RECENT POSTS
History does repeat itself
Year 2007, A long time ago, My experience with " State Election Commission"...
April 3, 2017
Peace and Justice
For quite some time, a very simple question has been haunting me. Whether p...
August 20, 2016
Hajo- A place where religion makes you Humane
Can religion play a constructive role in humanizing modern pluralistic soci...
August 29, 2015
The apathy of India Islamic Cultural Centre towards art.
Before I share why this title, let me tell you my long journey of fascinati...
September 13, 2014
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
     

Man who loves to see red , Indian Express

June 14, 2013

Shamim Akhtar fell in love with photography when he was 10 years old after a family friend gifted him a Russian-made DSLR camera. Since then,he dreamt of becoming a fashion photographer in Paris,but ended up as a civil servant in the DANICS cadre — with an expertise in infra-red photography.

Additional district magistrate,North district,with additional charge as CEO of the Delhi Wakf Board,Akhtar has not given up his first love.

After 17 years with the government,Akhtar now plans to take voluntary retirement in a couple of years and move to Paris to promote his work. He also plans to write a book on Kerala.

Earlier this week,Akhtar donated 20 of his infra-red photographs of Islamic monuments in Delhi to Indian Islamic Cultural Centre. “I find IICC the best place to preserve my works,through which I want to convey the message of conservation of national heritage,” he says.

When asked about his enthusiasm for infra-red photography,generally less preferred,Akhtar says,“Infra-red photography is as old as any other photography. In an era when technology outsmarts aesthetics of the photographer,I still believe that there are some works where old-school photography can outride modern camera techniques. Like my works for my book Forgotten Delhi. I wanted my pictures to highlight the historical perspective of these monuments and showcase them as everlasting.”

“Infra-red photography was the best means to convey that feeling to the viewers,” he adds,disclosing the difficulties with infra-red photography,such as the problem with the source of light and difference in focus and aperture from those in normal cameras. So it requires more time and effort to get a better picture.

Akhtar has showcased his photographs in 8 solo exhibitions so far.

People in India are not really familiar with ‘in-camera effects’ obtained with an infra-red camera which has an infra-red sensitive film and a filter that blocks all visible light other than infra-red. The images are either in black and white or false colour,which makes them look fiery. The dreamy or gory effect in images is called the ‘Wood Effect’ after Robert W Wood,a pioneer in infra-red photography.

A sociology graduate from JNU,Akhtar is married to his collegemate Sasmita Sarangi,who now runs an advertising agency as well as publishes all his books.

Being an enthusiastic traveller and a solo biker,Akhtar likes landscape as well as fashion and glamour photography. His photographs showcase a splendid assortment of cultures from remote corners — from Kailash Manasarovar to Lakshadweep.

Link


Photo Gallery