A photo exhibition by four city-based photographers is on at Durbar Hall Art Gallery

Flamingoes cast a pink reflection in calm waters, the mist parts just enough to give a glimpse of the breath-taking hillside, sunlight paints a fantastic pattern at dawn … it is that ‘right’ moment that gives the photograph its soul. “These rare moments of clarity are not pre-determined. Sometimes, you just wait and wait for the moment. Yet it never comes. It is like God’s gift,” says T.J. Varghese, one of the photographers whose pictures are on display at ‘Prism’, an exhibition at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery.

The show has photographs taken by four experienced lens men from Kochi—Joshy Manjummel, Ambily Pravda, T.J. Varghese and Jipson Sikhera.

From the mundane to the exotic, the absurd, the quirky and the journalistic, the photographs are as varied as they are unique. “We did not want to confine ourselves to one particular theme,” Varghese says.

The four, who call their group 4Frames, are united by their passion for photography. All the photographs displayed (around 80) have been clicked during their many travels together. Over the last 14 years, they have undertaken journeys to various parts of the country to click pictures. ‘Prism’ is their first exhibition.

The idea behind the show is to popularise the concept of photography as art. People spend a lot of money on art works and display them in their drawing rooms. Photography, unfortunately, has not yet acquired the same status, opines Varghese. Every photograph on display has been printed on high-quality canvas. “We would each take the pictures of the same subject/landscape. And we picked the best of the four,” Varghese says.

Another passion that binds the four together is their love for wildlife. The forest is an unending source of inspiration. Many of their expeditions into the wild have been filled with adventure. Some of them would make for interesting stories, too. So, a book on their travel experiences is on the anvil. Also, through their photographs, the need to help in conserving biodiversity is underlined.

Three of the photographers are winners of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi awards. Joshy works as a freelance photographer and has done projects for Kerala Tourism and Andhra Tourism. Ambily, who has worked in over 12 Malayalam films as still photographer, runs a studio in Kochi. Varghese has been in the industry for over 30 years and is a writer too. Jipson is a photojournalist.

Though many of the photographs are on wildlife, the focus is equally shared between everyday sights. Children playing in the water, the affection of a mother for her child, Buddhist monks in prayer, a shikara on its routine ride, a theyyam artiste performing or a regular rainy day, there is something that appeals to everyone.

The show concludes today.