Suresh Jayaprakash won the first prize in the first edition of Indus Scrolls National Photography Contest 2018 for his entry depicting Jallikkattu festival. He was selected from a whopping 10,358 entries from various parts of the country. The theme of the competition was: Looking at Culture Thru the Lens. The First Prize carries Rs 25,000 and a certificate. The competition was held in collaboration with Indian Institute of Mass Communication.
Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, J Suresh picked up a camera while still in his teens and set up a studio in his home city. Seven years later, he joined the Malayala Manorama, one of India’s largest circulated dailies, as a photo journalist. He is currently Chief Photographer with the publication in New Delhi.
Suresh’s work has been widely acclaimed, and has earned him national and international recognition. Among them are: National Award for Excellence in Photo Journalism, Press Council of India, New Delhi, 2013 and 2017, Documentary Award at the 9th Humanity Photography Awards, organised by the UNESCO and CFPA in China, 2015; Professional Photographer of the Year, I&B Ministry, Government of India, 2014; and silver medal at the Epoch Times Annual International Photo Competition, New York, 2007. He was a finalist at: HIPA, Dubai, 2013; WIN Photo Competition, Berlin, 2013; and UNCCD, Kenya, 2005.
The Second Prize winner is Subin Pullazhy, a professional wedding photographer based at Thrissur, Kerala. His photograph of Pulikali, a traditional folk art, was adjudged the best among the six photographs he sent for the competition. He gets Rs 15,000 and a certificate. Subin had won more than 35 national and state awards for photography. “This is indeed a great honour for me. It was totally unexpected and when the announcement got so delayed, the results must have been announced. I thank Indus Scrolls for its professionalism and commitment,” said Pullazhy.
The Third Prize was shared by two photographers – Ashish Sharma and Logesh Babu. They will get certificate and Rs 5,000 each.
Sharma, a self-taught photographer, was born and brought up in Kashmir. Sharma grew up at the time when the insurgency period was at its peak. Having faced and experienced the militancy first hand, he felt compelled to document life in Kashmir during its dark and gory years. He picked up the camera at a young age, and began photographing the imagery of the grim reality of Kashmir and the Kashmiri’s. With his love for the art coupled with the use of pioneering digital techniques, so began his venture into war photography in his bid for a continuation of his exploration of different genres of photography. His work on and from Kashmir has been published in various international organizations including New York Times and The Guardian to name a few. Currently based in New Delhi, he works as Deputy Photo editor for Open Magazine covering breaking news, politics and features across the country.
Expressing happiness over his victory, Logesh, a passionate photographer from Chennai whose photographs have found place in reputed international publications, said, “It’s a great honour for me. As a self-taught photographer, I started photography as a hobby. My lens gave me a different perspective to see the world which is so beautiful. During my course of learning, I got a few recognitions which motivated me to explore more. Now, my hobby has turned into a passion – a life’s mission for me.”
Besides, two photographers, Vinod Atholi and Sreelas Paul were awarded Honourable Mention by the judges. Their pictures depict the celebration of life in the hinterlands of India.
Talking about the selection process, ace photographer and a member of the jury Vipin Gaur said, “It was not easy for me to take out the winners because all the shortlisted entries were extremely excellent. I evaluated the pictures through these criteria – 1) Depiction/Story/Emotion/Feel, 2) Composition, 3) Technical Skills, 4) Efforts.”
Other jury members Manil and Rohit too said the task of picking up the winners from a galaxy of highly qualified and professional photographers was a very challenging one. A panel of three photographers assisted them in shortlisting the entries after a month-long painstaking sifting and evaluation process. The selection process went through several rounds to shortlist 200 photographs.
IIMC Director-General KG Suresh congratulated the winners and Indus Scrolls team for conducting a competition of “this massive scale”. “We are happy IIMC was a partner in this effort which aims to promote Indian culture.”
G Sreedathan, Editor of Indus Scrolls, expressed his happiness over the huge response the first edition of Indus Scrolls Photography Contest had evoked.
“It’s a proud moment for us. We got entries from all parts of the country. It was big task for the judges. We are happy that finally the prizes were won by most deserving, highly qualified and serious practitioners of photography who won national and international awards earlier.”
The award ceremony will be held on August 11 at the Conference Hall of IIMC, Delhi.