Street/People Category March 2020 Winner, captioned “Unique leg-rowing fishermen are the icons of serene Inle Lake, Myanmar”, by Mangalika Ghosh
As ASIAN Geographic’s annual Images of Asia (IOA) 2020 Photo/Videography Competition looms closer, submissions to our IOA Monthly competition – the precursor to our annual event – are pouring in. We have received stunning photos across the categories, and are now featuring our monthly winners in an exclusive interview!
Below is our interview with one of this month’s spotlight, Mangalika Ghosh, the IOA Monthly March 2020 Winner in the Street/People category, selected from the February 2020 entries.
AG: What is the story of your beginning and journey to creating great images?
Mangalika: My mother gifted me her old film camera when I was in college and the world looked different through the lens. I loved discovering tiny details and angles.
However, photography grabbed my serious attention after joining a photography group in India back in 2009. Many seasoned and dedicated photographers used to share honest brickbats. They taught me the most interesting rule “No Light No Life” – I still follow this! Various photo journals, expedition stories and interviews of ace photographers also influenced me. I am lucky that my life partner is another ardent photographer. We roamed places, and slowly a passion for photography turned to the sheer joy of exploration.
In the last few years I got opportunities to earn multiple feedback from National Geographic editors. Today whenever I look through the camera their advise plays at the back of my mind. That immensely helps me in visual storytelling.
AG: How would you define your style and concepts you enjoy exploring?
Mangalika: I feel very fortunate to be born in India, a country so diverse in people, history, art and cultures. My main point of interest also evolves around those genres. Sometimes, natural landscapes also take precedence. If any of my works can ignite the viewer to protect the serenity of this planet, to admire people or sustain a rare art that would be my greatest achievement.
AG: What is great photography to you, and are there any photographers you would like to work with?
Mangalika: Sometimes, going closer to the subject gives a great perspective and sometimes moving backward creates a sense of place. While silence offers unexpected moments, personal connections help in creating remarkable portraits. So I guess there is no ending to this learning process, and I always wait to discover a new definition of “great photography”.
I admire the work of Cristina Mittermeier. She is one of the most courageous explorers, a conservationist and an ace photographer. Her photography book, Amaze, captures her vision of creating a shimmering connection between humans and the environment. I cannot even imagine floating beside a gigantic crocodile, like she has! My dream assignment would be to go with her and document some of the indigenous communities and their sustainable practices.
AG: What is your preferred imaging gear to work with and why?
Mangalika: I prefer the Fuji XT series with the Fuji 18-55mm lens. It is pretty handy for travel, landscapes, people and everything that I shoot. Its optical quality is also amazing. Occasionally, I use the Samyang 10-24mm and 8mm fish-eye lenses to try wider compositions.
AG: What is the next Asian destination you’d like to explore and why?
Mangalika: My favorite destination is always India. But being temporarily located in Singapore, we want to explore the remote corners of east and southeast Asia for now.
The next destination would be probably North Vietnam to document the hill tribes and their cultures. Those winding mountainscapes and golden rice terraces are also added attractions.
AG: Can you share more about your current and upcoming projects?
Mangalika: I just completed two personal projects regarding the Chinese fishing communities and the ancient art of Myanmar lacquer-ware. To finalise an unfinished project on Asian Opera culture is my next plan!
Congratulations once again to Mangalika for being the Images of Asia (IOA) Monthly Winner in the Street/People Category! You can check out Mangalika’s page here.
Read about the other March Photographer Features of Images of Asia Monthly Winners:
Follow Asian Geographic Instagram for the latest updates.