A winning photographer’s secret: The pursuit for contrast, symmetry and reflection

He has won countless of awards from all over the world but he gets the same nagging feeling every time he joins a competition.
He is one of the three Grand Master distinction holders from India (GMPSA), the highest level of recognition from Photographic Society of America (PSA), and on top of his Excellence FIAP (EFIAP) and Licentiate RPS (LRPS), he has won 300+ international photography awards and has around 40 different distinctions from various photographic organisations worldwide.
But he still wasn’t sure that he will even win one of the awards of the recently concluded Bait al Zubair Photography Competition, which is aiming to be one of the biggest and most prestigious photography contest in the region.
“I was hoping to be in the final round at least, as I am regularly in HIPA, Nikon and other international theme-based competitions and doing good,” he shared.
But he is also self-aware that there are many excellent photographers in Oman, adding, “I know they have great frames and the competitions would be tough.”
“I read about the Zubair Competition on Instagram and quite excited to see the theme as ‘Architecture of Oman.’ Being an engineer, lines, shapes and geometries always fascinated me and the name Bait al Zubair is lucky for me as four years back my series on Bullfight was among top 20 displayed at the Museum in Red Bull photo competition,” he said.
Unlike other photographers who distinctly see themselves as such, Sanjoy refers to himself as a traveller first.
“I consider myself a traveller and not a photographer. I have covered 34 countries till now and still counting. And as I visit wonderful locations, I do capture with my camera to serve as memories. My main interests are people, culture, tradition, festival and landscape,” he said.
“I am basically from Kolkata, East part of India. Did my Graduation in Chemical Engineering from Jadavpur University and later did Post Graduation from IIT Bombay. When I moved to Oman, I worked with TR Engineering and PDO and I am currently working with Worley as upstream Oil and Gas facility Design Engineer, which is my core competency. I stay here with my family of wife and two kids and two pets,” he said.
“Photo competitions actually help you to go out and shoot every weekend, strive for more, help you to practice, to interact with many other photographers worldwide, to try something new and also to prepare yourself for old age where you can keep yourself busy with your passion. And the distinctions are true recognition of your continuous efforts and a benchmark of your acquired skillset. They indeed motivate me to learn and try every aspect of photography and capture some magical moments which I can cherish forever,” he added.

About his winning photo
“As we all know, two of the most beautiful and iconic structures of Muscat are The Grand Mosque and The Royal Opera House, and they are both photographers delight. I was only focusing on these two architectural marvels and picked up a few frames with one from ROH and two from Grand Mosque,” he responded when asked how he selected his subject for photography.
“Finally, my wife selected this monochrome picture of the reflection of Façade of the ROH, due to its contrast, symmetry and reflection. I still remember, a light shower on that evening, as I went out with my gears to take a reflection of ROH. The frame is set to emphasise symmetry, with a focus on vertical lines and the lovely chandeliers and I was waiting for a Guard or a Tourist to come into my frame which could have added more life and adds a feeling of proportion. None appeared actually, and I took a few shots of the reflection itself,” he said.
“Indeed, I was lucky to be in the top three. This particular picture surely matches the theme and taken under a rare rainy day in Muscat with good effort. And kudos to the printing company, they have done a splendid job,” he said.
Sanjoy shared that he continues joining competition like that of Zubair because they “are sometimes extremely rewarding considering this is a very expensive hobby.”
“The most important thing is the passion within and to pursue a goal set and indeed to enjoy the journey without thinking much about the end result. Success will follow automatically,” he noted.
Despite his numerous wins, Sanjoy is yet to organise his own exhibit. He plans to launch one in Oman and also in India but considering it after his retirement and when he is already pursuing photography full-time.
“One of the themes will be Oman, to show the architecture, people culture, festival etc. Another theme will be on my travel pictures from various countries like Vietnam, Myanmar, Philipines and other less travelled destinations,” he said.
Eventually, Sanjoy said that he has plans of holding workshops to share his learnings. He also wants to “continue more international and national judging of photo salons, where I will keep meeting many people, visit many more places and make many new friends.”
As for his advice, “photography is still 50 per cent science of optics and rest 50 per cent is art, gears we need but only when we know how to use them.”
He also said that being in Oman for the last 16 years, he already considers it his second home.
“Omani people are extremely cooperative. Being a traveller, every country appeals to me with its culture, tradition, people and landscape. Oman is no different. It has great landscapes, seascapes, various festivals, cultures, traditions, events, so the options are huge. Even after so many years, I still feel that I have not seen enough!” he said.