The world is overwhelmingly vast and in the blur of all things, it’s an immense pleasure when we do not miss out on a story, especially when its essence is contained in its very simplicity…
This is one such tale, and our protagonist this time, is Toehold Patron, Venkatesh T. S.
Being a software engineer, he was on the lookout for a hobby – a new interest – that would allow him to break away from the routine. So, in 2008, when his tryst with photography began, little did he know it would grow into something of a second nature to him.
The first couple of years were spent with rapt attention to capturing people in various social gatherings. In June 2010, Venkatesh visited the Land of High Passes, Ladakh, which wrote a prelude to his journey as both a traveller and a photographer. When severe beauty happened to him, with the daunting mountains, and vast lakes sharing their intimate secrets with the clouds, all hushed.
And then, the artist in Venkatesh started hungering for newer experiences in this world that never fails to offer them in abundance; he started searching for meticulously arranged plans by travel companies. And that’s how he first learned about Toehold.
In October 2010, Venkatesh signed up for Toehold’s Kabini Photo Tour. Today, in retrospect, he humbly laughs at how he did not know all the miracles that a camera could bring to the act of making evocative images, until the Tour happened. He says that he got to learn the technical aspects and even implement them in real time in Kabini.
“Toehold Skippers strike the balance between enabling fun and facilitating learning so deftly, that it looks effortless.”
“Toehold allows a traveller and photographer to not only have fun on Photo Tours, but also encourages a lot of learning, which I thought was hard to strike a balance between. And the Skippers do it so deftly that it almost looks effortless. After Kabini, I have been going on different Photo Tours, which has enabled me let me try different genres of photography. Thus, learning never ends: a cliché that I will happily stick to.”
Venkatesh says that after five years of going on Toehold Photo Tours, Bandhavgarh has been his favourite place, and tigers, his foremost love.
He started to enjoy shooting mammals, which also made him join the Photo Tour to Kenya in May 2013, where he realised how important it is to travel with a like-minded group of people who are interested in the same subjects and share the passion.
Corbett National Park is the next Photo Tour that Venkatesh wants to make the most of, in February 2016. When asked about his favourite genre of photography, he chuckles, saying that it is rather a tough question to answer, and says that wildlife photography is his passion, but he would also like to explore new possibilities in landscape photography, which is why he wants to go back to Ladakh again.
“Photography today has become affordable for someone who has found his calling in making images.”
Venkatesh also observes how the development in technology has helped photographers see the world through different perspectives while using different cameras with numerous astounding specifications and features. He comments, light-heartedly, that it’s also amazing how they are affordable for someone who has found his calling: the art of making images, the empowering, reassuring interest that helps one keep special moments and views forever stowed.
Venkatesh asserts that the knowledge of Toehold Skippers has contributed massively to his passion of making photographs, but speaks for itself, with his individuality and perspective leaving an indelible mark. And adding to the artistic essence of his images is his grace of humility, which perhaps brings more elegance to his art more than what just technology can.