MEET OUR JUDGES




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Ajay Thakur

New York based Ajay Thakur grew up in a small hill town in India surrounded by beautiful landscapes and ever flowing waterfalls. Photography, for him, is a journey of self-discovery and understanding; and is his way of seeking answers to life's intricate questions.
He says, “Photographs leave a legacy of how we see the world. This legacy is our mark. I want to make and leave marks for myself and for the generations to come.”
Ajay loves traveling around the world to capture natural landscapes as well as man made, urban landscapes which he calls ‘beautiful masterpieces.’

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Aruna Talapatra

Ever since I can remember, photography has always been like meditation for me. The calming of the mind, oneness with the subject, the sense of achievement when I have captured that final image are all parallels I can draw to meditation. I have spent numerous hours training with gurus such as Jay Maisel, Nevada Wier and William Neill. I have travelled and learned photography Jim Zuckerman, Brenda Tharp, Michael Frye. Come join me in this journey.

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Evgeny Yorobe

Born and raised in San Diego, Evgeny’s love for photography started at a young age. He would accompany his dad on photo excursions and though he didn’t completely understand everything at the time, the seed was planted.

Today, Evgeny is an award-winning Landscape and Wedding Photographer. His pictures have been published in Pacific Magazine and San Diego Magazine with two-page spreads, and have been on the cover of Coronado Connection Magazine and Point Loma Life Magazine. He won Best of Show at the 2015 La Jolla Festival of The Arts for his overall body of work.

In his words, “They say you always return to your first love, I know I will always return to my first two. No matter how many places I’ve travelled to across this globe, I’ve always returned to my sweet home San Diego. And no matter how many times life and other interests got in the way, I’ve always found my way back to photography. My photos are the culmination of these two passions, and as a result I’ve started to realize my dream of being able to show the world the beauty of San Diego Landscape Photography through my lens.”

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Idris Ahmed

Armed with a camera and an eye for the interesting, Idris Ahmed shoots photographs across genres. Along with his work as a professional photographer, he teaches photography courses and workshops at various institutes, conducts photo-expeditions and runs Photocommune, a collective of photography enthusiasts.
Idris started out as a photography instructor. Between classes, he travelled widely, documenting his sojourns with a camera. On one such trip, a serendipitous detour led him to Spiti, an enchanted valley he keeps returning to. His tryst with Spiti inspired him to become a freelance photographer. With Dorling Kindersley commissioning him to shoot for their guides to Israel, Sri Lanka and Delhi, he continued to travel and photograph. His oeuvre has since been exhibited in many galleries and cultural centres, including in solo shows at Alliance Française, Delhi and India International Centre.
On his diverse assignments, he has worked in studio setup with his team as well as alone on snow-sheathed mountains. But whether he is undertaking a commercial project, exploring a new locale or mentoring aspiring photographers, Idris does what he is most passionate about –reimagining the world through his viewfinder.

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Jasminder Oberai

Jasminder is a self-taught professional photographer who grew up surrounded by serious photography hobbyists in his family. He is the founder of Light Chasers through which he is associated with Canon India.

A Canon Photo Mentor, Jasminder Oberai enjoys the challenge of shooting across multiple genres - from landscapes to close-ups to portraits. His love for nature and eye for color is evident in the vibrant quality of his work.
Jasminder has represented India in the International Contest - IMPRESSION PhotoContest 2014.He was featured among the top photographers across the globe by 121 Clicks: The Grand & Prestigious Photographers of 2014.
Jasminder’s Photo Essay - ‘Earth is Art’ was published in the Life Force Magazine and his works have featured on Indian Digital Artists.

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Joel Robison

I'm a 31 year old photographer based out of Cranbrook, British Columbia. I've actively been involved in the photography community for the past 6 years and consider myself to be a conceptual portrait photographer. I've always loved the fantasy world created by the minds of Walt Disney, Dr. Seuss, Jim Henson and many more and I enjoy putting whimsical elements inspired by these role models into my own work. I often try to tell a story within my photographs that allows the viewer to experience an emotion, create their own story, or experience a glimpse into my own ideas and dreams.

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Kyer Wiltshire

Kyer Wiltshire is a destination wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon, Santa Cruz, California and Bali, Indonesia. He began taking pictures as a teenager, documenting his outdoor lifestyle backpacking and climbing in the Pacific Northwest; then living in Spain and Latin America. He started photographing the West Coast festival culture in 2001, drawn by the beautifully adorned attendees and performers.

As the author of ‘Tribal Revival: West Coast Festival Culture,’ a gorgeous coffee table book that was published in 2009, Kyer provides a unique window through which to view the world of special events and moments. This spring he published his forth book. Tirta Gangga is a photo study of a beautiful water palace in Eastern Bali and the ceremonies and dances that took place there last year.

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Lars van de Goor

Dutch photographer Lars van de Goor was born in 1964 on a houseboat in the middle of lush farmland. These seemingly endless Dutch meadows reveal only at a second glance that they are parcelled off by straight-running waterways. On the boat, he grew up being virtually part of the nature surrounding him. His first passion, however, was music. His latest one is photography. Both share a key element: Composition. This is where their unique quality lies.
Today he lives in a small town in the eastern part of the Netherlands and works as a professional photographer. His initial inspiration and urge to take up photography are still very much with him. In his own words they are "to capture nature’s magical moments and show her beauty to as many people as possible."

Since entering the Hasselblad Masters Awards in 2010 Lars had a period where he was consolidating his approach, and during that time he didn’t submit work to any competitions or awards. However this has all changed recently, and as well as winning the Landscape section of the Hasselblad Masters 2016, Lars also took first prize in the ‘Season & Weather’ and a Gold Medal in the ‘Streets and Paths’ categories of the prestigious Trierenberg Super Circuit, the world’s largest photo salon.

Lars’s prime source of inspiration comes from an encounter. It is the mysterious encounter of nature and light. The main themes of his work are the trees of his native Gelderland. These he respectfully depicts in their old power and timeless energy. Their mingling with the famous Dutch light yield landscapes with dragons as well as mysterious cathedrals, at times eerie in their sublime otherworldliness. This ephemeral quality he sometimes counterbalances with the grounded figure of a bicycle-rider, as familiar to the Dutch eye and experience, as it is unusual in his settings to others. His images do not only have the intuitive ability to make visible sentiments of the heart, they also open a window to air and time, even sound and smell. Only occasional persons or man-made objects remind the beholder that he is still on his own planet.

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Nandagopal Rajan

His pictures are part of Getty’s Flickr Collection and have also been used by campaigns and
publications in many countries.

A journalist by profession, Nandagopal writes mostly on technology and how it is changing our lives. He is a passionate photographer and has been clicking pictures ever since he was a teenager.
His pictures are part of Getty’s Flickr Collection and have also been used by campaigns and
publications in many countries. He now focuses on smartphone photography and just loves chronicling the skies on Instagram.

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Rathika Ramasamy

Rathika Ramasamy Rathika has always had a fierce connect with the drama of nature. An MBA/Computer Engineer, she was drawn towards the photographic capture of this drama as a career in 2003 at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Today, she is arguably one of India's foremost wildlife photographers. She is passionate about wildlife and is specializing in nature and wildlife photography. In documenting wildlife through her photographs, she has developed a style of technical excellence combined with a captivating story. She has traveled to most of the National parks in India, and has also been to national parks in Africa. For wildlife photography is not only for her a passion, but a powerful medium to help conserve nature. Her work has been appreciated and featured in several national and international publications as well as exhibitions.

She was selected as one of the top bird photographers in India by ‘Birds of India’ in 2008. 2010 February- Rathika published her first photo book on "Bird photography" Photo book collection of her best images. In 2014, Rathika published her "The Best of Wildlife Moments", a photo book of wildlife moments from her collection. In Feb 2015, Rathika has been conferred the "Inspiring Icon Award" from the prestigious Sathyabama University, Chennai. In June 2015, she has been conferred the ICF (The International Camera Fair) award for the outstanding performance and achievements in wildlife photography.

She is based in New Delhi, India. She is a member of (NPS) Nikon’s Professional Services. She regularly conducts wildlife photography workshops and holds talks all over India.

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Rupesh Jadhav

A software professional with 10 years of IT experience, Rupesh is very passionate about photography. A self taught photographer, he started experimenting with the DSLR camera in 2010 and since then there has been no looking back.
His pictures have been showcased in reputed photography exhibitions in Pune, Thane, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. He has also conducted basic photography workshops in IT companies and judged photography competitions in reputed companies and colleges.

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Sankar Salvady

Sankar Salvady is a travel and nature photographer from India, currently based in California! He was raised in the foothills of Western Ghats in India amidst lush green farmlands, perennial rivers and green attired mountain ranges of the western ghats. Here is where his first love for nature, and photography started. The journey has taken him close to nature, close to humanity, and even more so close to himself!

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Shikhar Sharma

A working professional based in New Delhi, Shikhar ‘s passion lies in photography. He started off with a DSLR in 2011 and has since been clicking extensively. What started with curiosity, grew with appreciation and converted into passion over time. While he enjoys travel & street photography, he also likes to shoot portraits, nature and landscapes.
Not bound by strict rules, Shikhar’s photography style prefers candid over staged; natural over manipulated and expression over impression. Besides photography, Shikhar enjoys playing football & listening to the great Nusrat.

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Shishir Pal Singh

A management graduate with experience of more than 13 years with various MNC in several roles of Marketing & Sales. A passionate Photographer who loves to capture moments of People, Culture, Nature & Streets.
Shishir’s photos got exhibited in various Photography exhibitions and also have won several awards in Photography. A self taught photographer with no formal training, but his ability to see the minute details on art aspects is great. A true traveler by heart who loves to explore all new places and mysteries of Place & Nature, which is the biggest driving force for him to stay focused in Photography. He keeps on arranging various Photography Tours with field workshop and on field assistance. His style of photography is mainly street and documentary. He loves to click people in their candid expressions.

Srivatsan sankaran

Srivatsan Sankaran

Srivatsan Sankaran is engineer by education and as die hard travel photographer by passion and profession. Based out of Chennai, India; he has been pursuing his passion since 5 years. It began with a Sony DSC-S600 and has now transitioned to a Nikon Coolpix.
Srivatsan has a dedicated lifestyle that helps him learn and understand the nuances of photography. He say, “My primary objective in photography is to bring out a sense of union with Mother Nature, and a sense of singularity with people. Exploring and experiencing new places to capture people’s life style, culture, and tradition bring immense happiness to me.”
Srivatsan’s works have been published in more than 10 magazines and showcased in more than 7 exhibitions in the last 5 years. These include the Yahoo Travel Website & Top 10 Photographers of the Tamron Contest (2013).

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Tom Bourdon

I grew up on the south coast of England with a burning desire to travel. I started my journeys as an innocent 18-year-old, I soon realised that I wanted to record the events that happened and the people I met. It was at this moment I realise that photography was something very important to me. As my journeys continued so did my thirst to become a better photographer.

In 2010, 2011 and 2012 I was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year competition, I was also the overall winner of the Wanderlust/Independent Travel Photo of the Year Award. Nowadays I specialise in recording cultural celebrations and festivals across the globe. My work has been published in a variety of big named publications including National Geographic Traveller, The Sunday Times, The Independent, Hello Magazine, P&O, Bing and Insight Guides to name a few. I also judge photo challenges for the world´s greatest photography playground at Gurushots.com

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Vijesh K

A techie who switched careers to pursue his passion, Vijesh is a successful documentary wedding photographer. In his words, “I love weddings. Having been married myself, it's very satisfying to see someone else take the plunge too.” He loves the magic that transforms an ordinary girl and boy into The Bride and The Groom. His venture Light Story endeavors to capture and preserve that magic.

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