Composition, communication, creativity – photographer tips from the ninth annual Pratibimba exhibition

In Part II of our photo essay on this outstanding exhibition in Pune, we share more pictorial highlights along with insights on the broader mission of photography.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 435 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Pune-based Sheil’s Photography recently hosted the ninth edition of the Pratibimba exhibition, featuring 60 photographs by 38 photographers. See Part I of our photo essay here, along with insights from founder Shridhar Deshpande.

Sheil’s Photography was launched in 2009 as an education, networking and exhibition platform for photographers. It provides a forum for amateur as well as professional photographers to share their experiences in the art and science of photography.

It also conducts photography programmes for corporates, covering technical, creative and storytelling practices. Clients include Accenture, IBM, Thermax, Tech Mahindra, and KPIT.

Sheil’s Photography publishes blogs on topics like photographing the moon, flowing water, clouds, winter mornings, jungles, streets, and festivals. There are photo essays as well, with reports from locations like Meghalaya’s Umngot river and Shillong’s Mawphlang Sacred Forest.

The photographer lineup at the exhibition includes Sampanna Agnihotri, Sachin Kalhane, Anand Damle, Amit Kumar, Santosh Patel, Parag Joshi, Sanjay Dhar, Lalit Shahane, Vikas Kalagi, Vikas Datta, Vinay Sane, Mayur Sarma, Vijay Patil, Amit Kanwar, Shantanu Naik, Chandni Sahay, Huzefa Godhrawala, and Vikrant Thupili.

“Art is expressing myself, and being different. It gives peace and an inner spiritual experience,” explains artist-photographer Vinay Sane, in a chat with YourStory. An electrical engineer from IIT Bombay, this self-taught artist also worked at Chartered Semiconductor, Micron Semiconductor, and Texas Instruments in Singapore.

Now based in Pune, he devotes himself full-time to art. He draws artistic inspiration from his ancestral home in Wai, Maharashtra, on the banks of the beautiful Krishna river. He says he has progressed from being ‘an engineer who loved to paint’ to ‘an artist who is also an engineer.’

Vinay’s works have been exhibited in India, Singapore and Italy, and feature in collections in India, US, and Singapore. As artistic influences, he cites Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Bhalchandra Mandke, Jehangir Sabavala, and Amrita Sher-Gil.

He fondly recalls photographic expeditions to locations like Fagu-Kalpa-Chitkul in the Kinnaur Valley, along with renowned Himalayan photographer, Ashok Dilwali. Vinay has also taken pictures in Nordic Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia.

“Success to me is the ability to do things differently, and to make the audience think. I get elated if I hit the bull's eye – if I am able to capture a challenging shot with no underexposure or overexposure, then I call it a success,” Vinay explains.

He calls for greater art education, awareness and appreciation in India, in progressive stages. “The final stage is art appreciation, and I am sorry to say we have a long way to go in this respect,” he says.

Vinay has built up a vast collection of over 12,000 digital photographs over the years. “Mountains, lakes and Himalayan peaks always entice me,” he explains. For the Pratibimba exhibition, he chose photographs of Gurudongmar and Gangtok in Sikkim.

He also paints in oils and acrylic, on canvas and paper. His photographs are priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, and paintings from Rs 8,000 to Rs 96,000.


“I have developed two distinct styles here. One is the abstract-landscape style, and the other is pure-play abstractive mindscapes,” Vinay explains. He observes that Indian viewers tend to appreciate landscape scenery more than abstracts.

“It was a wonderful experience to exhibit at the Pratibimba show alongside some of the big names. Everyone had different approaches in capturing the mood, and it was exhilarating to see a lot of classy works,” Vinay enthuses. The audience took interest and lingered on, providing him inspiration to try out bolder compositions in future. 

He advises audiences to be more open-minded to appreciate art. “If the audience asks questions, then the creator will get enthused and thrilled in answering whatever questions they have,” Vinay explains.


He also offers technical and creative tips for aspiring photographers. “Try out different angles. Try out slow shutter speeds. Just be open-minded to get to the right composition. If in doubt regarding exposure, do bracketing, and select the best shot from that,” he advises.

“Photography is about much more than equipment and technique. It is also about composition, communication and creativity,” Vinay signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and fully engage your inner creative side?

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