Monday, August 31, 2015

-Photo Feature- Aftermath of Earthquake in Nepal

-Photo Feature-
Aftermath of Earthquake in Nepal

Born on 20 July- 1991 in village Alinagar of District Lakimpur Kheri (U.P-India), Satpal Singh is nature & travel photographer. Based in Delhi, Satpal is a passionate traveler and writer. He has won many reputed photography awards across the world. He has contributed his articles and photographs in many esteemed publications of India & abroad, i.e.  Nature’s Best Photography- USA, Asian Geographic- Singapore, Professional Image Maker- United Kingdom, Palmaris- France, Terre Sauvage- France, Smithsonian- United States, TPA- Malaysia, Outlook, Saevus, Sanctuary Asia, Asian Photography, Better Photography, Opinion Today, BNHS etc.
He is sharing a feature on the consequences of recent massive earthquake in Nepal on our blog. --Dr. Pankaj Sharma

"The recent earthquake of Nepal (with 7.9- magnitude) which took place on 25th April-2015 proved to be the cause big destruction. It was the biggest quake in Nepal After 1934. Official number of deaths has crossed 9,000 and more than 30,000 people have got injured in this quake.

Katmandu Valley, the capital of the country is densely populated with nearly 2.5 million people. Here the quality of buildings is often poor. A number of buildings collapsed in the center of the capital including centuries- old temples and towers e.g. Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Patan Durbar Square, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square and the Dharahara Tower (one of Katmandu's landmarks built by Nepal's royal rulers in the 1800s and a UNESCO-recognized historical monument) got ruined badly.

Major loss of human lives & economy took place in rural Nepal. So I decided to cover those remote areas where the proper help had not reached till the mid of May-2015. I spent total 10 ten days (3-12 May-2015) in this project with only two days in Kathmandu. I visited the remote villages of most effected districts e.g. Sindhupal Chaok, Gorkha, Dhading etc. It was hard to believe that 1390 houses out of 1400 had got destroyed completely only in one of the highly populated villages named Barpak of Gorkha district. It was really heart-touching to witness the deep pain and tears of people, and the huge destruction.

Numerous countries around the world have provided necessary aid and supplies to the affected areas. The contribution of our country (India) is equally incredible. Humanitarian groups are regularly working to provide shelter, clean water, food, medicines in concerned areas."

--Satpal Singh


Friday, August 14, 2015

Dashboard : “Through the Window of Past”

“Through the Window of Past”

This is due to the noble efforts of Mr. Naveen Jindal, an Indian industrialist, and a former Member of Parliament that the right to fly the Indian National Flag with due respect on all days of the year has been restored to every Indian on legal ground.

In respect of our National Flag Mr. Naveen Jindal dreamed a book titled “Tiranga”. The photographs portraying our National Flag were invited from the photographers of different parts of the country for this project. The dream of the book, “Tiranga” came true in the year 2005. It was a great honour for me that one of my photographs was selected for this esteemed book. The book has been edited by Vijay S. Jodha and Samar S. Jodha.

I am sharing the above said photograph here along with the cover of the book, "Tiranga". I clicked this photograph in National Public School, Baheri (District Bareilly-India) on the occasion of 50th Anniversary of Indian Independence. I noticed a great zeal among the students of this school on this occasion. They were holding Tri-Colour Flags of India in their hands and running in the play ground. I asked them to give me a chance to portray them. They happily agreed and I clicked a some images. This is one of them. This photograph has been appreciated widely. The enthusiasm on the faces of children symbolizes the joy of freedom truly.
  I wish my all friends a *Happy Independence Day* of India.
--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, August 1, 2015

My View:, By: Adit Agarwala, FRPS, EFIAP

-My View- 

By: Adit Agarwala, FRPS, EFIAP

In today’s fast going life almost everyone wants to achieve success instantly and through shortcuts. This trend can be seen in the field of fine arts also. I had an opportunity to judge a reputed International Photography Contest a few years back with some photo artists of very high repute. Mr. Adit Agarwala, a renowned artist, was also a jury member. During the judging session we were surprised to witness that some participants had submitted the same or the identical pictures in different categories of the Contest. This compelled us to have a serious discussion. We all were equally bothered to observe this ridiculous trend. Mr. Adit Agarwala, who is a good thinker as well, wrote a thoughtful write-up about the said trend. This piece of writing was published in the official journal of FIP, “VIEWFINDER”, in its October 2007 issue … page 12 & 13. This write-up is being shared here so that we may think over the said ill practice intensely and try to keep ourselves away from such silly things in order to promote real creativity. 
(The word, "Salon" in the following write-up stands for Art Exhibition)
--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

“The title of this write-up would appear to be a bit confusing to learned readers. Some may wonder whether the is a new site of photographs and if so, a few might even be tempted of exploring it. But, let me set that doubt at rest. And, I have reconfirmed it with Google. There is no such site to explore, not so far at least. However, even I almost believed so until that reconfirmation.
The occasion was a recent Jury meeting of a reputed International Salon where I was also present. The members of Jury were taken aback when in the Jury meeting for 'color prints' section, a few color prints were displayed seeking opinion of the Jury. The reason for surprise was that in the earlier Jury session for "Monochrome prints", identical prints had already been shown to the Jury. The surprise reached its climax when in the next jury session of 'Color slides', the same pictures were again shown (i.e. projected) which were identical to the earlier ones shown in Monochrome and later on in Color Print sections. The Jury of course, performed their job to their satisfaction. Most important, while awarding the judgment the Jury was almost unanimous.
But the episode made me think, why should this happen? Why someone should send identical pictures in three different sections? What benefit could it provide to the participant? Or was the participant trying his luck treating the Salon as a lottery site?
I have firm belief that a picture is best suited for only one stream. If a picture is best in say 'Monochrome' then it will lose its beauty and impact in 'Color print' or 'Color slide' section. On the other hand, if the picture is best in 'Color print' or 'Color slide' section then it would not make any impact in the remaining sections.
So the question remained -- why the participant had to send identical pictures in three different sections? Was it not a sign of bankruptcy? If it was not, then what was the intention? That perhaps ….. the Jury would overlook this repetition and accept some of the pictures if not in one section then in the other?
I do not know the participant or what exactly, were his intentions in sending identical pictures in more than one sections of the same Salon. But I feel sorry to add that such an approach if not anything else, does indicate at least 'lack of confidence'. It is almost like participation in a lottery. Compared to the participatory amount the prize money is very high; a prize of Rs.1.00 crore against a ticket of Rs.10.00, provided it strikes. So in order to improve the chances of getting a prize, increase individual participation. Instead of buying one lottery ticket, buy three or even more. The chances of hitting the jackpot are definitely brightened to that extent. Thus, in the area of salons, send twelve pictures instead of four. Since there is restriction on number of entries per section, and unfortunate that one does not have pictures for participation in every section in the salon; so utilize the Genie of the IT Lamp. The Genie turns every digitized image into Monochrome print, Color print and the 'Color slide' was already there. And, one is now ready to strike rich in salons, except the hitch of the Jury who is guided by ethics and independent thinking.
This again brings us to another and very important aspect - whether the salon participation can be equated to participation in a lottery? Well, certainly not. It is neither desirable nor was it ever intended when this movement came into being. Our country is endowed with renowned photo artists - Benu Sen, K. G. Maheshwari, O. P. Sharma, S. R. Patel, Susanta Banerjee, T N A Perumal, H. Sathish, Waman Thakre to name a few, and even those who are no more with us like C. Rajagopal, Kumar Sukhdeo Singh, Sachin, T. Kashinath and many more. Each one of them specializes in their own style. All of them have been the star performers in international photographic salons. They never made a second picture, which was alike another one. The question of creating an identical picture for another section did never arise.
We create a picture primarily to satisfy our creative urge. It does not matter if it gets rejected in a salon. If a picture got rejected due to faulty composition or bad print quality in one section, identical copies of the same in other medium such as color print or color slide are most likely to suffer with the same fate. It probably would never help to equate a salon with a lottery. Instead we should be confident of what we are doing and why we are doing so.”
(Courtesy:  View Finder, The Official Journal of FIP, October 2007, page 12 & 13. )