Take pictures from 42 wildlife photographers of Coimbatore— greenhorns and professionals, get the city's finest wildlife photographer K. Jayaram to choose the best, frame them aesthetically with perfect lighting in an all-white room on Avanashi road and, voila! You have a photo exhibition par excellence. Contemplate Art Gallery's exhibition titled “Temporal Abodes” was a visual treat replete with images of reclining leopards, rolling hills and cannibalistic spiders. It was a bonanza for photographers too, who were able to sell their work for up to Rs. 7500. Photographer Dr. R. Tolstoy, a physician at PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, has pledged his profits for anti poaching watchers of the forest department.

The winning image of a leopard perched on a tree in Bandipur was by R. Kaarthik. He was followed by J. Devendran's close up of a fox behind the airport, and Siddharth Srinivasan's butterflies.

Nivedita K. Mohanraj, an organiser, said that this being the first exhibition in the gallery, the aim was to ensure maximum local participation. Two hundred turned up for the preview and lecture by the curator K. Jayaram, she added. Particpating photographer C. R. Jayaprakash, a teacher is PSG College of Arts and Science, said that this exhibition will set a new trend in the city.

“The styling is of international standards. It is a real honour for photographers to see their work displayed with such dignity,” he said. There aren't too many images cluttering the display. The best have been selected by “K. Jayaram, the master himself,” he added.

He explained that for a picture he usually sells for Rs. 1000, he spends at least Rs. 700. Here he had to just submit a print which cost him Rs. 300. Contemplate framed it and it was sold for Rs. 5000. Even after paying the gallery half his profit as commission, he still earns more, without the effort of marketing his work.

Nivedita admitted that most female photographers who participated were schoolchildren and more needs to be done to kindle the city's interest in photography. “People still prefer investing in paintings rather than photos,” she added.

Her college, the Coimbatore College of Contemporary Arts on Avanashi Road, plans to start short term and post graduate courses in art and photography by 2012. And what better time to get into photography, when prices of Digital SLR cameras have fallen to around Rs.25,000.

The crowd is a trickle. But for the occasional flurry of students, you are left to make peace with those brilliant images of nature. Contemplate is on 338, Avanashi Road, Pilamedu, just above Rajshree Ford.

The exhibition is on till July 18. Call 0422 4226358 for details.

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