Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yana - yet again!

Yana is a place where almost every photographer has failed!!  

We started from Sirsi at around 6:00AM but by the time we reached Yana, it was 12:30PM!! The road to Yana is so beautiful that we couldn't stop ourselves from getting down and shooting on several occasions!

The streams were flowing in their full beauty through the lush green woods and the wet forest floor was adding more colors to the already vivid ambiance.

It drizzled, it rained, we got slightly wet but nothing stopped us from enjoying making images.

The road to Yana itself is a beauty! You will be driving amidst very thick evergreen forest and at some places roads were laid without cutting a single tree and hence they were very curvy!

When we finally reached Yana it was mid noon. Soon after, a thin layer of low level clouds started to gather and covered the rocks and the forest around.

It is very difficult to capture the sense of massiveness of those rocks. Till date I have not seen any single image which can even come closure to the actual feel of the massiveness of those magnificent rock formations. There are reasons to it!

In order to give the sense of anything (like height, massiveness etc) using a photograph we normally need a scale to compare. For example how much high a structure may be but in a photograph it is felt only when you make a normal person stand beside it and then our mind compares the height and gets a sense of the real height of the structure. Otherwise if we present the structure independently there is no way one can get the sense of its height.

This is precisely why NatGeo Photographer Micheal 'Nick' Nichols, while shooting the tallest tree on earth, made few people stand at certain heights on the tree. The image was published in last year's October issue. That image was a five sheet spread!! I was jaw dropped when I saw that for the first time. I had never seen anything like that till then. You can see a small video of its making and the image at the end HERE.

This is the exact same reason why every photograph of the rocks of Yana fail to give the sense of their massiveness. If you have not gone there yet then believe me the rocks are far far more massive than how they look in any image on the web. You will go breathless at least once and your heart would skip a beat for sure. Take my word!

We tried to concentrate on a lone tree which has succeeded in growing at that height, but then how do you depict the size of the tree? There are smaller trees and there are taller trees. So which one is this? How much is its approximate height? How do you portray that in your image?

There needs a massive amount of work to be done, similar to the one by Nick Nichols, to capture the sense of enormity of the size of those marvelous rocks of Yana and that is not at all easy!

That's why I had told in the beginning - 
Yana is a place where almost every photographer has failed!! 

Hoping to be successful sometime...


Note: You can find my older accounts of Yana HERE. 


Friday, October 22, 2010

"Be bold and be creative" is the message

Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year which is popularly known as BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year results are out. You can find them HERE.

As I was going through the winning images Gallery I felt one thing for sure...the juries are making statements with some of their selections.

Bence Mate, a 26 year young Wildlife photographer from Hungary won the Overall Winner award for his amazing image of leaf cutter ants of Costa Rican rainforest.

My friend Nilanjan Das has won Runner up in 'Nature in Black and White' section for his black buck in the storm image. You can find it HERE.

Some of the winning images are very unconventional. For example THIS image of a Polar Bear which won the first place in 'Animal Portraits'! A picture without the head of an animal! How bold the photographer would have been to submit this image to the competition! This fact itself makes a statement that there are people out there who are really challenging the traditional norms of photography. By choosing this image as a winner the juries have silently made a statement that animal portraits doesn't necessarily mean a sharp, clean, closeup image of an animal. That has been done to death and now start looking beyond that.

Not only this particular image but there are several others of them which stand as a testimony to the creativity and boldness exhibited by the photographer. Hats off to the juries for identifying such efforts and showing the world a different set of refreshing images which tell the stories in their own different ways.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

So close yet so far!

It feels terrible to be so close and yet so far! The pain manifolds when the goal was something you have been dreaming for! And i have felt the pain!

This image of mine was in the finals of BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2010, under the category - 'Wild Places'. It didn't make it to the podium however.

BBC WPOTY awards are the most prestigious awards in the field of Nature Photography. This was the first time I had submitted my images to the contest. Out of thirteen images that I submitted six made their way to the semis and one to the final.

BBC awards will be announced on Oct 21st in their site. They have put up a teaser now in their site which show some of the highly commended images in the contest.
Great to see Sandesh Kadur's image in the preview and feels proud to know another friend of mine who has won a prize this time!

Asking me, who is he?   Wait till 21st... :) 

For the sneak preview of some of the Highly Commended images CLICK HERE.