Considering himself a citizen of the world, Mohsin Abrar has travelled to more than 40 countries. He has spent the last eight years in different countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Singapore after leaving India, where he was born and raised. It is the pictures he has captured that ties him to many different countries: he explores places for photography’s sake, and these images in turn become his footprints in the sand.
Mohsin is a marketer by profession, covering the Asia Pacific market for a dairy organization; this in turn allows him to make frequent travels. Four years ago, he started shooting on such trips as a hobby. He took photographs during the weekends, since frequent moving made it difficult for him to develop a social circle. Four years later, he realises that he is still a beginner, as there is a lot to be learned in photography.
Having travelled alone, photography not only prevented him from feeling isolated, but it also gave him a creative outlet to share his message and impressions of the world; something he hopes will impact people. He believes that photography is an amazing medium and he resonates well with it.
A blue hour shot of the high rises in Singapore – Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/22, 20s, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR at 38mm
A look into the colorful shop houses in Singapore – Nikon D810, ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/2000s, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR at 26mm
Reflection of supertrees and MBS in the pool in Gardens by the Bay – Nikon D810, IS100, f/8, 15s, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR at 24mm
A wide view of the landmarks in Singapore – Nikon D810, ISO 100, f/11, 8 s AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR at 20mm
A blue hour shot of the reflections of city in the lake – Nikon D810, ISO 100, f/10, 5s, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR at 24mm
“Photography has now become a big part of my life and my Nikon D810 is an extension of my arm and eyes. I love images that tell a story. It can be buildings that showcase the dynamism of the city or the beauty of nature landscapes, which just puts me in awe. That is how tiny we are in the scheme of universe. I like to get some human interactions in the image just to show scale of the place.”
With this powerful tool in hand, Mohsin is able to capture images that he conceptualizes, including a story behind each one and connecting with the viewers. That is the major difference, he believes, between a truly meaningful picture and a mere digital junk.
“Storytelling is how I would describe my style,” he said. Recently, on one shoot, he was documenting the hardships of workers in an area of Ijen, an active sulphur volcano. With gas clouds enveloping the workers, it was a sight that struck a chord with him.
The image was eventually featured on Voice of America news. “I am sure one day people will realize how difficult their lives are and either substitute it with machines for the job or make the life of workers much better.”
For Mohsin, the most memorable moment in his entire photography journey, as of current, took place in India last year. He spent a fortnight in Kashmir, where tourists do not often visit, looking into the place with his own eyes instead of what he saw in the movies. For him, “it was a dream come true”.
Places, like Kashmir, that are unexplored by tourists hold a great fascination for him. These places inspire awe in him andprovide him with stories that he can bring to viewers using imagery.
Mohsin does not do much research before he sets out to one place, because he feels the research forms a premature impression of the place beforehand. “I have one starting point and then start exploring on my own from there,” he said. He travels to at least two destinations in a year, and Iceland along with the North and South Pole are the next on his list.
A horse rider galloping in the terrains of Bromo area – Nikon D810, ISO 100, f/9, 1/500s, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR at 34mm
Top view of the Ijen Crater – Nikon D810, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1000s, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED at 19mm
Viewers enjoying the futuristic light show – Nikon D810, ISO 12800, f2.8, 1/1250, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR at 29mm
A fixture of colorful curtains - Nikon D810, ISO 800, f/4, 1/250s, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED at 14mm
Mohsin takes his Nikon D810 and of his set of Nikon trinity lenses with him in all his travels. “I do not step out without my AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR. It is one partner that I can not imagine my photography without,” he said. Besides the right choice of equipment, getting to the right place at the right time is also crucial. “If you miss it, then you miss the story.”
“I aspire to be known as a person who creates art with photography.”
Mohsin also has aspirations to try videography whilst he continues wandering around the world. He wants to keep himself on his toes and constantly improvise new photographs.
Born in India and having lived in many different countries, Mohsin is now resides in Singapore. A marketer by profession, he records his footsteps around the globe with the aide of his camera; determined to carry on a life long journey uncovering different cultures and seeking the unknown.