Published: Tuesday, 02 December, 2014, 2:17pm

Meet a Tamil Urban Explorer

Urban explorers have their own community in the Instagram world. They defy limitations and take images of their cities in a different light and perspective. This is how we discovered Tamil urban explorer Sanjeev, who is the creator behind  SKSquared on Instagram.

Urban explorers have their own community in the Instagram world. They defy limitations and take images of their cities in a different light and perspective. This is how we discovered Tamil urban explorer Sanjeev, who is the creator behind  SKSquared on Instagram.

bay Over a pleasant chat over tea, we got to find out what drives an urban explorer.

How did it all begin?

When I was introduced to Instagram by a good friend Davis, he shed light on a whole new way of seeing and using Instagram. There was a movement of mobile photography that I was totally unaware of, a community of users using Instagram as a form of expression and art.  I was in love.

For an urban explorer, the gadgets are key.  SKSquared shared what he uses and how he manages the technology:

I had purchased my first full frame camera in March of 2013 -  a Canon 6D along with two lenses (Canon 24-105mm and a Sigma 35mm). Prior to that I was using mostly my phone, Samsung S3/S4, and borrowed my brother's Canon Rebel T2i.

skating

Instagram is a great way to meet people, you mentioned you held Instameets, how did it go? 

Wait what the...meeting random, strangers off Instagram - that's frigging creepy!?!  Trust me, I felt the same and intimidated. But you won't know until you try!

I have had the opportunity to connect, befriend and explore with some really cool, down to earth and like-minded individuals.  Within any community, there is a social element and these meetups, also called "Instameets," is where Instagrammers within the vicinity would meet, explore and socialize with new people.

With the help of some amazing friends and family, I've organized an Instameet in the past which had a really good turn out. And it gave me a chance to meet the coolest beings I have been interacting with for the longest time over Instagram, in person!

Video that inspired me:

After being featured on BlogTO, what was your reaction, and do you think you would pursue this as a full time career?

I was in a meeting, and hadn't checked my Instagram all morning - got 42 new followers, which was really odd. I thought my account got hacked until I got a DM from a friend on Instagram, "Dude you've been featured on blogTO." It was surreal - only because I was on a list of some really awesome explorers that I admire!

Instagram and photography is my escape - a passion that I had no clue would bring me closer to a whole new realm of people and perspective on life.  I have no specifics as to where I would like to go with photography, but have been really trying to figure out a way to bring the Instagram community, the city I love and the art that people express via Instagram together to give back to society.

escalator

Advice for any up and coming urban explorers or someone pursuing their passion? 

I have lived in Toronto for most of my life, and never knew there was so much more to it than just the CN Tower, the SkyDome (I refuse to call it otherwise), Yonge/Dundas etc. In the past two years, I have been able to see a whole new side of this city.

Just make time for it, and you don't have to go downtown - there is beauty within your neighbourhood.

maple leaf - All images sourced from SKSquared's Instagram account.

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