Featured Photographer from the AGORA Community: Adeel Chishti (Lahore, Pakistan)

Adeel Chishti caught everyone’s attention in the #Portrait Contest and we invited him to share his talent with us as featured photographer on the blog. Adeel is from Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab. Lahore is one of the region’s leading educational centres and home to the Pakistani film industry Lollywood, which endows the city with a rich visual culture.

Adeel’s pictures have won several prizes and have been published in international magazines and online publications. Recently he launched his own YouTube Channel to showcase his photography, to share editing tips, and to present the part of his country that is not exposed to tourism along with the hard working class of Pakistan, to whom he dedicates this time lapse video.

Adeel Chishti is part of the AGORA Community of photographers and has participated in some of our contests uploading marvelous portraits. His soul touching images transport the viewer to hidden places deep in Pakistan, on an emotional journey that brings us closer to its people.

We knew we wanted Adeel as a featured photographer on our blog so we interviewed him to highlight his work and share it with the AGORA Community ! If you enjoy this blog you will want to check out this interview with guest contest judge Ares Mahol.

ADEEL-CHISHTI_PHOTOGRAPHER_AGORAPhotographer Adeel Chishti.

Adeel Chishti began working as a photographer in 2015, just three years ago. He studied photography at the National College of Arts, one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in Pakistan.

According to Adeel, education in any field is necessary because practice without theory is incomplete. He also attaches great importance to dedicating many hours to his work, which he believes is a “Divine Gift”.

Adeel’s pictures transport us to remote places in Pakistan and leaves us wondering about the everyday life of the people portrayed on these images. We wanted to know more, so we asked him to share the story behind the photos – some of them award winning images.

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The child running through the old alley. “Most people only see beauty in those things where beauty is external and there is no need for reflection. I usually go to that side of town to find beauty in those things where beauty is not visible but through reflection. And thank God that I found that reflection of beauty in this child, bearer of the emotions of the happiness of childhood even though he was born into a poor family. Rich and poor, black and white, etc. are equal because they are equal in emotions. And emotions are the inner beauty of every human being”.

The child with the umbrella under the pouring rain, on train tracks. “When a person is passionate about achieving something he starts his journey to gain it, no matter how many times he tries, how many difficulties he faces, he fights and this passion leads him towards his destiny. Sometimes you explore the world to get that perfect thing and fail because you didn’t look at the place where you belong to.
Once I was at my college – The National College Of Arts (NCA) –  and I told my teacher about my visions and my passion for photography. I asked him to recommend some good places where I could find the perfect shots and transform them with my point of view… He just asked me once question ‘Son! Did you ever explore that place where you live and belong to? Go and have a look there too, you might find something that will help you in making your dreams come true’. As I belong to Ghari Shahu, the railway is very close to my house, so I picked up my camera and went to the railway tracks under the rain. When I got there, I found this child roaming and enjoying the rain while walking on the railway tracks. His sparkling face and joyful gesture pushed me to capture that perfect instant in the life of the child in one image. Hence I found one of my best shots there, where I belong, and now this picture is being praised by great photographers.”

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The man on the bicycle under the golden light. “In the year 2017 I saw an old man who was around his 60’s.  I made the reflection that the past is just a part of time, nothing else, just a previous version of Time. I see people taking pics of new things all the time. But this time I tried to capture old. And the golden light of the afternoon makes the whole view appealing.”

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Baba Gee. “Kasur is one of the most melodic and beautiful places for photography as it refers Sufism. I just want to represent Sufism because it is the way towards Divine Love and Peace. I usually find my best shots there. This old man I used to call him “Baba Gee” I captured his portrait two years ago and it remains my most fantastic and winning shot all over the world because it is a complete representation of the culture and tradition of our country. As the time passes evolution occurs, changes may transform places, but people stay, they last forever in our mind’s eyes and in our heart.”

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As a photographer, Adeel is lucky enough to live in and to know from first hand a place like Lahore, which is an endless canvas for photographic situations, but in Neil Leifer’s words: “You have to be prepared for luck”, which means that if you don’t have the technical knowledge and, above all, the sensitivity to “see” those photographic situations, they pass you by without even noticing them. Adeel knows this as he knows his hometown, and this is his recipe for the success of his photos.

About Adeel Chishti:

Adeel Chishti was born in Lahore, Pakistan (Punjab territory) and began his photographic journey in 2015 when he studied photography at the National College of Arts in Lahore. It has become his passion ever since and has lead him towards great achievements such as local and international prizes. Some of these prestigious competitions are: the London Photo Festival, the Wekh Lahore Photo Contest & Exhibition, online publications as Nat Geo (Your Shot), as well as various magazines and newspapers from different countries. He is currently one of the most inspiring photographers in the AGORA community and the reason why we thought he would make a great featured photographer.

QUESTIONS FOR THE AGORA COMMUNITY:

Do you like street photography? Upload your best pictures of the streets close to your home on the AGORA app, tag them #MySpecialPlace and discover other photographers’ favorite streets !