So it only took two and a half months for me to put up a new blog. I hope it doesn’t take that long to put up another one, but admittedly I have way over extended myself recently. Exhibitions, book promotions, teaching, and family matters have taken priorities and the blog simply had to take a back seat. I assure you though that developing this section of my website is still very much in the master plan and there’s more content on the way. I have folks waiting for me to send them interview questions and few other awesome features lined up. So do hang in there and be patient with me while I crawl through this crazy period.
Let's get to why we're here today, shall we? As part of Platform 10 book promotions I had the opportunity to help judge a photo competition with ArtPhotoFeature Magazine back in December. A Transport Drama themed competition ran on their Facebook group. The winner was to receive a copy of Platform 10 Photobook as part of the prize so that was really cool. It was an exciting week that saw thousands of entries and fantastic work from all corners of the globe. The finalists and winners have been announced recently, and I have asked each of them to talk a little bit about their work so we get insights into their thought process.
Before we get to the photographs and texts, I’d like to thank all the comments I’ve received for Rambles so far. A lot of positive and encouraging feedback. They’re all very much appreciated and I will spend more time turning it into something more full fleshed as soon as I can find more time. Do stay tuned!
Ok, so here we go. 12 Finalists. 12 awesome Photographers. We'll start with the winning photograph that belongs to Kaustav Sarkar who used his mobile phone (yes, you heard right!) and read what he has to say about it. The other finalists have been sorted by alphabetical order, and not by any particular bias I promise. Of interesting note was also how many other shots were in the final 12 that were also made with mobile phone cameras and how effective they were.
Kaustav Sarkar (Winner)
This photograph was taken on my phone on one of my regular days of travel to office. I loved the slanting winter light and the shadows it created in the platform of the train station. The dogs were playing in front of me . It kind of felt interesting still something felt missing. I wanted my shadow but that was too boring so I waited for someone to walk by to cast my entire shadow on the person. I missed a couple shots and almost gave up when suddenly this old lady came by and I took 3 quick shots out of which the second one made it for me.
The area behind the wall was an old market. Now then there are constructions all day long. Hectic traffic and a swarm of crowd are usual scenery. I have to walk through this area almost every day. To get this photo, I had to take some time until I captured the perfect frame.
While spending time shooting in Havana, Cuba, I took a short ferry across the Havana Port to Regla. Here, there’s a much more peaceful atmosphere, far from the busy city streets, but still with a back in time feeling. As I was exploring the streets, I noticed a bright yellow car parked in front of a red and turquoise shed. The sun and shadows made the colors stand out even more, in a somewhat abstract way. As I walked over, a man stepped into the drivers seat and I noticed how he added to the scene with part of his face in shadow, putting focus onto the cigarette hanging from his lips. So I kneeled down and composed the abstract scene of colors, including blue from the sky, into this image.
I was very inspired by the logo of train station in this shot. The graphic of bird's wing on the window. I've taken the picture before but it was not good enough and so I kept going back on several occasions hoping to find a better scene to give the logo more meaning. It finally happened for me and I thought this scene was just everything I had been looking for.
I took this picture at a parking lot in a department store in Chinag Mai. While I was walking back to my car after dinner with my friends, I heard dogs barking from a black car next to my car. Unfortunately, I did not bring a camera with me that day so I walked to the car and took this photo with my iPhone. The flash gives this scene an essence of horror with devil dogs sitting and staring from inside of the car.
Muhammad Imam Hasan
On one rainy morning I was walking at our main railway station in Dhaka called Kamalapur Railway Station. Nothing was happening and it was bit dull. I noticed some children were playing at the window, looking curiously here and there. They caught my attention and it was one of my favourite shots from that day. It looked and felt dramatic. I felt all the subjects have special connections to each other with their eye contacts forming a triangle composition.
I visited Istanbul in May 2016, after the city had been hit from the second terrorist attack of the year. I tried to avoid crowds and the main touristic spots and I ended up shooting mainly on the edge of the city. I took this picture in a busy bus station in Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city. It was evening and students and workers were going back home after their daily routine.
Skyid J. Wang
Spent a night shooting with Tyler Simpson, Fadi BhouKaram and Tom Young in Seattle. We had been wandering around before spotted a busy pub where cabs lined up, picking up and dropping off young kids. A fancy cab passed by and I walked up with my GR, popped up the flash, BANG! One shot and it's gone. Love the facial expression of the lady driver! What a ride of pride! My favourite shot from that night!
Sohail Bin Mohammad
I was walking through the street in an afternoon and found very interesting light and some colorful buildings along with some trees which were looking so well placed. That old white car was also seemed interesting to me. As the place was bit empty, I thought to try a cityscape there. But my angle was a bit lower. I noticed some pick-ups were parked there and I got upon that. I just decided my frame. Then I observed that a kid was coming and then trying to enter inside that gate. That was the turning point for me. I captured that kid jumping into that gate and that little moment brought the whole frame into life. It seems that the kid and the car are playing hide and seek. The car is counting with its headlights closed and the kid is looking for a place to hide himself.
It was around 8 am in the morning. I was travelling to work in bus. The soft morning light was pouring in. As always I was playing around with my phone camera. Hoping to make some interesting selfies, getting a view of the people behind me, exploring the possibility of making an image. I noticed the lady next to me in a silhouette with a light burst on her face. I adjusted my angle a little and made my photograph.
Yoriyas Yassine Alaoui Ismaili
The photo was taken in Casablanca from inside a Taxi which does not really feel like a taxi since it's an old Mercedes 240D from the 80's. It also operates more like a mini bus since it travels always the same way with many stops. On one of my trips I decided to take this photo to document this special moment between this couple.
I always wanted to capture the starkness of this concrete city of Gurgaon. One of the mornings, I was standing across my car roof and I realised that the reflections of those dry trees together with the concrete pipes, overhead wires and the ghostly human figures will bring out the vision I have. Thats when I pressed the shutter of the camera on my phone.
And that's that for this edition, ladies and gentlemen. Congratulation to the winner and finalists!