A lens-eye view of photographers' talent - Online contest, on till March 20, facilitates easy participation and access to critics

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By ALIPTA JENA
  • Published 5.03.12
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Calcutta, March 4: Trust your intuition to capture a telling photograph, for critical appreciation, log on to the Internet.

Musician Jim Deka’s Eastern Fare Music Foundation has provided an opportunity to enthusiasts who have clicked away the beauties of the Seven Sisters to be appraised by a team of expert judges, including Swedish nature photographer Tom Svensson and lensman Vikramjit Kataki of Guwahati.

All the contestant needs to do is go online and mail their photographs.

The North-East Through My Eyes 2012, the Online Photo Contest, will showcase the vast pool of talent and the “treasure trove of aesthetic delights” that the Northeast has to offer.

When the North East India page on Facebook took off two years ago, a flurry of articles was accompanied by a series of photographs of the region.

Deka discovered that some of the captures were as good as any of those by photographers in the National Geographic pool, of which he has been a part.

“I realised that we could do more than admire their photographs here. Hence, the idea of an online contest, which would be easy and affordable to participate in. All the participants have to do is mail their pictures and we shall display them online,” he said.

“The contest will be an annual one and offer a cash prize. But more importantly, a platform for photographers to share their experiences of the region,” he added.

Open to all and requiring no special qualification whatsoever, the contest will begin from February 17 to March 20.

The photos will be uploaded on the North-East India community page on Facebook for people to vote. The voting process begins on March 21 and ends on April 8, 2012.

The photo getting the maximum number of votes will be the winner. Vikramjit Kataki, PhD scholar from IIT Guwahati, is ecstatic over the opportunities offered by the online contest.

“Thanks to the proliferation of social networking, aspiring photographers have more means of exhibiting their photographs and to a broader audience. I have been pursuing photography since 1977 but never before have I been given a boost like the online media has given me. Earlier, we had to go to great pains to put up an exhibition. Now, one has a readymade forum online,” Kataki, who has researched the impact of social networking on photography, said, adding, “Thanks to digital cameras, photography has also become cost effective. So we have received a great response to the contest. I am pleasantly surprised by the sheer amount of talent that is waiting out there to be discovered.”

Sazid Ahmed of Goalpara district, now based in Bangalore, is happy that some of the special sights of his life can be displayed through the contest.

“The Northeast is a beautiful place. I am glad my snap can show some of that,” he said.

For some, it’s more about the passion and a chance to plumb the depths of human emotion. Abinash Mazumdar, another entrant, saud, “It inspires me to express other people’s sentiments through my lens. Photographing people is my favourite and I am learning day by day how to get the best out of them.”

He described his entry.

“The picture I submitted is of a man named Suraj Lama, originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. He owns a very small food inn at Myodia in Arunachal Pradesh. He is the only staff of the inn and cooks, washes and serves himself. I hope my snap will be a unique shot of a unique man,” he said.

Swarupa N. Ovalekar, a participant from Mumbai, summed it up, “This contest is special because it is organised by people who truly love the Northeast. I am glad to share my photos with all those who value and appreciate great photos.”