Apurva Bahadur goes to extreme lengths, sometimes even risking life and limb, to get a shot of his childhood passion — the Indian Railways.
The father of one from Pune often walks through the slippery slopes of the Western Ghats and across precarious cliffs and gushing waterfalls to find the right spot from where he can train his lens to get a perfect picture of a train rumbling by. It is no surprise then that the results are simply stunning!
Though Apurva has been capturing spectacular shots of trains for decades, the electronic engineer from Pune remains modest about his achievements and claims he is still an amateur.
“I have taken about 4500 pictures, but I am not a photographer. If you take away my camera, the subject is still so beautiful that anyone can get a good picture. I don't have any special skills, talent or creativity. I just portray what a railway enthusiast sees. What makes it interesting is the setting and the plethora of beauty that is the Western Ghats,” says the 57-year-old, who recalls being fascinated by the Indian Railways since he was a boy.
In fact, Apurva, who has been taking pictures of trains for more than 30 years, believes that all Indians, without exception, are railway enthusiasts. “What turns them off is the dirt, but that is caused by people. The journey itself is mesmerising. I am just one such enthusiast who puts it in a pictorial form,” he adds.
Apurva, who uses a basic SLR camera for his shots and keeps elementary things such as the light and frame of the shots in mind, admits that he has gotten better over the years.
Since he wanders off to remote places, miles away from civilisation, he prefers to travel with other like-minded people whom he can turn to in case of any unforeseen accident or danger.
Some basic preparations include looking up exact locations on Google Maps and studying train timetables to have an idea about which train is expected where and at what time, and then lie in wait. “We are a group of two to three people with the same interest levels, patience and trust in each other. Once we reach our destination, we split up and walk on by ourselves. Ultimately, we end up with different pictures. I am not that strong physically so I prefer the support of the setup that I am part of,” explains Apurva.
Since Pune is on a plateau, he feels fortunate to be surrounded by the hills. The Shindawane Ghat, Jejuri Ghat and Dive Ghats are some spectacular regions, especially the double horseshoe curves near Shindawane Ghat, Daundaj and Adarki, he adds....