POY 2011: The Final Face-off in Mumbai

 

The Final Face-off of Canon Better Photography Photographer of the Year 2011, took our participants across the city of Mumbai, as they tried to capture The Spirit of Mumbai . Here’s a look at the final submissions by each contestant.

Continuing its tradition of finding India’s best photographer, the Canon-Better Photography Photographer of the Year 2011 received nearly 70,000 entries this year for its eight themes. After weeks of shortlistings by the Better Photography team, 16 renowned photographers from the industry were invited to find the theme winner for each category.
You can find the winning images and honourable mentions from each category  here.

A Trip to Mumbai for the Final Face-off
The eight finalists were brought to Mumbai for the Final Face-off. Their challenge was to shoot and submit 10 single image entries on the theme The Spirit of Mumbai. The participants were also asked to create a photoessay that conveys the phrase Bombay Meri Jaan that comprised of 8–12 photographs.
Over the course of three days the the contestants explored every nook and corner of the city from early morning to the dead of night. While Shanthkumar  choose to capture the Dadar flower market at 3am, a few headed straight to Dharavi. Sudipto landed up at the Mumbai Stock Exchange.
After the three days of capturing every aspect of Mumbai, here are their final submissions:

S L Shanthkumar

Winner: The Joy of Colour
City: Chennai
Profession: Photojournalist

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/S L Shanthkumar

Photograph/S L Shanthkumar

Photoseries:
Mumbai is the city that begins life of joy, happiness, hard work and the mixture of vibrant colours, which follows from your power of imagination, suddenly like a rainbow in the rainy season. Mumbai is the heart of every person who is carrying his own aspirations to become something, from every part of the India. Most of the people who travel across India with big aspirations live in the city for their survival. Mumbai Meri Jaan.

Photograph/S L Shanthkumar

Photograph/S L Shanthkumar

Nilesh Bhange

Winner: Still Life: Obvious Things
City: Indore
Profession: Scientific Officer

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/ Nilesh Bhange

Photograph/ Nilesh Bhange

Photoseries:
Dhobi Ghat is a very popular place in Mumbai. I visited that place to understand it closely. I have taken pictures elaborating various stages of their washing process upto packing of the cloths ready for delivery. The spirit of the working people was really nice and it was fun to chat with them and shoot.

Photograph/ Nilesh Bhange

Photograph/ Nilesh Bhange

Nirvair Singh

Winner: Portraiture: I, Me, Myself
City: Bhantinda
Profession: Photography Student

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/Nirvair Singh

Photograph/Nirvair Singh

Photoseries:
I am a child looking for play. For open grounds, clear skies, water, friends and all. I run around looking for mates and to catch up with life here. I find friends but not space. I say alright and shake hands through openings wherever. I see my dad struggle between illusion and reality. Tired of treading on the Agneepath. For him Mumbai is buried, lights light up another world. The city rises. Life caged. But I am a child I must find play. I’ll stand on my head to be a star. The ball soars and never returns. Tired I sleep in full sight of the city and try to find my dream. My dream is still a shadow, nevertheless the will to fly high. I will see a new dawn.

Photograph/Nirvair Singh

Photograph/Nirvair Singh

 


Gokul Mudambile

Winner: Reflections
City: Mumbai
Profession: Sales Manager

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/Gokul Mudambile

Photograph/Gokul Mudambile

Photoseries:
Manjunath came to Mumbai with all his dreams 35 years ago and set up a chai tapri at Dharavi. The tapri would soon become an adda. Sometimes it is filled with a group of friends and sometimes the place is filled with strangers, chai being the common bond. Manjunth’s neighbours are Sharma the barber and Zarina who peddles knick-knacks and posed for me with her neighbour. Both have dreams,hopes and aspirations. They cribbed about the cleanliness in Dharavi and as if on cue the sweeper arrived. That did not deter the flies nor did it deter Manjunath’s customers. Then came a young girl in a cowboy hat and when I asked her to pose for a photograph, she initially refused and then relented. Since it was a Monday, Manjunath closed his tapri at 2 pm.  I too left thinking about my own dreams, aspirations & hopes. I understood that spirit of Mumbai is all about  dreams, aspirations, hopes and the Chai Tapris.

Photograph/Gokul Mudambile

Photograph/Gokul Mudambile

Neelima Vallangi

Winner: Landscapes: Play of Light
City: Bengaluru
Profession: Software Engineer

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/Neelima Vallangi

Photograph/Neelima Vallangi

Photoseries:
Ladies Special:
In the lifeline of Mumbai, in the local trains, the crowd is maddening, yes. But the fact that this city has recognized the need for a safe way of transportation for women and acted on it tells a lot about Mumbai. As I traveled in the local trains, in the women’s compartment, I noticed how comfortable they felt traveling in them, when it is not crowded, of course. Every day these women get one step closer to their dream, with one less obstacle. The spirit of Mumbai shows when a woman takes the last train in the middle of the night to reach home from one end of the city to the other. These are few moments captured while the women take the journey towards a better tomorrow.

 

Photograph/Neelima Vallang

Photograph/Neelima Vallangi

Baiju Patil

Winner: Wildlife: Animal Behaviour
City: Aurangabad
Profession: Wildlife Photographer

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/Baiju Patil

Photograph/Baiju Patil

Photoseries:

Faces of Mumbai: I have tried to capture the portraits of people in Mumbai from various social classes. This essay contains a sequence of images in order from poor to rich class in various moods and situations. The images explore the characteristics of each of these people in an interesting way.
Photograph/Baiju Patil

Photograph/Baiju Patil

Sudipto Das

Winner: Life on the Streets
City: Kolkata
Profession: Photojournalist

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/Sudipto Das

Photograph/Sudipto Das

Photoseries:

Mumbai Magic: Mumbai is a conundrum. It is home to the wealthiest corporate tzars, as well as Dharavi, Asia’s biggest slum. It is the city that conjures a million dreams through Bollywood movies. It is also a city that draws first blood when terrorists strike. It is the Maximum City but its citizens have the barest minimum space to survive. And it is really difficult for me to say what Mumbai is and what its jaan! Yet, the city draws people in thousands because it has the power to make even the poor believe that he can be rich. It’s not for nothing that Mumbai is the financial capital of the country. And the Bombay Stock Exchange its nerve centre. When the Sensex dips, it rattles the entire country. When it peaks, it sends everyone on a high.
Photograph/Sudipto Das

Photograph/Sudipto Das

Vinit Gupta

Winner: Photoseries: Song of the Road
City: Gurgaon
Profession: Ethnographer

Individual Photographs:

Photograph/Vinit Gupta

Photograph/Vinit Gupta

Photoseries:

The Wide Mordant Mumbai: In this series I try to capture the endless moments and rhythms that propel life in the Mumbai. I attempt to get rid of all those preconceptions the people may have about the city and try to deconstruct the prefabrication of the world. This is a city battered by terrorism, stripped naked by its rulers, a city that laments the indifference and passivity of its population but still manages to find place for everyone in its tattered folds. Mumbai is a city of contradictions; here the so-called guardians of the city are also the biggest perpetrators of orgy of communal and regional violence. Mumbai has its distinct cosmopolitan finesse, but it is packed with people from different social backgrounds. Skyscrapers and slums jostle for space, Irani hotels and Jain eateries do business next to each other. In single lane, people of five different communities live next to each other sharing not just space but also their lives. It is an ocean of restlessness where people still manage to find islands of peace and tranquility. Mumbai may no longer be a beautiful city, but it is still a city with a lot of grit. It may not have wide spaces but it has a wide big heart. And that’s what makes it great.
I strive to look beyond the the surface details of everyday life and try to express the deeper meanings, motivations and understanding of my experience with this city.
Photograph/Vinit Gupta

Photograph/Vinit Gupta

 

Tags: Baiju Patil, Bombay Meri Jaan, Canon-Better Photography Photograper of the Year 2011, Gokul Mudambile, India's biggest photography awards, Mumbai Stock Exchange, Neelima Vallangi, Nilesh Bhange, Nirvair Singh, S L Shanthkumar, Sudipto Das, The Spirit of Mumbai, vinit gupta