Through the Lens of Jag dhanju
DM: When and why did you first get into photography?
JD: I started photography seriously only a few years ago. I wanted to capture and share compelling images of the natural beauty that exists all around us.
DM: As you say, much of your work focuses on nature and natural environments. Why is that something you want to capture?
JD: In our busy lives, we often forget that we are deeply rooted by nature in many ways. It is part of our essence and I feel a strong connection to its beauty. To me nature is the purest form of art. I am fascinated with the way the sun constantly interplays with our natural environments. I feel privileged to witness and capture it.
DM: What are the elements you look for in an environment that make you want to photograph it?
JD: It is not so much what I see in a scene that compels me but what nature decides to show me at that exact moment on that day. Whether it’s the first morning light that kisses the rolling hilltops or the sun trying to break free from a group of angry clouds, I often look for a story in a scene that expresses a certain mood, drama or spirituality.
DM: Several of your series are from more remote locations. What has been one of the more challenging shots to capture?
JD: Interestingly enough, photography has had me face my big fear of heights over steep cliffs! Just outside Page, Arizona, up at 5 a.m. to photograph the sunrise at Horseshoe Bend. Horseshoe Bend is the name for a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. Along with a friend, I hiked in from the road while it was still dark. As twilight approached, my feet all of a sudden froze as I approached the 1,000-foot sheer drop at the cliff’s edge. I sat there for a few minutes in blowing wind, mentally coaching myself till I mustered up enough courage to crawl to the very edge with my gear to get that particular wide-angle shot just in time.
DM: Has photography opened you up to a new way of looking at life?
JD: Once you have spent a lot of time behind the lens, you start seeing the world from a different perspective and perspective is that which changes everything! Often we get lost with the complexity that surrounds us. Photography has taught me to find the simplicity within it.
PHOTOS BY JAG DHANJU