Subhash Haimraj is a nature lover and it was his determination to share the beauty of what he loves that saw him turning to photography.
Subhash does not see himself as a professional photographer, but his photographs are bound to give some professionals pause for thought. He has been taking photos for five years now and his work features mainly landscapes and nature.
He began taking pictures with his mobile phone, but two years ago he upgraded to his current DSLR Canon T6i camera. According to him, the simple things people would overlook in nature would draw his attention.
Most of what he knows today was self-taught, especially while he used his camera phone. Then when he upgraded to a professional camera, he sought help from some of Guyana’s best. University of Guyana lecturer and professional photographer Jirendra Persaud was hosting a class for amateur photographers and Subhash took up the opportunity to learn. Later on, he picked up a few tips and tricks from professional photographer Michael Jackson. Yet with all he has learnt over the years, which ensures that he produces some of the most wonderful photos, Subhash still calls himself a novice.
Back when he was capturing stills with his Blackberry Curve 8520, which today he calls “crappy”, Subhash always tried to improve the quality of his photos. His zest for improvement saw him finding new editing software to make his images stand out.
“Photography is an art, a way of expressing one’s inner passion for things that fuel the soul. It’s a way to show the world the beauty through your eyes. I would say that photography is one of the greatest means of showing the true beauty of things that others may overlook,” he said.
Jackson encouraged him to post his photos on the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Page. After his first few photos received positive feedback, Subhash became braver and posted more. The feedback from photographers, Subhash said, assisted in making him a better photographer.
The former St Stanislaus student was in the Science stream and never had a thing for art; it was his love for Science that saw him being so fascinated with nature. While on trips around Guyana, he found himself sometimes at a point where he would sacrifice something he needed just to get a photo. In fact, Subhash joked that he might one day accidentally kill himself trying to take a photo.
One of his funniest stories to date was when he fell into the river, while on a trip to the BK Quarry; he had gotten too close to the water. Quick thinking, however, saw him manage to save his camera.
This adventurer has thousands of photos of all the places he has visited including: Paruima (his most recent trip to an Amerindian settlement), Lake Mainstay, Capoey Lake and Rooster Lake on the Essequibo Coast, Pomeroon, Essequibo islands such as: Sloth Island, Baracara Falls, Fort Island, Fort Kyk Over Al, Leguan and Wakenaam. Subhash has also visited parts of Berbice such as Skeldon, 63 Beach, Canje and the Linden/Soesdyke Highway (Pandama Resort and Winery, Splashmin’s Eco Park) and Linden. Whenever he takes trips abroad, his Canon friend accompanies him always.
“I have plans to explore Guyana till I can safely say I’ve visited every nook and cranny of this lovely land. For this year especially, I’m already making plans to visit Maikwak, Mabaruma and Shell Beach. I have a few close friends that I would normally plan trips and go with to enjoy these wonderful scenes of Guyana.”
Paruima was Subhash’s favourite trip to date. He hiked two hours through forested and mountainous terrain to reach the Panacima Falls. He describes this waterfall as the peak of nature as it was pristine, sitting in the middle of nowhere and not many people in Guyana know of it.
Some of his inspirations are in this field are: Girendra Persaud, Michael Jackson, Michael Lam, Darrel Carpenay and Amanda Richards. “The members of that group are truly great at what they do. They always gave good words of encouragement or constructive criticism on how I can improve myself in the art,” he said. Subhash is also inspired by Canadian photographer Peter McKinnon who is always taking nature photography on his world travels.
Responding to how photography has helped him, he said, “It has made me appreciate the little things in life. It made me a little more adventurous and I was also able to meet new friends who share the same interest. I began to look at life from a whole new perspective.”
However, though Subhash has not only improved his skill but his skill has improved him as well, along the way he has had challenges. When he first began his only challenge was getting a proper device for taking photos, then when he got his camera he faced the challenges of learning about his device and learning new tips in photography.
Subhash encouraged persons to never give up as much as it might seem as though they are going the wrong way, because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. He further admonished them to do what makes them happy and not for money, but for the love of it.
His mother and sister, he said, are big fans of his work and he acknowledged his cousin’s interest, as she shares the same passion.
Though he’s not sure what the next five years hold for him, Subhash is certain that he will be well on the way of striking off places in Guyana from his bucket list. And maybe, because he’s still not sure, he might just master the patience to take portraits.
The strict vegetarian is a graduate computer scientist and a drummer with the Dynamic Tassa Troupe.
In his free time Subhash enjoys cricket, playing tassa, travelling, site seeing and experimenting with new technologies.
For a view of Subhash’s photography, find him on Facebook at Subhash C Haimraj or on the Guyana Photographers’ page.