Nischhal Pradhan was like any other kid who liked taking pictures at family gatherings. He started out by clicking people around him and, in just a few years’ time, evolved into someone capable of capturing brilliant silhouettes, portraits, and landscapes – images that were “Instagram-worthy”. Pradhan interest in photography grew after he joined Kathmandu University for his bachelor’s program and he got to travel around Nepal for various projects and trips.
Today, Pradhan uses his MI A1 phone as well as his Canon 60D to take pictures. If the setting is more professional he opts for his camera but in a more personal setting, Pradhan uses his phone to capture moments around him. “The medium with which I take photos always depends on the mood. But nowadays my photos tend to be more personal and so I mostly end up using my phone,” he explains.
Thanks to his college days, Pradhan has traveled to places like Dharan, Dhankuta, Illam, Taplejung, Dhangadi, Rolpa, Palpa, to name a few. Photography has been an important part in all of his journeys as he made it a point to encapsulate moments that he experienced with the help of photos. Pradhan recalls taking a picture of the ever-changing fog at Illam that he found to be incredibly beautiful and worth capturing.
“We had traveled to the eastern part of Nepal and the air was extremely hot during the most part of our trip but when we reached Illam, this fog came in with a cool breeze and it was magical,” he explains adding that though he couldn’t make time stop and enjoy the fog for ever as he wished to, he was able to capture its essence with the help of photography.
As far as his photographs are concerned, Pradhan has always preferred them to be as natural as possible and he adds very little to no enhancement on them. “The natural colors have a flow to it that’s difficult to recreate with artificial lighting,” he says. Like many photographers, his favorite time of the day to take photos are dawn and dusk when the sun emits an almost golden hue of sorts in which the photos, if taken in the right way, look surreal. “But that’s not to say that photos can’t be taken at any time of the day. A good photographer is responsible for a good photo rather than just good light,” he says.
Moreover, Pradhan is also big on alignment and frames for his photographs. According to him, the frames and symmetry add finesse to the photographs. Even if he is not consistent with the themes in his photos, Pradhan makes sure that his photos follow a certain discipline when it comes to alignment. He is very meticulous about it.
Previously, Pradhan used to photograph products and fashion as well as do photo projects but nowadays he is focusing more on the personal aspect of photography. “I love photography so much that I would never want it to be a compulsion,” he says adding that he feels like there is still a long way to go before he can call himself a professional photographer. He argues that though he may be good at taking photos, he has yet to learn the art of storytelling (through his photos) that, he thinks, is a consistent trait in great photographers.
One of the favorite photographs that he took is the one with the Buddhist prayer wheels – brown is color, contrasting beautifully with the bright orange and blue in the background – taken at Namobuddha. “I have fun memories with friends as well as the atmosphere all attached to that particular picture,” he says adding that he finds beauty in photos that carry depth and meaning to them rather than just being about a pretty view. “Photographs tell of a certain time in the past when things were different and with the help of the photos we can compare the changes that have occurred in our lives,” he says.
Pradhan’s take on the world can be seen through his photographs that are on his Instagram pages – @nischhaltasbirgraphs and @nischhalnotnischal. Along with being reflective of the culture around him, Pradhan’s photographs feature elements of youthfulness as well. His advice to budding photographers is to constantly put in extra effort to make yourself better at photography by practicing whenever you can. Pradhan claims that he too got good at photography by hit and trial method and only by doing so can one improve their skills. “Click as much as you want and always feel free to experiment,” he concludes.