As promised, here is work from the amazing photographer Manjari Sharma. As I mentioned in a previous post, Manjari and I met at a studio party and found we had oodles of common interests. Already impressed with her evident compassion for her work, Manjari then sent me some images from her most recent trip to Brazil, which blew me away.
Travel photography is a beast all it’s own. How can you possibly take a photo which hasn’t been taken before? Well… my answer is: It’s not about finding landmarks others haven’t, or being the first one to photograph something. In my opinion it is all about the rhythm of a place in combination with the photographer’s own take on the world.
This particular series of Sharma’s photos make me desperate to know more about the culture and the history of the place. Luckily, Manjari Sharma was kind enough to answer some of my questions about her work, which I think you’ll all find interesting.
Let me know what you think! Does this qualify as travel photography simply because it is not in our own backyard? What’s your definition?
How does your specific background in photography influence these images?
My strength has always been composition. A big success of these images is paying homage to the reduction theory. Which basically stands for taking a given scenario and de-cluttering the image. You keep breaking it down until you get to it’s essence. I use this analogy from watching my mom make her own clarified butter, also known as “Ghee” in my language.
The water here seems so imposing and powerful, much more so than your figures. Do you feel people are living their lives in harmony with the water or at odds with it?
I feel there is balance; Sometimes a harmony, Sometimes contemplation, Sometimes confrontation. Mostly it’s a study of a relationship in between man and nature and how we relate with what we are mostly composed of. Water.
I feel that there is a dialogue and a message that I have always believed in that comes across strongly in these images and that is, the will of nature will always prevail. Often times man has tried to fight that theory but we find ourselves surrendering and assimilating.
This work is so different than the other projects on your website. Do you see your style and your images evolving or is this evidence of a different side of your work that might not normally be seen by clients?
There has been traces of this style of shooting throughout my photographic life, I just had not embarked on a series yet. After the completion of this project this was even more apparent to me than ever. Recently in 2008 I presented my work at Pecha Kucha which is a great avenue for artists to get together and take a look at cross disciplinary work.
My subject was mostly scale and the juxtaposition of little to large. So far I’ve had a smattering of images in this style, but this cohesive body is certainly a first.
Info on Manjari Sharma from her website:
After working with India’s premier publications The Times Of India and Better Photography, chasing image making is what brought Manjari to the United States in 2001. In 2004 she graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus Ohio, her first home in the US. In Columbus Manjari assisted many respected commercial shooters and also photographed some extremely passionate musicians. Manjari moved to India to travel through her homeland for 6 months voyaging an extensive part of her country and reconnecting with her roots, she moved to New York City in late 2007. As Manjari currently freelances in New York City, her recent achievements include eight honorable mentions in the IPA Lucie Awards, she has already worked for well known clients such as AOL, American baby, Penguin Books and has worked with acclaimed photographers such as Steve McCurry, David Alan Harvey and Eric Ogden. Manjari’s travels have taken her to Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and recently to Brazil.
Don’t forget to check our Manjari Sharma’s new site here!