Local Lens: Pictures worth a thousand words

Localens photography competition receives a whopping 14,000 entries from across Pakistan.

A participant of Localens photography competition receives a certificate from the Alliance Francaise director on Saturday. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON/EXPRESS


From 14,000 entries for The Express Tribune Education Initiatives’ Localens photography competition, the lucky winners were awarded prizes on Saturday.

Gathered at the Alliance Francaise, the lucky winners and the participants were happy to see their ‘hobby’ receive an overwhelming recognition. Nearly 30 of these pictures were also projected on the walls of the auditorium - the pictures showing Pakistan in a whole new light. Some others were just excited to be sitting with the accomplished judges - Jean-Francois Chenin, the current director of Alliance Francaise in Karachi, photographer Izdeyar Setna and Max Becherer, a freelance photo-journalist.

One of the participants, Waseem Gazdar, is a professional documentary maker and has “a passion for photography for the past four years”. He took a photo in Thatta district of a devastated school - the merciless havoc of floods - and captured an image of a young. “When I saw her sitting there, I knew that I had a story to tell,” Gazdar recalled. “I saw helplessness and will power emerging from within her and that’s what this picture depicts.” He was excited she was one of the top 30 photos for the day.

Mehlum Sadriwala submitted a photograph he took in November 2013 of Old Lahore. “There is an old world charm in the old Lahore city, near the Wazir Khan Mosque,” he remembered. “I took this picture of an old man walking past, it is done in a poetic way.” Sadriwala, who came third, was sure of winning the competition as he used the photo to share a thousand stories.

The second winner, Asfand Majeed, says he had no clue he would win. He had to submit only one entry and he sent the one his friends chose. ‘The Gurumandir image’ captures most of the things from streets to cars and barbeque on the roadside.” He believes this picture glorifies Karachi known for its food. The first prize winner is Sikander Hayat based in Lahore.

In the Best of the Show category, Mohammad Mohibuddin Alvi, Asfand Majeed, Osaidullah Kehar, Baseer Jilani and Mohammad Ali Adarash. “I have nothing to hide, these pictures were beautiful,” said judge Chenin, apparently in awe of the work he judged.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2014.


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