Photographer Spotlight: Akshay Upadhya


Landscape Category January 2020 Winner, taken in Uttarakhand, by Akshay Upadhya

As ASIAN Geographic’s annual Images of Asia (IOA) 2020 Photo/Videography Competition looms closer, submissions to our IOA Monthly competition – the precursor to our annual event – are pouring in. We have received stunning photos across the categories, and are now featuring our monthly winners in an exclusive interview!

Below is our interview with one of this month’s spotlight, Akshay Upadhya, the IOA Monthly January 2020 Winner in the Landscape category, selected from December 2019 entries.

AG: What is the story of your beginning and journey to creating great images?

AU: From my experience so far, and with any photography for that matter, the key to creating great images is to take a look at the scene before simply clicking away, to completely be in that moment and visualize the story that you want to tell and the response you want to elicit from the viewers.

Often in landscape photography, planning is as important as execution, but then the photos that really work are such serendipitous moments out in nature where you don’t plan the outcome… but happen to create one!

AG: How would you define your style and concepts you enjoy exploring?
AU: I mostly shoot landscapes and the night sky. I would love to explore shooting portraits and tell a story about indigenous people.


I enjoy staying outdoors, hiking in the mountains and capturing the myriad beauty of Mother Nature, to convey it to viewers. In the process, I also like to research the geography and history of the places that I explore to indulge myself in the culture.

AG: What is great photography to you, and is there any photographer you would like to work with?   
AU: Great photographs to me are the ones that are evocative of the mood in the scene. It could be as minimal or multi layered, as long as the picture evokes the feeling of being in that scene.
There are so many amazing photographers out there. Renan Ozturk, Jimmy Chin, Steve McQueen, Andy Mumford, Babk Tafreshi, Thomas Heaton and Cory Richards inspire me the most.

AG: What is your preferred imaging gear to work with and why?
AU: I prefer lightweight gear as I love hiking in the mountains.
I use Canon. I mostly carry a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens with my Canon 77D and a tripod of course.

AG: What is your next Asia destination to explore and why?

AU: I would love to explore the Everest region to witness the massive upbringing of the 8000ers formed over the ages, and the most badass sherpas and yaks! I think there’s a whole lot of stories to tell in and around Nepal.

Besides that, I would like to explore Meghalaya for it’s beautiful waterfalls, Ladakh and Spiti for the barren colorful landscape and the enchanting night sky.

AG: Can you share more about your current and upcoming projects?

AU: I am currently working on a plan to hike around the Everest region. Other than that I have relatively shorter plans in and around Karnataka, India.


Congratulations once again to Akshay Upadhya for being the Images of Asia (IOA) Monthly January Winner in the Landscape Category! You can check out Akshay’s Instagram page here.


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