Avinash Joshi has been doing photography for over 30 years. Nature, wildlife and industrial photography have been his forte. He has travelled extensively in Himachal and has undertaken some tedious treks during his stint with the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. His pictures have been used regularly by the prominent national dailies. He has also won several awards at the national level for his tremendous photography skills.
Here are excerpts from a conversation with him in the context of the second edition of the Valley of Words, International Literature and Arts Festival 2018, which is being held on 23-25 November in Dehradun.
Q: How do you get the person or thing in front of the camera captured exactly the way you want?
A: Photographs are not clicked but made in the mind, especially nature photography, which calls for a lot of patience. Once, I clicked a picture of India Gate, for which I had to wait for three long months until one fine day when the sky was finally blue. Owing to pollution, in a city like Delhi, you cannot get a blue sky every day. You have to instead wait for the right day for it to suit your expectations; while it is much easier in an indoor shoot where the lighting and the props are under control.
Q: Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
A: My attempt is to get things looking better than what they originally are. Only then will it draw the viewers’ attention. Plenty of picturesque places are not known to the public and it’s my privilege to be able to showcase the not much explored beauty of the magnanimous Himalayas.
Q: How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?
A: Oh, I do not earn my living from photography. Photography is love, a hobby and my passion. I am otherwise a Human Resource Professional. And I am currently working as the Director (HR) with UJVN Ltd. My earlier stints were with Central Power PSUs such as NTPC, SJVNL and THDCIL. During the course of my service, I received a lot of opportunities of travelling across the country, specifically, the Himalayas, which further enabled me to pursue my passion for photography.
Q: What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically and emotionally?
A: Motivation comes from the photograph itself. If you embark on a shoot and everything happens the way you had planned, no matter how tedious the process was, you emerge a winner and a self-fulfilled person. Nature photographers know this fact very well and are, therefore, self motivated.
Q: What is your contribution to the upcoming Literary Fest?
A: I have been assigned the task of organising a photography exhibition at the festival. An exhibition that would allow the talented photographers to present their work on a large scale. This is going to be an amazing experience filled with a lot of talent.