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THOSE WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE

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EDITORIAL

Editorial

Ravi Dhingra Prakhar Garg Chief Visualizer

Sheetal Mann Design

Priyashi Negi Writer

Rahul Batra Shreeja Chaterjee Karishma Rana Ankit Tyagi Sana Singh Shimran Epari Vishakha Jha Aditi Puranik Dipanwita Nath Ghanishtha Arora Technology

Sachin Arora Rishabh Jain Bharat Bhushan Aditya Baghel Business Development

Rajesh Basu Amit Ghosh Dimas Fajar Sales

Insaf Khan Krishna Srinivas Amit Gupta

Analysis

Prateek Kashyap Dipanwita Nath Surbhi Sharma Marketing

Neha Dogra Anurag Khaneja Public Relations

Barkha Chandra Noopur Sharma Staff Photographer

Susana Gomez Urshita Saini Tarundeep Singh Finance

Neelu Singh Consultant

Apratim Saha Mansa Inc. CEO

Mukesh Kumar Cover Photo

Sasi Ramachandra

Once anonymously said, “If you want to know a place, rely on the words of the local people there.” Characters of a place are structured by religious beliefs and festive practices, which distinguish inhabitants of a place from others. In the roots of Indian existence, festivals take a huge responsibility in framing the culture of the locality. All in all, it’s the people and their festivities that make them distinguish within themselves and India has been a land of such festivities for a period longer than anyone of us can remember. In this edition, photographers around round the world poured in their contributions in order to portray a world full of colours, happiness, and sheer vibrancy. A world where all live in together and strive to leave a mark of our own characters. It is a major phenomenon that has brought this world a little closer and that has happened for the best. People have majorly taken part in bringing out the best of every procession and festival that happens around the world. In this issue, we have some great photographers with who have blessed us with their priceless words. Mr. Umesh Gogna has shared his works to enlighten us on better frames and help us achieve sharper vision every time the shutters fall. Apart from that, Lopamudra Talukdar and Anoop Negi has given us insights to work with, while covering the festivals around the world especially rural India. Mr. Faruk Akbas from Turkey, an exPhotographer for Fujifilm has also accompanied us on our wonderful journey through colours. Zeeshan Ali and Meiji Nguyen brighten us further with their fashion flavors. Zeeshan, an artist who paints himself with a passion that surpasses most of the makeup artists and Meiji, a master photographer had some very creative ideas. Graduating down to the end, when we look back, we try to remember the good moments and that’s why, in the first place we create them. For the good, for remembering it and to remind us that sharing a smile will only make it better and brighter. That’s what make our world colourful and brings us together to cherish each moment Regards,


CONTENTS The Eccentric Ascetics of India Yasser Al Zain

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Festivals of India

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Old Is Gold Erwin E. Smith

In talks with Faruk Akbas

Movie Review Harrison’s Flowers

Pushkar Photographers’ Battle Field

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Tips and Tricks A perfect guide to cover festivals

Leading by Examples Lopamudra Talukdar

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Makeup Artist of the Month Zeeshan Ali

Model of the Month Akshara Gowda

Fashion Photographer Meiji Nguyen

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Jon Langeland In 2007, at an age of 56, he started to travel more actively and started to capture the world. His first safari was in Masai Mara in Kenya 2008, which helped him to gain some popularity on the Instagram and other social platforms. He still works as a dermatologist,

running his own practice. But in the last few years, he has spent 50-70 days of a year on traveling and capturing wild animals of their surroundings in Africa, Spitsbergen, South Georgia, India, Galapagos, British Columbia, Patagonia, Borneo, Alaska, Russia, Brazil, and the latest trip was to Antarctica, which was last month only.

Cycle of Life NIKON D5 600mm F/9 1/1600s ISO800

Scaly Friends NIKON D4 420mm F/10 1/250s ISO640

Salmon Hunt NIKON D5 600mm F/6.3 1/1600s ISO500


Penguin Drama NIKON D810 600mm F/9 1/1250s ISO200

Foot in Mouth NIKON D800E 300mm F/14 1/800s ISO2000

Feeding the little one NIKON D4 270mm F/9 1/640s ISO800

Sleeping with Death NIKON D4 600mm F/7.1 1/1000s ISO400


Cub-bing Around NIKON D4 850mm F/8 1/1600s ISO640

Arctic Kill NIKON D3S 500mm F/10 1/2000s ISO450


Andean Cock-of-the-rock NIKON D4 600mm F/5.6 1/250s ISO2000

Puffin Pair NIKON D3S 1000mm F/7.1 1/1000s ISO3200

Southern Ground Hornbill NIKON D3S 700mm F/10 1/500s ISO400


Antonis Tsaknakis Co-founder of Birding in Greece, the most famous company for birdwatching and bird photography in the country, and awarded wildlife photographer in various competitions, Antonis Tsaknakis shares a true passion about his favorite subject, the Birds! He has traveled many countries such as Costa Rica, Peru, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, and Cyprus, photographing birds and discovering ideal spots to shoot, and in a constant search for the perfect “click.”

Inca Tern Canon EOS 60D 320mm F/5.6 1/500s ISO250

Cyprus Warbler Canon EOS 7D Mark II 700mm F/6.3 1/1250s ISO320

Black Crested Coquette Canon EOS 7D Mark II 400mm F/5.6 1/640s ISO3200

Rüppell Warbler Canon EOS 7D Mark II 700mm F/7.1 1/1250s ISO400

Barred warbler Canon EOS 7D Mark II 700mm F/5.6 1/800s ISO500


Puffin With Lunch Canon EOS 7D Mark II 500mm F/8 1/800s ISO640


Bee-eater Canon EOS 7D Mark II 500mm F/6.3 1/1600s ISO200

Dalmatian Pelican Canon EOS 7D Mark II 500mm F/7.1 1/800s ISO100


The Eccentric Ascetics of India Yasser Al-Zain

Sadhu man in oldest Hindu temple. Pashupatinath, Nepal Canon EOS 5DS R 30mm F/5 1/250s ISO100


Sadhu in oldest Hindu temple. Pashupatinath, Nepal Canon EOS 5DS R 31mm F/5 1/160s ISO100

Sadhu in oldest Hindu temple. Pashupatinath, Nepal Canon EOS 5DS R 70mm F/4 1/200s ISO50

Yasser Al-Zain is a Lebanese, born and raised in Kuwait, completed his studies with a degree from MSCE (Networking), presently working as a General Manager in Al-Rai Media Group Co. He started photography as a hobby, with the primary motive of capturing images which appear interesting regardless of the subject, the focus being on lines, forms and patterns. Today, Photography, in particular, has become a major passion in his life. His love for photography inspires him to find rhythm and colors in landscapes, people and their cultures. He has since then developed this passion to a business owning Photography Production Co., displaying his works in Exhibitions and publishing books. With every picture, he tries to show the people how he views the beautiful world around.

T

hose ancient eyes, watching the world from behind their ‘jatas’ (dreadlocks) seem to be silent but they aren’t, instead they are praying for you. This is the power of the spiritual world which can turn a worldly soul into one that eschews all. They turn their world upside down and vow to devote their lives to ward off theirs as well as the community’s karma. Most have given up affiliation with their caste and kin and have undergone a funeral ceremony for themselves, followed by a ritual rebirth into their new ascetic life. Travelling to distant places, homeless, they visit different pilgrimages or stay at a place suitable to pray all day. Most of the Sadhus don’t like getting disturbed and hence to strictly avoid any sort of distractions, they practice celibacy, become recluse and keep moving in life’s long journey. The colors that they clad themselves in, be it saffron, white or black, represent different saint communities. The different designs of vermillion or “tilak” are also an indicator of their sect. The holy beads (rosary), ‘kamandal’ (waterpot), the trishul (tridents), kapal (human skull), and

human ashes smeared across their bodies are other clues differentiating the sects of a saint or sadhu. Some sages vows to remain bald while there the others do not have their hair cut throughout their lives and take great care of their ‘jatas’. Incidentally, there is a science behind keeping their hair long. Hair is a natural conductor of body’s electromagnetic energy and coiling hairs causes induction. In fact, the science of coiling wires in electronics came from ancient Hindu science of coiling hair to induce energy in body. Two major divisions of Indian saints are Shaivas (Shiva devotes) and Vaishnavas (Vishnu devotees). Within these general divisions are numerous sects and subsects and these follow their own set of rituals and traditions. The rituals performed by the ‘Aghories’, for instance, might frighten a common person and yet they have been revered for their spiritual practices. Religion and spirituality is the almost synonymous to India. It doesn’t matter what caste and creed one belongs to, spirituality acts on each person equally. Sometimes, the bizarre acts of the ‘sadhus’ in a show

of faith defy science and leave the men of science befuddled. They live simply with the philosophy of unflustered and uncluttered life. If you ask them about stories of the God, they narrate it so evocatively that one might feel that they themselves have witnessed those stories. In them, you will mostly find peace, a pleasant smile and a brilliant sense of satisfaction. Relinquishing their worldly pleasures, they free themselves of their societal shackles to fly in the open sky of faith in hopes of reaching to the ultimate source of all. They meditate and continuously chant the Holy Scriptures, to balance the negativity of the world. Although they devote themselves completely in sacred practices, but treat them with caution for you never know what’s going on in that eccentric mind. Aditi Puranik aditi@chiiz.com

A budding journalist, Aditi watches the world with wonder in her eyes. Talented but lazy, introvert but sarcastic, she is a nature lover, continuously trying to work on her photography and writing skills. She is a wanderer at heart and dreams of travelling the world. Vol 9

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Indian devotee celebrating the Holi festival of color. Vrindavan, India Canon EOS 5D Mark III 53mm F/3.2 1/200s ISO200

Sadhu in Hanuman Temple Rajasthan, India Canon EOS 5DS R 70mm F/2.8 1/320s ISO200

Sadhu in oldest Hindu temple. Pashupatinath, Nepal Canon EOS 5DS R 70mm F/5 1/160s ISO100


Dyed in Faith Canon 60D 70mm F/5 1/200s ISO125


Bandi Festival Mostly celebrated in coastal Karnataka , this festival brings the traditional firewalking event pushing the limits of human strength . Canon EOS 60D 17mm F/6.3 1s ISO1250

Energetic dancing devotees duringAnnammadevi festival in a slum in Bangalore . Annamma Devi is very popular goddess in the region of Bangalore. Canon EOS 60D 28mm F/4.5 1/1000s ISO1600

Dinesh Maneer is a photographer from Bengaluru ,India who seeks

to capture the glory of the great culture of the State of Karnataka. That explains why his clicks are mainly focused on landscapes, portraits and culture of the land to which he belongs.

Dinesh is widely traveling all over the state exploring unique, unknown and fading traditions and customs. He not only shows the beauty and richness of these cultures through his works, but also strives to create awareness of the importance and need of preserving such cultures . He also enjoys meeting eminent, young personalities in the field of art, music, folk, theatre , literature and make portraits of them. His “Chat with Artist� series on his website is an ongoing and interesting collection of the conversations he engages with them.

Mylara fair is one of the craziest fairs of Karnataka due to very large number of visiting people and unique way of celebrations. A lead gentleman from Gorava community who fasted for 12 days , climbs a 12 feet high bow and screams a prophecy about agriculture and politics to the people gathered on the Karnikotsava day which is the last day of fair . It was estimated that nearly 15 lakh people visit the last day of the fair from various parts of the state . Canon 6D 24mm F/4 1/640s ISO100


Symbolically Ganiga community force feed Dasappa community during their annual village festival. This villageis called Ramohalli and is very close to Bangalore city. Canon 6D 40mm F/4 1/250s ISO100

Woman’s day in Bangalore Karaga is celebrated as AartiUtsav where colourfully dressed ladies make varieties of Aartis in different ways to offer to the god. Canon 6D 50mm F/2.8 1/100s ISO100

Suggi festival is the biggest festival of Halakki tribes from Kumta in Karnataka state . This agriculture community celebrates this during Holi festival. Different villages of these tribes form a team to perform their traditional dance. Canon 1000D 70mm F/8 1/100s ISO125

Suggi festival is the biggest festival of Halakki tribes from Kumta in Karnataka state . This agriculture community celebrates this during Holi festival. Different villages of these tribes form a team to perform their traditional dance. Canon 1000D 70mm F/2.8 1/100s ISO125

Chickens and bananas being thrown at the goddess cart during BikkiMaradi annual festival. Canon 6D 40mm F/4 1/500s ISO400


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Shikha Sood

K

ullu Dusshera is a blend of culture, history, and traditional rituals. Unlike Dusshera celebration in other parts of the country, Kullu Dusshera is different. It begins on Vijay Dashmi and continues for a week. The festival starts with a traditional Rath Yatra of Lord Raghunath and it does not have the tradition of “Ravan dahan”. The first day of celebration begins with the arrival of Deities from surrounding villages to pay tribute to Lord Rama at the Raghunath temple. Priests cook bhog (food) as offering to Lord Raghunath in the temple. After all the rituals being performed by priests and the royal family of Kullu, the colourful procession of devotees starts from the temple to Dhalpur Maidan for Rath Yatra, where the idol is placed in a decorated chariot and pulled by followers. All Deities then stay at Dhalpur Maidan, in temporary decorative arrangements, till the end of the festival. This festival is seven day long, filled with cultural events, dance, and music. The events

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portray the vibrant culture of Kullu which is also known as the name “Dev Bhoomi” (the valley of Gods). According to mythology, Raja Jagat Singh was the King of the Kullu valley in 17th century. During his supremacy, he got to know that a Brahmin named Durgadutt, had unique pearls with him. Then, Rajasent his troop to get those pearls. Durgadutt made it clear that the information is not correct and he does not possess any pearls. But he was tortured by the King. As an effect Durgadutt set himself and his family on fire and cursed Raja Jagat Singh for his cruelty. After this incident the King used to hallucinate blood in place of water and worms in place of rice. He tried every possible remedy but all in vain. At last a Saint directed the King to worship Lord Rama and to bring the idol of lord Rama from Ayodhya to Kullu. Then, the idol was brought to Kullu and after that King started to recover. Soon the region accepted Lord Rama as Lord Raghunath as their prime deity.

Raja Jagat Singh invited Devi and Devtas from hundreds of villages across Kullu be part of the Dusshera celebration, and since then, the annual congregation has become a tradition. On the concluding day (i.e. 7th day), few ceremonies are performed on the bank of river Beas and Deities then bid farewell to Lord Rama and return to their respective villages. The Rath is brought back to its original place and Raghunathji is taken back to the temple in Raghunathpur. This is the legendary association of Kullu Dusshera. Shikha Sood Born and brought up in Kullu (Himanchal Pradesh), Shikha Sood is a Mumbai-based self-taught photographer. Her stint with photography started almost 4 years back. With a great inclination towards art and creativity, she believes that pictures are photographers’ way of expression. It allows her to think differently and create a unique piece of art. She loves street and travel photography and takes inspiration from daily life situations and its decisive moments.


Sound of Worship NIKON D750 50mm F/2.2 1/250s ISO125

Resting God’s NIKON D5100 18mm F/3.5 1/2000s ISO800

Food for the God’s NIKON D750 50mm F/2.2 1/80s ISO640

Incense NIKON D750 50mm F/2 1/200s ISO8000

High Priest NIKON D5100 18mm F/4.5 1/2500s ISO200


The Burden of Faith NIKON D5100 18mm F/3.5 1/200s ISO200

Throng of Devotees NIKON D5100 32mm F/6.3 1/125s ISO400


Giving Hands NIKON D5300 18-140mm F/3.5 1/200s ISO100

Annakut Abhishek Basak

Abhishek Basak is a Kolkata based photographer who started photography right after his graduation and now it has become a part of his life. He mostly shoots human interest stories, street, festivals, landscape and fashion. He has won many photography competitions whose credit he gives to his mentor, his mother and his colleagues.

The silver throne of Madan Mohan at Calcutta. This temple was the latest to be built for him in the early 19th century and shows prominent Christian architectural influence. The stained glass window which has been a characteristical feature of a Christian church since middle ages. At Madan Mohan Temple of north Kolkata, thousands of pilgrims comes from different sides of state to celebrate the festival. Govardhan Puja or Annakut Puja(meaning a heap of grain) is held a day after the Diwali in the month of Kartik. This day is celebrated by the Hindus as Lord Krishna had defeated the God Indra. People celebrate Govardhan Puja by making food of cereals such as wheat, rice, curry of gram, flour and leafy vegetables in order to offer to the Hindu Lord Krishna. The holy rice is distributed among the devoteeson this special day.

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Realm of Receiving NIKON D5300 18-140mm F/11 1/160s ISO200


A Glimpse into the Relics NIKON D3300 30mm F/4.2 1/80s ISO400

Offering Canon EOS 7D 18mm F/8 1/500s ISO3200

Buddha Jayanti Protim Banerjee

The Maha Bodhi Society is a South Asian Buddhist society, founded by the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala and the British journalist and poet Sir Edwin Arnold. The organization’s self-stated initial efforts were for the resuscitation of Buddhism in India, and restoring the ancient Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinara. Maha Bodhi Society of Kolkata, India displays the “Buddha’s Relic Casket” at buddha jayanti every year, Disciples come here to witness the last remains of Buddha and celebrate the auspicious event of Buddha purnima.

Benediction NIKON D3300 18mm F/3.5 1/60s ISO400

Protim Banerjee is a self taught photo enthusiast, who makes an effort to capture the different essences of life. He thinks highly of Shri Aniruddha Pal, who encouraged his efforts and motivated him to have a thirst for more along with sharing his experience in the field of photography and he would like to thank his master for that. He says, “I am a simple person trying to learn the art of photography”.

Initiation NIKON D3300 22mm F/3.8 1/60s ISO400

Light of the Divine Canon EOS 7D 33mm F/8 1/125s ISO3200


Many-faced God’s Canon EOS 70D 10mm F/5 1/10s ISO2000

Gavri – the musical drama festival of the Bhil tribe Ankur Hazarika is a freelance photographer specializing

in travel and product photography. He loves to cook whenever he can make time out from his finance job and photography. His main areas of interests include minimalist and conceptual photography.

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avri is a musical drama performed as a religious ritual by the Bhil tribe of Mewar region of Rajasthan. The word ‘Gavri’ refers to Goddess “Gauri”, wife of Lord Shiva and centers on Shiva and Parvati. Women do not take part in Gavri but male performers enact all roles, including that of goddess Parvati. The plays tell stories of divine intervention in mythological events and their daily community lives. It is said that the Bhil tribes have been performing Gavri since the 3rd or 4th century. Every year the Bhopa (village priest) seeks permission from the goddess for holding the festival. Generally a village gets permission once in two three years, which is indicated by the Bhopa going into a trance. The festival begins on the day following Raksha Bandhan and lasts for forty days. This period also suits the villagers as the crops are harvested and there is no work in the fields. During the forty day period the performers abstain from alcohol, sex, non-vegetarian food, wearing shoes and having dinner. Each village has a team of amateur dancers and actors who act out the various roles which include Manav (humans), Danav (demons), Pashu (animals) and Dev (deity). The music is based on traditional instruments like Dhol, Mandal, Thali and Manjire. The Gavri troupe, consisting of 40-100 performers, goes around performing from village to village, mainly in the areas around Udaipur. The food and other expenses of the Gavris are borne by the residents of the hosting village. All performances are done in open air without a stage. The dance drama is performed in a circle in the centre of which a trishul (trident) is planted. In the present times, the themes of Gavri drama include mythology and social episodes like environment protection, human values and respect for women.

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The Supreme Goddess Canon EOS 70D 55mm F/4 1/80s ISO500


Keepers of the law Canon EOS 70D 90mm F/6.3 1/100s ISO100

Divine Vengeance Canon EOS 70D 10mm F/6.3 1/200s ISO100


Together we Stand Canon EOS 70D 10mm F/6.3 1/125s ISO100

Shackles Canon EOS 70D 10mm F/6.3 1/60s ISO100

Ritual Canon EOS 70D 10mm F/5 1/250s ISO100

Demon in Black Canon EOS 70D 65mm F/4 1/100s ISO6400


The Holy Dip NIKON D5300 35mm F/4.5 1/60s ISO160

ChHath Puja: Revering the Sun God India, like any other ancient civilizations, shares a unique bond with its rivers. Chhath the only vedic festival that has survived through the centuries and can be seen celebrated across the globe and predominantly in the Northern belt of India, essentially known as ‘Purvanchal’. As someone alien to this tradition, I witnessed it for the first time this year. The sight of people walking barefoot carrying the huge basket on their head before the break of the dawn instantly connects you with their devotion,

their efforts to keep the tradition alive as a migrant. The ‘ghat’ gains the identity and the ‘dying’ river ‘Yamuna’ becomes significant. There’s celebration and yet a sense of devotion amidst the ‘chaos’. The sight of the rising sun, devotees standing in Yamuna worshipping ‘Chhath Maiya’ evokes a sense of ‘belonging’ even to an ‘observer’. Everyone is elated to include you in their celebration, no one is an ‘outsider’ here. The whole ritual of ‘Arghya’ at the dawn progresses smoothly while you’re engrossed in it. While you

Vishal Bhutani

want this memorable scene to continue as you become one with the surrounding, the devotees calmly embark on their journey back home, a sense of forlorn overtakes the entire venue as people conclude the rituals. As I left the bank of Yamuna, I was sure that these pictures and the rituals are going to stay with me for a long time. ‘Chhath’ also underscores continuation of a ‘civilization’ and how our greed and disregard for rivers has marginalized their very existence.

Bliss NIKON D5300 35mm F/6.3 1/40s ISO160

Light of the Lord NIKON D5300 35mm F/5 1/13s ISO1600

Ghats NIKON D5300 18mm F/3.5 1/60s ISO640

Helping Hands NIKON D5300 35mm F/1.8 1/50s ISO1250


Kalash Yatra NIKON COOLPIX P900 107mm F/5 1/20s ISO100


Dive into the Holy Waters Nikon D700 50mm F/9 1/320s ISO140

Har-ki-Pauri Nikon D700 50mm F/9 1/320s ISO140

Kanwar Mela Navin Kumar Inspired by the works of Art Wolfe & Joel Sartore, Navin Kumar is a freelance professional photographer and a photo educator. He has worked as a Photography Instructor at Raghu Rai Center For Photography and is currently putting Humanitarian efforts around the Indian subcontinent. He specializes in travel,

landscape, humanitarian and also does fashion and commercial works. He is also working on long-term projects, “ON EARTH” and “THE SACRED PLANET” in Southern Asia and has been photographing the beauty of the region.

M

y eardrums trembled with the sounds of BUM BUM BHOLE at 10PM in an Uttarakhand State Transport bus and my journey started as the bus headed towards the Ghats of Haridwar. In the bus, except me, the driver and the conductor the whole mammalian flock were robed in the variable shades of orange and yellow. After grappling up with the bitter smoke of cigarettes and chillum for around 7 Hours, I finally dropped off from the bus at 4:30am at Haridwar’s bus depot and reached my pre-booked room by 5:00am. I immediately unloaded myself and went out to the Har-Ki-Pauri Ghat for shooting the Kanwariyas and Kanwar rituals in the Kanwad Mela, which they perform before heading back to their homelands. After around 3 hours of shooting and many interactions with the Kanwariyas, it was now the time for some rest (as I hadn’t taken a single nap, the last night) thus after a heavy breakfast I ended up on the bed and woke up in the evening and again went to the Har-KiPauri Ghat to attend the evening Aarti of the holy river, “Ganga”. After the Aarti, I ended my day with the dinner at my hotel’s room and slept early to witness another day’s sunrise. The 2nd day was somehow very same as that of the previous one, but at that day I focused

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trip to Haridwar and the day started on a monotonous node because it seemed same as that of my previous days but I decided to kick start it by planning a visit to Rishikesh after shooting the much admired wide angle photographs of the Kanvad Mela early in the morning. But, it was just 10 in the morning and I was reviewing my photographs and wasn’t at all satisfied with the results, because they were missing something which Kanvad Mela represents from its soul, i.e Motions, Commotions, Colors, Vividness, Details, Expressions, and everything which one can think of.

Kanwaria Nikon D700 50mm F/2.8 1/3200s ISO100

more upon the portraits of the Kanwariyas and ended the day with other wanderings in and around the city. Finally it was the 3rd and the last day of my

So, I finally got an idea to shoot the Kanwadiyas late in the evening but, I had to visit Rishikesh as well, With a dwindling mind I decided to stay in the Haridwar for some long exposure photographs of the Kanwadiyas which I was going to shoot with the backdrop of the most celebrated sacred structures of the Har-KiPauri Ghat, so with this thought in the mind I spent and passed my whole day, wandering in the Bazaars of Haridwar and reached at Ghat at 6PM for the shoot and after 2 hours of shooting I was totally numb with the results because they were up to my expectations, that 3rd day ended on a string of happiness on which I balanced myself for the whole night and headed back to New Delhi on an


early morning train and came back home with increased energy levels and sense of happiness. Kanwar Mela is an affair of ecstasy and the vividness of the life and is highly recommended for everyone to attend at least once in a life time on the Ghats of the Ganges River to feel the energy levels around you and the level of devotion people do posses. Kānvar Yatrā takes place during the sacred month of Shravan (July -August) and is named after the word kānvar, a single bamboo pole with two roughly equal loads fastened or dangling from opposite ends. The kānvar is carried by balancing the middle of the pole on one or both shoulders. Devotees carry covered water-pots in kānvars slung across their shoulders and this practice is widely followed throughout India by over 10 million devotees annually. It is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva, known as Kānvarias, to Hindu pilgrimage places of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand to fetch holy waters of Ganga River, which is later offered at their local Shiva temples. While most pilgrims are men, a few women also participate in Yatra. Most travel the distance by foot, a few also travel on bicycles, motor cycles and other vehicles. Numerous Hindu organizations and other

voluntary organizations sets up camps along the National Highways during the Yatra, where food, shelter, medical-aid and stand to hang the Kanvads, holding the Ganges water is provided for free. Once the pilgrims reach their hometown, the Ganges water is used to bathe the Shivalingam on the New Moon day in Shravan month or on the Maha Shivratri day. There are several types of Kānvarias, depending upon the way they cover their journey back to their homelands. The most common of them are known as Kānvarias, who travel barefoot back to their home. Others are I. Dak Kānvarias - These are those devotees who cover the whole pilgrimage on a vehicle within a certain period of time, depending upon the distance they cover. Usually it is 24 Hours. II. Khada Bam Kānvarias – These are those devotees who cover the whole pilgrimage by foot and during the whole course of pilgrimage they never sit. III. Mauni Bam Kānvarias - These are those devotees who cover the whole pilgrimage by foot and during the whole course of pilgrimage they don’t speak even a single word.

IV. Mahavari Kānvarias – These are those devotees who not just carry the Kanwars in the month of Shravan, but they carry it every month on a particular date and cover the whole pilgrimage by foot. V. Shayan Kānvarias - These are those devotees who cover the whole pilgrimage with their eyes closed, they usually travel with a friend or a family member who guides him/ her on the whole way back to their home. VI. Dandvat Kānvarias - These are those devotees who cover the whole pilgrimage distance by their body length by lying down on the ground and marking it with a stick. Kanwar Yatra is not just an annual pilgrimage but it is directly related to the people and civilizations in many ways and has supported its growth, since the ancient times Kanwar Mela brought the people from different parts of the country in contact with each other, which significantly supported the growth of the diversity in the country and hence supported the meshing up of various civilizations. Even today, it is playing a significant role at a psychological level of Kanwariyas by making them realize their efficiency and their eternal power of decision making and hence works as an overall personality development course which makes the Kanwariya realise his limits.

Peace in Commotion Nikon D700 11mm F/2.8 1/15s ISO1100


Old is Gold One of the last cowboys of the dying Old West chilling in Texas, 1910 ERWIN E. SMITH Photo of a cowboy seated next to his horse on a hill, looking down at other horses in Old West Bonham, Texas. June, 1910. There was a time when a small group of cattle grazers emerged as distinguished people, the cowboys of the west. This happened way before the First World War, around 1860’sthe starting of a new era. People today are still inspired by the dresses these people wore and the way they lived life. Miles and miles of barren and deserted land, cattle grazing, men on horseback keeping an eye on the cattle. Such beautiful moments are only seen in movies or paintings these days, but the lives of the cowboys were not as easy as it looked. Driving thousands of cattle hundreds of miles facing drought, stampede, lightning, snakes and scorpions, sleeping under the stars and the sun over their heads most of the time. Texas was the place where it all started, the cowboy outfit with a cowboy hat, boots two inches high, designed saddles and bandana handkerchief tied around the neck which also saved from the dust. Collarless shirts and trousers made of wool which helped them during the chilling nights. The trousers had a lot of useful pockets to keep stuff like cigarette paper and tobacco. There have been a lot of paintings and photographs which depicts the life of the

cowboys. One such American photographer who captured them a lot was Erwin Evans Smith. Born on August 22, 1886 in Texas, this man always had a wish to become a cowboy and used photography to document the life of cowboys. The American West, the cowboy life didn’t live that long but inspires men and women even today. Smith grew up in Bonham, a town in North Texas where he saw the life of cowboys. He was so influenced by them that he had a dream of becoming one. In his early days, Smith grew an interest in painting, sculpting and photography. He had developed a strong desire to sketch at an early age and that is how he became passionate about creating a masterpiece. By the early 20th century, the era of cowboys were slowly coming to an end and this gave Erwin a thought to create his masterpieces. He wanted to honor the cowboys and preserve their legacy and he chose photography as his medium to do so. He started to photograph the wild cowboys and their lifestyle, the harsh life they lived and the love and care they gave to their family. The cowboys are the folk heroes of the Wild West and they had to be preserved. If we know who the cowboys were and how they lived their life, it is because of

people like Erwin E. Smith who decided to capture beautiful moments of the Wild West. Smith acquired his first camera when he was twelve in 1898 and as he grew old he was capturing the Texas ranches. He decided to turn his full attention towards photography by the 1911 and Texas was the place he practiced his art. He wanted to document each moment of the cowboy era and he successfully did so. The things he looked more closely were the techniques of managing cattle, the unique talents of the horseback men, working women and the ranches. Smith had attended two of the best art schools of the America and that is how he had gained knowledge and techniques of photography. In the early 20th century, he was photographing places like Texas, New Mexicoand Arizona. Today, his legacy can be seen in the Library of Congress with more than 700 vintage prints and almost 2,000 negatives. Smith is counted among the most important photographers of the cowboy life in America. Mostly he worked in Texas, where he was born and where he got inspired by the cowboys and the Wild West. The growth of technology is the reason that the cowboys are to be seen nowhere today, but Smith used the same technology to preserve beautiful moments of the open ranches and the cowboy lifestyle. If today, we see movies which features cowboy and the Wild West is the reason that artists like Erwin E. Smith made a decision to capture and preserve their legacy.

Ankit Tyagi ankit@chiiz.com Ankit has intense love towards photography. He writes for a digital marketing company and believes in the power of words. The dream is to explore and find different perceptions in life. He likes watching classic movies and follows Alfred Hitchcock.


Showers of Blessings Canon EOS 550D 131mm F/5.6 1/320s ISO400

Govinda-Gopala Canon EOS 550D 131mm F/5.6 1/320s ISO400

Dahi Handi Abhishek

Nandkishor Satam is currently working in Zoological Survey of India Govt. Research institute as Junior Research Fellow (JRF). While working in natural ecosystem, he tries to capture it in his camera. He is intensely passionate about photography and has received many international and national awards for the same.

India is the land of festivals. Janmashtmi, the festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, is one of them. Lord Krishna was born at midnight on the ‘eighth day’ or the ‘Ashtami’ of the holy month, Shravana, according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. In childhood, Lord Krishna was quite mischievous and would take curd from people’s houses, so the housewives hung it up high out of his way. Not to be deterred, he gathered his friends together and climbed up to reach it. Throughout India, the mysterious act is

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celebrated as “Dahi Handi”. One of the best places to experience the festival is in the city of Mumbai where celebrations take place at hundreds of locations across the city. The highlight of the festival, which takes place on the second day especially in Mumbai, is the Dahi Handi. This is where clay pots containing butter, curd, and money are strung up high from buildings and young Govindas form a human pyramid and compete with each other to reach the pots and break them. This celebration represents Lord Krishna’s love

for butter and curd, these were the foods, that he most often enjoyed. The terms govinda (also another name of Krishna) or govinda pathak are used to refer to the people who participate in forming this human pyramid. They practise in groups, weeks before the actual event. Pyramid formation needs coordination and focus. The Govinda Pathaks form a tower, the person at the top of the tower must try to break the jar of butter milk, which is positioned at the top. Once spilt, the buttermilk from the pot falls on all the participants as a blessing, that symbolize success through the unity.


Saurabh Gangil Agra, India

Happy Faces Canon EOS 700D 90mm F/7.1 1/160s ISO200

Saurabh Gangil Agra, India

Gateway to the God’s Canon EOS 700D 55mm F/10 1/25s ISO100

Eid at the Taj Mahal Saurabh Gangil

Saurabh Gangil hails from Shamsabad Town, which is the near the City of the Taj, Agra. With the adventure bug inside him, he loves to explore new places in search of new experiences and adventures. He has been pursuing photography for just one year now and it has already become an inseparable part of his life.

Naman Srivastava Lucknow, India

Eid at the Taj Mahal is a grand religious affair as thousands of people come here to offer their prayers on this holy occasion. People can be seen in their best outfits exchanging greetings and gifts with their friends and relatives. The festive vibe reaches its crescendo as people hug each other with “Eid Mubarak” wishes.As this event happens only twice a year, the entry to Taj Mahal is also free. The time of the namaz is approximately 8:00am to 9:00am and it is advisable to come early in the morning to avoid large crowds and to also witness the white wonder of the world in all its early morning glory.

Prayer at a Mausoleum NIKON D750 15mm F/2.8 1/4000s ISO500


Ujjain’s Kumbh Abhishek Shivhare

Abhishek Shivhare is a Mobile Photographer. He has started photography since he was in 11th standard. He has won many competition in travel and street photography. Whereas Brand like Oneplus Follows him on social media. Many of professionals Appreciate His Work. He Says Perception Of a Photographer Is more Important Rather Than the Device.

Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in the holy water. Kumbh Mahaparv is held at four places in India – Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nasik. At Ujjain, Kumbh Mahaparv is specifically called “Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv” because the Sun (in Sanskrit “Surya”) is in the zodiac Aries (“Mesh” in Sanskrit) and the Jupiter (“Brahaspati” in Sanskrit) is in the zodiac Leo (in Sanskrit “Simha”) when it takes place.

Nandi-The Bull ASUS_Z00LD 4mm F/2 1/2066s ISO50

The sight of devotees taking holy dips on the ghats of Kshipra river, sadhus meditating and holding various spiritual camps for the devotees and the Naga Sadhus walking around the ghats or resting in their akhadas is a sight to behold. The walls of the city are painted with themes that symbolize the relevance of Kumbh. After taking a dip in the river, people proceed towards the Mahakaleshwar Temple to pay their respects to Shiva, the presiding deity of the temple. At the Mahakaleshwar Temple, one can witness the Bhasma Aarti which is one of a kind. The speciality of the Mahakaleshwar Temple is the Shiva Jyotirlinga which is the only known idol that faces south.

The Company of Saints ASUS_Z00LD 4mm F/2 1/335s ISO50

The Joy of Giving ASUS_Z00LD 4mm F/2 1/465s ISO50

Washing Away the Sins ASUS_Z00LD 4mm F/2 1/4237s ISO50


Nanda-Sunanda Devi NIKON D5000 35mm F/5.6 1/50s ISO200

Nanda Devi Fair People in the state of Uttarakhand celebrate the Nanda Devi Fair as a tribute to the goddesses Nanda and Sunanda. The term Nanda means prosperity and well being. Nanda Devi Fair is held with a great deal of pageantry and magnificence and it signifies the economic and cultural affluence of the region. The Nanda Devi Fair is usually held in late August or early September depending upon the date of the lunar calendar. It is held in many places in Uttarakhand like Almora, Nainital, Nauti, Dandidhara, Munsiyari, Ranikhet, Bhowali and Kichha. The fair was initiated by King Kalyan Chand of Chand Dynasty of Garhwal in the 16th century to showcase the economic and cultural prosperity of different regions. It also served as a competition to better each other every year. People take part in the procession which carries the dola (litter) of Goddess Nanda Devi.

Goddess’ Regalia NIKON D5000 20mm F/8 1/30s ISO800

Vineeta Yashswi is a travel enthusiast and loves to travel with the aim of reaching new places, people, and cultures. Her love for trekking has taken her to Milam Glacier (3500 mt.) and Nanda Devi East Base Camp (4200 mt.), Roopkund Trek (4800 mt.), Kuari Pass Trek (3,500mt.), Chader Trek in Leh on Frozen Zanskar River, and Kedartaal Trek (4056mt.). With a penchant for reading and writing travel write-ups, she also has a flair for photography and is of the opinion that it is a pure medium of expression.

The procession of faith NIKON D5000 55mm F/9 1/320s ISO200


Mud Binding the Faith NIKON D7000 35mm F/5.6 1/30s ISO100

Bless My Universe NIKON D7000 18mm F/3.6 1/60s ISO500

Sanjhi Mukesh Kumar Gautam Sanjhi is a festival for unmarried female in rural part of northern Indian states especially Haryana, Rajasthan and MP. On the first day of Ashwin (September – October) Shukla Pratipada, village maidens adorn walls with clay moulded star, moon, and sun studded images of Goddess Sanjhi (representing Uma, Katayani or Parvati). The collage is put on the mud wall by using cow dung. For next nine evenings (Navratra’s), the girls get together near the image with lighted earthen lamps and sing songs to please asking and promising her – what she would like to eat or wear. It is usually an all females event. On Vijayadashmi, the image except face is removed and discarded. The face is put on in a perforated earthen pot along with earthen lamp and floated in the village pond. Throngs of girls bid good bye to Mother Goddess in the mystical light of the moon.

Enlightening the Dark NIKON D7000 22mm F/10 1/60s ISO100

Mukesh Kumar Gautam Aka MKG is a traveller, photographer and writer. MKG under his banner “MKGpictures” is on a mission to bring the world closer to you through his photos and travel stories. MKG has travelled extensively in India and abroad. His unique frames has featured in various photography exhibitions held in different parts of the world and won 47 awards and recognitions so far. Being a deep thinker of the life, his spell bound travel stories and speaking frames has been published by various prestigious newspapers and magazines. MKG can be reached at mkgpictures@gmail.com


Faith and the Future Canon EOS 70D 18mm F/3.5 1/80s ISO1600

The Devoted Rhapsody Canon EOS 70D 18mm F/3.5 1/125s ISO640

The Untold Story Canon EOS 70D 18mm F/3.5 1/40s ISO400

UTSAV Pinak Pani Dutta

This is an annual festival, popularly known as Utsav, celebrated during the month of January/February on the birthday (Janam Tithi) of Sri Ram Thakur. The Utsav is a three day long festival in which different groups of Vaishnavas mainly from Tripura and West Bengal perform Kirtan in form of singing and dancing. A small fair is also organised here based on this festival which attracts a huge gathering from adjoining villages. It is held in a village named Maheshkhala, 20 min from Agartala. This festival depicts cultural, traditional, and religious aspects of rural people living there.

Pinak Pani Datta, 21, is an Agriculture student

from Agartala. In the process of following his passion, he discovered his true interest in exploring different aspects of human lifestyle, their culture, traditions and he felt in love with documentary photography. He says, ‘To me photography is like meditation, there I find peace and can cherish my being lost in various environments.’ Vol 9

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Emblem of Joy NIKON D610 80mm F/2.8 1/320s ISO100

W

angala (also known as Hundred Drums, Wanna, Wanna Rongchuwa) is a harvest festival celebrated by the Garo tribe, who live in Meghalaya and Assam in India and Greater Mymenshing in Bangladesh. They thank the God and Goddess, called Misi Saljong, also known as Pattigipa Ra’rongipa (Sun-God), for blessing the people with a rich harvest. Wangala is celebrated in the months from September to December. This year, it was celebrated from 8th -11th November. Cultural troupe from Kabri Along District of neighboring Assam state participated in this year’s celebration.

John Thounaojam is a national level

shooter and a freelance photographer who found his love in landscape and travel photography. Knowing that not everyone is blessed to witness the scenic sights that he does, he likes to share his work with the world. John is a man of scientific temper as he likes to apply the principles of Physics in capturing his beautiful shots. He travels as often as possible, making visual memories of moments in time. Cheerful Concatenation NIKON D610 80mm F/2.8 1/20s ISO250

Tribal Tune NIKON D610 50mm F/1.8 1/50s ISO800


Dev Dipawali E

very year on the night of Kartik Purnima( the 15th lunar day of the month of Kartik, ie, NovemberDecember), the gods are believed to descend from the Heavens to the city of Kashi (present-day Varanasi) to take a dip in the holy river of Ganga and celebrate the festival of lights. This festival is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasur. The city celebrates this festival fifteen days after the festival of Diwali in the form of Ganga Mahotsav.

Ganga along with its presiding goddess. On the final day of the festival, i.e, on dev Dipawali, thousands of devotees come to take a dip in the holy Ganga and when the dusk sets in, all of the 87 ghats spread across a 7km radius are festooned with flowers and thousands of diyas to pay tribute to their ‘Maa Ganga’.

The ghats of Varanasi adorned with countless diyas whose light is reflected by the river is a sight to behold. With the many musical programmes, the ganga This five-day Ganga Mahotsav starts on Prabodhini aarti, the boat rides and picture perfect views, it is no Ekadashi (11th lunar day of Kartik) and ends on the wonder that Dev Dipawali attracts as many tourists and Kartik Purnima. This festival also celebrates the river photographers as it does the devotees and pilgrims.

Shreenivas Yenni Gangavathi, India

Sacred Fire NIKON D7200 35mm F/1.4 1/320s ISO800

Shreenivas Yenni Gangavathi, India

Lighting Lamps for the God NIKON D750 30mm F/2.8 1/50s ISO800

Shreenivas Yenni Gangavathi, India

Fusion of Colors and Lights NIKON D750 15mm F/2.8 1/30s ISO800


Shreenivas Yenni Gangavathi, India

Keyasen Gupta Kolkata, India

Big Picture NIKON D750 15mm F/2.8 1/40s ISO360

Delighted Smile Canon EOS 6D 44mm F/2.8 1/60s ISO800


Mithu Chakraborty Singapore

Kuntal Paul Bhubaneswar, India

Credential Flame FUJIFILM X-T2 18mm F/3.2 1/160s ISO10000

Celebrating Nature Canon EOS 5D Mark II 34mm F/2.8 1/40s ISO1250


Enthralling Dash Nikon D5200 300mm F/10 1/200s ISO100

Hiyang Tannaba

Irengbam Momocha

Irengbam Momocha is a freelance photographer from Manipur who, since his childhood, has a deep enthusiasm and passion for photography. His main objective is to discover the hidden beauty of life and what nature has to offer us and unveil the genuine fascination that most people fail to notice.

H

iyang Tannaba is a traditional boat race of Manipur dating back to few centuries and was originally celebrated during the Manipuri lunar month of Hiyanggei Tha or October-November. The race begins with a ritualistic ceremony to Lord Sanamahi or the ruling deity of every Manipuri household, praying for safety and protection . Manipuri ancient folklore dates back the beginning of this race to Manipuri King Luwang Ningthou Punshiba who is said to have crafted the first boat in this ancient land. He had two craftsmen namely Wangmanao Sinmeiba and Nungban Wangmitkhu Khuteiba. Over the time the “hi” or the canoe slowly developed into that of the “hiyang” or the long boat sometimes almost 70 feet in length. It was believed that in the later period during the reign of King Hiyangloi

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Ningthou, it became a sport and a source of entertainment when after a successful hunt he called for a boat race to celebrate his hunting expedition.This was the beginning of a tradition that began hundreds of years ago and is still being practiced in Manipur till today. The “hiyang” consists of two portions, the “hiru” which is the bow and “hinao” the stern. In the original hiyangs the antlers of the Sangai deer “cervis eldi eldi” was affixed on the bow. Legend has it that the elder brother of King Punshiba namely Pudangkoi Khutkoiba met a tragic end, and was believed to have been re-incarnated as a Sangai and it was in a bid to honour him that the king ordered to affix the deer`s antlers thus symbolizing his deceased brother. And on the hinao or the stern was attached a human head depicting a Khuman warrior known as Kwakpa Leitongba or

Khuman Kwakpa who was earlier slain in battle by a Meitei Warrior. With the coming in of Hinduism to Manipur in the 18th century, the Hiyang Tannaba or the traditional boat race fell into oblivion and for over a century from 1709 till 1825 the race was discontinued. The game finally resumed in 1850 during the reign of Maharajah Chandrakriti wherein the Hindu influence was brought forth and fused in the sport.The Sangai antlers got to be replaced with the form of Lord Vishnu ascending the boat thus marking a major cultural shift. Over time the sport also saw a marked shift in its acceptance by the public for whiter to only scions of the royal families rode on the bow and now we have film stars doing the same and also while earlier it was a sport confined only to the Manipuri Meities, majority of whom are Hindus, now we have spectators witnessing across the cultural, racial and religious divide.


Rural Olympics - Kila

Raipur

The Kila Raipur Sports Festival, also known as India’s Rural Olympics. It is a rural Indian version of the ancient Olympics where the farming chores take a backseat and thousands of sportsmen gather at the Kila Raipur Village near Ludhiana (Punjab), to showcase their strength, valor, endurance and will to engage in some of the quirkiest yet fascinating sports activities. This eight-decade-old rural sports extravaganza is usually held in the month of February and is a three-day event which consists of traditional games and contests including bullock cart races (now replaces with horse-races), kabaddi, high jump, long jump, shot put, mule-cart race, tug-of-war, camel race, horse dancing, tractor race, dog races, etc. It is also ground for some wacky activities like lifting bricks and bicycles with teeth, dragging cars or tractors using teeth, ears or moustaches, riding a bicycle with burning wheels and other bizarre stunts. This crazy and quirky festival doesn’t end at captivating sports activities. Various cultural programmes also held that are replete with exotic and folk dances. The ‘Nihangs’ practice and perform indigenous martial art stunts that are taught to them in Akharas. At every corner, one can witness someone or the other playing with fire or performing stunts on moving vehicles. All in all, the Kila Raipur Sports Festival is a must-visit festival for all those who want to witness the essence of rural Punjab with all its quirks.

Mukesh Kumar New Delhi, India

Mukesh Kumar New Delhi, India

Skyscraping Valor NIKON D800 24mm F/2.8 1/1000s ISO100

Pace and Precision NIKON D800 24mm F/2.8 1/2000s ISO100


Unaccounted Wealth

In Talks with F

aruk Akbaş is a well known photographer in Turkey. He is famous for taking amazing photographs & filming great documentary programmes. His photographs and written observations feature in many of the most prominent magazines, Kamil Koç touring magazine, National Geographic, Skylife, Anadolu jet and Gazella tourism which provides great photographic records of trips to other countries, like a visual tour guide to name a few. Faruk Akbaş was chosen and sponsored by FujiFilm’s and ISUZU Turkish division to take photographs in Asia and Africa. During these tours, Akbaş also filmed documentaries outlining his travels, which were broadcasted on prominent television channels, TRT & İz T.V. The nature photographs, cultural lifestyles and the importance of the antique heritage sites have been captured wonderfully by Akbaş. He photographed and filmed for Nokia cell phones in Turkey and in Nepal. The Turkish cultural minister, tourism

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Faruk Akbas

minister and various other societies have used these photographs in many prestigious books. Akbaş has been selected as a judge for numerous photography & documentary competitions, both national and international, has shot publicity films and taken photographs for tourism companies and international industries. He established The Fotograph House (Fotoğrafevi) in İstanbul and Art Camp (Sanat Kampı) in Fethiye. Vishakha Jha from CHIIZ gets in conversation with Faruk Akbas, Here is an excerpt. Your work depicts your Versatility from nature to culture and human life; you have covered everything in the most innovative and amazing way possible. But what is your favourite genre and what attracts you the most? What I yearn for is enjoying every single piece of land in the world, with a pursuit of lights and colors, by dwelling on the spontaneity of the moment itself with curiosity. Esthetics

combined with hard work. The best part of photography for me is being both both entertaining and didactic either while shooting or while observing. According to you what are the most important quality of a Photographer which turns him into a storyteller? Composition means creating a plain expression in its essence. If you want to shoot an impressive photo, first you need to eliminate the unnecessary items which are not supporting your main subject, theme or image. On the other hand, some of the components in the back scene of your theme can support your image but still it can distract the interest in your main image. So the best way is to concentrate on your main image and try to simplify the composition. This way a photographer turns into a nice storyteller, he is already writing the story by shooting frames and working on each frame by eliminating unnecessary items.


Transcendent FUJIFILM X-T2 12mm F/5.6 1/4s ISO1600

The Charisma of your work has led you to a great deal of success and regarded you with a lot of appreciation. Which has been your favourite Project? My favourite project was to travel from west to east all Asia. It was a journey to history, culture, nature and people in Asia. Wherever you go, you experience great scenes that the nature spreads in front of you. I loved risking the safety zones in my life and simply setting off the road for pursuing the colors in Asia. What does your latest work deal with? My last work is testing the new camera which Fuji film will launch soon. For the time being, actually right at this moment I am travelling in Turkey, Karapinar close to Konya – Mevlana’s city – across Hasan Mountain. Karapinar is also famous wrestling sport centre which is a favorite ancestor’s sport in Turkey. Enormous hard work over the years must be the reason behind your accomplishment of each milestone of success. What advice would you like to share with the aspiring Photographers? Doing the search, practice, being prepared, photographing the people, using the weather conditions and light, watching for details, concentration, keeping the range wide, diversity, placing the image at the golden ratio, right composition. In short being cool and just focusing on the real business which is light and composition.

Vishakha Jha vishakha@chiiz.com

Vishakha, 3/4 engineer, a dedicated learner and believer in magic of words and power of pronoia. She is bibliophilic and an explorer to a new Utopian world. Her main indulgence includes reading and travelling. She is zealous and believes in being her own version.

Refined Tapestry FUJIFILM FinePix S5Pro 90mm F/4.5 1/70s ISO100


Creating Future FUJIFILM X-T2 47mm F/5.6 1/600s ISO200

Concentric Efforts FUJIFILM X-T2 18mm F/4.5 1/30s ISO400


Movie Review Harrisons’s Flowers (2000) Duration: 2hr 1min IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 Released: 2000 Directed by: Elie Chouraqui Written by: Elie Chouraqui and Didier Le Pecheur (screenplay) Adaptation : Les Fleurs d’Harrison by Isabel Ellsen Cast: Andie MacDowell (Sarah), David Straitheim (Harrison Lloyd), Elias Koteas (Yeager), Adrian Brody (Kylie Morris), Brendan Gleeson ( Stevenson) & Alun Armstrong (Samuel Brubeck) Harrison’s Flowers, first released theatrically by Universal Pictures and then released as a film by Lionsgate, showcases how a photojournalist goes beyond comfort to intervene in all the happenings in Yugoslavia in 1991.The movie being an adaptation of the book Les Fleurs d’Harrison by a war photographer Isabel Ellsen portrays the strife behind each and every photograph we see today. The movie revolves around a journalist going missing and his wife keeping the hope alive when everybody else have given up. Harrison Lloyd is a very busy photographer as shown in the beginning where his wife, Sarah is happy having him by her side. He has two little kids and a little awkward relation with his elder son. Sarah is a journalist in the same company that Harrison works, Newsweek. Harrison starts this venture as his retirement expedition and assuring the same with his boss. While on a daily schedule, Sarah finds an awkward silence in her office where she gets to know that Harrison is dead in a collapse. She stumbles and refuses to believe it as a reaction to the shock. She doesn’t listen to anyone as her heart isn’t at the stage to face the so-called truth. Her passion towards her spouse makeks her strive through that phase but she never loses hope. Her dedication grabbed her guts high and she travells to Vancouver. Talking about war scenes, those are, frankly speaking, dreadful. The whole movie plays a great role in proving that a life of a photographer is really hard. They seriously don’t know what kind of scenario they are going to face and what the time will make them go through. Risking their lives and bringing us those clicks is really hard. Sara, on her way to finding her husband jumps into a group of Harrison’s photographer friends, Morris, Stevenson and Yeager. Sarah on her quest realises what life has brought to the city. White flags and large letters claiming “TV” protects them allegedly. Does the symbols make the reporters and photographers invisible ? Once, when sarah wore fatigues she was considered as a civilian and now camouflage made her a target. Throughout the movie, while Sarah is on her quest there are so many scenes where the audience feels that this will the moment when she finds Harrison, but I leave that to you to find out by yourself. She remembers that her son is looking after his father’s flowers. All this while this one thought of holding on to those flowers means that there is a light of hope which is a very beautiful metaphor. Sarah’s character which is

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driven throughout the movie gave an increment to movie. As the movie moved on, the development of Sarah’s character also got an increment. Bosnian conflict as a history was an armed conflict. As shown in the movie, it was a ruthless move by the opposing combatants regardless of what kind of torture they try to choose. There are scenes where this statement gets satisfied that when some foreign war occurs they don’t care for what they are firing on, may it be humanism or country. Photographers go through all this in the movie where they come across so many massacres and merciless attacks. Though it was a clash between religions, cultures and countries, all those who suffered were petty citizens. There are so many real life photographers like Ron Haviv and his collection Blood and Honey which portrays the same depiction. As a fictional movie, it does a little justice to the very accessibility of civilians . During wars in certain regions, all the ways to reach the region to reach to the war place is mostly blocked and only rehabilitation mobility is open. Another unrealistic aspect of the movie is that the civilians were allowed to move freely even after getting discovered by the combatants. But the hardship that every war photographer goes through physically and mentally is altogether well portrayed and also this part of going beyond comfort zone of family life is appreciable. All the actors in their role put a lot of effort and potential to put up such an accountable aspect of photographers and war. Audiences who enjoy genres like documentary and war will like this movie to a part.

Shimran Epari shimran@chiiz.com

Shimran is a exceptional thinker and a extremely expressive person. She is a passionate towards literature and enjoys writing as a medium of expressing thoughts. Shimran is also a great orator with excellent grip over language and is skillful while handling an audience.


Remembering Conflict.

the

Fallen:

The

Bosnian

A tribute to the, on record, 48 photographers who died during the Bosnian Conflict in 1990’s By Ziyah Gafic

I grew up under siege. I was raised by war. Sniper fire, relentless shelling, a scarce supply of water and electricity, and occasionally hunger marked my teenage years. That was life in Sarajevo during the longest siege in modern warfare.

In the rare moments when we had electricity, I watched media reports which tell the story of my city, I knew so little of man and women who decided to cover war in Bosnia. Their names meant little to me, their imagery meant we weren’t forgotten even though international community did too little too late to stop the bloodshed. Bosnian war was one of the deadliest wars when it comes to killed journalists. Officially 48 journalists have been killed by snipers, mortars and in close combat. Years later I became a photojournalist and I became friends with many of those who covered war in Bosnia. Many of them are seasoned journalists who covered dozens of conflict across the globe but somehow it seems Bosnia captured their hearts. Perhaps the proximity of war in Bosnia played the part. Not necessarily the physical vicinity of this small patch of

land in South - Eastern Europe, but probably the similarities Bosnia shares with their own homelands. It must have been easy to identify with Bosnians during those years, people wearing similar clothes and listening the same music as any average Frenchman or Englishman. It must have been easy for them to imagine streets of Vienna, Paris or London caught in devastating urban warfare when they strolled the Sniper Alley in downtown Sarajevo or Bulevar in Mostar. I never believed sacrificing your life should be part of the job, we sacrifice enough sanity when covering conflicts, sacrificing life was never really an option but often it is reality of conflict reporting. About Ziyah Gafic Ziyah Gafic was born in 1980 in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where he began his professional photography career in 2001 after gaining a degree in world literature from Sarajevo University. He focuses on society’s conflict and transition, and the aftermath of war. Since 1999, he has completed projects in his native Bosnia as well as Palestine, Israel, Kurdistan, Iraq, Ossetia, Rwanda, Chechnya and Afghanistan. Gafic won the Ian Parry Scholarship in 2001 and attended World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2002, he won Kodak’s Award for Young Reporters and several World Press Photo honors. Photo District News named Gafic an Emerging Artist in 2003. That same year he won Grand Prix Discovery of the Year at Rencontres du Photographie Arles. In 2005, Gafic’s work in Chechnya received the Giacomelli Memorial Fund award and, the following year, he was nominated for UNICEF’s Photographer of the Year.


My Turn Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/7.1 1/60s ISO400

Spectra of Expressions Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/5 1/160s ISO200

Shiva Gajan Arpan Basu Chowdhury

‘Shiva Gajan’ is a unique Hindu folk festival mainly observed in different parts of West Bengal, India. It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva tied the knot with Goddess Harakali. Hindus celebrate this festival on the last week of the Bengali month ‘Chaitra’ (tentatively 2nd week of April), just before the Bengali New Year (usually falls on 15th April). The root of this festival is tied with the agricultural community who pray for rain and quality crops. Dancing with human skulls, body paintings, fire plays are some

Arpan Basu Chowdhury

rituals observed at this time. I had heard about a remote village named ‘Sonapalashi’ in Burdwan District of West Bengal where all these rituals can be experienced. I travelled there with 2 of my friends on 11th April, 2017. The village was ready for the final show. Colours were being applied to the hermits’ bodies. It was the same scene in every village houses. The people were so friendly and they helped me a lot to complete my photo story.

With a flair for photography, Arpan Basu Chowdhury is an Economics graduate from Calcutta University. He got his first camera from a friend who saw his talent and also taught him how beautiful a companion a camera can be. Although he has not received a formal degree in photography but he believes

Switching the Subject Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/2.8 1/640s ISO200

that if you have a love for photography, nothing can stop you. He dreams of becoming one of the best photojournalists in the world. He wants to explore the different cultures, witness the struggles of the people to have ends meet and also wants to support them. He wants to tell untold stories, to fight for a better world with his camera being his one and only arsenal.

Antecedents of Art Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/7.1 1/125s ISO200


The Chandrahas Canon EOS 600D 55mm F/9 1/320s ISO400

Art Attack Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/7.1 1/60s ISO400

Colourful Smile Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/2.8 1/4000s ISO400

Paint me like Canvas Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/2.8 1/1250s ISO200

Stag Crafting Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/2.8 1/1250s ISO400


Forgetting the Self Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/7.1 1/40s ISO400

Action Parade Canon EOS 600D 24mm F/4.5 1/50s ISO800


Umesh Gogna Jaipur, India


Pushkar Photographers’ Battle Field Caravan SONY ILCE-7RM2 400mm F/8 1/500s ISO100


Umesh Gogna chanced upon photography while working on his PhD thesis on ancient jewellery. He hasn’t stopped ever since and is now a professional photographer who educates amateurs and has conducted more than 150 workshops on portraiture, jewellery, fashion and digital photography. He has also spent a lot of time documenting the cultural architecture and natural heritage of Rajasthan and the Himalayas and his work has been published in several books on these subjects.

P

hotography has transcended mere clicking of pictures or making memories. For some people it’s a calling while for others it’s a passion. We talk to Umesh Gogna, the brand ambassador of Sony Alpha, who while working on the pictures for his Ph.D. thesis on ancient Indian jewellery, in 1994 found his true calling in Photography. Gogna is a hardcore traveler and a nature lover. He conducts on-location advanced digital post-processing and workflow workshops for enthusiastic young photographers. In this interview, Gogna, who specializes in landscape and travel photography, shares his 2-decade long photography experience, the major challenges that every photographer faces. He tells about a unique place where a photographer can implement all the knowledge they have and talks about the future of photography. Excerpts: On the major challenges that you faced during the late 90s. When I started photography, one of the major challenges was the lack of quality training available. As there was hardly any professional training provided anywhere in India and nobody was there to guide us. Thus, we had to struggle a lot and learn everything on our own. Another major problem was that we had to do an experiment several times as that wasn’t a digital era. We had to wait for the lab results for our experiments. Until we found the perfect photograph, we had to repeat our experiments.

Umesh Gogna Jaipur, India

Veils in Fest SONY ILCE-9 159mm F/6.3 1/160s ISO400

That phase helped me clear the basics of photography and put me on the path of learning from scratch. Because of that struggle, I am now able to give proper training to the amateur photographers. On the how the current training scenario has made photography easy to learn yet difficult to sustain. Although today the training is readily available for the younger generation through social media tutorials and through professional training centers, the struggle, however, is not. Because of which the youngsters get bored and change their professional field very quickly. On what the youngsters need to keep in mind to make it big in the field of photography? I always advise the enthusiastic youngsters to always stay hungry for learning and implement whatever they are learning as quickly as possible. I tell my students to keep changing the objects so that they don’t get bored with the same kind of photographs. Also, to experiment as much as they can with different lights, flashes, etc. to become a better photographer. On why technology won’t let anybody settle? I believe technology has a very short life. It’s changing every day and that’s why one has to always be on their toes to change accordingly. One has to keep adapting to the new technology as quickly as possible and if you can’t upgrade, one can’t make it big in this field. For the future of photography what are the major challenges for photographers? Mobile and mirrorless photography will be the undoubtedly the future of photography. Mobile photography is the biggest challenge for the professional photographers as today’s mobile cameras have become so smart that

Umesh Gogna Jaipur, India

without even putting in a lot effort, one can click stunning pictures from their mobiles. On the ‘best picture’ that you have clicked. I am never ever satisfied with pictures that I take so, I am still searching for my best photograph. I always want to push for more and do better. Hence, the search is still on. On the photographers that inspire you to do better. Every photographer is an inspiration for me. I follow every kind of photographer from across the globe and learn from their pictures and their art. I want to be a versatile photographer who is always ready to learn. On why Pushkar is beyond camels. I call Pushkar ‘a battlefield for photographers’. It’s such a unique place in the entire India where every photographer, be it professional or amateur can implement almost all of their knowledge to capture the scenic beauty that the place has on the offer. The morning and the evening shots are entirely different. One can experiment with any kind of photography and learn about the low light photography, extreme low light photography, wide-angle photography, telephoto lens photography, etc. Most of the photographers go there for camels, however, the Pushkar is a lot more than just camels. During the month of Kartik Mela, thousands of people can be seen, coming from all around the country and in their traditional attire for the holy bath. Pushkar also has a religious connection to the land and one can experience the village life like never before

Rahul Batra RB rahul@chiiz.com

Rahul is a culture based writer who left his engineering job to pursue a career in writing. He wishes to write a psychological bestseller one day.

In my Master’s Hand SONY ILCE-7RM2 76mm F/8 1/80s ISO320


Mukesh Kumar New Delhi, India

The Third Eye Nikon D800 29mm F/2.8 1/500s ISO100


Emrah Uygun Istanbul, Turkey

Horse Beard NIKON D810 50mm F/1.8 1/80s ISO80


Shweta Agarwal Mumbai, India

Emrah Uygun Istanbul, Turkey

Dance of a Mother Canon EOS 6D 191mm F/2.8 1/1000s ISO100

Ultimate Supper NIKON D810 50mm F/1.6 1/20s ISO1250


Susana Gรณmez Barcelona, Spain

Flowing with the Wind NIKON D750 42mm F/3.3 1/2500s ISO100

Susana Gรณmez Barcelona, Spain

One Centrifuging Turn NIKON D750 24mm F/4 1/1000s ISO1250


7Edition-Mumbai th

15 - 18 Feb, 2018 Nehru Centre Dr A B Road, Worli Mumbai, India

Art Gallery 10 | Mumbai

Hunar Showcasing Art | New Delhi

ArtDesh Gallery | Mumbai

Art India International | Mumbai

I Quest Gallery | Mumbai

Artequest Art Gallery (AAG) | Mumbai

Artezvous | Mumbai

The Lexicon Art Gallery | New Delhi

Canarys Fine Art Gallery | Indore

Arts Breeze Art Gallery (AAG5) | Hyderabad

Mriya Arts | Mumbai

eArt Gallery | Mumbai

Artzolo.com | Mumbai

Painted Rhythm Art Gallery | Mumbai

Eminent Art Gallery |New Delhi

Baroda Heritage Art Gallery | Baroda

Peaks Art | Singapore

Charvi Art Gallery | Bangaluru

Rhythm Art | Mumbai

Dolna the Movement | Mumbai

Studio3 Art Gallery | Mumbai

Gallerie Splash | Gurgaon

Studio Anita Dinesh | Noida

Gallerie Art Eterne | New Delhi

Uchaan | Gurgaon

Gallery Endless Thoughts | Delhi-NCR

West 10 Art Gallery | Mumbai

Studio7Seven | New Delhi

Gnani Arts | Singapore

Emami Art | Kolkata

Tao Art Gallery | Mumbai

Gallery Pioneer | New Delhi

Agantuk Art Tune | Kolkata

WBC Gallery | Mumbai

Gallerie Ruki | New Delhi Gallery Sara Arakkal | Bengaluru Indian Art Place | Delhi Innovative Spaces | Mumbai Myanmar Ink Art | Dubai Sheruta | Indore

Visit: www.eindiaartfestival.com Woman’s Magazine Partner

Print Media Partner

Media Partners

Art Publication Partners

India Art Festival 14, Ruby House, 3rd Floor, L. J. Road, Opp. Shitaladevi Temple, Mahim, Mumbai 400 016, India Tel: +91 22 2444 5508-9, 65665111, 65355111, 65045111 M: +91 9969425202 / 9820737692 Email: info@indiaartfestival.com / indiaartfestival@gmail.com W: Website: www.eindiaartfestival.com


TIPS AND TRICKS

A Perfect Guide to Cover Festivals By Anoop Negi

Anoop Negi has worked in the photography and design arena for many years. He regularly shoots for travel and food publications of repute and specializes in event and fashion photography. In the incubus of photography he has some world class images synonymous with colorful India. His work also adorns various corporate board rooms and personal collections. He has been shortlisted for the Photographer of the Year and the Best Photographer in the Sports category for his iconic Kerala Bull Race at the Sony World Photography Awards.

F

estivals in India are alive and teeming. Every corner of the sub-continent has something going on with very active participation of the people. Most festivals have long histories and are linked to the change of season or plain celebrations of life and religious or epic fables. India is changing very rapidly and some of these exotic and wonderful festivals are slowly withering away. Time to capture these before it is too late or they get too commercialized.

be missed and it happens once in 8 years. Holi with an overdose of colors is again a popular festival with immense participation especially in North India. The off beat version called Lath Mar Holi practiced in Nandgaon and Barsana near Mathura is becoming a popular festival to witness. Women beat the men with long sticks in an enactment from the stories of Radha and Lord Krishna on the village streets and houses drenched profusely with the colors of Holi.

Which festivals to cover? You can have a pick of what kind of festivals and where you should be headed. Most wellknown festivals like Kumbh, Holi, Ganesha Immersion and Dahi Handi are religious in their origin and vast crowds gather during the time to be a part of it. Kumbh with its strong presence of sadhus has always been a magnet for photographers worldwide Sadhus, snake charmers and elephants are the clichĂŠd subjects forever. Kumbh at Allahabad is not to

Then there are festivals where physical prowess is on call. The bull races in Kerala and Karnataka require supreme athleticism and raw courage to manage the racing beasts. Similar is the Jalikattu festival in Tamil Nadu where ceremonies of coming of age are ritualized in bringing down the local bulls. The rural Olympics in Kila Raipur in Punjab also has a bull racing event but now it is getting difficult to witness these events as the matter is caught up in legal disputes about

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cruelty to animals etc. Around Dusshera time Eastern India witnesses Durga Puja when huge pandals come up on various engaging themes and the people celebrate the event with great gusto. One must keep a track of rather quaint festival in Tamil Nadu called Kulasai where female deities are worshipped with many actors dressed as arcane Goddesses breathing fire and fury. In Mangalore area around the same time in Karnataka a dusk to dawn performing art festival called Yakshaganais practiced with grand costumes to enact scenes out of Hindu epics. Onamin Kerala is the time when festivals like Pulikali in Thrissur and the Attachamyam in Cochin and the boat race in Allapuzzah take place. These are not to be missed. Theyyam during the winter months is another community driven festival in Kerala where villagers gather to watch the transformation of a dancer into a God. It is one of the most


Bull Racing in Kerala NIKON D70 190mm F/4.8 1/750s ISO400

colorful spectacles that a photographer must see to make their photographic journey complete. Another great festival is the Pooram in Thrissur and Bharani in Kodgunallur, near Cochin from where one of the photos of women in trance is featured here. There are other festivals like Pushkar, an animal fair and the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland amongst many that are worth travelling for. The local carnivals in Goa and Fort Kochi are great events too. The list is endless. What gear to use? Understanding what camera and lens to use is of paramount importance for obtaining great images from the festivals. It would be a big plus to have a set of two cameras with two different lenses. One wide angle from 10mm to 24mm and another from say 50mm or 70mm to 300mm. If that is a constraint, stick to a wide angle lens. Most festivals

are crowded with viewers and participants milling around. Large lenses can be heavy and cumbersome also annoying us under such circumstances. Wideangle lenses work in tight places but for close range. They are well suited. While shooting say bull races and rural games etc. it would be more appropriate to have a telescopic lens.

to have the participants dressed in traditional Indian attire and that is what one needs to focus on as it will soon be a thing of the past. Colors and crowds are hallmarks of Kumbh, carnivals, Pushkar, Theyyam, DahiHandi, Ganesha Immersion so focus on people and their movements. Portraits would be ideal at close range.

How to behave? Try to make yourself non obtrusive if you possibly can. Wear clothes appropriate to the area, customs and beliefs of the people. Avoid flashy, expensive clothes and jewelry. Wear a smile or sport a serious demeanor and avoid strong eye contact which would be trouble makers who are out there to have some fun at other’s expense. If shooting in rainor wet or dust ridden conditions take care of your equipment with suitable covers and guards.

For dance oriented and sporty festivals a fast shutter speed is essential to capture the action, so pump up the ISO to atleast get shots from 1/250 to 1/1000 if you can. Always be on the lookout for grand flourishes and gestures of the performers and position yourself to have a clear line of sight

What to shoot? Most fairs being agrarian in nature do tend

Other than shooting the festival take time out to enjoy the local food, drinks and meet the local people to get an experience of the place that will last you for a life time.

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Theyyam Kerala NIKON D70 185mm F/5.6 1/350s ISO640


Attachamayam Kerala NIKON D70 70mm F/4.5 1/1000s ISO200


Pulikali Kerala NIKON D70 70mm F/4.5 1/60s ISO400

Yakshagana Karnataka NIKON D300 50mm F/1.8 1/60s ISO360

Pulikali Kerala NIKON D70 38mm F/4.2 1/1000s ISO200

Pushkar Rajasthan NIKON D70 185mm F/5.6 1/1000s ISO200

Bharani Kerala NIKON D70 18mm F/8 1/250s ISO200


Attachamayam Kerala NIKON D70 70mm F/4.5 1/500s ISO200

Carnival Goa NIKON D300 12mm F/4 1/500s ISO200

Carnival Goa NIKON D70 12mm F/6.3 1/250s ISO200


Bagavathi Theyyam Payyanur kerala Canon EOS 50D 17mm F/2.8 1/2500s ISO200

Fitting Ornaments to the Theyyam Performer Canon EOS 50D 17mm F/2.8 1/60s ISO1250

Ritual Dance of the Gods - Theyyam Bhagiraj Sivagnanasundaram (Bhagi Siva) born in Sri Lanka, and currently residing in Australia as a Medical Doctor by profession. With the first camera in hand around 10 years back he embarked the photography journey to find new perspectives on the life around us. His main passions are to explore the Human conditions, vanishing cultures & authenticity and ever-changing landmarks around the world.

T

heyyam is an ancient spiritual art-form which is unique in the state of Kerala, - India. The performances include performers decorated in various ways, with Red as the prominent color, the temple drummers and vast numbers of devotees from all over Kerala. These performances are mostly conducted in temples and worship places in houses and during the acts, the performers are considered to be gods. People worship them, make offerings to please them and eventually receive their blessings and the performers predict their future for them. It is estimated that there are around 300 varieties of Theyyam makeups or performances. The right to perform as a Theyyam is usually inherited. Make-ups with natural colours made up of leaf extracts and turmeric are very important part of any Theyyam performances. The make-up artists, who are mostly Theyyam performers too, are very skillful in applying the beautiful designs on the face within a short span of time. Make-up sessions are usually fun filled. Gossips and laughters are abundant and when the act begins, a completely different person comes to the surface as the Theyyam.

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Theyyam makeup happens inside a tent specially thatched with dried-up coconut leafs. The ornaments to be worn are made from wood and metal. A crew of three to five men can be seen around the Theyyam performer fitting all the unique decorations and ornaments to him.This final phase of creating a god, is an interesting sight for the local people. “The emotions and silence of the devotees and their anxious faces which was full of curiosity and suspense. It was like we were time traveling to another world. Suddenly the drums starts to beat, the sound which could be heard over to the next town. From the small tent, after hours of make-up, finally the Theyyam enters the arena with so much of power, acts, facial movements, and aggressive stances. The fire torches are lit, painting the whole scene in golden light. It is another world out there in the small temple in Payyanur, Kerala.� Drums play a key role in any Theyyam act. The drummers will play to the dance of the Theyyams and the Theyyam will dance on the beats of the drums. They are so interconnected, that in certain seasons if you hear drum sounds in Malabar region of

Kerala then it is certain that a Theyyam play is going on somewhere. A Theyyam performance is usually organized by a particular family in an area, and it remains their ancestral right. Huge number of devotees from the nearby places gather for the festival, and usually they stay throughout the night to watch various Theyyam performances. Various styles of walking patterns are being followed by the performers, some can be dead slow and some can be very aggressive. Having a sharp sword can make the matter even worse for the devotees. However they all are a part of the spiritual journey of the Theyyam festival. Theyyam performers are worshipped as gods, entertained with drum music that is heard even miles away - every Theyyam night was vibrant with the prominent reds of the costumes and orange tints of the fire. During these days, fluorescent lights are used to light up the area in contrast to natural ways of brightening up the scene with fire torches which will greatly enhance the vibrancy and the spiritual closeness.


A kooththu performer dressed as a king is showing an aggresive stance Canon EOS 50D 22mm F/5 1/6s ISO500

‘Kooththu’ is a traditional Tamil cultural art form that is practiced in Sri Lanka & Southern India. Most commonly seen as independent acts or as part of temple festivals. It is a mixture of dances and drama sequences. Most of the acts are based on epic narratives like Mahabharata, Ramayanaya etc while it is not uncommon to see acts on current political, social affairs of societies. With the emergence of the modern media ,these centuries old ancient art-forms are now at the point of extinction. Pic- Man Dressed as King (green and red)

Pongal in Nagathambiran Temple Kilinochchi Canon EOS 50D 17mm F/2.8 1/25s ISO1250

Multiple sharp hooks were pierced to the back of the young boys. Then, the hooks were connected to nylon ropes and the ends of which were dragged by a helper from the behind. Then the boys will dance on the beats of drums around the temple. This ritual might take few hours but it will not exhaust involved people, in contrast to what is expected. The higher level of spirituality that controls the brain and the mind might be a possible explanation for this. Pic- Men hooked and tied with ropes.

Hindu Ritual in Mandoor Temple Canon EOS 50D 17mm F/5 1/50s ISO500


‘Mandala’, an ancient artform of high precision and dedication, portrays the cosmos we live in. This is being followed by many religions particularly Buddhism. Here few monks are busy making a mandala at the Thikshey monastery in Ladakh. They will sit in this place around the mandala table and create a beautiful art, which will take many hours to finish, some may take even days. There are usually only very few manadals per year, and how lucky I witnessed one. These days I see many mandala coloring books in the shelfs of supermarkets and bookshops in Australia. They were proven to reduce stress and enhance mindfulness. Canon EOS 6D 32mm F/5 1/30s ISO2000


Art Blended with Colours of Faith Canon EOS 5D Mark II 105mm F/4 1/80s ISO1250

Leading by Example Lopamudra Talukdar indulges in the various cultures of India and breaks the stereotypes that surround the female photographers. Dipanwita Nath from CHIIZ gets in conversation with her to know the workings of the brain behind the lens.

Tell us something about your childhood, where you grew up and what had been your biggest source of inspiration to take up weaving stories under the cover through the lens of the society, a camera? I have grown up, studied, been married and lived my entire life in Kolkata, a city I am proud to call my home. I have had no formal training in photography. As a matter of fact, I was never interested in it for the first 40 years of my life. But something I did have was an exposure to the world of photography, through books and chatter around me. My father was a Visual Artist, an avid Photographer with a collection of the very best of photography and designing books from those times. I would often pour through those books more as a medium to appeal to my artistic senses rather than view them as photographs. I was more inclined to become a painter, an artist and as a child would spend endless hours filling up my sketchbooks. Pursuing higher studies (I did my Masters in Zoology) put my dreams to rest but it was decades later, with a camera

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in hand, I realised how lucky I was to have that initiation. Photography and paintings are strongly correlated especially in terms of composition, design and aesthetics. There was no inspiration as such behind taking up photography. It all started with something as simple as a gift of a camera back in 2010. In retrospect, I rue why no one had gifted me a camera when I was a younger! As your viewers have lately seen you portraying endless emotions under colorful banners through the rural curtains creating an explicit panorama, what are your motivations and reasons behind it? Were you able to successfully achieve it in this abysmal society? For the first few years of my photography journey I shot with abundant freedom, with no choice of genre or choice of subjects. But then I slowly developed a sense of priorities, things which appealed to me and things which didn’t. Mere eye candy images were never my priorities. I love people. I love interacting

with them and I love having them in my pictures. I was also smitten by the culture bug. While we say ‘Incredible India’ we mostly refer to the beautiful monuments, the mighty Himalayas, the backwaters and so on. But for me the real incredibility of my country lies in its varied culture and its people, especially those residing far away from the spotlights of the urban glare. As I say so proudly on my Instagram handle, I may have my tentacles around the globe but I have my roots firmly in India. I have travelled through the vast wilderness of India, from the cold desert of Ladakh to the cultural hotbed of Kerala, from the wrestling akharas of Maharashtra to the tribal villages of Nagaland, with an aim to document their culture, customs, lifestyle, and even their cuisine. The work I have done is like a droplet in an ocean but I am sure there would be others who would be pursuing the same, documenting our rich culture for time immemorial. Largely your works focuses the not-so-lucky


All About Green Room Canon EOS 5D Mark III 24mm F/3.5 1/80s ISO2500

Checking me Out Canon EOS 5D Mark III 24mm F/4 1/160s ISO2500

masses and also the women of the society. Is there something that you look for among them or a motivation you draw from their very unconventional and respectable lives? As I said, I often work away from the spotlight, in villages where even electricity and water is a luxury. But what surprises me is their zest for life, the unbridled laughter, ready invitation to their homes, which in fact are luxuries in our urban lives. From a distance, rural life may look like an oasis of peace, but if you scratch the surface, there are lot more complexities in relations, there are customs inherited over centuries and shackles yet to be shaken off. I love to delve deeper into them without being opinionated as I personally feel as a documentary photographer, I must

portray what I see not what I feel I should see. What will be your tips and turns for the young aspiring artists of the similar genre, especially our very enthusiastic female photographers who take you as their idol? Documentary women photographers were a rare breed till not so long ago compared to other genres of photography. A number of women photographers have sought me out and seeking advice on how to take career forward. I feel if you have a dream, lend it the wings to achieve them. Share the photographs you take with people whose opinion you respect. The world wide web has brought the world a lot closer to us. It is lot easier to interact with people, seek advice, get assignments and even

All Set Canon EOS 5D Mark III 24mm F/3.5 1/80s ISO2500

undergo internship from a long distance. At the end of the day, stay true to your heart, see as many photographs but believe in originality instead of imitating. If you are a travel photographer, I would say look beyond the obvious while touring a place. Do not dive head long and start clicking as soon as you arrive. Feel the pulse of the place; mingle with its people, then only you will get the true essence of a place. Dipanwita Nath dipanwita@chiiz.com

A ray of hope in the darkness, Dipanwita, is a literary genius. A modest temper that always opens up her mind while listening and her heart while speaking. An aspiring scientist turned a humbled photographer, Dipanwita is an avid reader and a dynamic personality who follows her heart and loves to live life at the edge. Vol 9

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Bagging Fortune Canon EOS 5D Mark III 16mm F/4 1/60s ISO500


Hot Fidelity Canon EOS 5D Mark III 16mm F/5.6 1/200s ISO2500

Flame of Faith Canon EOS 5D Mark III 24mm F/3.2 1/8000s ISO16000

Bless Us Canon EOS 5D Mark II 16mm F/2.8 1/15s ISO1000

Obeisance Canon EOS 5D Mark III 24mm F/14 1/80s ISO1250


Model, Make Up, Costume -Zeeshan Ali Photography- Manikandan TJ T J Photography & Design Studio

Model, Make Up, Costume, Photography -Zeeshan Ali

Make-up Artist of the Month Zeeshan Ali

Zeeshan Ali is Bengaluru based artist. He is a Fashion designer, Stylist, Makeup artist and a Model, using all his professional skills he creates walking Art and preserves them in the form of pictures, they are just magical. He design characters and breaths life into them through his craft. He has always been very curious about make up and styling. The inherent attraction to fashion was always there, however it only began to bloom a few years ago when he made a drastic switch from a medical institute to a fashion institute. That’s when he realized he doesn’t want to put himself into one box, he channeled every ounce of his creativity and started working on anything he could get hands on; be it Modeling, Styling and Designing. He is his own canvas which is how medium of expression. He soon started developing a niche in creating illustrative make up looks. His work started with Instagram which he used as a platform to showcase his numerous eclectic creations. Soon he only went bigger as his work attracted many collaborations with photography projects, documentaries, prominent fashion shows in multiple metro cities, Face Awards and others. He as an artist and his work has been featured in multiple social media platforms, esteemed magazines from the fashion industry, major newspapers. To add to his credibility he also has a documentary in his kitty where the story of his life and his work was beautifully portrayed. To give specifics about his work, Zeeshan is a Jack of all trades where he has tried different forms to express his art. He has worked with varied

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Model - Ranjana Ramesh Make Up, Costume -Zeeshan Ali Photography - Photography: Mathan Maddy

productions ranging from major shoots with renowned designers and brands. He also experienced in black light photography, virtual reality shoots which has been seldom done in the country. Zeeshan believes through his craft he can depict his talent and professional abilities. He loves to create and share his imaginations with the world. His art thrives to create a vibrant ménage of costume, styling, make up and photography through characters. He recreates and relives his fantasy to make them reality. It’s like living a fantasy in reality.


Model, Make Up, Costume - Zeeshan Ali Photography - Shwet Priya

Model, Make Up, Costume, Photography -Zeeshan Ali

Model, Make Up, Costume -Zeeshan Ali Photography - Sushmitha Tadakamadla


Model, Make Up, Costume, Photography -Zeeshan Ali


Model, Make Up, Costume, Photography -Zeeshan Ali

Model, Make Up, Costume, Photography -Zeeshan Ali

Model, Make Up, Costume, Photography -Zeeshan Ali

Model, Make Up, Costume, Photography -Zeeshan Ali


Model of the Month

Akshara Gowda Akshara Gowda Born in Bangalore, India, Akshara Gowda is a model and an actress in the Indian film industry. An engineer by her education, she has starred in both Tamil and Hindi movies like Chitkabre- The Shades of Grey, Arrambam, Thupakki, Irumbu Kuthirai, Rangrezz, Maayavan, etc, epitomizing the phrase, beauty with brains. She has been given the title of ‘Stylish Thamizhachi’ by her fans and the media. She also endorses various leading brands and is currently filming a Kannada film named Premadalli.

Occupation: Actress, Model DOB: 24 Dec 1990 (age 26) Education: Engineering at SKIT College Height: 5’8’’ Weight: 57 kgs Bust: 34 Waist: 26 Hips: 36 Complexion: Wheatish

Ethically Elegant


Sweet Seduction

Suave

Contemplative Beauty


Bold and Beautiful

Why so Serious?

Flower in a Garden


The side that you don't see with the naked eye

Trussed Up Canon EOS 5D Mark III 155mm F/9 1/125s ISO160

Tell me about your journey in the fashion industry, from the first step to being a renowned fashion photographer. It started when I travelled to India with my cousin, She let me use her Canon film camera to photograph her. I fell in love with the camera to produce images even though at that time all I need to do is refocus and press the shutter button. When we came back to Vietnam, my cousin was extremely kind to lend me her camera so I could practice photography. I loved to capture everything around me and soon realized this was one of the expensive hobby. I aimed in the future to capture people that could afford to fund my equipments and film process costs. I had been given the opportunity to photograph one of my cousin‘s friend who was a freelance model at the time. She ended up loving the images and showed the images to the other models and they all ended up asking me to photograph them. None of the work I did was paid until, one fashion designer contacted me for the opportunity to shoot her portfolio.

Fashion Photographer Meiji Nguyen

That was my first experience of paid work in the fashion industry. Soon after magazines started contacting me to do fashion editorial shoots for them. Those were my first steps into the industry. How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it? I intend to show the polished side of reality. The side that you don’t see with the naked eye. I draw my imagination through fine art and film and reflect it in each creative vision. My work is cinematic and storytelling. Is the fashion industry as glamorous as the media makes it out to be? There are many perspectives that the media portray about the fashion industry. Being part of it, I can see both positive and negative sides. It all depends on what material we want to see and believe, individually. When someone looks at your photography, what do you want them to know about you?

Photography is my passion and my art work. I nurtured every piece from start to finish very carefully with a high level of attention to detail. Any final words of wisdom you would like to share? Be yourself. Don’t try too hard to be different. As soon as you attempt to be different you start to compare your work to others and that is when you can’t be true to yourself. Walk on your own journey that you’ve created don’t let someone else’s journey influence yours. When you walk on the path where you rely on other people’s critics. So, you won’t be able to walk freely on your own creative journey. Ghanistha Arora ghanistha@chiiz.com

She discovered words to escape the gloom, ended up finding a destination. To her, limits are an illusion, and authenticity is a doodled art. An organized chaos, capable of turning paths and changing lives. Such a candid soul, that even her dreams chase her. Vol 9

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Hair Choker Canon EOS 5D Mark III 70mm F/9 1/125s ISO160

Buckle my Shoe Canon EOS 5D Mark III 73mm F/8 1/100s ISO200

Rope Play Canon EOS 5D Mark III 125mm F/9 1/125s ISO160

Neck Coils Canon EOS 5D Mark III 90mm F/9 1/125s ISO160


Crouch Canon EOS 5D Mark III 73mm F/8 1/160s ISO100

Take a Toke Canon EOS 5D Mark III 97mm F/9 1/125s ISO100

Black and White Canon EOS 5D Mark III 97mm F/9 1/125s ISO100

The Wait Canon EOS 5D Mark II 81mm F/10 1/100s ISO100


Hold Canon EOS 5D Mark III 102mm F/8 1/125s ISO160


Chiiz Volume 09: Festival Photography  

In this chiiz edition, we are providing you with the chance to become a part of distant cultures. The best way to learn about varied traditi...

Chiiz Volume 09: Festival Photography  

In this chiiz edition, we are providing you with the chance to become a part of distant cultures. The best way to learn about varied traditi...