I had visited Malvan recently for photography. It is a village which is a part of the Sindhudurg district with a beautiful sea shore and is famous for its fish market. I had been there for a day at a time when I wasn’t in the best of my health, but I did not want to waste the opportunity of a good trip to Malvan virtue of a one-day holiday from normal life. I had a few friends come along with me as well.
As I entered the fish market, the pungent odour of the fish on sale really stopped me in my tracks and worsened my resolve to photograph the market. I am a vegetarian since birth and so, even the smell of any kind of meat is enough to make me queasy. The smell of this market in particular made me sick a couple of times as well. Regardless, I had to photograph the market by any means. In the midst of the pandemic, I continued to shoot pictures in the ever-increasing crowd present there. The odour along with the constant spraying of water on the fish to keep them fresh meant that my clothes were starting to pick up this smell as well.
After I finally got out of the market after two hours, I felt a sense of relief. However, my clothes smelled of the same odour from the market there so it stayed that way till I reached our hotel room to wash off all the smells and feel fresh again.
As a passionate photographer, you have to face some difficult situations and this is what makes you stronger. You get the best photographs when you are completely devoted to the craft despite all the odds you are facing.
This is something that I learnt from my teacher.
About As Dnyaneshwar Vaidya
Photography has been a hobby for me since 2015. Photography has taught me how to live life. I learned how to scour for new places, meet new people, and understand new traditions from various cultures because of it. I learned how to empathize with people’s feelings, may it be happy or sad. I learned how to live my life through others by living for them. I traveled in and around the state of Maharashtra and explored new places and met and understood people’s lives and also photographed them.
What really fascinated me and also made me feel proud as a human being was that even though there is an advent of the digital age, they haven’t forgotten their cultural roots. When I was in the stages of learning photography, I was blessed with 3 mentors and the effort that they extolled on me for giving me the ability to become who I am today is something that I am eternally grateful for and the debt that I have towards them can never be repaid for this.
I am a part of the Warkari community and hence, I spent my entire childhood under the blessing of this culture which expresses the idea of giving to the people generously. This influence meant that I was never told candidly to help anybody; it came naturally to me. Photography gave me an agency to understand the troubles of people and consider them my own and feel them with the same intensity.
As a photographer, I have never forgotten my boundaries or hurt anyone’s sentiments in order to get a shot. I have always followed a code of conduct where I don’t commit any action which will hurt someone’s feelings in order to get a good photo; in that case, I promptly let go of that opportunity. I feel like this quality of mine allowed me to be the first person in Western Maharashtra to ever receive 2 national and 2 international degrees as of today. My father, in his bout of happiness, felicitated me with a garland when he read this news in the newspaper. It was a very special and proud moment for both me and my family. As my work in photography gained traction, I started seeing my photos gain respect in various countries and one day, National Geographic Magazine published one of my photos from Pattankodoli in their issue. Till today, 15 of my photos have been published on their website and 60+ photos have been added to their favorites. My photos have been exhibited in 36 countries as of now.
My photos have been exhibited in 36 countries as of now. My passion as a photographer also taught me to be sensitive to nature and I started exploring nature through jungles. I have also taken an initiative in increasing awareness about deforestation, man-made fires, hunting animals, etc and how they are harmful to our environment. My main subjects for photography are street and cultural photography, and I have met some amazing people because of this passion.
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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted As Dnyaneshwar Vaidya. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.