Hyderabad: A basketball net and an orange-yellow glowing ball of fire right below it, as if it had passed through the net – Sun scored a basket. This was one of the sunsets that Prudhvi Chowdary clicked during his college days. The photo received a lot of appreciation. Since then, there has been no looking back. From landscape to street to portrait to aerial, Prudhvi has been playing and learning with his camera.

First encounter with camera

It was during his MBA days in 2013 that he first used a camera when one of his professors gave him one and asked him to cover a lecture. "I didn't know anything back then. In between the two-hour lecture, I kept searching online for techniques and simultaneously clicking photos. Surprisingly, my photos were much appreciated later," he says. This gave him the confidence to sincerely pursue photography as a hobby.

Badavilinga Temple, Hampi

A lover of sunsets

Prudhvi started like any other amateur photographer - nature, landscape, and sunset. But what was unique was that he stayed consistent, practiced, and developed a different perspective of looking at things. For a year during his MBA days, he captured nothing but the sunset every single day. "I realized that every day it was different. I started trying different angles and compositions. Slowly, my eyes started working," says Prudhvi.

Yamuna Ghat

The most arduous sunset photos he took were from the Buddha Statue at Hussain Sagar. The sun was setting exactly behind the Buddha Statue, like a halo behind Buddha. It took three-four months of planning, practice, and patience that finally gave Prudhvi the magical photo. "It was in April that the thought struck me to bring my city and something that I liked (sunset) in one frame. I chose Hussain Sagar, one of the city's most popular monuments. I used some apps to know when the sun would appear exactly behind the statue," explains Prudhvi. He says that practice and patience is what makes the magic happen.

From a marketing analyst to a full-time photographer

After completing his MBA, Prudhvi didn't make a hasty decision and jump into making his passion his profession. Instead, he carefully developed a portfolio of work in photography. He planned his weekends and allocated time for photography, balancing his IT job as a market research analyst and his passion.

When his work started getting recognition and was featured in NatGeo, BBC Earth, Canon Asia, and Lonely Planet, he became more confident and decided that it was now time to take up photography full-time. "I joined Pixy, a newly-launched stock photo company in India. An important reason for this was that many a time, we use pictures with foreign faces. For example, if it is a healthcare-related photo, the doctor treating the patients will be a westerner. At Pixy, we aimed to create realistic, native Indian pictures," says Prudhvi. He also got unique opportunities of taking photos for the Indian Army while working at Pixy.

After working for two-and-a-half years at Pixy, in October 2021 Prudhvi started working at Vigo Care, a remote patient monitoring company. But he continued photography.

Beyond Covid blues

Like any other profession, all photographers were badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prudhvi had made a lot of travel plans which were disrupted by the pandemic. But beyond the Covid blues, he realized something. "In our quest to see beautiful places in far-off lands, we forget to explore our surroundings. Let me go to the streets," Prudhvi decided. He urges everyone to look for beauty hidden in something as ordinary as a Rythu Bazaar in one's neighbourhood.

Grand Eid night

Prudhvi has tried travel and landscape, street photography, portraits, and aerial photography but his favourite remains landscape and travel. "It teaches us how small we are in front of the world and instills calmness and self-belief," he says.

Interestingly, besides the happiness and inner peace he received from photography, he also conquered the fear of heights he had since childhood. "The first time I looked down from a flight, the beauty of earth hit me so hard that I forgot my fears and started appreciating the beauty instead. I regretted that this was something I had feared all this time," says Prudhvi.

Happiest click of 2021

In March 2021, Prudhvi visited Munnar in Kerala for the second time. Standing on top of Kolukkumalai peak and capturing the sunrise, Prudhvi felt happy that he had made it to the peak once again. "That was the happiest moment of 2021," he says.

Prudhvi always believed that there is a lot to see in India before exploring abroad. But now that he has covered almost 16 states in the country, Prudhvi feels that it is time that he ventures into a little bit of international travel. Amidst the new Omicron threat, he has a lot of plans for 2022, including his first international trip and a journey to the 'Seven Sister' states in northeast India. He is looking forward to the future.

Check out Prudhvi Chowdary's Instagram page for more photo.

Nimisha S Pradeep

Hailing from Palakkad, Kerala, Nimisha completed her MA in Communication (with a specialization in Print and New Media) from the University of Hyderabad. She has interned with The Hindu Metroplus, Chennai and The Sentinel, Assam. She was a fellow of the NFI Fellowship for Independent Journalists in 2021. In 2015, she attended the Jenesys Student Exchange Programme in Japan. She firmly believes in the power of words and the impact it can make on society. She looks forward to using her career in journalism to voice the issues of minorities. Her interest areas include gender, women and society. She pursues travel, photography, and music in her leisure time.

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