Fineart travel photographer & trekker
Outdoor Photography Workshops | Digital Post Processing | Talks and Slideshows | Fine Art Prints | Photography Salons & Contests
Contact: +91 9945 336 316 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: @chithra.santhe | Instagram: @krishna.bhat3
1) Would you tell us more about you and your interest in Photography?
Well, I can converse for hours on photography but have yet to figure out “Who am I”! I am a scientist/engineer in the field of aeronautical research and development with 16+ years of experience. In addition, I am an avid trekker and a self taught photographer. The Himalayas and the Western Ghats are my favourite outdoors. I, being born and brought up amid western ghats and coastal regions of Karnataka, am fortunate to stay connected to nature since beginning. By seeing my childhood interests, when I was in 5th standard, my father gifted me a basic film camera! I did try out and wasted a few film rolls but the passion soon went into hibernation mainly due to lack of guidance and high cost involved in developing the films. Meanwhile, my thirst with nature pushed me to trek extensively in the Western Ghats. My interest in photography was rekindled in the year 2006 when my brother & family gifted me a bridge camera! Blog and social media became my platform to showcase my works with art lovers. A few years later, inspired by eminent fine art photographers like Digwas Bellemane, I ventured into international fine art photography salons and contests. It was a real turning point in the sense, so far I used to photograph whenever I travel but now I am traveling to make photographs. Meanwhile, my treks in the Himalayas including the famous Zanskar Frozen River Trek (Chadar Trek) gave me immense opportunities to make competitive images.
2) Can you please tell us about the types of Photography you indulge with?
Travel and photography go together for me and hence I mainly concentrate on travel photography. Travel photography is a vast area in itself. I mainly focus on landscapes, long exposure shots, people and their culture/lifestyle. I also enjoy macro photography.
3) What is the inspiration that keeps you going?
Curiosity and longing to be with nature/people. Nature always turns me curious towards it. It has plenty of surprises to offer. I keep visiting the same place again and again and I find something new every time! Apart from these, I get motivated by awards from national and international contests, encouragement from family, kith and kin and off course from social media.
4) How do you feel when your work is exhibited and viewed by tons of people?
No doubt, I get thrilled. That’s the minimum what an artist can expect but “tons of people” itself is an exaggeration in this digital era unless you include online art galleries. Just viewing may not be enough. The real happiness will be when art photographers get equal treatment on par with photojournalists as we play a greater role in documenting biodiversity and promoting tourism. Government could make maximum use of us by providing ample opportunities, granting special permissions to document the state and treating us on par with other artists. Forgot to mention, I get really thrilled when my works find buyers… ha.. ha.. as photography is a costly hobby!
5) Can you tell us something about Photography and its inception?
This is a well documented and is available on the world wide web. Photography is a science of capturing lights and shadows which is based on the principle of pinhole effect wherein light passes through a small hole (aperture) forming an inverted image on the opposite side. I would like to highlight here that our ancestors were very well aware of this pinhole effect. Classic example of this effect still exists at the Virupaksha Temple, Hampi which is at least 700 years old. Here one can see inverted shadow of 160ft high raja gopura falls on the western wall of the temple through a small opening behind the sanctum. In the recent years, the science has evolved by leaps and bounds into digital photography.
6) To you, what is Photography?
People are now pursuing photography for various reasons including passion, art, commercial, forensics, journalism etc. For me, I cherish to the core the various stages involved in making an image including reaching the location (travel, trek, waiting), studying the location, composing different POVs, organising and record keeping, post processing, entering competitions, sharing on social media, photo club activities and interactions with the like minded, regardless of the resulting image which may be of fine art, travel/culture, nature, photojournalism type. I am sure, this excitement can’t be replaced with pure digital creation. Each time I see my images, I recollect the events which led to its creation. Therefore, photography is an emotion to me rather than mere documentary evidence.
7) Please share us some of your achievements in Photography Profession?
Below is the summary of my achievements in the world of photography.
The FIAP (Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique), Belgium conferred the Artist FIAP (AFIAP) in 2017
The FIP (Federation of Indian Photography) conferred Artist FIP (AFIP) in 2017
Awarded “Honorable Mention” for my work “Misty Mountains” in Landscape category at the international Monochrome Awards 2017
Awarded “Highly Commended” for my work “Porters on Frozen River” in Man in the Mountain/Nature category at the 28 MML- Photo an International Mountain, Nature and Adventure Photo Contest, Spain.
Fifteen international awards, 250+ exhibition acceptances across 20+ countries with 75+ unique works
First award (Best Landscape) at The Confluence 2016 by Landscape Wizards
Picture of the Month award (First award) at Karnataka Tourism Photo Contest Feb 2017, theme: Karnataka Beaches
Picture of the Month award (First award) at Karnataka Tourism Photo Contest May 2017, theme: Karnataka Arts and Culture
Certificate of Merit award (2nd award) at Karnataka Tourism Photo Contest Jul 2017, theme: Karnataka Waterfalls
First award in travel section at SKPA Contest 2017 organised by South Kanara Photographers Association, Udupi zone
First award in Unusual category at Alva’s Chaayaachithra Siri 2017
8) Can you tell us something about your Photography community?
Membership of Youth Photographic Society, one of the oldest photography clubs in India gives me huge opportunity to mingle with learned masters, peers, budding photographers and art lovers. Every Saturday, we meet and discuss various aspects of photography. I take part actively in organising salons and events. Apart from this, I often travel with a group of like minded photographers and trekkers who understand each others needs well. I get a good appreciation in social media too. I even try to answer their genuine queries.
9) Can you tell us about the general response you receive in exhibitions?
Though my works have been exhibited in more than 20 countries, I could not take part in those exhibitions. I got few opportunities to exhibit my works at Karnataka Chithrakala Parishat as well. Though the crowd was limited in numbers, there was no dearth of appreciation. I answered many queries regarding my works. Happy to claim, my works attracted their attention. But in my opinion, overall response is low. May be the present materialistic world controlled by time is one of the reasons! It is known for snatching away the opportunities to enjoy diverse fields like art, music etc!
10) What do you think about the scope of Photography in the modern Digital world?
With the advent of digital photography came the powerful processing applications. These have given wings to one’s imagination/perception/artistic mind, resulting in surrealistic and creative outputs. Many effects were guarded secrets in the era of dark rooms, not any more. Possibilities have widened and so the expectations! One needs to put extra effort to meet these expectations. Going back is not an option. Any technology has pros and cons. We have to make use of the technology for common good like social awareness generation, humanity, peace, conservation, drug abuse etc. These messages can be conveyed to society more effectively through creative photography. Photographer is inching close to painter! Photography societies the world over have defined various categories of photography like “Open”, “Nature”, “Photo Travel”, “Photojournalism” and so on with clearcut processing/manipulation restrictions and penalties for violations which are helpful in managing the contests/salons. As I said earlier, digital technology cannot replace the excitement behind making a photograph. Traveling has its own advantages which can’t be replaced either. So, photography will remain relevant.
11) How do you feel about your association with Honeycomb creative support?
It is very interesting and pleasant. When I visited Honeycomb for the first time, along with exhibits, I appreciated the pencil sketches too especially that of my spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji. To my delight, that pencil sketch was delivered home as a gift. Second special moment was in the year 2016 at the award ceremony of “The Confluence 2016” at IISc. I won the first award there in the form of large printed frame of my award winning picture. Do you know who had sponsored the awards? M/s Honeycomb Creative! Even today it is decorating my wall. No one else could have promoted photographic art the way you did. I have come across your contributions on numerous occasions. I am extremely happy with the kind of encouragement, service, quality and warmth you provide to photography and to photographers.
12) Can you share us your future plans and dreams?
I will continue my hobby as it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. Dream is to write a few picture stories to magazines and newspapers but only time will decide when it will happen. I am open to share my knowledge with serious photography aspirants in the form of workshops, talks, slideshows etc. One more goal is to achieve few more international distinctions in the world of art photography.