A significant amount of early photography in 19th-century India was the documentation of landscapes, monuments and other samples of incredible indigenous architecture. Sarmaya’s online photography contest, Capturing Your Cityscape, built on the same narrative, and encouraged photographers to reimagine landmarks through a new lens. We offered inspiration in the form of ten vintage images of Indian monuments from the Sarmaya collection. These were made available for download and photographers were free to experiment with mediums, formats and processes.
The contest ran through the month of February and threw up some very interesting work by amateurs and professional photographers alike. In the third place was a dramatic, stark picture of the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, based on an original albumen print by Francis Firth & Co and taken by Ramesh Raja.
In second place was this tranquil view of the tombstones of the Bundela kings of Orchcha, Madhya Pradesh, as seen across the banks of the Betwa river by Leah Verghese. The original was an albumen print by Raja Deen Dayal from the Sarmaya collection.
And our pick for the winner of the contest was this atmospheric shot of the Asafi Masjid in Lucknow, all lit up for Moharram, by Anurag Kaushal. It was inspired by another albumen print by Francis Frith & Co, one of Britian’s pre-eminent photo studios.