The Winning Click

The Winning Click

Photography has come a long way since the word was made popular by Sir John Herschel in 1839. From optical-chemical processes of the 19th century to the digital imaging of the 21st century, photography has successfully captured moments that are lived and relived.

Thane based Foto Circle Society is an organisation that promotes the purpose of photography by providing a platform to professionals and amateurs. Created four years ago, the society has a singular aim: To encourage photographers of all kinds and to enable them to develop their photographing skills. To achieve this, the society regularly organises seminars, workshops, public exhibitions and competitions.

Each year, the society organises an annual exhibition cum competition that brings together photographers from around the Thane district and allows them to present their skills. Primarily there are two categories: Amateur and Professional. To facilitate the process of judgement, the participants are given themes to choose from. President Sanjog Hate says proudly, "We always settle on themes that are topical and relevant to the society we live in. The first year, we decided on Clean City Thane as one of the themes. The next year it was child labour. Last year, the theme was women at work."

One of the Winning Shots: an old village lady cooking food, blowing air into chula, a rather primitive form of stoveThis year, professionals could pick from four themes viz. wedding moments, water, senior citizens and stage (performing arts), while the amateurs were given two themes: child and landscape.

Judging from the response, the annual event is quite a hit. The society received 600 entries from Thane and neighbouring towns of Kalyan, Dombivli, Virar, Vasai and Bhayander. Yet, it’s not the quantity but the quality of entries that has left the organisers overwhelmed. The competition was tight and prominent photographers Shyam Manchekar and Vinay Parelkar, who judged the event, obviously had a tough time selecting the first among equals. Finally the judges followed the advice of Irving Penn, one of the World’s 10 Greatest Photographers, who believed that, "A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective".

The winning entries certainly deserve all the praise. For instance, one of the winning photos (in the professional category) captured the problem of water scarcity in an interesting scene: A thirsty sparrow with it’s beak inside the tap, trying to search water. Another winner shows an old village lady cooking food, blowing air into chula, a rather primitive form of stove.

There’s little use trying to explain the intensity that these photographs capture. One has to see it to believe it. In the words of master photographer Ansel Adams, "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words". Fortunately, residents of Thane city have the opportunity to see these photographs as they are being displayed at the photo exhibition being held between October 25 and October 27, 2002 at the Gadkari Rangayatan.

The winners will be honoured on October 27, 2002 at Gadkari Ranayatan by Advocate Adhik Shirodkar, a nature and wildlife photographer.

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