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TESTIMONIALS
  • This is the best body of work in infra-red photography that I have seen in India.
      Shri S. Paul
    Photographer, on the infra red exhibition Ladakh Huess
     
  • I am proud to know this couple- Shamim and Sasmita. This book reflects the labour of their love. We could reach the place because of the power of his lens.
      Janab Arif Mohammed Khan
    Former state minister, at the inauguration of the book
     
  • Words fail me; outstanding!
      Mr. Rajiv Lochan
    Director NAGMA, on "One Fine Tuesday"
     
  • At times Delhi looks beautiful but the kind of flavour Shamim has brought about in black and white is not only very beautiful but after this book we all will see these monuments from a fresh perspective.

    ( while unveiling of the book 'Forgotten Dilli - Portrait of an immortal city')


    Extraordinarily taken pictures. Akhtar is someone we are proud of.

    ( on 'Ladakh Hues " )
      Mrs. Sheila Dixit
    Ex-CM Delhi
     
  • When stones burst into songs

    Qutub Minar must count among the most sketched, painted and photographed monuments of the world. What the Eiffel Tower is to Parisians, the Big Ben to Londoners, the Brandenburg Gate to Berliners and the Statue of Liberty to New Yorkers, the Qutub Minar is to Dilliwallahs. It is older and more spectacular than all the other monuments.

    I have seen hundreds of photographs of Qutub Minar but none to match the cover of Forgotten Dilli, Portrait of an Immortal City by Sasmita S. Akhtar and Shamim Akhtar. Shamim is a Bihari Muslim, now in the IAS, posted in Delhi. Sasmita is an Oriya Brahmin, a sociologist, who is a product of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Between them, they produced a pictorial album on Lakshadweep and now one on the old monuments of Delhi.

    Sasmita has written the text; Shamim has taken the photographs. They have limited their work to the end of the Mughal dynasty in 1857. They have pictures of baolis (step wells), dargahs (Sufi shrines), forts, mosques, and mausoleums. What arrests the readers attention is the interplay of light and shade on trees and clouds to highlight every monument.

    It is a sheer joy to turn over the pages of the book again and again. It reminded me of an old film song, 'Geet gaaya paththaron ne ' 'The stones burst with songs'.
      Mr. Khuswant Singh
    The Telegraph, 6th March 2010
     
  • 'A stunning exhibition, highlighting the unique beauty of Ladakh...extremely impressed by the quality of his images.'

    (on the exhibition, Rode to Heaven in 2008)

    'I have great pleasure in commending this book to all those who love mountains. Packed with photographs, there are short descriptive notes which are useful.'

    (In the foreword of the book, Rode to heaven: Ladakh in 2009)

    ...I myself have not been able to go to Kailasa nor will I be able to go to in this life; but after reading this book I feel I have also done half parikarma.'

    (At the inauguration of the book, 'Kailasa: A journey within' , at the Shanti Stupa, on the 30th of Jan. 2011)
      Dr. Karan Singh
    At the inauguration of the book, 'Kailasa: A journey within', at the Shanti Stupa, on the 30th of Jan. 2011
     

Infra Red

Another arena of his passionate efforts in photography has been exploring the infra red medium. He started experimenting with Infra-red films in 1992 and after 12 years of continuous failure, when finally he succeeded in getting perfection, alas… the film era ended. He was highly disappointed and then he had to explore the digital world which he ventured in 2006. In two years, he mastered the digital Infra-red photography as well.

In the words of Mr. S. Paul (the legendry photographer) “… this is the best body of Infra-red photography that I have seen in India”. Even NIKON patronized his last Infra-red Exhibition “Ladakh Hues” held at India Habitat Centre in 2012.

While writing the review of his book (Forgotten Dilli- Portrait of an immortal city) Shri Khuswant Singh said about the cover which is an infra red picture of Qutub Minar, “….I have seen thousands of pictures of Qutub Minar  but nothing to match the cover of Shamim’s book.”

To Shamim, if colour photography is like beautiful prose then monochrome photography is like poetry and infra red monochrome photography takes the place of pride of being metaphoric.

In a way... Shamim is a pioneer of Infra-Red photography in India and there are very few like him in the world.


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