Photography can be much more than a picture being worth a thousand words. Ask Mohammed Habib-ur-Rehman, who is using photography as a tool to channel attention to the history and heritage of Hyderabad, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
A true blue Hyderabadi, with a bit of blue blood in his veins as well, being from the 9th generation of Paigahs as his grandmother was the granddaughter of the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Mehboob Ali Khan Bahadur, Habib’s ancestry is also linked to the Paigah Ameer Nawab Sir Viqar ul-Umrah Bahadur, who built the Falaknuma Palace.
Habib, who runs the function venue, ‘Paigah Gardens’ in Begumpet, is steadily gaining followers on social media for his pictorial representation of Hyderabad’s heritage, along with several unknown facts about the city. What many do not know is that he has had no formal training in photography, and is a self-trained photographer, for whom his passion is what matters.
“I have learned through trial and error, with the manual for my Nikon D5 camera being my biggest teacher. A few online tips, and then guidance and inspiration from friends like Ismail Shariff, known as the Snow Leopard Man of India, Saurabh Chatterjee and Naveen Vishwanath have helped me a lot,” says Habib, who has steadily built his collection of lenses too, ranging from a Nikkor 200-500mm, for the bird photography that he started off with, and the latest Nikkor Fisheye (8-15mm), with which he is experimenting on the historic structures in the city. The latest frame that caught attention, including that of IT Minister KT Rama Rao, was that of the renovated clock tower at Mahabub Chowk.
Habib, whose pictures have been featured by both Nikon Asia and Nikon India on their official Instagram pages, feels Hyderabad is underestimated in terms of heritage value when compared to other places like Delhi or Agra and Rajasthan.
By popularising the history and heritage of Hyderabad through his Facebook page ‘Paigahs of the Deccan’ and his photography, Habib wants Hyderabad to become a bigger, more sought-after destination for international tourists.
“I really hope and pray that our city gets the UNESCO World Heritage Tag soon,” he says, adding that the city’s people should not take its heritage for granted and should respect its history.
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