Photography exists because of photographers, right? Wrong. Our artistic world has been molded, shaped, and transformed beyond recognition by engineers and inventors of all hues. Nicéphore Niépce, the father of photography, was a professor, an army officer, and the co-inventor of the internal combustion engine.

Steven Sasson, the man who conjured up the idea of digital cameras, was a 24-year-old electrical engineer when he joined Kodak. He knew nothing about playing with light. His forte was electronics and tinkering with circuit boards. He was asked by his company to explore the possibilities offered by CCD (Charge Coupled-Device). What Steve did then was amazing.

He scavenged a lens from a movie camera, pulled out 16 Nickel-Cadmium batteries, accessed a portable digital cassette recorder, handpicked an analog/digital converter and put them all together to create a clunky-looking 3.6 kg digital camera with a resolution of 0.01 Mega Pixels. Kodak trashed the idea promptly when he pointed out that it would take 15 to 20 years to produce photographs that match the quality of analog cameras. The rest, as they say, is history.

Engineers or artists, what has always driven photography is the spirit of innovation and the will to achieve breakthroughs. That’s the reason why our band of brothers and sorority of sisters opt to scale mountains, peer over dizzying cliffs, embark into flaming forests, dangle from ropes, dive deep into the ocean, swim near scalding lava, walk willingly into war zones, brave bullets, and do the unthinkable - all to freeze a magic moment and to etch it into the canvas of eternity.

The One Eyeland Book that we so diligently put out every single year is an eloquent tribute to such brave souls who break the walls of familiarity, push the limits of standards, and flap the wings of inspiration to lift our artistic community to a whole new world of possibilities.

The ‘Best of the Best Photographers 2019’ book is a dazzling kaleidoscope of shimmering, spectacular, and stellar creations from across the globe. Adjudged by masters of the craft, the book has 124 priceless images shot by 84 pioneers who’ve boldly gone where no one has gone before. Celebrate these eye candies as they are truly pathbreaking.

G Sharad Haksar
One Eyeland

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