Dr. Sangeeta Dey is a California based pediatric neuropsychologist and a landscape photographer. We featured a selection of her best work on the @worldphotoorg feed.
Sangeeta's work has been licensed by major television channels and published extensively worldwide in a wide variety of prestigious magazines including National Geographic. In 2017, her work was recognized as being amongst top 101 International Landscape Photographers.
She says: "I use photography as self-expression. In both my clinical and creative practices, I find that the communication via non-verbal/visual medium is one of the most powerful and honest there is."
Hi Sangeeta! Please introduce yourself and your photography to our audience
I am based in Northern California, USA, and work as a pediatric neuropsychologist and landscape photographer. For as long as I can remember, I always had an inquisitive and curious mind. Travelling to culturally diverse areas and exploring the local landscape has been a big part of my life. While a lot of people travel for photography, I had already traveled to over 40 countries even before I owned my first DSLR. I am perfectly happy just being out in the wilderness. Nonetheless, when the inspiration hits and I do create an image, it is highly rewarding for me. I tend to gravitate more towards alpine landscape because I have always been intrigued by the power and mystical forces of these massive structures, likely because of my childhood travels to the Himalayas. Since moving to California a few years ago, I have also fallen in love with desert-scapes. It offers the kind of geography that is almost like an endless jigsaw puzzle with its textures, lines, fields of mud cracks, and shifting dunes. The desert region in California offers endless opportunities for visualization and composition.
Tell us about the series of images we featured. Do you have a favourite, and why?
All these images are representative of my love for outdoors and define my lure for landscape photography. I am attached to all the images that I present to viewers, and therefore, it is hard to pick one. Nonetheless, if I have to pick my favorite in this series, I will pick 'Dancing in the storm' and 'Haiku.' The first one was shot during high winds in Death Valley, and the other during the first blizzard of the season in Patagonia. Both these images were made during dramatic weather conditions involving high winds and storms. When working alongside these powerful forces of nature, I cannot think of anything but just be in awe of these great powers that are beyond my control. These conditions make me feel alive and are humbling at the same time.
Why photography? What does the medium mean to you?
The meaning of photography has changed for me over time. Till a few years ago, I used the camera as a tool to document my travel experiences. At some point, and due to some life experiences, this all changed and photography became a creative medium for self-expression. The photographer in me evolved into an artist, or perhaps the artist in me found a medium in photography. Regardless, it was a developmental progression in a sense that I started out as a recorder of the events, and have now been working towards using photography as a communicative means to convey my emotions, imagination and experiences that result from my internal-dialog. While not successful all the time, I attempt to converse with my environment and respond in a way that is meaningful to me and resonates with my viewers.
Do you have a photographic philosophy?
I love being out in nature, and my experiences in the wild are more important than trying to photograph it. There are times when I am out for weeks and might not come back with a single image. I am still happy as I was out there for the thrill and adventure of exploration. Any photograph that comes of that experience will undoubtedly be important, but it will be incidental and not the primary intention of my journey. As an artist, the soil I stand on has become less important, and the soul I bring in my work has become more significant in defining my images. While personal philosophies evolve as people's perspective change, this mindset has helped me tremendously in defining my visual journey.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from both my internal world as well as my environment - nature, poetries, songs, paintings and even my clinical work. Having an open and curious mind helps a lot.