Wildlife Category March 2020 Winner, taken at Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, Jamnagar, by Sirsendu Gayen
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, Sirsendu Gayen, the IOA Monthly March 2020 Winner in the Wildlife category, selected from the February 2020 entries.
AG: What is the story of your beginning and journey to creating great images?
SirsenduI am an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Vivekananda College Thakurpukur, and a passionate amateur photographer from Kolkata, India, having started my journey with a Kodak Kroma. I started photography seriously in 2009 when I got a DSLR (Nikon D80) from my elder brother. After three years extensively using the camera, I shifted to a Nikon D610. This is a very precious one for me as it was gifted by my mother. I used both these cameras very comprehensively until the end of January 2019. After that, I became a proud owner of a Nikon D750 – which was also a gift; this time from my wife. I am currently using the Nikon D750 and Nikon D7200.
This passion led me to achieve many national and international awards, and more than 400 photographs of mine have been exhibited in various national and international exhibitions. I always rely on the philosophy that practice makes one perfect. Not all of us are born with perfection but we try our best to be perfect. I always remember the quote by Colin Powell: A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.
AG: How would you define your style and concepts you enjoy exploring?
Sirsendu: I find out motivation all around me – from art and nature to the work of fellow photographers. I read photography magazines and books, go to displays and introductions, and here and there when I discover something, I keep note, not to duplicate, but to take it as a motivation.
Photography is my way of feeling, touching and sharing what I see through the lens. I love photography because this is the medium where I can express myself with freedom. I enjoy shooting many different subjects, but with a specific interest in travel, architecture, nature, wildlife, and people.
AG: What is great photography to you, and are there any photographers you would like to work with?
Sirsendu: To make an incredible photo you should be, to a great degree, fortunate. Otherwise, you should be ready to work for it. The astonishing photographs you find in books and magazines seldom occur unintentionally. As a rule, the photographer has invested energy looking into and getting ready, and afterwards has been unimaginably patient to accomplish that one picture. War photographers routinely hazard their lives for a stunning shot. Wildlife photographers spend months, and sometimes years, learning and tracking animals, waiting for that perfect moment. Landscape photographers climb up mountains at daybreak to ensure they get the best light. The rundown is endless. If somebody requests that you compose an article, you wouldn’t simply begin composing without doing research first. Photography is the same.
I found enormous inspiration from the work of many world-renowned legendary photographers like Steve McCurry, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, and Raghu Rai.
AG: What is your preferred imaging gear to work with and why?
Sirsendu: I believe photography doesn’t just rely on the equipment, but the equipment may help to make a good photograph, if and only you have a very keen eye for detail to ensure that all elements within the photo – the composition, the lighting, the subject, and everything else in between – work together harmoniously to convey the right vision or message. Sometimes a very good photograph may be created even by using a low budget mobile phone!
AG: What is the next Asian destination you’d like to explore and why?
Sirsendu: I would love to travel each and every place on this beautiful earth! I believe that every place has a beauty to be captured through the lens, if and only if the eyes see it.
AG: Can you share more about your current and upcoming projects?
Sirsendu: Currently I am working on my project, Madhubani Painting – A Bihari Art whose legacy goes thousands of years back. I am simultaneously beginning my long term project titled Buddhism in Southeast Asia.
Read about the other March Photographer Features of Images of Asia Monthly Winners: