Let me introduce myself
I'm Varun Nagendra
Photographer / Video Creator

ABOUT ME

My name is Varun Nagendra and I am a 21 year old photographer and video creator from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently pursuing a B.S. in biology and minor in chemistry at Youngstown State University. I will be attending medical school in the summer of 2021.

Chasing Visuals

Hi everyone! Welcome to my official photography website, Varun Visuals. I figured that this would be the best place to narrate the story of how I fell in love with photography – after all, it is the whole premise of the reason I do what I do, as well as why I hope you will join me on this wonderful journey.

The path that has led me to this point begins deep in the hills of Southern India. There, lays a piece of terrain that remains so iconic and so traditional that it attracts tourists both from home and abroad. “Nandidurg” or more commonly, Nandhi Hills, has attracted thousands of families from all across the subcontinent, and mine was no exception. The name is thought to have originated from several sources: the hill forms a shape resembling a bull (Nandhi) and it is also believed that the hill was a location of penance for Yoga Nandeeshwara, towards Lord Shiva.However, I was only eleven years old at the time of making this auspicious journey, so of course, I neither had the time nor patience to appreciate such religious sagas, as I was too busy chasing the monkeys that roamed the local area. However, little did I know that within a few hours, Nandhi Hills would offer me a lifelong passion in the arts, specifically, in photography.

The path that has led me to this point begins deep in the hills of Southern India. There, lays a piece of terrain that remains so iconic and so traditional that it attracts tourists both from home and abroad. “Nandidurg” or more commonly, Nandhi Hills, has attracted thousands of families from all across the subcontinent, and mine was no exception. The name is thought to have originated from several sources: the hill forms a shape resembling a bull (Nandhi) and it is also believed that the hill was a location of penance for Yoga Nandeeshwara, towards Lord Shiva.However, I was only eleven years old at the time of making this auspicious journey, so of course, I neither had the time nor patience to appreciate such religious sagas, as I was too busy chasing the monkeys that roamed the local area. However, little did I know that within a few hours, Nandhi Hills would offer me a lifelong passion in the arts, specifically, in photography.

With a heap of naivety and childhood innocence taller than the 5,000-foot hill itself, I remained widely oblivious to the future, blissfully ignorant of the present, and mightily forgetful of the past – traits that diminish as we get older, some for good, and some for bad. Stumbling up the last few crumbling steps of the hill, I took in the view of my foreign environment. In the middle of the dirt, beaten path lay several piles of cow dung. On one side of them, several carts were perched up, filled with coconuts. Behind each cart stood one or two noisy vendors, shouting in Kannada, hoping to attract thirsty tourists; frankly, I thought they were doing quite the opposite. However, what caught my attention were the beautiful gardens that blossomed on the other side of the DMZ line of hardened feces. The flowers seemed to dance in the warm, sticky air, ecstatically displaying their wide variety of colors. Who knew that a bold, brash, boy obsessed with Bob the Builder and monkeys could be so easily captivated by nature?

Immediately, I realized that this moment was so precious that it deserved to be captured and cherished forever. I scampered to my mother, in the hopes of obtaining either our point-and-shoot camera or camcorder (you know, those old things that your uncle would whip out at family reunions). After a few seconds under her gaze, it was clear that my eager chubby face had won over her look of skepticism. Armed with a camera, I took off to gander around the garden.

For nearly two hours I photographed every single specimen that crossed my path (and yes, that includes the monkeys). On the long journey back home, perusing through hundreds of pictures, most of which were either blurry, boring, or brimming with monkeys, I explicitly remember one image, specifically image 317, as being picture perfect. With the right side of the camera frame filled by a single rose and a blurred background full of green shrubbery, the pink hue of the rose could be seen distinctly as its petals unfurled in the delicate breeze. 317 captured every single emotion that resonated through both my mind and body on that amazing trip, from the boredom when I arrived, to the eye-opening view of the garden that I explored.

For the next nine years, I have continued to pursue my passion in photography, honing my skills each time my camera’s shutter “clicked.” Between losing rolls of film from accidental light exposure, enduring photo shoots for hours in harsh Cincinnati winters, or being cornered by coyotes on a dark hill side, photography has impacted nearly every waking moment of my life. Being able to capture moments in time through an artistic eye has exposed me to hundreds of unique experiences that have humbled me beyond comprehension. Each of my images has led me to the next experience.

I now realize that photography has not only been a significant passion in my life, but rather, an ongoing series of experiences has molded me into the person I am today.

It is my sincere hope that my photos can offer you a similar abundance of experiences. Perhaps it may trigger a memory within you of a time that you had thought was lost forever. Or maybe it will serve as a gift that allows you to create even more memories with the people you love. But I know one thing for sure – it is nothing short of an honor for me to be able to share my work with all of you.

Yours truly,
Varun Nagendra

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