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CANBERRA is always projected through photos of Floriade but Kambah man Vijay Koul wants to know why nobody is making a fuss about the ACT’s autumn.
Vijay, an amateur photographer and scientist, has travelled the world and believes Canberra is the most beautiful city, especially in autumn, which he’s been taking photos of for 10 years.
“The tourism department is projecting photos of Floriade but people living here have no idea how beautiful autumn is,” he says.
“I really love autumn colours, it makes me nostalgic and brings me back to my childhood.”
Vijay’s fascination towards autumn started as a child in Kashmir, in northern India, which Vijay says has a similar autumn to Canberra.
Working in Delhi, Vijay didn’t enjoy the hot capital and moved to Canberra as a 34-year-old in 1992, followed by his wife, Greeta, and son in 1993.
“Always people ask why I picked Canberra?” he says. “I had no internet, no emails when I was picking a city.”
Vijay was looking at the Australian cities in a “Lonely Planet” book and when he saw that Canberra only had 300,000 people (at the time) and saw what the temperature was like he knew Canberra would be home.
The first six months were a struggle for Vijay, who was qualified but couldn’t tie down a job, so he asked for voluntary work in forestry.
“They really liked me – and probably my work – so decided to give me a three-month contract and after that made me permanent,” he says.
Vijay has worked for almost two decades in the fields of soil and nutrition, forest hydrology and bushfire dynamics.
In 2012 he took some photos at a wedding and afterwards noticed one of his images hanging in the mother-of-the-bride’s lounge room.
“She said: ‘Your photos are really good compared to the professional who also took some’,” he says.
That experience gave Vijay the confidence to upgrade his camera (nothing too fancy) and continue with this hobby.
Vijay has since been to places such as Norway, Holland and Switzerland to take photographs.
“When I came back to Australia, the Swiss ambassador said he liked my photographs and invited me to the embassy,” he says.
It turned into what he says was the happiest day of his life because he was asked to produce a book with his landscape photos from Switzerland.
Even though Vijay has travelled to many beautiful countries, he still thinks that Canberra is the most beautiful city in the world and because of that, he wants to promote it with his photos.
“I feel like this country and CSIRO has given me so much, so I should pay them back,” he says.
Vijay takes photos for the love of it, not for the money, and says if anyone wants a photo from his website, instead of paying him money, decide the price of it and give money to a charity.
“I don’t want to be biased, you pay to your charity and I’ll be happy to send the photo in full resolution,” he says.
View Vijay’s photos at bubphotography.com