Having completed his Computer Engineering from Mumbai University, currently he resides in the New York, USA. He has developed the art of photography as his hobby, especially in clicking the landscapes in various seasons. Tanmay happens to be an award-winning photographer in multiple online photography competitions.
I am fond of trekking since my school days. Reaching out to nature has always been a liking and I used to go for it at least 4-5 times a year. In my college days my trekking tours increased to a good 1-2 times a month and the longing for Sahyadri increased invariably. This led to “capturing” the beauty of what I see and feel with my camera, right from the springs and streams of Rajmachi in the monsoon to beautiful Rainbow Halo Around The Sun in the shimmering summer and the blossoms in the countryside plateaus in the cold seasons. A few years later I got an opportunity to go to the US. It was an altogether new terrain with its own natural abundance, which of course was a feed to my curiosity. I boarded the flight and was watching and trying to identify the mountains of Sahyadri as it ascended its heights. Though waved good-bye to the Sahyadri, my heart was still wandering in its beautiful landscapes.
After spending a lot of time in flight, suddenly the pilot announced “You can see the Grand Canyon on your left” and I was dumbstruck seeing the vast expanses. For me it was a grand welcome by the Grand Canyon. Later, I bought NIKON D7000 DSLR and begun my experiments with its settings. It was a self-learned, self-taught skill. I kept reading and trying my best to implement the same about the different settings and the occasions when these should be used. Photography is a vast field and has many streams like wild life, wedding, portrait, macro, tabletop etc. I was simply attracted to all of them, but the liking for trekking and love for the nature brought me closer to landscape and travel photography. Superficially landscape photography seems easier because it gives you ample time to set your snapshot, which other streams seldom offer. The most important thing about landscape photography is an artistic vision. It can be analogous with the landscape painting. Many a times a painter doesn’t draw the actual scenery, but instead he uses it as a base for his flight of imagination, which he really wants to draw. For which he uses the colors, brushes and strokes! But the medium changes in photography. Camera is the same to a photographer what a canvas is to a painter. Just like he uses paints and brushes, I use the lens and filters.
Second important thing is the composition. Possibilities of compositions are vast for any landscape, which makes the selection of right composition vital. I think it should touch the heart of a beholder and that is the reason I weigh more to the snapshot rather than focusing on a single object. Simply, when we see an idol of Lord Ganesha, it’s not just the face but the crown, vastra (clothing) and the decorations are what we see. I always want the same in my photography too. The beholders eyes are fixated on a photograph only when the surrounding is equally appealing as the main object. So, when I observe a landscape, I happen to create its mental image and then it is printed in a photograph using the camera and other instruments. The location and venue study is vitally important in travel and landscape photography. The deeper is the study of the location and its culture, the better the photographs can be clicked. Hard work has no substitute even in the field of photography. Many a times our mind wanders into the dreamlands with a rhyme, a poem takes us to the good old schooldays or a feast brings out the memories of college canteen and the art of photography has the same power to take us to a new world. Photograph is a timeless moment, without a past or future!
Now, let’s talk about American landscapes. Any landscape changes with seasons but these changes are right before your eyes in the US. Near the month of October, geese begin their migration from the north to south, indicating the coming winter. The cold winds begin to blow right after that taking the mercury levels below the freezing point. Deciduous plants shed their leaves and the shiny-white ice blankets the surroundings. This adds to difficulties in clicking photographs too. Long night, thick gloves and jacket slow down the activities. But right preparations and will power are the keys to overcome these adversities. This snowy landscape takes us to an entirely different world, but the nature seems lonely, sad. However, the festive season pumps the energy we need. The dazzling decorations, gifts and crowded markets of Christmas, Thanks-giving pour in a lot of energy; which lasts for two months. And then again the geese flock the skies, but this time it is the returning journey.
By the end of March, the days become longer, temperature begins to raise and the ice melts. Pastures become green again and plants begin to grow fresh leaves. This change in season is awe inspiring and before we know, it’s the spring! Cold winter fades in a week or two and simultaneously the trees blossom. Pink cherry flowers are really a feast for eyes owing to their magnificent beauty.
Then it’s the time for summer. Long days, green surroundings and the holidays make it a perfect season for travelers. People flock for surfing, fishing and biking. I particularly avoid long distance trips in this season.
Now, it’s autumn or the fall season. It’s really difficult to describe the beauty of autumn in words, but it’s said: Autumn is the spring where every leaf is a flower. The nature plays Holi (the festival of colors), and all we have to do is behold its beauty. This splashing of colors lasts for 2-3 weeks. The plants shed their leaves and geese begin their migration to south, announcing the forthcoming winter.
One of the reasons for my particular attraction to landscape photography is the National Parks here. American landscapes and her National Parks are just the two sides of same equation. Flow of a river can cut through mountains and create Grand Canyon, is nothing but a marvel of nature and time! Trekking in Grand Canyon is not climbing up, but climbing down first. But the way up is never tiring as we are drawn to the changing colors of the layers of rocks, green patches in the dry parts and the grandeur of the canyon. There are many spots for landscape photography here, but the best is Horse Shoe Point. At this point Colorado River takes a U-turn. Deep valley full of red colored rock and an apparent disappearance of any life takes s to a lost world. I needed the same feel in my photograph, so I used the technique of Layered Photography.
There are other national parks near Grand Canyon. The valley of Zeon national park, the world famous Narrow Trail, hoodoos of Bryce canyon, Antelope Canyons; which are seen the movie 127 hours! Every park is unique but at the same time diverse.
Grand Teton national park is the heaven on earth! Here, the nature asks, what more do we want; and we are speechless! We can see the ice clad mountain tops, blue glacier lakes, thick forests, marshes and wide variety of wildlife. Yellow stone national park is a geological wonder. Tectonic movements are still felt in this part. These yellow rocks show an abundance of salts. Underground magma yields hot water springs and fountains. But the stink of Sulphur gives a feel of chemical laboratory. I’d like to share a memory about Yellow Stone. I was wandering in the park. The afternoon sky was clear but the clouds began to gather within an hour. I decided to go the waterfall with a possibility to see a rainbow against the crimson evening sky. Moreover the entire landscape is seen from the top. The rainbow appeared while I was still on the way. I needed 10 more minutes to reach my destination. But my luck favored me and I could reach there in time to click the milky white waterfall and a rainbow behind it!
Sky touching mountains, deep vales, color splashing seasons, crimson evenings, singing springs at the mountain tops, splashing waves of sea, silent forests, thundering of storms whisper dumbfounding extremities of nature here. I don’t know what heaven looks like, but to my eyes it is the heaven on earth! https://www.facebook.com/Tanmay.Photographyhttp://500px.com/TanmayShende