When pictures speak

It was colours galore and celebration of nature at its best at the Global Greens photo contest organised by the Interactors of RID 3040, led by its DIR Avhaan Narang. The contest was organised in partnership with Saevus magazine, that is devoted to environmental conservation.

A prize winning photograph by Interactor Diya Shajid.
A prize winning photograph by Interactor Diya Shajid.

Many of the pictures taken by these youngsters were of great quality, and as Narang put it, there is immense joy in pursuing “photography which is the ultimate art where you capture a moment of beauty through your camera and then save it for generations.”

Addressing the meet, RID 3040 DG Gajendra Narang said the contest got an impressive number of 160 entries from Interac tors all over the world. “A dedicated team of jury from Saevus, led by its managing partner Sandeep Mal, a Rotarian from the district, selected the best three pictures for awards, and five honourable mentions.

He also thanked Sree Nandy, CEO of Saevus magazine, who is a Rotarian for becoming the knowledge partner for this event of the Interact clubs of his district.

In response Sree Nandy said this had been a rewarding experience for them too and promised that “in the future too we will be happy to work with Rotary to reach the message of the urgent need to protect the environment to the youth of this country.”

Wonderful quality

Mal said the quality of the photographs submitted for the contest was “really wonderful” and the pictures had to be shortlisted through several stages. The first prize went to Aditya Krishna Menon, for his brilliant black and white photograph of a dragonfly trapped in the web of a spider.

Describing the moment he captured that prize winning entry, Menon said, “I was sitting at home, bored by the lockdown, and saw both the spider in its web and the dragonfly on the ceiling. As the web was brightened by the light, I saw the dragonfly getting attracted by the light and it started moving towards the spider’s web. I knew that sooner or later it will get caught in the web, so I quickly grabbed my camera and waited.”

The picture, shot with a DSLR camera, and published here, has brilliantly caught the delicate web, the hunter (spider) and the victim (dragonfly).

The prize winning photo of a spider going for its kill, a dragonfly.
The prize winning photo of a spider going for its kill, a dragonfly.

It was heartening to know that the prize-winning youngsters have all used cameras, and not their mobile phones, to compose great pictures. It shows their serious interest in photography as a hobby, and maybe later, as a profession.

But my favourite from the prizewinning lot at the event, over which I presided, was the second prize winner Vishal Naveen’s picture of a monkey with its little one, which has made it to the cover of our January issue. To me that picture speaks so much… of course its composition, its sharpness, the back lighting, and other technical features are great. But it also proves the adage that one picture is worth 1,000 words.

 

The perfect picture

But first Naveen’s take on how he took the picture: “It was outside the Guindy Park in Chennai and I saw many monkeys and among them this mother and child, and took a few pictures. But I wasn’t satisfied with the shots, so I waited for the sun to set, and when I felt the light was perfect, I took this picture.”

District Interact Representative Avhaan Narang with DG Gajendra Narang.
District Interact Representative Avhaan Narang with DG Gajendra Narang.

The picture has wonderful backlight and the frame is perfect too. But the emotions it is bound to create in the viewer, and that too when such a disastrous year like 2020 is over, and a new year is beginning, are bound to be overwhelming. This picture is about both love and tenderness as well as hope and protection.

PDG Pramod Jhejhurikar, who addressed the event, congratulated DRR Avhaan Narang for “this wonderful initiative that has connected Interact clubs all over the world.” He recalled that a few weeks ago, Rotary India had organised a wildlife event for school children addressed by RIPE Shekhar Mehta which had seen a record participation of 95,000, including thousands watching it through a Facebook link.

Lokesh Jhavar, District chair for Interact, announced that 10 Interact clubs were being opened within a week, to add to the 14 active Interact clubs it has now.

DGE Mahendra Mishra, project chair of this event, DGN Dhirendra Jain and District trainer Atul Gargav participated.

What makes a good picture

Rotary News Editor Rasheeda Bhagat explained that taking a good picture is more about the eye behind the camera, than the camera itself. While today anybody can take a good picture with a mobile phone, those who were interested in serious photography should make it a point to use cameras.

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Apart from composition and understanding the importance of light and its source, patience is of great importance, particularly while photographing nature and wildlife. Recalling the importance that Life magazine of yesteryears gave to photographs which it carried over full pages, she urged the Interactors to look up the pictures published by the magazine, which captured the mystery, magic, essence and beauty of the subject in the pictures it carried.

Talking about the great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who was present at the Birla House a day before Gandhiji’s assassination, she explained his concept of the “decisive moment” of a photograph. A professional photographer has to be always alert and sharp, and sports photographers know this best. If they blink even for a second, they could miss the picture of the match!

Reiterating the importance of patience, she said that while photographing a stunning sunset, most people pack up their camera kits once the sun has set. “But the real magic in the evening sky begins after the sun has set. The sky rapidly changes colours and pictures shot of the glowing sky after the sun has set can be very dramatic and rewarding,” she added, and urged the young photographers to never give up their passion for this hobby, which could well turn into a meaningful profession, if they pursued it.

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