Gangtok: Ace photographer Arthur Pazo from Gangtok was felicitated by Vivid Kala Academy Sikkim (VIKAS) and Journalist Union of Sikkim for his 40 years of contribution in photography on the occasion of World Photography Day on August 19.

Pazo, a self-taught photographer, started his career as a general assignment freelance photographer at the age of 26 years in 1981. From 1989 till 2006, Pazo was based in Kathmandu, Nepal working for publications such as Himal South Asia, Nepal Times and International publications like The New York Times. For the New York Times, he covered Nepal’s first multi-party elections.

Sunset in Chitwan National Park after elephant safari

Among his other projects, Arthur also contributed to Insight Guides for Sikkim Photographs, Asahi Shimbun’s magazine and weekly Asahi graph for an illustrated story on the former Himalayan Kingdom of Lho Tso Dyun, in present-day Mustang District of Nepal, becoming a republic in 2008.

Dakar Dzong water reservoir, Lower Mustang

Pazo also worked with the Institute of Himalayan Conservation, Japan Chapter of King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, for around 3 years. He was responsible for all the photography to illustrate for Mustang Eco Museum project in Jomsom, Mustang.

Rhinoceros fording the River Rapti

Pazo also supported the theme conceptualisation and photo illustration of the annual alpine card service Visa-Mastercard table calenders for ten years between 1998 to 2007. He has worked extensively on photo assignments for hotels and travel agencies.

Kali Gandaki valley near Kagbeni, Mt. Nilgiri in the background

On the occasion of his felicitation, Pazo spoke extensively about his journey as a photographer in Nepal as well as in Sikkim. He highlighted how, from the basics of film loading in a camera, focus, frame and taking a picture has changed in today’s time with mobile photography. “The instructions such as low sun, high sun, evening and morning settings would suffice photography and getting meter readings used to be rare. I learned more as I progressed and it was mostly personal grooming. Fortunately, friends in Sikkim IPR helped me with books to learn more dating back to the British school of photography and their American versions. It all shaped me to take photos. Now, there is computer intelligence in photography. We used to compare with our eye for the perfect exposure, composition and all of these get lost with megapixels now. For budding photographers, they get a lot of leeways, we have to keep cropping space which makes it a lot easier now. Technicality is equally important, 90% of it depends on it with only 10% being creativity.”

Mother and child at Dzar, Jharkot, Lower Mustang

Pazo was felicitated by veteran architect Kiran Rasaily from VIKAS and journalist Bhim Rawat from JUS. The event was attended by journalists.

Also read | World Photography Day 2021: A look at six award-winning photos

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