Dinesh Maneer – Journey through Indian Villages
A guy so connected to his origins that he uses his village’s name as his last name, Dinesh Maneer is a one-of-a-kind artist. Travel and local community culture are vital elements of Dinesh’s photographic (and blogging) exploits. He travels extensively through hamlets of India, documenting cultures and traditions, which are sometimes on the verge of fading away. Browsing through Dinesh’s work, for me, was a journey through unknown places, people, cultures and festivals of India.
Dinesh Maneer, mechanical engineer by day, dedicated photographer at all other times, was born in a village called Maneer, in the town of Kumta, in the Indian state of Karnataka. With the Arabian Sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other, Dinesh grew up fascinated by nature. To capture the beauty of both the sea and the mountains, he ventured into watercolors, learning technique on his own. Eventually, adulthood and the need for a career made it difficult to find time to paint.
As a child, in addition to painting, he occasionally shot film using a borrowed camera. When he and his new wife received a small digital point and shoot camera as a wedding gift, his inner artist found a new medium of expression. Dinesh got back into the creative groove.
Like many amateur photographers, Dinesh is self-taught, “but there are many people, senior photographers who helped me in many ways.” In 2009, his love for culture and travelling pushed him to purchase a Canon EOS 1000d, and he spent quite a bit of time learning how to use it to capture images the way he wanted to. “I just got lost in its amazing capability.” He most often uses a Canon EOS 60d with a Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 lens. Sometimes he uses a Canon EF 50mm f1.8, and he recently bought a Canon EF 85mm f1.8.
Leading magazines, both print and digital, have published Maneer’s images. National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Stock have featured some as well. Open Show recently selected his entire “Suggi Dancers” project for an event. Local and national newspaper magazines have published a few articles accompanied by his photos. His works were in an exhibition curated by documentary photographer Vivek M for World Water Day 2012, at Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore.
Dinesh doesn’t limit his focus to one genre of photography. “Editorial and street photography interest me a lot, while travel and nature photography delight me. Currently, I am working on few personal projects which mainly focus on dying rural cultures in Karnataka. These are long term on-going projects because most of the cultural activities happen only once in year. Exploring and travelling are like vacations for me, and I use those times for mostly travel and nature photography.”
Dinesh finds many photographers to be inspirational, but he has not yet claimed a particular style as his own. “One day I would love to hear from others [what they think my style is].” By the same token, rather than give advice to other aspiring photographers, he says, “I am still a student in this field and expect advice for myself!”
Ramohalli, Bangalore. Winter is my all time favorite time to shoot, I love to shoot fog and bursting sunrays. Canon 1000d, 55-250 lens
During Monsoon, the river in Kumta, Karnataka, India, floods and becomes red due to soil erosion. I chose morning to shoot this frame, which gave me an interesting dull green and red image. Canon 1000d, 18-55 lens
Suggi is a tribal dance performed during the Holi festival days in India. This photo is part of my personal project, "Suggi Dancers of Halakki tribes". Canon 1000d, Sigma 17-70 lens
As the monsoon clouds arrive, Chamrajnagar farmers get busy with their farming activity. This image was captured in Gundlupet of Chamrajnagar, Karnataka, India at a groundnut farm. Canon 1000d, Sigma 17-70 lens
M V Hegde is a farmer from a remote village in Sirsi, Karnataka - India and makes top quality flutes out of bamboo. Canon 1000d, Sigma 17-70 lens
Train over Aghanashini river. I went to this location to find the direction of setting sun so I could shoot a sunset near this bridge. Instead, I was suddenly struck by the train idea, and waited for the train to come. Canon 1000d, 18-55 lens
A view from top of Chandrashila. I stood on Chandrashila ( 4000 Mts) , Uttarakhand , India and enjoyed the endless layers of Himalayan mountains. Canon 60d. Sigma 17-70 lens
A girl from Saari Village , Uttarakhand - India. Canon 60d, 50mm 1.8 lens
A seascape from Kumta beach, Karnataka, India. I enjoy shooting seascapes, especially when there is fire in the sky. Canon 60d. Sigma 17-70 lens
Kundapur, Karnataka. I saw these fishing boats resting, and the crows above them made the whole scene look very intriguing. One of my favorite and most satisfying shots. Canon 1000d, 18-55 lens
You can see more of Dinesh Maneer’s Portfolio on his blogsite.
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