A Photographer: National Geographic & Beyond

James Wellford: The Senior Photo Editor for Global Issues at National Geographic Magazine at Washington DC is himself. He had also been the Editorial Director at Visura, a contributing photo editor at Foreign Policy of CNN and Smithsonian Journeys. Throughout a hold of 12 years he had been the International Photo Editor at Newsweek Magazine. One of the Knight Wallace Fellows from the University of Michigan includes himself. His works with other photographers has been honored at the Overseas Press Club, World Press Photo, POYI, American Photo, Visa Pour L’Image, PX 3 and NPPA.

His profile also includes curation of photography and multimedia shows- those addressing topical issues in the world. He has been entitled to the jury of Magnum Energy Fund, The Tim Hetherington Trust Award, The Catchlight Awards, Visa Pour L’Image, POYi, The Aperture Paris PhotoBook Award, and the Overseas Press Club. He has also had a membership in 2012 World Press Masterclass in Amsterdam. He is on the advisory board of the Photobook Museum. He is the co-founder of ScreenProjects which is an organization rounding up ways to create or support or deliver powerful visual and narrative stories, end to end on globe.

The genesis of photography in their life: ever since his early days, photography has lapped into his life whilst he was making pictures and reading photobooks. By the force of this flow, he landed up with his first job at Gamma-Liaison, New York. He also recounts how time has eased the lab hours through prints, negatives & slides.

The discipline of photography for them is: he is consistent in his cite about photography as the ‘windows to world’. In his belief, photography makes you travel just by dialing up imagination. Every moment carries the extraordinary, and your presence in the moment with the best of this skill..takes you there.

The influencers of influencer: he draws aura from old & contemporary paintings, only to realise that emotional impact or sense of feeling emerge from what we see. Since great images can freeze you right there yet explode your mind into specks of imagination. The listicle adds also, Larry Burrows at war, Stephen Shore with Landscapes, Diane Arbus & Ralph Eugene Meatyard with their portraits and many more have beguiled him.

They quote about their inspiration: it is a trifecta of Weather, Architecture & Children (his).

Reminiscing their career graph: his career built up into a rock solid one by having a way for some actions. Developing relationships with creative people; reading; looking; asking questions; learning.

Opinionating on mobile photography conjuncted with conformable pathway of photography: acquiring a compelling image is still a challenge. It is also that any medium of visuality is valuable in this day which is the truth to many a stupendous work in sight even amidst an overnumerous generation of images. A photographer’s life is also discorded by their financial spendfulness in possessing a precisive camera. Although a film camera might be costlier than digital or mobile, yet there is a speciality in skill, patience & craft of working visually with it. If given the chance to work with film camera, you shall reap more benefits.

Sprinkling some advice on urged photographers:Be curious. Be persistent. Be patient. Be committed. “

They view the trade between photofestivals and a photographer as like: the chakra of opportunities to develop much needed & creative communities, energy to work around visual narratives, inspiration of ideas.


Wordwise Poster of Indian Photography Festival’18- Hyderabad


If you are one who scrolls through photofeeds as your daily concentration of social media then here is what you can do- coming to IPF. Even while you get to meet the people behind most liked or much followed and enthralling photographs.

Hear Hear these pictures speak to you and awaken the truthteller in you. There seems to be a deep idea to every picture in the gallery house calling out witnesses. So come and witness what happens around the world. There are many run offs to truesome photographs here: celebrity, dress up the dead tradition from Indonesia, abstract moments everyday, and more ingenious versions on each wall of the State Art Gallery, Hyderabad.

This is it ! For the bedrock idea rocking this festival lies with walking or photowalking talents in India until putting off crises of the world through their photography. Photography becomes what we see in today’s moment. The potential utterly seeps upto infinity. Thereby there is an implicit responsibility coming with the fly-away reach of photography. Spitting off the responsibility on photographer as well in moderating the focus and utility for right purpose. The festival exists to uphold this lofty idea; every edition comes by to renumerate & reiterate this important idea. Amidst vast variety in majority of people all exchanging records of photography only in a way of devoting atmost attention.

In order of the stride in our tread towards betterment by photography, this festival is multinationalized. People who chase photography are lot round the world, but gathering them together under single roof is big of a deal. But at IPF all photogs fly down themselves only through their zest and passion for our representation of their art also. You can see almost a photosapien in every place from atlas- USA, France, UK, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Australia, and lot more. They all come and stimulate the festival by going at exhibition or artist talk or panel discussion or workshop.

Besides the life of this festival is shared with its team, who work tirelessly in the name of passion for photography. The team’s every move is implement in the sole thought of representing the nation’s art of photography and direct it’s utilization for unheard causes. The team is comprised of a minimal yet overcapacitated personnel of 16+more.

On seeing the this word picture of the festival there is a void within, sought out for the live witnesses to this event. It is you without who the festival wont be electrified to light up. So come and bear witness to this massive undertaking of an occasion for a good cause. Let live the photography in your visiting.


Perks of Being at the Indian Photo Festival’18- Hyderabad

Indian Photo Festival or IPF is a sure not miss event to each to any land. Wherever you might be from, if you just love photos or photography then you will love IPF, Hyderabad. While here is a nobrainer activity for you this week, turn up at IPF ! This is the fourth edition of the festival though we are grown beyond quatrice, we wait round the year every year to amaze you all. This year too you will be amazed owing to lots of happenings. Every bit of this festival can entertain your minds off but the ultimate miss-me-nots are here to reminder you…

  1. You cant miss the sparkling launch of IPF on Sep’ 6.
  2. There is an insightful decked-up conversion between Nick Ut and Mark Edward Harris on Sep’6.
  3. Rover out blissful gallery walks at the State Art Gallery on Sep’ 6.
  4. Sign up for a fun workshop ‘The Fine Art of Travel Photography’ by Mark Edward Harris on Sep’ 9.
  5. Watch out for an uprising panel discussion studded by star of photographers: James Wellford, Robin Schwartz, Rohit Chawla and Sandro Miller, on Sep’ 8.
  6. Have fun at Instameet by Vineet Vohra at Charminar on Sep’ 9.
  7. We have for you a book launch by Ritesh Uttamchandani on Sep’ 9.
  8. Come at Matrimania by Mahesh Shantaram for round up with enliving wedding photographs on Sep’ 9.
  9. Chill out at Slideshow Night at Lamakaan on Sep’ 13.
  10. Get Higher with train of Artist Talks on 10 marked out days (refer website).

And more such intimate things about photography happens at IPF- Hyderabad. Come on up ! so let our floors become grand with your presence for our walls are stunning already with their photographs. So folks… stay hungry for our festival and obviously Hyderabadi Briyani.

Run by our website for more info, http://www.indianphotofest.com

-Neha Saravanan

Team IPF’18


The Man Back From War With Photos

Photography makes one a traveller and so does a war. But a take of these two happened into the life of Nick Ut. From being an undifferentiated citizen of Vietnam called by the name Huynh Cong Ut to now recognized by his mettle in the name of Nick Ut, he has become a pulitzer prize winning photojournalist. If you still can’t tell him from the list of great photographers then his work does speak itself; ‘The Terror Of War’. The wall of fame at Associated Press holds record of his career long dedication to spot news photography.

The germing of photography in Nick Ut’s life happened about in a bad turn of events. When his brother was killed in action while press recording the events in vietnam war. After which Nick Ut went on to take the stand of his late brother to keep up his legacy. At this point a 16 year old boy, Nick Ut took inspiration from Eddie Adams to build up a golden career of 50 years at Associated Press, New York. With just the sole aim of transcribing positively impacting photographs. As well as his love for discovering & sharing news brings out the passion in him. He also has a concern for healthy evolution in the photography industry under the respects of mobile camera & photoshopping. Keep true with your images, be honest to god in making your photos is what he says. The value of photography is at stake against fake or set-up photos. In imparting a piece of his wisdom to upcoming photographers “Capture your photos as if you were a fly on the wall & always study journalism &  never give in to selling out your work for fame & fortune”. Towards the end of this interview, he connotes that being part of a photo festival makes everyone learn something new.


In conversation with John Isaac

JOHN ISAAC was born in a village near Trichy in southern India in 1943. He grew up loving music and did anything he could to hear the songs of rock and roll and country singers.  He learned the guitar and played and sang in a group in what is now known as Chennai (Madras in those days).  Hoping to fulfill his dream of becoming a singer, John left India in 1968 and arrived in New York City with his guitar and 75 cents in his pocket.

Struggling to make a living, he joined the United Nations as a clerk after a woman heard him singing on the street and asked him to join the UN choir. They needed a good baritone. He sang in the choir for a while, but eventually the photography world drew him in, first as a dark room technician when an opening became available in the United Nations’ Department of Public Information, and then eventually as head of the photography department. For twenty years, he covered 100 countries being a war photographer.

He is one of the master trainers at Indian Photo Fest.

Can you tell more about life in UN and after UN?

I was with the UN for 30 years. Early years I spent mostly in the Photo Lab as a printer. I printed both Black and white and color prints.After winning a major award in Photokina/Germany in 1978 I was promoted to a photojournalists post. From 1978-1998 (20 years) I covered many wars and tragedies, refugees. I travelled to more that 100 countries for the UN as a photojournalist. Please see my bio and you can pick what you want to add.

Your best experience or memorable moment while working with UN Ambassadors?

When Namibia got it’s Independence, I was there documenting the celebrations and I was there at midnight when the South African flag come down and the Namibian flag went up. Even now when I think of it I have goosebumps. Imagine being a witness and photographing when country got liberated?

Where do you most often shoot & what does it mostly catches your eye as a photographer?

I come to India a lot.  I bring groups (Amateur photographers) who want to travel with me and learn photography. I am also very interested in the tigers and their survival. I contribute my work for magazines and books. Sometimes I just travel to be in a place. I photograph almost every day. It is a way of LIFE for me.

Do you think photographers should be more sensitive towards the people that they photograph? 

Yes. especially when you are photographing people. Never take away someone’s dignity. Put yourself in their place and protect their dignity.

What inspired you to pursue photography? 

Photography is something that gives me total happiness. I am inspired by every aspect of photography,. For example being in a place, and observing it. Photographing an image and processing and printing my work.

Your message to the Indian Photography Festival and for the photographers attending the Photo Fest?

Learn the basic rules and break the rules. As you go along create your own style. Let photography become a way of life for you. Try to find beauty everywhere.

In conversation with Russell Hart

Russell Hart, an  award winning American Fine Art Photographer,  wears many bonnets. A former executive editor of the widely famous American Photo, is also a leading faculty with various Media Schools. A great author who published various books based on his works and has his works exhibited in various exhibitions and museums worldwide.

He will be present at the IPF to conduct the Master Class workshop. Also his works will be exhibited during the festival.


IPF: What are your favorite subjects?

Russell Hart: As a viewer, my favorite subjects are too numerous to identify—I love to look at all kinds of photography, and my experience in 25 years as editor at American Photo magazine taught me that great photography can be done with almost any kind of subject matter, in virtually any style. I love to look at photographs that are totally abstract, as much about the process itself as the subject, but I also love to look at photographs that are totally realistic. I don’t judge other photography I see on the basis of the kind of work that I myself do.

As for my own work, I am mostly a landscapist, although I have also done several bodies of non-landscape work. But I define landscape in an unusual way. I don’t want to do landscapes that are just straightforward representations of beautiful places. I’m interested in creating images of landscapes that have been altered and occupied by humans—especially in which the built and natural worlds intersect in interesting ways.

My eye is always attracted to the structures humans put in the landscape for a variety of purposes: practical, for their life and work; recreational, for their leisure and enjoyment; and often sheerly decorative, as if nature itself needs help. Nature often doesn’t really need help, in my opinion, but I’m always interested in what people add to it in an effort to make it more attractive.

IPF: How do you shift between photography and writing?

Russell Hart: When I was at American Photo magazine, my editorial duties were pretty demanding and consuming; I didn’t have a lot of time left over for my own photography. It was always a juggling act to try to fit the photography in, though I did manage to do it on trips. Part of the difficulty has been that most of photography I do depends on travel—I can’t just walk out the door like a street photographer and find the subject matter I need. So I did my picture-taking mainly on trips. I did, however, eventually come up with several projects that I could do at home, and created bodies of work that way, though those images are quite different.

Since I left the magazine in early 2011, I’ve had much more time to pursue my own work, and rediscover what I want to do with photography. I’ve also been able to travel more freely. I still write articles about photography for several different photography magazines. And I actually teach my photography students at the School of Visual Arts in New York City about how to create the written materials they need for their careers, including artist’s statements, bios, resumes, text to go with their photo stories, and so forth. I do creative writing as well, since writing is as natural to me as photography, but that’s not something I share with many people.

IPF: What does it take to produce a good picture for Russell Hart?

Russell Hart: I answered this a little bit in response to the first question. I look for places where humans have occupied and changed the landscape for their purposes. Sometimes these places are not attractive in and of themselves—in fact, as we all know, people do bad things to the natural world—but they lend themselves to interesting, and sometimes evocative and mysterious, photographs.

A good picture of such a place, for me, is one which raises questions about what the viewer is seeing. Why did someone put these things here? What was their original purpose? Are they still being used? Sometimes it’s the abandonment of such things that interests me as a photographer. The things people abandon in the landscape often have a lonely, strange quality that intrigues me, and when I see that I want to capture it.


IPF: What is the most challenging thing about photographing that you do?

Russell Hart: For me, the biggest challenge has been actually making myself take a picture. I have a tendency to talk myself out of photographs—not to take them, even though the subject might be interesting, because I don’t think they will turn out well enough for me to want to print and show them.

I always try to fight that impulse, and go ahead and take the picture anyway. I’m pretty good at “previsualization”—the ability that Ansel Adams talked about, in which you can anticipate how a subject will actually look in the final image—there are times when something I thought would NOT be a good photo actually ends up being worth printing.

Once I decide to photograph something, the rest is easy. I tend to “work” the subject—I don’t just take a single picture or two and walk away. I explore it from different angles, distances, wide, tight, and so forth. (This practice has become much easier, and less expensive, with digital capture!) As I’m doing this, though, I often have a strong sense about which of the variations I’m creating will be the one image I finally choose to print to represent that particular subject.

IPF: Your message to the photographers attending the Indian Photography Festival?

Russell Hart: I am really looking forward to being in Hyderabad with all of you, and seeing India for the first time as a side benefit. I know there is great enthusiasm for photography in India—there is certainly a great history of it there, too—and I want to experience all of that firsthand.

I am also looking forward to seeing lots of work by Indian photographers, some of which is bound to be a new experience for me given their different kinds of access and cultural backgrounds. At American Photo, despite the name of the magazine, we often reproduced pictures by non-American photographers, and did stories about them; the history of photography is far too often represented with an entirely Western, or even American/European, timeline, and this is wrong. Photography is truly a universal language, and it connects us all regardless of our individual backgrounds.

I also look forward to sharing some of what I know from my experience in the world of American photography, photography publishing, and fine art, as well as some of what I have learned in my over 40 years of taking pictures! Given the opportunity, I would like to share that knowledge on a general, practical level as well as a specific, process-based level. I hope to work with as many of you individually as possible, discussing your photography and what you’d like to do with it, as well as sharing some of the tricks of the trade—or even tricks that, as far as I know, I may be the only one performing!

In conversation with Mr. Balan Madhavan

An erstwhile banker, Balan Madhavan is the one of the 5 photographers from Asia to be a part of the International League of Conservative Photographers, a League of photographers whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography. He will be  part of the Artist Talk, Workshop, Panel Discussion and Exhibitions at the Indian Photo Fest.


IPF: Can you tell us more about the role photography plays in activism?

Mr. Balan: Any cause that needs public support, obviously require the visual media as a major player. For me, the cause has always been nature conservation and photography do play a critical role in connecting the common-man with the academics and authorities. A strong visual can instantly influence the viewer and get him involved in the struggle.

IPF: How has your experience been collaborating with various naturalist photographers for your book titled, Periyar in her Elements?

Mr. Balan: Nature photographers, like many animals they shoot, are mostly solitary creatures. However, dedicated and committed nature photographers who witness the changes happening around them are more than happy to join hands with like minded people for conservation issues. Periyar, in her Elements was a book that was assigned to me. I decided it should be a collaborative venture of all serious photographers working for conservation of the Western Ghats and more than a dozen photographers contributed their images and knowledge for this book.

IPF: How and when did you decide to pursue photography?

Mr. Balan: My dad, a forest officer, always carried a camera those days. So, it was not a new thing for me. I took up photography as a hobby at the age of 25. Then I was working in a bank. I tried to continue my work in the bank till 2001, but left it to take up photography full time.


IPF: When not taking pictures, what do you do?

Mr. Balan: When not taking pictures… I am extremely lazy.. May be like cats, I too conserve my energy… I love music, books and my spirits… Then, there are tons of images lying around me, that needs selection & editing..

IPF: Your biggest achievement being a photographer?

Mr. Balan: The invitation to join the ILCP (International League of Conservation Photographers) and elevated to the rank of Senior Fellow is the highest honour that got so far. ILCP was founded in 2007 and only the creme-la-creme of nature photographers of the world were invited to join the league. Most of them are national geographic veterans…

IPF: Any final thoughts for the aspiring photographers?

Mr. Balan: The tool that you have in your hand… is a weapon. You can use it for making a change.. in our society. Don’t fall for these faceless social media that only satisfies your ego… The Million likes and OMGs don’t matter… Don’t take short cuts… Be patient.. your time will come…