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No lens drill this

Orthodontist Akhter Hussain is also a keen lensman with several international awards to his credit



All the action of a kambala is captured by Akhter Hussain on camera.

HIS PROFESSION requires him to constantly look at unattractive things — cavities and plaque. But when orthodontist Akhter Hussain is not doing that, he is doing quite the opposite: looking at capturing the most beautiful sights of nature through his lens. He is such an expert with his camera (and a fully equipped PC to aid in editing) that he has won a host of international awards. The latest among them is recognition as the Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (U.K.).

"The Society gives awards for excellence in various categories. I had applied for it in a relatively new category — the visual art section. As far as I know, it's for the first time that an Indian is being recognised by the Society in this section," says Dr. Akhter.

Dr. Akhter adds a new dimension to his pictures by using Adobe PhotoShop. In fact, he was one of the few in the city to purchase a personal computer when it hit the market in the early 1980s. He says: "I learnt to use the computer and the software the hard way all on my own." His tryst with photography started in a small room at Davangere that doubled as a dark room. "It was a messy process!" he recalls.

Has he ever been tempted to chuck his profession (he is the faculty and a trustee of a leading dental college in the city and has other commitments too) to pursue his passion for photography? Dr. Akhter's answer is an emphatic no. "Often my friends have suggested that I devote more time to photography. But, I can not ignore my profession, which gives me my bread and better," he says with a smile.

Dr. Akhter is also interested in painting. "I am basically an artist," he says with pride. He has made a foray into biomedical photography and is dabbling in radiographing seashells and converting them into works of art. He soon plans to hold an exhibition of his works here and in Bangalore.

* * *

The accolades

  • Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (U.K.)

  • Konica and Minolta Travel Photographer of the Year 2004

  • Honourable mention in lightly manipulated section and photo illustration section in the 2004 Adobe Digital Imaging Competition

  • Third runner-up in the 2004 International Photo Awards (IPA) under non-professional advertising category, Los Angeles

  • Won first place in the Agfa International Photo Contest 2003

  • Third place in the 2003 Common Wealth Photo Awards

    Publications

  • Multiple Exposures (Asian Photography, July 1998)

  • Quest for Excellence (Asian Photography, September 1998)

  • Biomedical Photography (Asian Photography, January 2004)

    JAIDEEP SHENOY

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