Corner Member Close Up: Furqan Siddiqui

We've got another great Corner Member Close Up interview for you this week; from Pakistan, the 2008 Photograph of the Year 7th place finalist, a web developer/photographer most commonly known as FurSid.

Name: Furqan Siddiqui
Username: FurSid


Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm identified as FurSid (it's a nick name). I'm 31 and I'm from Karachi, Pakistan. Basically I'm a Web Designer and that's what my day job is. I do freelance photography.

What does your username mean?

Oh well, it's a combination of 3 initials of my name, Furqan Siddiqui.

How old were you when you took your first picture with a camera; any camera? Was it any good?

It wasn't really good. I took it with a family film roll camera at an event at my uncle's home. It was a Konica. I can't even remember the model. I was probably around 18 years old.

What was it about photography that made you want to become a photographer? Why do you take photographs?

Photography is a charm and passion for me. An exhilarating experience going through what it takes, capturing moments and expressions, presenting perspectives that I see.

Like many things, art and beauty are subjective, as they say, and so I believe. The art of expressions and beauty of emotions intrigues me. Scenic beauty mesmerizes me. Nature attracts me. I like to present our rich culture and beautiful heritage out to the world. To showcase the life as we live, but not the one that's presented by the media and perceived by people. There's a lot more to show and bring out that's beautiful and interesting in this land.

How long has photography been a passion for you? When, where and how did it start?

It's been 5-6 years that I've taken it more seriously and have grown my interest enormously.

What is your background/training in photography?

Self-learned. One of the admins of a Flickr Photo Club by the name of PCK (Photo Club of Karachi). PCK has been quite active on and offline. We arranged exhibitions, shoot outs, meet ups etc.


What was your very first camera?

Canon PowerShot SD950 IS (Digital IXUS 960 IS).

What equipment is in your camera bag now? What pieces of equipment will be added to the collection next?

Currently I have:
Canon EOS 30D with:

In future I want to have:

  • Lens 85mm f1.2
  • Lens 24-70mm f2.8
  • Lens 70-200mm f2.8

If I can I would like to switch to 5d mk2

You are asked to choose one lens from the following group: 14mm wide angle, 50mm prime, 200mm telephoto, 105mm macro. You could only use one of these for the rest of your photographic life. Which would you choose and why?

50mm prime. It's a portrait lense, and I love to capture emotions, expressions and intereacting with people.

Bonus Questions

Tell us your set-up, thoughts and tips/tricks of a particular photo.

This particular photo of an old man - Encounter; I took at Seen at the shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, the saint in Bhit Shah, Interior Sindh, Pakistan.

I asked him, "Baba (old man) can I take your photograph?" a slight nod. I clicked away and showed him some shots. Indifferent as he was, a sublime smile slipped out of his lips and faded. Then I clicked this one and a couple more. Post processed in monotone b/w. His eyes and wrinkles hold a lot of stories.

At the shrine a lot of people visit the shrine hoping their faith would bring them good luck, happiness, success and content at heart in their, otherwise, troubled lives.

Encounter (7th Place in the 2008 Photograph of the Year contest)

Have you ever Photoshoped/edited a photo but told others you haven't?

I did, a hideous tripod of another photographer coming in the frame of a beautiful scenic shot. Had to remove it and never told anyone about it being there in the first place. :p

Do you like your photos most of the time or dislike them most of the time? Why do you think that is?

It's both. Sometime when I'm happy with the results for the fact that how I framed it in my mind and how it came out. Otherwise I'm not happy.

Have you ever taken the EXIF/exposure info from any of the critiques and tried it yourself?

Sometimes yes, I take note of setting and try to mimic it and compare my results.

Do you think that photographers take photos because they can't paint; or do painters paint because they aren't good photographers?

No. They both have different mediums and it's not because one can't do the others job, but it's about being good at what you do.

What are your favorite places/subjects to photograph? Why?

Some of the northern places of Pakistan, which has amazing landscapes and terrain. It's less explored and shared so I would want to be there and capture the beauty and share with the world.

You are given a dream assignment to photograph one location in the world. Where/what would it be? When would you shoot it? Why that place and that time?

It could be any secluded/isolated village away from the high-tech buzz and lifestyle. The purity of culture and life. I could shoot it anytime provided I get paid leaves from work. ;)

You are given a dream assignment to choose one person in the world that you can photograph. Who would you choose? Where would you photograph him/her? Why that person and setting?

I'm a people's person. I'd photograph anybody anywhere in their own setting/location. It could be a potter, an artist, an old guy at the shrine or a street seller, a celibrity or anyone to whom I can show as they are in reality not as how they're perceived.

Who are your biggest photographic influences? Why? What about their work influences your work?

From Pakistan, it would be Fayyaz Ahmed because he's innovative, creative and always improvising. Otherwise Joey Lawrence, because he's young, creative and has accomplished so much!

What are your goals for your photography?

To be an accompalished photographer and be able to help local/world communities using my work and be recognized for that.

What photo did you take that you are the most proud of up to this point in your photographic journey?

A couple of portraits. One of them titled Encounter; of an old wrinkled guy staring right into my soul through the lens.

What was your most embarrassing moment while taking pictures?

I took a photograph of a village lady who almost threw a stone at me. Was very angry for taking the photograph without asking. That was embarrassing.

What was the most dangerous thing (or worst thing) you ever did to get 'The Shot'?

Hung out of a running train to get a landscape. Was crazy!

What do you do with your photographs?

Art shows, editorial use, sell them, at times just give them out to NGOs for their use for community support/help.

The Corner

What initially drew you into Corner?

The active thriving community!

What keeps your hanging around the Corner?

Insights, critique, competitions.

What section of the Corner is your most frequented or favorite?

What advice would you give other members of PhotographyCorner?

Look at other great works of people, not only pro but there are a lot of talented photographers around. Secondly, click more, shoot more, review your own work and cut down on your mistakes. Learn everyday!

If you could meet any member of the Corner, but could ask them only one question, who would you want to meet and what would that question be?

I would like to meet with Tim L. Walker. And I would like to know where he would get his energy to manage this huge community! It's simply amazing the way he's managing PhotographyCorner :)


What thing about yourself as an artist do you want to be remembered for?

Creativity with compassion and innovation.

If you knew it were your last day with your equipment, whether it be by choice or not, what would you photograph and why?

I would photography the place I would be at that last day and the environment and people around me to capture what and where I was at those last moments.

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Fri, 2011–08–05 16:55