22nd January 2018 will be one of my most memorable days in the entire life, the day Masashi Mitsui visited Pune for the first time on the way through his sixth round-India motorcycle journey.
Don't know who Masashi Mitsui is? He is a National Geographic award (People Division/2016) winning photographer, who pursues his focus on the common people in rural areas in South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia. See his works here:
Masashi Mitsui - 500px
Photo Gallery - TABISORA by Masashi Mitsui
As a core fan of his works, I have been chasing after him on Twitter since I got to know about his "Project India," and inviting him to Pune. At the same time, I also knew that he would likely not come here since the city could offer him little from the aspect of his photographic preferences. He wants to find out "gems" in rural India, rather than indulging in the sparkle of city lights.
He changed the game this time, though. It was his Twitter Direct message that flattered me that informed he would give a try in Pune. I immediately consulted with a few of my friends as well as a couple of knowledge bases about where Mitsui-san should go finding attractive subjects with showing his works and gained essential suggestions. Especially I loved Kanchan Pawar's recommendation of Taalims school, where Kusti Indian wrestling is taught. But first, I felt it should be right to let him decide what to do and where to go in the city.
Mitsui-san is a tough guy in a real sense. Travelling across the steep and winding roads on Deccan plateau from Ratnagiri to Pune, that is again in one stroke without much breaks in between, is not a joke. Still, he never showed any fatigue nor stress on his face when he arrived at our home in Kalyani Nagar at around 18:00. Perhaps, he is one of the most powerful persons having the tremendous stamina I have ever met in my life.
He stayed with us for two nights, and during such a short time even he seemed to be never in a mood of taking some rest. He immediately went out to check the city, mostly in the heart of Camp and Pune Cantonment where his "favorite" Muslims work and make livings. However, the result was next to none as he felt "people are too much used to foreigners." That says all, doesn't it? He left Pune on 24th morning to the next destination Saputara, border to Gujarat, about 300 km north to Pune.
His work doesn't end only in India. Before entering the gateway Odisha this year, for example, he was in Myammar to meet Rohingya and took numerous pictures capturing their "normal" lives they deserve.
Interested In Learning Lighthouse With His Stunning Photographs?
If you carefully observe Mitsui-san's works, he uses Adobe's Lighthouse edits quite exquisitely to reproduce "the moment." As a Lighthouse expert, he occasionally runs the workshops in Tokyo on how to use the software tactically for upcoming photographers. I think the same demands are here in Pune too, i.e. I think Mitsui-san's Lighthouse workshop accompanied by his photo exhibition is a good idea. I am sure many will apply.
If he visits our city again, I really want to invite many of you to meet him. You will love him, a tough yet gentle guy, the real man who doesn't know the word compromise in his work and keeps searching for "shines in the common people's lives in nowhere, otherwise no one notices."
Enjoy a Mini Photo Gallary of Masashi Mitsui's Visit To Pune