Ajay Sood is a name, that great number of travel and photography magazine readers of India and abroad know about. Especially National Geographic Traveler India, Smart photography magazine and Times of India’s Travel Time supplement. This is a result of Ajay’s passion about photography, traveling and his motive to give the society what he knows about travel photography and the experience he had while committing the travel, either within India or out of India, where he visited more than 20 countries.
DOZEN DOYENS of PHOTOGRAPHY
By Neenad Parulekar
Ashok Dilwali is a most respectable name in photography and Himalayan Landscape photography is a special niche of Dilwali. He has made more than 300 trips in Himalayan Vallies and mountain to capture the beauty, danger and horror of Himalayan Nature. He has explored the Himalayan nature with his camera in such a way that aspiring photographers dream of photographing the same. He has published 22 books on various aspects of Himalaya, the Holy places of north India and many others. All the books carry wonderful images taken by Dilwali.
Mr. Sudharak has revealed with his camera the heart-rending duties of conservation workers of municipalities where they carry out the clean-ship job 20 to 30 feet deep in the manhole and in the drainage lines full of darkness, slime and deadly toxic gases. Sudhark also captured the hellish life of sex workers in Red Light area like Kamathipura in Mumbai. For this extra-ordinary photography Sudharak has been awarded a PADMASHREE by the President of India in year 2016
Hari Mahidhar is a pleasing personality. Balanced figure, cheerful face. A Photographer’s jacket adorns his dress and moreover, his spectacles enhance a total personality of this complete photographer. The name Hari Mahidhar is well known in photographic field, not only in India but throughout the world of photography. He gives his introduction as an industrial photographer, but he is an expert in most of the photographic genres. For example, Portraits, Fashion, Aerial, Architectural, Macro, Landscape, Press, Street, Table-top… you name it and he has it… Above all, he keeps on taking Photoworkshops all over India. Basically from Kachhi, Gujarati origin, Haribhai’s father settled in Jabalpur (MP) India, a long back.
Hira Punjabi, who resides at Thane, a Mumbai Suburban area, is a real lover of nature and very passionate about wild life photography. He is one of the finest globally known photographers of India. An ardent supporter of nature and keen bird watcher since the age of 10, Hira’s passion persists on growing day by day. In upcoming stage of his life he decided to assist his family business of supplying electrical accessories, but his passion of wildlife shooting frequently instigated him to proceed in sanctuaries or national parks and he would go accordingly. Hira is a committed photographer. Although a self-taught, he became versatile in photography and shown his skill in both, in film as well as in digital. Despite having an expertise, he joined the photography class, just to be flawless!
As I was very much excited about wild life photography and to have roaming in sanctuaries and national parks, I approached Bombay Natural History Society, Fort (Mumbai) some 20 years ago. When I enrolled my name to join the organization, my enrollment form was taken by a fair looking smart, young and enthusiastic person who first welcomed me and started talking about my interest in joining the BNHS. He then started talking about which camera I had, my lenses etc. and my intention to visit various national parks and sanctuaries. He was full of mental and physical energy. He was attending numbers of telephone calls and giving answers to all the enquiries while scrutinizing my form and continued conversation with me.
Jagdish Agarwal, a founder and director of Dinodia Photo Library has, no doubt, a business in his blood but photography in his heart. He is a lensman with superb photographic skills and is very well aware how to sell images, to the clients of his photographer members of Dinodia. Jagdish Agarwal is a first man of India who started a world-wide stock photo agency in India in year 1987. Apart from his photo library, he is a real proponent of Black & White photography and has started a long journey in photography with that medium when colour was not exactly in the scope of things. He is passionate about three shades; a pure black, a pure white and in between the shades of gray. He has reserved a special corner of his life for black & white photography.
Milind Ketkar is a Mumbai based professional Wedding photographer with a unique photographic style. A tall, grey eyed with thick moustache but very soft spoken gentleman Milind completed his M.Sc from Bombay University and decided to take up his passion of photography as a profession, after winning some awards as a beginner. After completion of basic course in photography in 1980, Milind assisted one of the best photographers in the world Late Mr. Vilas Bhende who was also the best industrial photographer of India. From 1984 to 1991, Milind started Event/Wedding video & still photography and also taken up few assignments for product and industry photography. A new concept of ‘stock photography’ i.e. sell your photos and earn money was just evolved in India, especially in Mumbai, although it was prevalent in US and Europe.
There are some people, especially artists, who are great in their work or art, but keep themselves aloof from lime-light. They concern only their cause. Noshir Gobhai is one who is a master in architectural photography, but unknown to the mass. When I was in a search of a photographer, who would be a master in architectural photography, I found it difficult to locate one. But after the search of couple of months, somebody suggested to enquire at Janata Photo Studio in Fountain area Mumbai. Because, my friend had seen one Parsi photographer who is master in architectural photography and his name was not known to anyone but he often comes in South Mumbai’s famous ‘Janata Photo Studio’ to process his black and white rolls and get them printed.
Satish Parashar is a stock travel photographer as well as a painter. For number of years he was ranked in first three Top of the year stock photographer in India’s reputed stock photo library and his specialisation is in travel stock photography. Apart from photography and painting he was very efficient trekker and climber and was involved in that field even up to his 60th birthday. The other best qualities in Satish are he is very affectionate and always ready to help irrespective of his time and work. I am tempted to mention here one small anecdote about him. I was busy in sorting out the images from my camera and those images need to send to one stock agency but I was not able to know the image management technique in those days.
Mr. Viren Desai is a commercial photographer and he keeps special interest in Jewellery photography. Viren’s father was a dealer of photography goods and his shop was situated in the Fort area, a heart of Mumbai city and very near to Victoria Terminus Railway Station (now Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus). In those days career options were very traditional, and it was the norm to opt to become a Doctor, Engineer or Chartered Accountant. These careers did not interest Viren and thus he decided to pursue a degree in business with the aim of joining his father’s business. He did that for 3 years, while at the same time pursuing his passion for photography and gaining knowledge by attending introductory photography courses with Mr.P.K.M.Pillai and Mitter Bedi in Mumbai.
Vickram Bawa is among the leading fashion photographers of India. It is a great experience to watch how this soft spoken thorough gentleman commands the studio atmosphere; the way he briefs his assistants, stylists, hair artists and models is in absolutely friendly manner and creates fashion images that are just superb! An internationally known fashion photographer, Vickram, has created more than 300 covers and various editorial features for magazines like Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Hello!, Marie Claire, Verve, Vogue and many others. Clients like BBC Worldwide Media, Hello!, CEAT, Coca cola, Channel V, Dove, Falguni & Shane Peacock, Godrej, ITC, L’Oreal, MTV, Reebok,TBZ , Skoda , SONY Electronics and India Auto Ltd are part of his huge client portfolio.