Krishna Madhavan Pillai is the Chief Editor of Better Photography magazine, India's leading monthly journal delving into the art and practice of photography, and the only member magazine of TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) from the sub-continent.
He has been involved with photography for over two decades, occasionally dabbling with commercial photography and filmmaking. Apart from his professional roles, he prefers to mostly maintain photography as a personal pursuit and as a subject of academic interest, especially garnering insights into individual practice, and into the societal and cultural positions held by the medium. He shares them through lectures, workshops, and his editorials in the magazine.
Over the past decade, he has been on various panels as a judge for several national and international contests and awards, and as a Master's degree jurist, and on an advisory capacity at educational institutions. He has served as a member of the National Awards committee for photography, by the Government of India, in 2011, 2016, and 2020.
One could think of all sport as the use and control, or the expression of an athlete's mind over the body, and then performance. There are the tools of the sport, the team, the environment—and that's the photographer's playground.
As with all photography, preparedness is the second most important virtue. The first, of course, is that you need to make attempts to get the frame right, in the way envisioned, and pour your heart into it, and work very hard at it. Understanding the sport, befriending the athletes, following the action, knowing when the action will peak, getting to the right places at the right time, and then waiting without wavering, watching the edges and backgrounds, reading the light, storytelling, adhering to a certain visual style or language, planning for it all, knowing the shortcomings of your equipment and then moving beyond... Getting the decisive moment. And capturing the breadth of emotion.
For a magnificent photograph, there is the capturing of a decisive moment or perhaps even a brilliant point of departure from the norm, but it needs to marry in with a level of technical composition, and show off locales and environs, and athletic spirit. Furthermore, the image needs to tell a story, and adhere well to the category. Images that win usually have all of these in common.