Interview With Sankar Salvady

Born in the foothills of Western Ghats in India, Sankar Salvady moved to California in 2010, and that is when he started landscape photography more seriously. A quick glance at the images on his website is a testimony to how serious and passionate Sankar is with photography

When did you start photography and with what camera?

I bought my first film SLR in 2001, and have been doing photography on and off since. It was only when I moved to California in 2010 that I took up photography more seriously, and started taking more pictures. Prior to 2010, it was photography while travelling, but since then it has been travelling for photography.

Do you have a favourite photographer from the past or present?

Steve McCurry - each and every picture of his tells a deep story, and you can emotionally connect with the picture.

What is your favourite image of all time and why?

There are many, but one that comes to my mind is Tailor in Porbandar by Steve McCurry. It is a picture of an old tailor carrying his sewing machine (which is his livelihood) and crossing a flooded street in neck-deep water in the town of Porbandar in India. Amidst all he is going through, a genuine smile on his face strikes the viewer really hard. It is an unforgettable picture for me.

Tell us a little bit about your own favourite image, all the details and especially the why.

I have a few, but “Sunrise over Columbia River” is one of my favourite images because of the circumstances in which I captured this image. I was driving to my friend’s home in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that I had spent close to 40 hours driving/hiking in Yellowstone, and Palouse region helped by a couple of power naps, lots of coffee, and some starvation. It was around 03:30 and I was crossing the scenic Columbia River Gorge; I just had to push for another 30 minutes to reach my friend’s home to get some badly-needed sleep. I saw thick cloud cover in the gorge and I was asking myself if I should wait for another two hours until sunrise and hope the cloud cover cleared by then to give me some good sunrise, or should I just go home. I finally convinced myself to wait in the parking lot, but the clouds did not clear as I had hoped. Just a typical day in the life of a photographer but, thankfully, I decided to ...

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