News Room, Star Students

IMT Nagpur’s Pradyumna Captures Moods and Moments

Last year, Pradyumna visited Birmingham, UK. As usual, he had carried his camera along, clicking away again, as usual. As he recorded the world around him on his camera, he saw a puddle in a pothole outside Canon Hill Park, Edgebaston Ground. He saw the sky reflected beautifully in its stagnant waters. Adjusting the lens on his camera, he captured that fleeting moment of sky, water, pothole and his favourite picture was born. Instantly.

It is this picture of the scene around reflected in still waters that won Pradyumna of IMT Nagpur the Nikon D5100 Extraordinary Angles Contest Special Prize in June, 2011. Very prestigious. Very honouring. Prady, as his friends call him took a chance and that chance paid off. Giving him a nice pat on the back. And of course a whole load of recognition. Now all of IMT Nagpur wants, needs, seeks to be photographed by Pradyumna Mohanty.

Pictures poured in from every corner of the world. By the deadline, we learn, there were over 8,000 images waiting to be judged. Naturally. Since the event itself is conducted by Nikon and is open to the world of photographers, of which there are many. As many as there are cameras manufactured.

Pradyumna took a chance. He sent his picture in via a link on their website. His favourite picture stole the show. It was immediately selected among the Top 50s and was pinned on the Wall of Fame for the world to see.

We caught up with him, grilling him a bit (or a lot) on his achievement. Luckily, he was quite forthcoming, quite unlike how a ‘celebrity’ photographer should be.

“Photography isn’t rocket-science. It just needs a sound understanding of your heart and brain,” he revealed. His first camera, made in China, no less, came as a gift from his brother who lived and worked in Australia at the time. And the youngster was hooked. He began capturing each and every moment, mundane or exciting on his little Chinese camera. Since his childhood he has felt the necessity of capturing and preserving moments and never let them go to oblivion. Anyone who knows Pradyumna for some amount of time, knows that the man and his camera are never apart. “They are just made for each other,” says an old friend. Soon, Pradyumna outgrew his Chinese friend and graduated from a Minolta, from where he went on to get the Kodak aim and shoot equipment. His prize was the DSLR (Canon 450 D), and there has been no turning back since.

“The first few thousand clicks with the DSLR were in automatic mode,” he confesses. Then, in Rohtak, New Delhi he discovered the joys of the pics that came out of the manual mode. He was hooked. “It was like seeing the whole world through my camera lens,” remarked Pradyumna excitedly. He had clicked two street urchins- “It was then that I realized the power of an SLR.” Over the years he has bought a few lenses and attachments for his camera like the telephoto 70 – 300mm lens, a macro and a wide angle attachment. He likes to capture nature in all her moods. He loves her any way. Whether she pulls out her best show or throws her worst tantrum, Pradyumna captures her on his camera. For good. Sometimes, even when nature is her gentle, usual self, he manages to get her to respond to his lens and his clicks. The sun, rising or setting, throws its beauty for the world to see and wonder. Pradyumna does all of that and he gets it reflected into his camera, capturing the sun’s spectacular journey on good days and bad. Well, he does get good shots of human beings too, as many of his IMT Nagpur friends would vouch for, but nature is his favourite friend. He can sit still for hours, waiting patiently for the perfect moment and the perfect shot.

“I already have 35,000 pictures with me just of IMT-Nagpur,” smiles this ‘Batch Photographer’ – a title he has been bestowed with by his friends. It was a secret earlier, but now, everybody knows. His collection is available in the album IMT_FAV_SHOTS on his Facebook profile. No celebrity photographer should go without a fan page. Prady has one too. It is called Prady’s Photography. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pradys-Photography/143249722386482

Would he like to convert his hobby into his profession? Umm… well. It was tempting. What with the recognition and all. But no. Prady would prefer to take his pics on his terms, during his free time for the time being. Professionally, though, he would like to concentrate on being a manager. “Photography has been my hobby for a long time. The inspiration and appreciation I get from my friends and teachers are unmatched. What really motivates me into doing more is when I give them the gift of a perfect photograph and see the appreciative joy in their smiles. It makes my day.”