About Sanjitpaal Singh
“through photography – accentuating beauty and wonders of the Malaysian natural heritage to the world.”
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Sanjitpaal Singh (Sanjit) is an established Malaysian nature and wildlife photographer. He has been in the field of photography for 15 years and has been rewarded with various awards, amongst them semi-finalist for BBC-Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award in 2006 & 2007 (UK), and receiving the ‘Malaysian One Earth Award’ in 2009 (Malaysia), Semi Finalists for Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 (UK) and Runner up for International Photography Awards, Professional Category (Nature/Trees), September 2012 (US). He has also received numerous accreditations working together with environmental NGOs, advertising agencies, magazines and daily press.
Apart from his wildlife works, Sanjit is providing photography services in events and creative assignments for various magazines within Malaysia and internationally. Most notably, his front cover image for Senses of Malaysia Magazine has won the Malaysia Tourism award for the best travel lifestyle magazine in the year 2011/2012. He is also a contributor to various magazines around the world and a sought after photographer for corporate, social events and editorial style images. His clientele include top brands like General Electric International Inc., BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi.
His love of photography has gained him support from various photographic brands throughout the years. He actively conducts workshops and seminars and has judged numerous photo competitions in Malaysia and Singapore. Sanjit is also a former contributor to photography magazines.
How did you get started in photography?
To be a photographer, per se, in the beginning was my intention – my intentions were also to travel and discover places and tell the stories of the secrets that they hold. It is reflected in my early career when I was a photojournalist for a travel magazine. Photography wasn’t my strongest point at that time, but I was given the opportunity to travel and seek the stories of cultures and heritage within Malaysia. It was an experimental period for me to try various forms of photography expression. Through assignments, I found that images of people, festivals, landscapes, architecture and interior were my strongest points. But wildlife photography was a dream, a dream that soon to be within grasp.
In 2002, I began to pursue my photographic adventures when I was presented with an opportunity to venture deep into the Belum Rainforest in northern peninsula Malaysia, which was at the time the longest assignment period allowed and I was able to get into the creative side of photographing subjects that I was unfamiliar with. I spent time learning about subjects like leaves, primates, large mammals and birds. There has been such a yearning inside of me to tell their stories through photography and now wildlife photography has become a profound part of my life.
What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
I got into wildlife photography for the love of adventure, mystery and the challenge. It became a passion as I feel that every living creature has a story to tell. Furthermore, the wildlife that entirely depend on the forest as their only home – coming together as an unbreakable ecosystem that is ultimately vital to the human survival. What intrigues me is the unbreakable bond between wildlife and its home and the mysteries that lay within. Animal behaviour draws me in particularly. From watching their behaviour, we get a glimpse to understand more on their lifestyle. By observing and through photographs – we get closer to unlocking their secret lives, their advances, their plight and the need for us to respect their space. I have always had a great interest in nature and science, and wildlife photography soon became a part of my life.
Who and / or what inspire you most?
I’m generally inspired by nature and all things that surrounds and live in nature. The atmosphere and climate of being in untouched rain forests evokes new ideas and inspirations simply from the scents and sounds. Getting close to wildlife species are most challenging aspect while working within dense vegetation as they naturally prefer to be camouflaged within their habitat. Having the opportunity to view and photograph them certainly draws me to pursue further in showing the natural beauty of Malaysia for the world to appreciate. Just being within national parks hiking with my gear a certain sense of calmness takes over. It is these places that rejuvenate me by being one with the planet at which at this very moment deserves our attention.
What are the important factors to produce consistent professional quality work for your clients?
In this line of work – integrity is key to produce consistent professional high quality works. The boldness of images portraying animal behaviour and immaculate landscapes for the stories that are being portrayed from these images are vital to every different kind of clients need. Detailed images have been revolutionising a path for collaborations between the world of science and art. Photography is now part of the scientific research world. Here, details in terms of textures and colours are integral.
How did you come across colour management and how it has helped you to produce high quality work?
Colour management was introduced to me back in 2002 when I worked as a photojournalist. We were to photograph in slides and the rest was handled by the designers as they had the access to the equipment. Colour management was not a concern of mine while working in print and broadcast industries back then.
Over the past couple of years working as a full time photographer, I learned that this is the first step of ensuring that images are done right from the very beginning. The simple processes of composition, lighting, photographing in RAW and colour management is part of my workflow to ensure works are accepted worldwide.
What are the benefits of accurate colour reproduction and how are you using Datacolor products within your workflow?
The final output on print may vary from the print processes and selection of paper types. However, colour accuracy is the essential when working with international publishers. I often photographing in RAW format and later post processing the images to achieve for ’true colours’. Getting to know the clients house-style is great help to achieve ‘preferred colours’. Embedding colour profiles to the body of works and submitting via online transfer directly the creative director whom work overseas are more likely to get your works approved immediately. As they can quickly switch between their screen info and the colours that we are working on from abroad. This is a vital stage when working with species where colours can be mislead by an uncalibrated screen.
Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
Colours are the soul to make images come alive. These are important aspects even when working with monochromatic image styles. The SypderCube is one of my travel accessory when photographing nature as obtaining the right white balance is the first step colour accuracy. Shooting in RAW gives the upper hand for further colour management and its most important to calibrate the screen while working in a different setting.
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