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Light holds the key to photos

Light can be effectively used to breathe life into pictures



A model posing at the photography workshop. -- Photos: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Light holds the key in photography. It can be used effectively either to conceal or highlight the features of the subject, be it a human being or an inanimate object, says the eminent photographer from Mumbai, Hari Mahidhar.

He enlightened professional photographers on the art of utilising light to breathe life into pictures, at a workshop organised by the photographer, S. Ganapathi Rao. Three models, including two males, participated in the workshop which was held at a granite quarry at Pendurthy.

The shutterbugs who participated in the workshop were told about the importance of background and colour combinations in shooting a subject.

Mr. Mahidhar finds the landscape and sylvan surroundings of Vizag a shutterbug's delight. He urges the professionals to keep themselves abreast of the latest technological developments in the field as hobbyists and non-professionals were jumping into the fray with the latest cameras which have several automatic features and make clicking pictures easy. "Now, even laymen are competing with professionals. However, possessing a digital camera alone is not enough, the user should be in a position to use it properly. It is here that knowledge of composition, framing and lighting plays a vital role in giving an edge to the professional photographers", Mr. Mahidhar told The Hindu Metro Plus in an interview on the conclusion of the workshop.

Beginning his photography career in the early 1960s when there were no flash meters and studio lights, Mr. Mahidhar has travelled a long way and is well-versed with the latest developments in the field. "Originally I was interested in painting but my father wanted me to join the Merchant Navy. I did a course in commercial art at a painting school in Bombay."

"My father-in-law offered to present me diamond buttons for my wedding. I sought a camera instead and that was how I got my first Roliflex 2.8 camera, which cost Rs.1,400 in those days. After a brief stint as a press photographer for the Hindi dailies, `Nayi Duniya' and `Nav Bharat' in Madhya Pradesh, I switched over to commercial photography and shifted to Bombay, where I worked for film magazines", he recalls.

A versatile photographer, Mr. Mahidhar has had wide exposure to aerial photography during his stints with multi-national companies and the Indian Navy, underground photography for mines, fashion photography and commercial photography.

"Survival in extreme conditions has taught me many new things", he says.



Hari Mahidhar

"My first international assignment was for Oberoi Hotels as part of which I travelled to Nepal and Singapore. In 1978, I started my own agency. In 1983, I was invited to shoot a medical conference. It was a multi-projector shoot. Later, I was invited by the Singapore Tourism to shoot pictures of tourist spots. I was given unlimited access in that country including the airport control tower and I shot 250 transparencies.

Kodak sent me to Dubai, Sharjah and Muscat where I had occasion to spend two days with the royal family".

"Though photography is a challenging job, it offers immense scope for professional development. I have learnt a lot from society and now it is my turn to give something back to it."

"I have embarked on a mission to hold workshops at the instance of various associations all over the country and educate young professionals on the art and develop a passion for it among them," he adds.

B. MADHU GOPAL

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