During this period, the winners and
participants were able to meet Sudan in OI
Pejeta Conservancy. A video was also shot
featuring Sudan, which stressed on wildlife
conservation. The film is title Sudan - Last
Male Standing, and is available on Youtube.
Having known the team that looked
after Sudan so carefully, we offer our
condolences from India. “We had the
singular honour, to meet and touch the
very last living male northern white
rhinoceros on the planet. We are the very
last generation to see this truly magnificent
sub-species alive.
We could not help feeling a sense of
shame that humans killed them off with
poaching, just as we do with so many
other species. By being bystanders,
our responsibility in all this does not
diminish,” said Madhavan Pillai, Editor of
Better Photography magazine.
Egyptian Photojournalist Faces Death Penalty
M
ahmoud Abu Zeid, alias Shawkan,
is an Egyptian photojournalist
who was apprehended on August 14th,
2013, while covering the anti-government
demonstration in Cairo. He was assigned by
Demotix–a British photo agency–to report
on the clashes between the army, and the
supporters of deposed President Mohamed
Morsi, which took place in Cairo’s Rabaa
al-Adawiya Square.
Zeid, along with more than 700 people,
has been charged with murder, attempted
murder, and membership with the Muslim
Brotherhood. The Egyptian prosecutors
have appealed for ‘maximum penalty’,
that is death by hanging for all the accused.
He was held without any trial or charges
till March 2016. The UN Working Group
considers his imprisonment as arbitrary,
and they have also demanded for his
immediate release.
Photograph via Twitter
Leica Launches Limited
Edition Camera
april 2018
Editorial
“does street
photography
serve
extroverts the
best? do you
have to be
brazen and
fearless?”
Does it Really Matter if You’re an Introvert or an Extrovert?
I’ve always envied people who could, in the blink of an eye, pick up their phones and make a
quick picture of something that interested them. They’re never embarrassed or conscious of
the act, and do it with such assuredness and conviction that it made me feel quite inadequate.
Because I was there too, beside them, witnessing the moment. Yet, I am the one standing,
with my hands in my pockets, staring at the scene as it quickly dissipates. Does this make
me a terrible photographer? Does it mean that I should stop pursuing street photography?
And does street photography serve extroverts the best?
These questions were a result of the kind of imagery that I was associating the genre with. If you run a quick
Google search on the best street photographs, you will find that almost every single picture has a person in them.
And why shouldn’t it? People, after all, belong on the street. They’re an integral part of it. But for an introvert like
me, the anxiety of pointing the camera at a potential subject is nerve-racking. I am not a people person. Never have
been. Never will be. Nor do I enjoy engaging in conversations with strangers, and I detest any kind of confrontation.
But don’t confuse this with apathy or indifference because I do feel strongly about a lot of things that I see and
encounter. With time, I’ve come to appreciate some of my ‘flaws’.
If you know me, you’ll know that I am always doubting and second guessing myself. But I’ve realised that selfdoubt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If anything, it has kept me grounded. I am always extra mindful about how
I approach a person or a situation. Moreover, being self-critical has made me work twice as hard, and has also brought
in a certain acceptance—that I will never make a great photograph. It’s not that I don’t strive to make a great picture...
It’s just that I don’t ever want to think that I’ve reached a certain pinnacle with my photography. Because where do
you go after you have succeeded in making your best photograph? Would you still continue looking with the same
determination as before?
Going back to the question I had asked earlier—Does street photography serve extroverts the best? Do you have
to be brazen and fearless? Let’s look at Martine Franck and Vivian Maier, two formidable photographers of the 20th
century. For Franck, the camera was a tool that she used to avoid interaction. “I was very ill at ease with people in
social situations, and I realised that if I photographed I wouldn’t have to chat,” she had said. In the case of Maier, it was
a little more complex. She was a complete recluse who never sought fame or recognition. Even her role as a nanny
was probably because of the freedom that it gave her to be ordinary and invisible, just so that she could photograph.
What we (introverts) perceive to be our biggest flaw is in fact our biggest asset. Our unassuming nature makes us one
of the many characters amongst the crowd that we’re photographing, and the cellphone adds to this low-key outlook.
Moreover, street photography is not just defined by people in the frame. Henri Cartier-Bresson’s famous decisive
moment was cited from a Jean François Paul de Gondi, a French churchman, who had said, “Il n’y a rien dans ce
monde qui n’ait un moment decisif,” that translates to, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive
moment.” This is true when you look at David J Carol’s American landscapes that are devoid of people, or André
Kertész’s photographs of the everyday scenes in the city that he lived in, or Walker Evans’ view of America through
its billboards and architecture. For that matter, even Harry Callahan (who photographed people, but not in the same
capacity of someone like Garry Winogrand or Helen Levitt) who focused on the city’s structures and the trees that he
encountered on his walks. “The photographs that excite me are photographs that say something in a new manner,
not for the sake of being different, but ones that are different because the individual is different and the individual
expresses himself,” he had said.
It really does not matter whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. What matters is how you treat the camera,
and what you use it for. You also need to ask yourself, why do you photograph the way you do? Is it because of the
kind of imagery that you associate the genre or subject matter with? I personally believe that we affect the pictures
that we make, we influence its content, and that it is impossible to be objective in the things we see and photograph.
Conchita Fernandes
Instagram: @schmoooochita
I do what I feel, that’s all, I am an ordinary photographer working
for his own pleasure. That’s all I’ve ever done.
André Kertész (1894-1985)
André Kertész was a quiet but important influence on the coming of age of photojournalism and the art of photography. For more than seventy years, his
subtle and penetrating vision helped to define a medium in its infancy.
april 2018
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test
Oppo F5
An Oppo for
Pretty People
On the face of it, the Oppo F5
offers quite a bang for the buck.
K Madhavan Pillai reports.
C
erulean blues happen to be some
of my favourite tones, and just as
difficult to reproduce in print.
When I saw the mettalic cerulean
sheen of the Oppo F5, and its
equally interesting, rubberised, velvet-lined
well-fitted hardcover (my biggest gripe with
newer phones... they tend to slip), I decided
to see what else it offered.
Interiors of the
splendrous Dubai Opera.
Despite the obvious
over-processiing, the
rear camera manages to
capture the ambience.
All photographs by K Madhavan Pillai
24
All the Bells and Whistles
At price ranges Rs. 15,000 and above, one
begins to expect a performance oriented
device. In this, the Oppo F5 is quite
exemplary. The 4GB /32GB version that
I tested (Rs. 19,990) had a large bunch
of features, including face recognition
unlocking, fingerprint sensor and a camera
that can be accessed simply by drawing
an ‘O’ on the 6-inch FHD+ near bezelless
touchscreen at sleep. All of these work either
flawlessly, or as well as one expects it to, and
the phone is quick and responsive with no
lags. It has an impressive battery life.
It sports an ‘A .I beauty’ 20MP f/2 1/2.8inch sensor front ‘selfie’ camera (the primary
camera in the case of the F5), and a 16MP
f/1.8 rear camera. I am personally not
much for selfies, but tested it in a variety of
condition, along with friends and family.
8
colours are pleasantly
saturated. More than
other cellphones, the F5
tends to overprocess and
over-smoothen details.
aPrIL 2018
the Bangs and the Fizzles
In low light, the 20MP selfie camera performs
quite well (despite no selfie flash). I noticed
that the finer details seem actually better
rendered in lower levels of fluorescent
lamp light. The A.I works in several ways to
enhance selfies... recognise facial structures
to enhance symmetry and blur backgrounds
(quite effectively), prioritise faces and elevate
exposures to make faces look brighter, and
smoothen skintones. Texture smoothening
gets rid of noise as well as most kinds of
detail, but leaves the eyes sharpened for
impact. It certainly is not very realistic and
the images are extremely over-processed, but
most ‘self-a-holics’ would be quite flattered.
There is an effective Panoramic selfie
mode, that causes interesting background
motion blurs in low light. Speaking of blurs,
the camera produces a rather good level of
artificial bokeh, even in situation with busy
backgrounds. There is no Pro mode.
The rear camera is quite another story,
unfortunately. It produces images that are
overly smoothened, over-processed, and
lacking critical detail, in average to poor light.
It manages a passable job in good light, but
I’ve noticed plenty of clipped highlights,
in situations that would have been better
handled by more basic phones.
Video resolution tops of at 1080p, and
while it makes use of A.I and filters, is
nothing much to speak about. There is a
built-in time lapse function (with no real
controls), but no slo-mo.
By default, the display, though quite sharp
and well resolved, is tends to be too blue
for my liking. Luckily, colour temperature
adjustment renders colours more accurately,
pushed to its warmest level. The display has
another unforgivable issue. In sunlight, the
visibility of the display is extremely poor,
even at its brightest settings. In open shade,
this improves, but is still inadequate. Phones
a third of its price perform better in this
regard. Composing a frame in bright, sunlit
conditions, even for selfies, becomes a little
more than guesswork. This turns the tide.
compensating is
important with the F5,
to avoid burnt highlights.
On the other hand, at low
ISO in good light, there
is enough of retreivable
detail in the shadows.
25
In conclusion
If you are buying a phone primarily for
selfies, and are the type to generally shun
the sun and shoot a lot in the evenings,
you will probably enjoy the Oppo F5.
Otherwise, there are other options out
there. Despite the F5 being an otherwise
capable device, for me personally, as a serious
photographer, poor outdoor display visibility
in bright sunlit is a deal breaker.
At A glAnce
sPeciFicAtiOns
6-inch LTPS TFT FHD+ (2160 by 1080 pixels) Display, 20MP f/2 front camera,
16MP f/1.8 front camera, 5000 mAh battery, 4GB RAM, 32GB internal
memory, Octa-core MT6763T processor with ARM Mali G71 MP2 770MHz
GPU, ColorOS 3.2, based on Android 7.1, Unibody metal design
whAt we like
Metal build, non-slip fitted case, front camera performance, responsive
whAt we dislike
Average rear camera performance, very poor display visibility in sunlight
FInAl RAtIngS
74%
cAMeRA FeAtuRes 20MP ‘selfie’ camera, 16MP rear camera, bezelless display
21/25
iMAGe QuAlitY Flattering selfies for self-a-holics, but overprocessed images
20/30
VideO QuAlitY 1080p, time-lapse feature, no slo-mo or significant editing tools
10/15
hAndlinG Excellent non-slip cover, light, slim profile, display visibility issues
10/15
sPeed & ResPOnsiVeness Responsive performance across parameters
13/15
Better PhotograPhy
test
Infinix Hot S3
For a Selfie Buff
on a Budget
Tanvi Dhulia tests the Infinix Hot
S3, the new selfie phone on the
block. How does it fare?
I like that the camera
was able to capture
textures well.
T
he latest smartphone by Infinix
boasts of having “the hottest
combination of features.”
Considering its starting price
of Rs. 8999, it does pique
one’s interest. But while it may have an
impressive front camera, the phone lacks
finesse in other aspects.
Features
The Infinix Hot S3 sports thin bezzels and
has a HD Fullview Display. It is powered
by Android 8 Oreo, runs on a 4000mAh
battery and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon
430 octa-core processor.
It is availablle in two storage variants:
3GB RAM with 32GB storage, and
28
Better PhotograPhy
aPrIL 2018
test
Unlike most phones
nowadays, the Hot S3
does not provide an
option to reduce exposure
in the aut mode.
aPrIL 2018
4GB RAM with 64GB. Both of which are
expandable to 128GB.
not a lasting Impression
The camera has a limited number of
features like HDR, filters, Time lapse,
Panorama, Night mode, and a Professional
mode for still photos. It does not have a
similar manual mode for videos. It also
has a fingerprint sensor on the rear to
make pictures.
The 20MP f/2 front camera has an option
to create background blur. Phones in this
price bracket (like the InFocus Vision 3)
often make a subject look like a cut out
against a poorly smudged backdrop.
However, the Hot S3 does a fairly good job
with it, creating a more natural effect.
The 13MP f/2 rear camera was less
impressive. It did a poor job with metering
well lit scenes, blowing out highlights
consistently. While this can be taken care of
in the manual mode, it’s troublesome when
you’re fond of taking quick snapshots
of scenes that might change rapidly.
Furthermore, it does a poor job managing
the white balance in the Auto mode where
the slightest shift of your hand can cause
the hues of the subject to alter noticeably.
The camera also features a digital
zoom in both front and rear cameras for
“full view display.” The tool essentially
crops the scene to a rather unconventional
3x6 frame. Besides this, one can slide
two fingers across the screen to activate
4x digital zoom.
the phone frequently
blew out highlights.
Here, they were reduced
in post processing.
In conclusion
The Infinix Hot S3 is up against devices
like the Comio P1 and the InFocus Vision 3.
In terms of design and camera features, it
fares better the the former. However, when
pit against the Redmi 5 (which is also
priced at Rs. 8999 for 3GB+32GB), the
Hot S3 faces tough competition, especially
since Xiaomi has conistently produced
good camera phones at economical rates.
at a glance
SpecIFIcatIonS
5.65-inch Full view display, 13MP f/2 rear camera, 20MP f/2 front camera,
4000 mAh battery, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory, Qualcomm
Snapdragon 430 Octa-core Processor, Android 8 Oreo
wHat we lIke
Front camera
wHat we dISlIke
Poor low light performance, slow AF
wHy Buy It?
Good battery performance, sturdy build
FInal RatIngS
78%
caMeRa FeatuReS 13MP primary camera and a 20MP front camera
21/25
IMaGe QualIty Sharp lens, poor in low light
22/30
VIdeo QualIty 1080p, 720p, 480p, average quality, no editing functions
11/15
HandlInG Non-slip exterior, comfortably weighty
13/15
Speed & ReSponSIVeneSS Slow AF, occasional lags
11/15
Better PhotograPhy
29
PROFILE
The Colour of Hope
Sometimes quirky, sometimes serene, Prince Gyasi’s portraits rebel against
preconceived notions one may have of Ghana. Tanvi Dhulia learns more.
Character counts
(Top) The Joy and
glory of the climb —
Progress (Fruitful)
Y
ou will rarely find eyes meeting
yours in Prince Gyasi’s
portraits. Even so, in all their
vibrant elegance, his subjects
seem to hint at what they are
communicating through their bodies.
Each image of his, woven of colours and
the human form, is a story meant to evoke
certain emotions. While this approach may
have been driven by instinct, Gyasi realised
that he finds it rather disconcerting when a
person in a picture is staring right at him.
Looking Within
Though such portraits have their own
appeal, he is more concerned with allowing
the viewer to place themselves in the
shoes of the subject. To him, looking into
BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
36
(This image)
Free a Nation
(Top left)
The Colour
of Life
(Bottom left)
Anomalous
Perception
PROFILE
39
The Arrangement
the eyes of a person makes one aware
of their individuality. Even though the
faces of his subjects are most often turned
away from the lens, making it impossible
to read their expressions, the lilt of their
forms speak a familiar dialect. A head is
raised in quiet expectation, indicative
of patience. Young men connect their
arms for a brief moment in the midst of
a leisurely dance, celebrating something
unknown to us. Eyes, unseen, gaze
longingly at an expansive sea. It doesn’t take
much to imagine the hopefulness in the
person’s thoughts.
His Own Vocabulary
Summer pages
The 22-year old spends hours and
days deliberating over concepts, using
a language of colours to tell his tales.
“A photograph can make someone happy,
or bring peace to a family,” he says.
He believes that the right hues can have
a therapeutic effect on a person. To him,
each one signifies a particular emotion and
“portrays a different energy.”
More recently, his pictures have begun
to look like paintings. “I love it when
someone points that out,” Gyasi says.
“I’ve always liked painting but felt like it
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(This image) The sea
seems like a library.
(Top left) Boxed Kids with
the gold dream
The process, the
precision, the pressure.
They won’t allow you.
(Bottom left) Black
History Month Pt.3
Carry your struggles
no more.
wasn’t my calling.” Even so, it would seem
that his way of seeing has been shaped by
that fascination.
Early Influences
Gyasi believes that the casual simplicity of
shooting with a phone suits him. “I want to
BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
help create a movement where the iPhone
will be respected like digital cameras,” he
says. He feels that while it is being used by
more and more photographers around the
globe, the cellphone is still not considered
a “serious” tool. “I don’t think it’s about the
device you use, but the mindset one has,
aPRIL 2018
PROFILE
how creative you can be and how well you
can tell your story.”
A bit of a poet himself, Gyasi felt free
to explore all his interests while growing
up. His tryst with cellphone photography
began with the humble Blackberry.
He would use it to make pictures of his
friends in school and became involved with
shooting album covers for local musicians,
particularly rappers.
Amongst professionals like Joshua Kissi
and Jimmy Marble, he always remembers
to appreciate friends and family for having
impacted his work. His parents being
popular singers in Ghana was perhaps a
contributing factor to how comfortably he
A portrait of Prince
Gyasi’s sister, captured
in the middle of a
hilarious conversation.
43
aPRIL 2018
BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
PROFILE
44
BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
aPRIL 2018
PROFILE
“If I don’t start
calling myself
a perfectionist,
how will I ever
become one?
Nobody else is going
to say it for me.
Saying positive
things about
yourself has
a nurturing effect.”
45
Seed — Life
in colour.
aPRIL 2018
BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
PROFILE
46
Blessed to be
a Blessing.
BEttER PhOtOgRaPhy
slipped into a world of art. “My childhood
certainly influenced my interest and growth
in photography,” he says. “My mother’s
forthright manner of explaining issues and
stories has helped me be honest in my art.
And that is the focus of my images.”
At some point he began to drift away
from his roots as he delved into “selfconceptual art.” As time passed, he found
himself wavering and looked towards those
close to him for advice. His girlfriend in
particular urged him to look back to his
Patience — Purpose
Driven II.
aPRIL 2018
Patience —
Purpose driven.
earlier images, which eventually inspired
his reinvention. Today, the surreal quality of
his pictures draws one in, prompting them
to contemplate over their meaning and the
power it holds over them.
Something to Believe In
A devout christian, most of Gyasi’s portraits
are inspired by words from the bible.
And before he begins jotting down ideas
for a new portrait, he prays. However, he
47
Unknown Journey.
PROFILE
48
The Generational
Victors.
(Right)Nobody knows
the beginning of a
great man
emphasises that he is not religious in the
conventional sense, calling this a form of
“bondage.” Being staunchly religious, he
feels, often keeps one from making their
own decisions. He simply sees himself as a
man of deep faith who is driven by stories of
strength and kindness.
A Positive Outlook
Since his change in photographic direction
last year, his pictures seem to be dominated
by the theme of hope. The people in his
portraits tend to wield a dignified sense of
authority, almost as if they’re in complete
control of their destinies. While this may be
more subconscious than planned, a part of
the reason lies in his determination to put
forth the very best of Africa. “I always try
to make sure Africa is represented in my
work,” he says, stressing the importance of
changing warped perceptions of people.
Gyasi’s ideas are continuing to
evolve as the months pass, subject to
the transformative nature of youth.
Yet, in all his images the optimism for
tomorrow remains.
Prince Gyasi is a 22-year-old cellphone photographer based in Accra, Ghana. He is a co-founder of Boxed Kids, an initiative to raise funds to provide
quality education for children in Jamestown, a small poverty-stricken district in Accra. You can find Prince on Instagram @princejyesi
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Hamdan bin moHammed bin RasHid al maktoum inteRnational PHotogRaPHy awaRd
outstanding
PHotogRaPHERs
intERPREt
tHE MoMEnt
Conchita Fernandes presents you with a stunning showcase of all the winning
photographs of the seventh annual Hamdan International Photography Awards.
O
ver the years, the Hamdan
International Photography
Awards have showcased
incredible imagery from all
around the world, symbolic
of the unique themes of their contests.
The Moment was the theme of their latest
contest, where photographers made
submissions based on their interpretation of
the theme.
The awards ceremony was held at the
Dubai Opera, where 21 photographers were
announced as winners. Mohamed Alragheb
received the grand prize of USD 120,000,
for his image Spring in Aleppo. At just 21 years
of age, he is the youngest recipient of the
grand prize in the history of the awards.
Abdelkader Habak, the photojournalist
featured in Alragheb’s image, received the
HIPA Merit Medal for his incredible bravery.
Better PhotograPhy
This year, the contest saw a dintinguished
judging panel that comprised of some
of the biggest names from the world of
photography—Ami Vitale, David Alan
Harvey, Ed Kashi, Gunther Wegner, JeanFrancois Leroy, Khalil Hamra, Peter Bill
and Randy Olson—who went through
the entries of the following categories—
The Moment, General (Black and White),
General (Colour), Portfolio, and the brand new
Time-Lapse category.
HIPA dislcosed the theme for its next
edition, that is, Hope. It was also announced
that the Crown Prince of Dubai and Patron
of HIPA, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin
Monhammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will
personally select three images to be awarded
as part of a new category for the next edition,
and that there will be an increase in the prize
pool, that is, USD 600,000.
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sPECiaL RECognition aWaRds BY HiPa
Photography
Appreciation Award
Photography Content
Creator Award
The Emerging Person
in Photography Award
James Nachtwey
James Balog
Muhammed Muheisen
A veteran war photographer, Nachtwey is a five
time recipient of the Robert Capa Gold Medal
and two time winner of the World Press Photo
Award. He has been a contract photographer
with TIME magazine since 1984.
He has been a global spokesman on the subject
of climate change and human impact on the
environment. He founded the Extreme Ice Survey
(EIS)—the most wide-ranging, ground-based,
photographic study of glaciers ever conducted.
For over a decade, Muheisen has been
documenting the refugee crisis around the world,
and even established the Everyday Refugees
Foundation. He is a two time Pulitzer Prize winner,
and a photographer with National Geographic.
I was driven by the idea that a picture
that revealed the face of war could
become a kind of intervention.
I believed people would care if
photographers could show them
something to care about. I was
most interested in what images
might accomplish as a way to create
awareness about the inevitable
human cost of war. Images can help
us grasp, on a human level, the things
we all have in common, regardless
of our differences, creating a bridge
of understanding. It’s been said that
journalism is the first draft of history.
In a free society, the work of the press
not only documents history, it also
becomes a crucial factor in the process
of change and can affect history.
All of us who participate in this
organisation (HIPA) are part of the
great perceptual history of Homo
sapiens. We shine a photographic
light, literally or symbolically, into the
often unseen corners of existence.
In some ironic way, we help to make
life come alive. So often, our work is
solitary. Too often, our work takes us to
the limits of emotional or physical or
creative endurance. It is so necessary
then, that every so often, through
communion with like-minded people,
we get a chance to pause, to celebrate
our shared interest, to smile.
I feel honoured and humbled to
be selected by HIPA to receive the
‘Emerging Person in Photography
Award’. It is my personal belief,
that the real recognition for
photojournalists is when their work
goes out to the wider-world and
reaches the hearts and minds of the
general public, creating an echo and
spreading awareness about the topics
within their photography.
“In our time,
evidence matters
more than ever.
Truth matters
more than ever.
From truth, we form
a vision of what is
right and true, a
vision of who we are
and where we are
to go.”
“For me, receiving
such a prestigious
recognition means
that the images
and stories of
the people in
them will be seen
and in-turn be
translated as their
voices to the rest of
the world.”
“The reason
I became a
photographer
was to be a war
photographer. In no
other circumstance
is so much at stake
for so many people.”
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gRand PRizE WinnER
Better PhotograPhy
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Mohamed Alragheb
Based in Syria, Mohamed
has been documenting
the ongoing conflict
in his country. He is a
photographer at the
Violet Organisation that is
responsible for charitable
work in Syria. He was
awarded the grand prize
in this year’s HIPA contest.
“When the blast took
place—in that brief,
transitory moment
between life and
death—everyone
present in that area
was united, and came
forward to help.”
On 15 April 2017, on a beautiful spring
day in a neighbourhood called
Al-Rashidin, located in the west of
Aleppo, there was a bombing. It was
carried out by terrorists who targeted
a gathering of civilians who had been
allowed under ceasefire, to cross over
to another area. There was chaos
everywhere. At the time of the disaster,
I was with my colleague, Abdelkader,
a fellow photojournalist. Without
hesitation, he set aside his camera on
his shoulder, and made four trips to
the scene of the explosion to help the
wounded. The picture here is a depiction
of the frenzy and fear that had inhabited
everyone present at the scene that day.
It was a terrifying moment to witness
Abdelkader running with the severely
injured child in his arms. To me, the
image is a portrayal of the humanity and
injustice that exists in Syria, my home.
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Main CatEgoRY: tHe moment
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K M Asad
He is currently a
photojournalist at Zuma
Press, and is also a
contributer at Getty
Images. Asad was the
recipient of The Lucie
Awards in 2014, and
received the first prize in
HIPA’s Moment category.
“The Ronhingyas
are a very simple
people, with
absolutely no
understanding
of the political
situation, or, why
they’re being
continuously driven
out from any place
that they call home.”
With their meager belongings,
I witnessed several families undertake
long, treacherous journeys in horrible
weather conditions. This particular
photograph shows a group of
Rohingya women, who after four
consecutive days of walking without
food or water, have finally made their
way into Cox’s Bazar, a district in
Banlgladesh. It is estimated that in
the last year alone, that over 700,000
Rohingya refugees have escaped
violence in Myanmar; the majority of
whom do so into neighbouring
Bangladesh. Something urgently
has to be done about the situation.
They cannot continue living their
lives by struggling to survive on a dayto-day basis.
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Paul Nicklen
For over 20 years,
Paul has relentlessly
documented the
beauty and plight of the
Earth, and has been an
outspoken figure on the
subject of conservation.
A photographer,
filmmaker and marine
biologist, he has
traveled the world as an
assignment photographer
for National Geographic
magazine. Paul has
received several World
Press Photo awards in the
Nature category, as well
as the title of BBC Wildlife
Photographer of the
Year. He placed second in
HIPA’s Moment category.
Better PhotograPhy
“To approach animals in their most
natural, native settings, I have to
understand the mysteries of their
behavior. With careful preparation,
I can show the animal in its best
light, demonstrating its beauty,
strength and intelligence.”
In the Ross Sea in Antarctica, an adult Emperor Penguin is seen
returning to the ice edge, for the first time after being at sea for days
or even weeks. Despite the long and arduous journey, the penguin
will have a belly fully of ice fish and krill for its awaiting chick.
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Maxim Korotchenko
“I witnessed how unpredictable life
can be, how the tables can be turned
over in a fraction of a second.”
At the age of 29, Maxim
began his career as
a staff photographer
with the Astrakhan’s
governor’s press service
in Russia, and later
went on to freelance
for various media
organisations. He won
the third prize in HIPA’s
Moment category.
I was one of the photographers attending the 2016 edition of
the Gold of Kagan rally, held in the Astrakhan region of Russia.
During the course of the rally, a 10 tonne MAZ rally truck sprung
out of nowhere and spread panic over a group of photographers
and journalists present at the spot, who were caught unaware. I later
learned that the truck driver could not see the people before him,
and ended up seriously injuring a photographer. Thankfully, he
went on to make a full recovery.
“A stray dog had managed to almost make its way through the
fence. I knew something explosive was about to take place.”
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Marcos Furer
He is a fine art
photographer who has
been shooting for over 28
years. Marcos’ considers
his landscapes as a
form of homage to Ansel
Adams, who he reveres.
He placed fourth in HIPA’s
Moment category.
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In Argentina, the ancient and traditional practice of cattle branding is still being used to
identify an animal’s owner. Burning an identifying mark into the hide of an animal was, until
the invention of the tattoo, the only method of marking that lasted the life of the animal.
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Better PhotograPhy
“A photograph is a document, a record of an
event or moment that has transpired. It plays
an important role in the history of a place.
As a photographer, you must be willing to do
whatever it takes to make this possible.”
I remember receiving a call late at night about a massive land slide that took place in the
Guizhou Province, and was asked to document the event. The area of the catastrophe
was located 30km away from my home. I drove all the way, and upon reaching found that
rescue operations were already underway. There were 20 people under the wreckage.
The photograph encapsulates the strength possessed by everyone who came forward to
salvage the situation.
Rubo Wu
Based in China, Rubo Wu
is a retired government
photographer, who
spent 30 years of his
career at the job. He won
the fifth prize in HIPA’s
Moment category.
gEnERaL: blaCk & wHite
Mahdi Pourebadi
A graphic designer and
freelance photographer
based in Iran, Mahdi
began shooting five
years ago. He enjoys
photographing nature,
landscapes and portraits.
He was awarded the
first prize in HIPA’S
General (Black and
White) category.
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“While I was hiking one summer, I came across
this desolate tree that stood like a lonely pillar
in the midst of nothingness. Something told me
that I had to make another trip to the place, in the
winter, to photograph the tree in the midst of the
vast expanse of snow.”
There was a lot of effort that went towards the making of the photograph. It was a seven hour
hike to the spot where the tree was located, in Mount Binalud. It was winter time and the
temperature had dropped to -15 degrees. I waited for an hour, till the sun could set, to shoot
a long exposure. In the interim, I continued gazing at the lonely tree. It felt like I was almost
having a telepathic conversation with it.
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Quanhui Liu
Based in China, Quanhui
is the recipient of the
second prize in HIPA’s
General (Black and
White) category.
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“Traditional crafts like
bamboo weaving is on
a decline, as a majority
of the newer generation
opt out of learning the
skills required for it.
The purpose behind
the picture was to
create a record of the
man’s craftsmanship
for posterity.”
My father was a carpenter, so I was familiar
with his line of work, which involved
making bamboo baskets. The man in the
photograph, is my neighbour. He is an 80
year old retired carpenter, who still hasn’t
lost his touch. I wanted the photograph to be
a celebration of his artistry.
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Better PhotograPhy
Yousife Thyab
An ardent wildlife
photography, Yousife
won the third prize in
HIPA’s General (Black and
White) category.
“I wanted to shoot the photograph
in a way that it conveyed the majestic
nature of the bird.”
This is a picture of the White-Tailed Sea Eagle from Poland. It wasn’t
easy photographing the bird through its wings, that too, in midflight. I was quite lucky to get the shot.
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Zuhe Ding
A farmer by profession,
Zuhe has been pursuing
photographing as a hobby,
for the last six years.
He was awarded the first
prize in HIPA’s General
(Colour) category.
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“I prefer to document the ordinary. There’s so
much beauty to be uncovered from the simple
day-to-day moments in our lives.”
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I was traveling in the train with my kids, when I noticed how the passengers closest to me,
were all asleep. What drew me to the scene was the different body postures of each of the
individuals, especially the monk who chose to sleep in a meditative position.
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“What I like about the photograph is the many
ways in which it can be interpreted. I like my
pictures to be open-ended.”
Jasem Khlef
A self-taught
photographer, Jasem
enjoys street and
portrait photography.
He won the second
prize in HIPA’s General
(Colour) category.
I was asked to photograph a Christmas party held for senior citizens. After I was done with
it, I decided to make a few portraits for myself. That’s when I noticed this lady. There was
something about her demeanour that compelled me to photograph her. However, she barely
reacted to my camera, and just seemed to be in a world of her own. It was only a little later that
I was informed that the lady was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Michael Christopher
Brown
Inspired by a
photojournalism class
that he took during
college, Michael decided
to pursue documentary
photography. In 2005,
he was hired as a
contributing photographer
at National Geographic,
after completing a
successful internship
the previous year.
He is well-known for his
documentation of the
2011 Libyan Civil War
that he carried out using
his cellphone, thereby
challenging the standard
script for war reportage.
He won the third prize
in HIPA’s General
(Colour) category.
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“Though much of my work in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo depicts dire circumstances, I remain
optimistic for the country; it is not only one of the most
beautiful places, but also filled with incredible people.”
A young goat herder tends to his goats in the foreground of Mount Mikeno; a volcano
located in the Virunga Mountains.
PoRtFoLio (stoRY-tELLing)
Paul Nicklen
For over 20 years,
Paul has relentlessly
documented the Earth,
and has been an
outspoken figure on the
subject of conservation.
A photographer,
filmmaker and marine
biologist, he has traveled
the world on assignment
for National Geographic
magazine. Paul has
received several World
Press Photo awards in the
Nature category, as well
as the title of BBC Wildlife
Photographer of the Year.
He placed first in HIPA’s
Portfolio category.
Better PhotograPhy
“Five years ago, all we would do is debate whether
climate change is real or not. And I think that
90 percent of the people got it, but we’re not
having that debate any more, and then there’s
the 10% percent who still don’t get it. I don’t
waste time on that. I keep moving forward and
try to work with the people who get it. My job
as a journalist is to say—if we lose ice, we lose an
entire ecosystem. Ice in the Arctic and Antarctica
is very much like the soil in a garden. You can’t
grow a garden without soil.”
Earth’s polar regions contain some of the harshest and yet most fragile ecosystems on earth.
Whether it’s hunters with their huskies, polar bears, melting glaciers, narwhals or emperor
penguins, these species and others are more vulnerable today than ever with global warming,
and the decline of sea ice in full force.
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“I chose to make portraits so as to capture the
juxtaposition of their exhausted faces, as well
as the look of relief on their faces, after safely
crossing the border.”
Probal Rashid
He is a documentary
photographer and
photojournalist based
in Bangladesh, and is
represented by Zuma
Press, USA. His work
has appeared in the
Los Angeles Times,
National Geographic,
Wall Street Journal,
Newsweek, amongst
others. Probal received
the second prize in HIPA’s
Portfolio category.
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Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee from their homes
in Myanmar to Bangladesh. The journey to Bangladesh was hard, especially because there
were many children and elderly people. They were destitute, hungry, traumatised, and often
hopeless. I have never seen anything like this before. The strongest carried the weakest
through damp paddy fields and a continuous waterfall. The monsoon rains were heavy and
frequent, and made the ground incredibly wet and muddy. As the sun set, giving way to
darkened skies, the most treacherous part of their journey began. They had to cross a land
mine infested border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Some people took the risk of
traveling in an unstable fishing boat. Some spent days hiding in the forest before reaching
the boarder, while the others waited at the boarder for several days until they felt safe to cross.
I will continue my documentation of the Rohingyas who live in the several refugee camps
in Cox’s Bazar. The aim of my endeavour is to use my photography skills to convey a unique
narrative of individual survivors. I want to bring awareness to these refugees who have been
suffering quietly.
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“As a photojournalist, it is my responsibility
to ensure that no issues, however big or
insignificant, go unheard.”
Boryana Katsarova
For three tears, Boryana
was a stringer for AFP
in Bulgaria, after which
she began freelancing
(since 2011). Her work
is represented by the
French Cosmos Press
Photo Agency, and has
been published in The
New York Times, Financial
Times, Al Jazeera, CNN,
amongst others. In 2014,
she was the recipient of
the Pulitzer Center on
Crisis Reporting grant
for her project Ukraine:
Crimea Under Siege.
She won third place in
HIPA’s Portfolio category.
Better PhotograPhy
Serbia has witnessed an influx of over a 1000 migrants in its capital, Bulgaria. The migrants,
mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, live in appalling conditions, devoid of proper
hygiene, food, as well as shelter from the severe Balkan winters. They’ve all taken refuge in a
dilapidated warehouse that barely manages to hold all of them. A large percentage of these
migrants happen to be unaccompanied minors, who come either along with smugglers or
venture out on their own risk
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Sergio Sberna
With a penchant for
nature and landscapes,
Sergio was awarded the
fourth place in HIPA’s
Portfolio category.
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“Wintertime is a transformative period in
the Italian countryside. The trees almost
appear like lonely sentries against the bare,
unadorned landscape.
Every year, the northern part of Italy witnesses a thick fog during the winter season,
rendering a peaceful and mute look to the surrounding landscape. I decided to photograph
the entire series in black and white to further accentuate the calm and serene mood that
I was going for.
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“Initially, I had planned to photograph only the
desert landscape. But after I had spotted the
locals of the area, I decided to incorporate them
in my pictures.”
Mohammed
Almessabi
I shot the photographs at Socotra, an archipelago of four islands located in the Arabian
Sea, and is a part of Yemen’s territory. The desert sand here is a pristine white, and I liked
the contrast of the locals with the camels against the sand. Hence, I decided to photograph
entirely in black and white.
He is an engineering
student, and is part of
the Emirates Falcon
Photography Club. He was
awarded the fifth place in
HIPA’s Portfolio category,
and is the youngest
winner of the contest.
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tiME-LaPsE (VidEo)
Beno Saradzic
Nominated twice for an
Emmy for his outstanding
cinematography, Beno
Saradzic took away the
first prize in HIPA’s TimeLapse category.
Oscar Carrasco Ragel
His work reflects a
concern for time, memory,
order and chaos, which
he combines with the help
of images and videos.
He placed second in HIPA’s
Time-Lapse category.
Ameen AlGhabri
A passionate photographer
and filmmaker, Ameen
has carried out several
commercial projects for
clients like Pepsi, Emirates
and Sky News. He won the
third prize in HIPA’s
Time-Lapse category.
Better PhotograPhy
“It’s so important to have vision when making
time-lapses, so that you’re able to build your
visuals into a specific arc that conveys a certain
story. What music you use is equally important as
well, as it dictates the mood of the time-lapse.”
“Nothing in nature is steady or permanent. It’s
constantly in a state of flux, and I wanted to
explore this theme in the time-lapse.”
“For the Yemeni, the moon or ‘qamar’ in Arabic,
is symbolic of beauty. Hence, the stained glass
windows or ‘qamariya’ can be found throughout
Yemen, as it is said to let the light into the house
that is reminiscent of the moon.”
n o v eamPBreirl 2 0 1 38
Sho otaing
SPeci
l fetat
echnique
ure
It’s rare to find fog in Dubai. If you’re lucky, you may witness it once or twice a year. I was
particularly interested in showcasing the cityscape of the country, and how the fog mingles
with the buildings and architecture. It took a lot of pre-planning. I had to ensure that I was
at the highest available point so as to give viewers a god-like view of the area. I had to also
constantly check the weather forecast. However, there were days when I would be ready
on the rooftop with my gear, and the fog simply did not appear. But I was adamant and
continued trying. It took me five years to collect the footage for this time-lapse.
I decided to use silkworms to portray the evolvement of nature. I placed them in a house-like
setup and using three cameras and different spotlights, I documented their progress over the
course of 21 days. The result was 15,000 photographs that depicted the unfolding of nature.
What I also hope for viewers to decipher from the time-lapse is the duality of the setup... that
even though the shoot was carried out in a controlled environment, I was not in control of
the silkworms, of nature.
Yemeni architecture is known for its multicoloured stained glass windows known as
Qamariya, as it is a part of their culture and heritage. I shot the time-lapse on the rooftops
of buildings in Old Sana’a, which is the largest city in the country. I spent three months
planning the shot, while also tracking the position of the moon.
an Porv ielm2B0e1r8 2 0 1 3
Better PhotograPhy
tiME-LaPsE (VidEo)
Awad Alatawi
An amateur photographer
from Saudi Arabia, Awad
placed fourth in HIPA’s
Time-Lapse category.
Ignacio Tejerina
Guruciaga
A self-taught photographer
specialising in landscape
photography, Ignacio is also
a passionate mountaineer.
He won the fifth prize in
HIPA’s Time-Lapse category.
Better PhotograPhy
“It took me two years to get the one minute
footage of the desert time-lapse. So far, this has
been my longest project.”
“With the time-lapse, I wanted to pay homage to
Navarra, the place of my birth, in northern Spain,
and its spectacular mountains.”
n o v eamPBreirl 2 0 1 38
Sho otaing
SPeci
l fetat
echnique
ure
Over the years, the desert has offered me much respite from the daily commotion of city
life. It’s an incredibly fascinating place to be at, especially at night, amidst absolute stillness.
Not many people have the opportunity to observe what the desert looks like at night.
That was the whole purpose behind why I started making time-lapses—to give people a
glimpse of this world that I was fortunate to see. But it does take a lot of prior planning.
You need to make sure that the weather conditions are right, and check for the positions
of the stars.
I have been shooting time-lapses since 2014, and so far, I’ve made about three. All of them
have been shot at Navarra. The Pyrenees mountains, as well as the countryside in the region,
are very picturesque. This particular time-lapse was shot over a period of one year.
an Porv ielm2B0e1r8 2 0 1 3
Better PhotograPhy
ShowCase
presents
WEDDING
PHOTOGRAPHER
OF THE YEAR 2017-18
CATEGORY Best short Wedding Video
niKlesh malKani | mumbai | ‘urvashi and udai Wedding highlights’
mithilesh ChouBey | navi mumbai | ‘Wedding Film highlight: vanessa and rajiv-goa’
Associate Partners
Made for big ideas.
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
APRIL 2018
PROFILE
PHOTOFEATURE
Gurinder Osan
The need for compassion in
chronicling the world
Yashovardhan Sodhani
His depiction of the lives of the
children residing on the underside of
the world’s oldest profession.
96
112
Video Category nominees
F
We reveal the top six nominees of the two brand new video categories of the
Canon Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017-18 Awards.
or the first time in the history of the Wedding Photographer
of the Year awards, we added two new categories—The Best
Short Wedding Video and The Adobe Premier Pro Award for Best
Video Editing. In the last few years, video documentation has
become as important as the photographs itself. These videos
become ‘living’ snippets that the couples can watch and relive,
through the years. This is where The Best Short Wedding Video category
came in. We asked participants to submit videos that represented
Imaging Partner
APRIL 2018
an interesting narrative of a wedding that they shot. On the other
hand, editing is probably one of the most difficult aspects of
filmmaking, and very often, the editors go unrecognised. With The
Adobe Premier Pro Award for Best Video Editing, we wanted to recognise
the video editors, without whom, the wedding video would not have
been possible.
Here’s a look at the top six nominees in each of the categories.
The winners will be revealed in the May issue of the magazine.
Styling Partners
Hospitality Partner
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
presents
WEDDING
PHOTOGRAPHER
OF THE YEAR 2017-18
CATEGORY Best short Wedding Video
anvesh varala | hyderabad | ‘Falling in love: siddhu and Bhargavi’
sri ram Kishore sivunigunta | Chennai | ‘ Diegetic Wedding Documentary’
naBaKumar monDal | gurgaon | ‘love in the ocean’
sagarneel BisWas | Bengaluru | ‘sreya and swarnendu’
Better PhotograPhy
aPrIL 2018
presents
WEDDING
PHOTOGRAPHER
OF THE YEAR 2017-18
aPrIL 2018
Better PhotograPhy
presents
WEDDING
PHOTOGRAPHER
OF THE YEAR 2017-18
CATEGORY the AdoBe Premier Pro AWArd for Best Video editing
maniyarasan r | madurai | ‘anusha and Chandrasekhar’
Kunal Khanna | new Delhi | ‘aakriti and rajeev’
ananD rathi | mumbai | ‘Will marry marry me?’
anupam maurya | mumbai | ‘happily Coupled’
Better PhotograPhy
aPrIL 2018
presents
WEDDING
PHOTOGRAPHER
OF THE YEAR 2017-18
aPrIL 2018
Better PhotograPhy
presents
WEDDING
PHOTOGRAPHER
OF THE YEAR 2017-18
CATEGORY the AdoBe Premier Pro AWArd for Best Video editing
BalasuBramani murali |Chennai | ‘a village Wedding: vinith and malathi’
neeraJ suJWani | vadodara | ‘Classmates to soulmates: sana and tausif’
EXCITING PRIZES TO BE WON!
Grand Prizes
CANON EOS 5D MARK IV DSLR KIT
with EF 24–105 F/4L IS II USM Lens
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
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The Elinchrom D-Lite FX 2 is a semiprofessional and easy-to-use unit which
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BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
Manfrotto Befree
Advanced Aluminum
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Red Kit with Ball
Head
Manfrotto’s Befree tripod
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photographers who want
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rs. 14,398.
APRIL 2018
presents
WEDDING
PHOTOGRAPHER
OF THE YEAR 2017-18
Category Prizes
ELINCHROM D-LITE FX ONE KIT
LACIE RUGGED MINI
The Elinchrom D-Lite FX One is an entry level easy-to-use unit, ideal for any beginner
interested in flash photography. It delivers twice the power of speedlights and has
a power range of 100W to 6W. The flash unit is compatible with many light shapers
and features a power auto-dump, which automatically adjusts the flash power when
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With its iconic orange design and secure form
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Disk shares features with the popular Rugged
Hard Disk, like shock resistance, drop resistance,
and a rubber sleeve for added protection. But the
Rugged Mini takes things a step further... it Is also
rain-resistant and pressure-resistant. rs. 9604.
with Two Digital Flash Heads & Accessories
CANON PIXMA G2000
Ink-tank Based Photo Quality Printer
The PIXMA G2000 is Canon’s first refillable ink
tank all-in-one printer that has been designed
for high volume printing at low running cost. It
has got an ISO standard print speed (A4) of up
to 8.8ipm (mono)/5.0ipm (colour). It can print a 4 x 6-inch borderless photographs
in 60 seconds. rs. 11,055.
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
Photography/Videography One Year Membership Plan
The Adobe Creative Cloud photography comes equipped
with Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. In addition to this,
it will give you access to all the essentials required to
organise, edit and share photographs on your desktop
and mobile devices. Users will also have their own
portfolio website. rs. 8112.
APRIL 2018
with 2TB Storage
ELEMENT TRAVELLER TRIPOD BIG
& ELEMENT TRAVELLER TRIPOD
SMALLwith Ball Head
Manfrotto’s Element Traveller Big is the
perfect choice for enthusiast photographers
looking for a travel tripod that is reliable,
lightweight and easy to carry. It extends up to
a height of 164cm, folds down to just 41cm and
is easy to pack in most bags. rs. 9537.
The Manfrotto Element Traveller Small is
an affordable, compact, sturdy aluminium
alloy tripod kit that is also highly versatile.
It extends up to a height of 143cm folds down
to a tiny 32cm, making it a breeze to pack in
your bag. rs. 8085.
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
On Trysts and Insights
Gurinder Osan speaks to Tanvi Dhulia about taking life in its stride with an eagerness
to learn, and maintaining harmony while pursuing both photojournalism and
landscape photography.
Better PhotograPhy
aPril 2018
E
very once in a while, a concerned
school teacher would ask before
the class, “Gurinder, tumhara
kya hoga?” (Gurinder, what will
become of you?) Osan, who is now
the Photo Editor at the Press Trust of India,
would smile to himself, confident in the
choices he would make. He had discovered
his love for photography at a young age,
and while his schoolmates prepared
diligently for their board examinations,
a young Gurinder Osan toiled in a dark
april 2018
room making prints for his friends with a
homemade enlarger. “Obviously I got very
bad marks,” he says with a chuckle, not a
hint of regret on his face.
A Quite Morning in
Keoladeo, 2013.
A Keen Learner
“In those days, since there was no
internet, you were fending for yourself,”
he reminisces about the early years of his
photographic learning. “In a way, it’s good
because people made their own discoveries
and developed their own perceptions of
Better PhotograPhy
In a child’s world,
Delhi 2010
From the series
Children Don’t Judge You.
Pr ofi le
Bangladeshi refugees
wait in fear of
deportation, 1992.
Better PhotograPhy
the world.” Although situations were far
more challenging at the time, Osan and his
peers who shared the same interest would
persevere and find a way.
He recounts how, while still learning
to develop film, the local photographer
helped out by providing him with small
pudiyas of chemicals which could last
him for week of printing. Since film was
expensive, he would buy a hundred foot
roll along with his friends, then proceed to
sit in a dark room or duck beneath a cloth to
re-spool it into cartridges, measuring them
on the basis of guesswork and instinct.
Such zealous efforts lead him to grow into a
creature of technique.
aPril 2018
Profile
Overcoming Hurdles
Osan’s frames are precise. His practiced
eye has a knack for capturing moments
that encompass the human experience.
He cultivated his way of seeing by
constantly studying from books, making
endless pictures, and observing senior
photographers in their element.
aPril 2018
In 1988, when he was strolling through
Khajuraho, trying to overcome his
apprehension about making pictures of
strangers, Osan spotted Raghu Rai making
his way up the same route, clicking away
without a care in the world. He was in awe
of how self-assured one could be when
Rai approached a woman bathing with her
(Top) Tired of the long
queue, a young girl fills
up her shoe from a faucet
in Trilokinath, 1990.
(Middle) Rebari woman
at the nomads’ camp in
Delhi, 1992.
(Bottom) The
Bus Window.
Better PhotograPhy
Pilgrims at
Swayambu Temple in
Kathmandu, 2005.
Pr ofi le
Hope in a dry cold
desert, 2017
From the series
The Colours of Brahman.
child and promptly got permission to make
their portraits.
“That’s when it dawned on me that,
as a photographer, I had nothing to be
apologetic about.” All that matters is the
way one carries themselves. If a person
seems confident and sincere in their
intentions, no one would really object to
having their pictures taken.
He was reminded of this epiphany in
2004 while documenting the aftermath
of the tsunami at the Andaman islands.
“On the day I arrived, there was a mass
grave where countless bodies were being
dumped onto each other. Survivors stood
around the edges and wept. I followed
those burying the dead into the pit, camera
in hand, to get a different perspective.
While it may sound apathetic, no one
objected. They could tell that even
I was only managing to keep my grief
at bay.” Compassion, he insists, cannot
be manufactured, and is essential to
chronicling human life with honesty.
Profile
The Climb
Besides being a skilled social documentor,
Osan has a great fondness for the natural
world, particularly the Himalayas. As a
teen, whenever he would manage to save
Rs. 350, he would embark on a trekking
expedition with his friends. Years on, his
affinity to the mountains would help him
get an assignment by The Associated Press
to photograph the 50th anniversary of
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s
historic expedition to Mt. Everest.
It was an opportunity tailored for him.
“And to think that I almost didn’t go!
Four hours before my flight, I sat twiddling
my thumbs in the AP office waiting to hear
whether Greg Baker was to go instead.”
Eventually, Osan’s bureau chief didn’t wait
long enough to get a response from the
senior photojournalist.
“That brief time spent in limbo was
perhaps my turning point. It was the
beginning of my belief that things always
fall into place.” The following 9 days at base
Pr ofi le
106
Nanda Devi’s
Fortress, 2017.
camp cemented his new attitude. Osan was
one of few photojournalists present, and
he managed to exceed expectations with
all that he managed to document in the
frigid conditions. He recalls how a group
of Indian army men allowed him to work
out of their tents, utilising their resources,
thus allowing him to expend more energy
on shooting.
While Osan isn’t one to rely on fortuitous
interventions to change his life, he does
have one simple belief: “If your role and
purpose is higher than you,” he declares,
“somehow help arrives.”
A New Old Love
Inspired by his experience there, in 2005
he took a course on mountaineering with
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the intent to return more frequently to
pursue landscape photography.
To him, the craft offers a sweet escape
from the chaos of life. “While some might
feel that human influence has become an
integral part of the landscape, I like my
pictures to be untouched by it.” For Osan,
even an airplane flying overhead could
ruin the sanctity of the moment.
Today, he strikes a fine balance between
documenting snowy behemoths and
leading a team of photojournalists.
“Technical perfection is not the pursuit of
photojournalism,” he says. “If one seeks it,
that’s great, but it is not as essential as being
truthful in your representation.”
When asked about what he thinks of
current circumstances, and whether the
A Quite Morning in
Keoladeo, 2013.
aPril 2018
A ‘Tilt’ in the
Grass, 2017.
political scenario has journalism under
threat, he is less apocalyptic than most.
“Things will always be difficult in some way
or the other,” he says. “But we must persist
and adhere to ethical practices.”
He expresses concern over how social
media has influenced the way the news
is run. To him, it seems to be driven more
by ego than integrity. “I think we are living
in confused times. But my optimism tells
me that this too will pass.”
A Life-long Student
He speaks of how change is constant and
that it is in our hands to decide whether we
wish to move forward or decline. We need
to evolve as a society, and acknowledge that
Better PhotograPhy
each one of us has a role to play. “As long as
one is doing that to the best of one’s ability,
they are progressing.”
In the earlier days, he would face
reproach for imparting photographic
knowledge with others who had just joined
the field and knew relatively less. There was
a strange understanding amongst
photojournalists to not disclose one’s trade
secrets so that they could maintain an edge
over the others.
But, in his knowledge, he always found
that odd. He would insist that he knew
enough to share. “Nature never stagnates
and neither do we,” says Osan. For him, at
least with photography, there shouldn’t be a
day without learning.
aPril 2018
A ‘Tilt’ in the
Grass, 2017.
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Pr ofi le
110
Better PhotograPhy
aPril 2018
Profile
“Earlier, the
dearth of
information
resources left
one searching for
more to grasp,
and because
you were
always seeking,
you were
always hungry.”
111
Catching up with the
Swallows, 2017.
Gurinder Osan specialises in photojournalism, landscape and social documentary photography. He currently works as Photo Editor Press Trust of India. Prior to this,
he was the National Photo Editor, Hindustan Times for five years.
aPril 2018
Better PhotograPhy
PHOTO
FeaTure
Yashovardhan
Sodhani
His first real stepping
stone in the world of
photography was after
he took a workshop with
Sephi Bergerson, who
introduced participants
to the realm of
photojournalism.
That’s where
Yashovardhan
was exposed to the
documentary, War
Photographer, featuring
James Nachtwey, and
credits it with uplifting
his perspective on photo
documentation. For his
next project, he plans to
shed light on the issue of
water scarcity in India.
The Other Half
Yashovardhan Sodhani gives us a peek into the lives of the children who
reside on the underside of the world’s oldest profession.
Better PhotograPhy
aPril 2018
The area around
the brothels became
playgrounds for
the children of the
prostitutes. In this
picture, two kids are
seen playing, right
before their mothers
came to collect them,
to take them to
the NGO.
S
ometime ago, I had watched a
documentary called Born into
Brothels that was based on the
children of prostitutes, who
resided in Sonagachi—Kolkata’s
red light district. The camera follows Zana
Briski, a photographer, who entered Kolkata
with the aim of photographing prostitutes.
In the process, she ends up befriending their
children, and comes up with the ingenious
aPril 2018
idea of teaching photography to the kids, as
a gesture of gratitude for being allowed to
make pictures of their mothers.
It was fascinating to see the inner
sanctum of a world that’s largely forbidden,
and perceived as being dirty and sinful.
This piqued my interest in the subject.
Based on my friend’s, Suhitha’s suggestion,
I approached the Chaitanya Mahila Mandal,
an NGO based in Budhwar Peth, in Pune.
Better PhotograPhy
P h o t o F e at u r e
114
A mother is seen
preparing rice for her
child. There’s only a single
stove available for all the
residents of the brothel.
The Mandal functions like a day care
center, except that the children are brought
in the evening (at about 5pm), and are kept
till the next morning, so that their mothers
are free to attend to their business. I would
accompany members from the NGO to
pick up and drop off the kids, as most of
the mothers were too exhausted to do it
themselves. In this way, I got to know both
mother and child, intimately. My aim was to
document their daily life, to show viewers
how the children weren’t any different from
(This image) Everyday,
the NGO allots a certain
amount of time for study.
(Top right) A mother
prepares her child
for school.
(Bottom right) At the
NGO, the children have
to wake up quite early,
as early as 7 am, to
be dropped off at the
brothel. Here, a child has
just woken up.
Better PhotograPhy
aPril 2018
P h o t o F e at u r e
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Better PhotograPhy
P h o t o F e at u r e
Mothers who drop
off their children at the
NGO are not permitted to
enter the building because
of discriminatory rules by
the society in which the
NGO is housed in. Here, a
mother is seen making
an inquiry with one of
the wardens, who is
communicating with her
through the window.
Better PhotograPhy
other kids their age. I tried to spend as much
time as I could... I played with them, and
studied with them.
I photographed the children over the
course of seven months (a week every
month), before I had to head back home
to Jaipur. I would have ideally preferred to
spend some more time with the children.
However, the owners of the brothels were
extremely dismissive of my work. I suppose
they felt that my pictures could damage
their business. After several months of rude
comments and threats, I was finally told by
the NGO to discontinue shooting.
It’s a pity that I had to quit just when I had
found my footing. The children, as well as
their mothers, were very comfortable and
forthcoming in my presence. I hope my
photographs provide a brief glimpse of
the innocence that exists in a place that’s
teeming with crime.
—As told to Conchita Fernandes
aPril 2018
P h o t o F e at u r e
(Top) With this picture,
I wanted to depict the duality
of the area... How the sex
workers exist alongside people of
other professions.
(Middle) An NGO warden is seen
holding a child, while responding
to a query by a mother from
below the building.
(Bottom) It was the monsoons.
A mother is seen drying up
her kid, before he entered the
NGO building.
117
aPril 2018
Better PhotograPhy
Photograph by:
Robert Gibson
Image Source:
NASA
Written by:
Conchita Fernandes
146
Better PhotograPhy
The First Ever ‘Spacewalker’
B
ruce McCandless was on the receiving end of the transmission at NASA’s mission
control, when Neil Armstrong uttered the following... “That’s one small step for a
man, one giant leap for mankind.” 15 years later, on 7 February 1984, he would make
another kind of history by becoming the first person to walk untethered in space.
The work on the Manned Maneuvering Unity (the jetpack that would enable him to
move freely in space) had already begun decades prior to his departure, in 1984. He was a part
of the team responsible for the creation of the jetpack. When it was close to completion, Bruce
was selected to test the 300 pound unit.
“On the day itself, I put on my underwear, complete with air ducts and flexible tubing
filled with water to cool me down, and my pressure suit. The crew said, “You’re ready.
Go, go, go!” So I stepped into the airlock, closed the hatch, depressurised it, opened it, and
away I went,” he said. As he drifted away from the shuttle, left completely at the mercy of the
void, his colleagues back at NASA, including his wife, Bernice, were growing increasingly
apprehensive. To loosen the tension, Bruce decided to put a humourous spin on Armstrong’s
famous words... “It may have been a small step for Neil, but it’s a heck of a big leap for me.”
Bruce spent a total of 6 hours and 45 minutes outside the shuttle, at a distance of 320 feet
from it. “I was traveling at more than 18,000 miles per hour, but wasn’t aware of it, because
the shuttle was going at the same speed. It was only when I looked at the Earth that I could
tell we were moving fairly rapidly. At one point, I noticed we were over the Florida peninsula.
It was reassuring to see something I recognised.” However, the experience was not as ethereal
as he had expected it to be. “I’d been told of the quiet vacuum you experience in space, but
with three radio links saying, “How’s your oxygen holding out?” “Stay away from the engines!”
“When’s my turn?” it wasn’t as peaceful.
The photograph of Bruce floating above the vast blue of the earth was shot by Robert Gibson,
a member of the crew that accompanied him in the Challenger. “This photograph taken by
Robert Gibson from the shuttle, is beautiful, partly because the sun in shining directly on me.
That’s why I have my visor down (although if you look closely, you can make out a few of my
features). It’s also one of its attractions: my anonymity means people can imagine themselves
doing the same thing,” he had mentioned in an interview with The Guardian.
april 2018
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