Saturday, August 29, 2015

One that safeguards

I am not an ardent street photographer, but I like that genre which captures the subtle impressions of day-to-day life.

I happened to be in one of the popular streets of Bengaluru that still maintains the old Bangalore charm in the way it appears and operates - Avenue Road. A paradise for book lovers where one can find all sorts of new and used books. It is a pretty long road and on the other half it transforms into a silver and ornamental jewellery market. The busy and bustling street during the day begins its morning with a relatively calm tone. I was there in those hours this time. I had been to that street many times earlier but not for photography but for the books. But this time I went to see how the day begins there.

After the initial few shots one thing caught my attention. A lock. Nice and old it was. Sitting on a contrastingly bright grill. I made an image of that. Then suddenly I started seeing so many of them all around! One by one, they were all different! They all had different features and characters. They were in various shades and shapes. Some looked like they had attitude and some were looking somber! Some were completely rusted and some were fantastically shiny! There were so many of them with so much different from each other. But they were all there for one common reason. That was the reason of their very existence - Safeguarding. They were all united by this one common reason. Thoughts were running into my mind and I decided to make some images before the day no longer needs them!

It was an interesting time for me. Let me see when I can be there again!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Nature In Focus 2015 award and other buzz

It was on the evening of July 4th at Chancery Pavilion, Bangalore.

Nature In Focus team was announcing the winners of their photography contest. Kalyan Varma and Rohit Varma were on the stage. 

There were around 25 large prints were put up outside the main hall. We were told that those were the prints of the images that had made to the finals and beyond! I was thrilled to see three of my images there!

The ceremony started and the winning images were displayed on the huge screen on stage. The winning images were indeed amazing! 

There was an anxiousness in the atmosphere when the award ceremony started! 

Several crossed fingers and numerous eager eyes to see who would get what. None of the invited knew for which award they were called for! That was the secret organisers had guarded so much.

When the category of Animal portraits came, I was called for the 'Special Mention' award for my image of Indian Rhino that I made in Kaziranga few years back. 

Next was the turn of Wildscapes. I was called on stage as 'Winner' in the category of 'Wildscapes & Animal in its Habitat', for the image of Alpine Swifts in the backdrop of Unchalli Falls! I was excited!

Then the final moment came - to announce the 'Photographer of the Year'. All fingers crossed again. And then the name was announced - "Ashwini Kumar Bhat, for the image of Wire-tailed Swallow with the reflection of the ripples, titled - 'The Ripple Effect' ".

"Ripple Effect" - Photographer of the Year award

"The Dare Devil" - Winner, Wildscapes & Animal in its Habitat

"Golden Rhino" - Special Mention, Animal Portraits

You can find the rest of the winners in the below page of NatGeo Traveller India.

Another update is that our images of Glowing Fungi from the forests of Western Ghats have found a place in BBC Travel! 

Below is the link:

Our original story about these glowing forest floors can be found here:

Hope you enjoy these.