Freelance photographer Dharma Chandru is the Royal Challengers Bangalore official cameraman

Dharma Chandru plans to give the Champions League 2010 his best shot. He will bat for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), but with a camera. After a long-winding selection process, the Chennai-based freelance photographer has been chosen as RCB's official cameraman for the Twenty20 cricket tournament.

Dharma went through a four-stage process that included interviews with Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa and Sidhartha Mallya (director, RCB), coming up with an offbeat photo shoot and presenting old works for evaluation by a panel. The first stage entailed getting online votes for works displayed on the Internet. “Over a thousand photographers were in the fray,” says Dharma. “It is a tough contest. In the tournament's first season (three years ago), I gave it a try and lost.”

Dharma had gained immense experience since he took the first crack at the contest. “Last year, I ventured into the forests of South Africa for wildlife photography,” he says. During the interview, Dharma received praise from Uthappa for his versatility. All three judges agreed that the 26-year-old photographer had attempted many genres, including underwater photography. It was smooth sailing for Dharma so far; it only remained to be seen if he would rise to the highly challenging 'theme photography' contest.

The last of the trials, this required the finalists to illustrate the theme, ‘Spirit of RCB', with their photographs. “The photographs had to show how Bangaloreans felt about RCB.” Each was given RCB merchandise and asked to go out and get photographs in an hour. Dharma got a Bangalorean to wear the RCB dress. The volunteer was then drenched in water and asked to jump over a railing in the middle of the road. Besides catching the volunteer in action, the photo also captured vehicles in motion. This was part of a sequence of photographs that Dharma titled ‘Diehard Fans'. With this piece of work, Dharma was comfortably through.