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Breathtaking India photos you should not miss!

April 14, 2014 18:42 IST

Breathtaking India photos you should not miss!

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Why photograph just the Taj Mahal or India's poverty asks Bisheswar Choudhury, the Indian National Award winner at the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

The bank of a river.

Half a dozen men are hard at work.

Their work is on full display -- hundreds of clothes are drying as the sun’s rays lend it an ethereal feel.

Bisheswar Choudhury’s photograph of washermen at the banks of the river Yamuna is aptly called Colourful India.

It won the Indian National Award at the recently-announced 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

In an interview with Rediff.com, Choudhury speaks passionately about his muse -- India.

Could you tell us about your award-winning photograph (seen above)?

I was travelling from Barmer to Kanpur.

It was an overnight journey. The next morning the train came to a halt atop a bridge near Agra across the river Yamuna.

The local washermen had begun their day along the river’s banks.

The sun had just risen and the entire landscape was lit up beautifully.

I shot about 10-15 photographs from various angles.

My co-passengers had seen me taking pictures the previous day and must have written me off as one of those funny chaps you meet in trains.

But when they saw me taking so many shots of the same thing, they too realised that I might have found something interesting.

I submitted the photograph as an entry to the Sony World Photography Awards not expecting to win.

Kindly click next to see more stunning pictures...


Image: The award-winning photograph, shot on the banks of the Yamuna
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards

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Why do you take photos?

Some people sing; some others act; I take photographs.

I was introduced to photography in Class Seven.

We were taught not just how to take photographs but also process them in the darkroom.

Back then photography was an expensive hobby to pursue.

So it wasn't until two years ago, having settled into my job, I got a DSLR.

Kindly click next to see more stunning pictures...


Image: Women stepping out towards economic freedom, Kanpur
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards
Tags: DSLR

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What kind of photography do you enjoy the most?

Landscape with people.

Empty landscape doesn't entice me a lot.

Do you prefer film or digital?

Digital is cheaper so I prefer that!

Do you prefer black-and-white or colour?

It depends on the situation really. If colour doesn't add meaning to the picture, I don't force it.

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Image: A faithful prays at Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards
Tags: Digital

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What influences your art?

The beauty of our country, of course!

Photographs of India rarely ever go beyond the Taj Mahal, poverty and Holi celebrations.

Our country has so, so much to offer! Everything is so colourful -- the saris, the bangles, the clothes, the gamcha, the scarecrows…!

There is so much to photograph!

Kindly click next to see more stunning pictures...


Image: A colourful beggar shot at Jodhpur railway station
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards
Tags: Holi , India

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Your advice for budding photographers:

Click the colours of our country not the poverty!

There are many more colours to be clicked than you can ever imagine.

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Image: Top shikara of a Jain Temple at Jaisalmer
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards
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What first drew you to photography?

I don't talk a lot. I am very self-conscious.

And a picture is worth a thousand words.

So I suppose things fell into place right there!

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Image: Free spirit of teenagers in India at Bedaghat, Jabalpur
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards
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What difficulties do you encounter while taking photographs?

For one, it eats into my family time :-)

But apart from that, I have noticed that a lot of people are wary about being photographed.

People think I am a journalist and my photographs will land them in trouble.

Once I was taking pictures of cows being fed outside of a temple.

The person feeding them asked me if he was going to be in trouble... If the photograph would be published in a newspaper?

I had to convince him that I had no intention of landing him in any trouble with the authorities.

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Image: Natural dryer :-) Mumbai
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards
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Who are some of your favourite photographers, and how did they influence you?

The work of Arup Ghosh (who is also one of the winners of the Sony World Photography Awards).

He has a clear focus, he knows what you shoot and he shows it vividly.

SEE Arup Ghosh's breathtaking photographs of India

How do you view Photoshopping?

There is no doubt that slight editing will be required.

But I am not for using Photoshop to such extent that it makes the original picture unrecognisable.


Image: Gandhi Ashram, Sabarmati, Gujarat
Photographs: Bisheswar Choudhury/2014 Sony World Photography Awards

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