The play of light in this image is a tribute to Walt Whitman’s poem ‘A Song of Joys’. Long exposure photography of contemporary dance performances leads to surprising, revelatory and hence, joyful, experiences.
Photo prints available at Saatchi Art.
My first photobook: Motion Pictures in Poetry
Motion Pictures in Poetry began in 2009, the year I started pursuing art photography seriously. Or rather, organically.
While I have been obsessed with visual imagery, both moving and still, all my life, the new millennium’s digital democratization ignited my imagination and allowed me to dive deep into all manner of experimentation. As a self-taught photographer and film-maker, I have relished this freedom unhampered by the economic constraints of the analog past, much as I respect the legacy of film.
These selected photographs, celebrating the first decade of my photography, were taken at numerous dance performances in New Delhi, spanning a wide variety of genres, from Indian classical to western to contemporary fusion.
Motion Pictures in Poetry aims to blur the lines between what is perceived as movement versus the still in the context of light and body contours. As if in sync with the dance, my camera also “performs” in its own way resulting in an abstract visual style. By shooting at slow shutter speed and experimenting with aperture control, the entire process is dynamic and organic with minimal post touch ups.
Motion Pictures in Poetry consists of various sub-series which reflect a particular sentiment while pointing to my cinematic influences. Specifically, the sub-series titled ‘She Moves In Mysterious Ways’ received an honorary mention at the PX3 – Prix de la Photographie Paris Awards in the PX3 Blue competition in 2013. The competition was inspired by and in tribute to Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy of acclaimed films and invited photographers to interpet the color blue.
Similarly, the 2011 sub-series titled ‘Tangled’ (a passing reference to the Disney film of the same name) received an honorable mention at the International Photography Awards.
In addition to this and my other series, since 2010, I have received over 30 honors at the PX3, IPA and the Photography Masters Cup Color Awards. A selection of my photographs (including the cover image of this book) of a performance by renowned Swiss choreographer Philippe Saire were featured in promotional material by the India office of Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council.
With constant advances in camera technology where the boundaries between still and moving cameras are rapidly fading, I look forward to plunging further into uncharted waters to explore how the perception of the “motion picture” will continue to evolve over time.
The Swiss Arts Council – Pro Helvetia – New Delhi is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2018. In 2009, Pro Helvetia organized a performance by renowned Swiss choreographer Phillipe Saire in New Delhi. I had the opportunity to photograph that performance which was an extraordinary display of movement and lighting. Some of my photographs were featured in a Pro Helvetia promotional flyer that year. As Pro Helvetia marks its tenth anniversary, the council website features one of my photos as part of a trip down memory lane.