A photography exhibition, The Great Outdoors, makes each adventurous activity seem real enough for anyone to reach out and explore

What is the one thing that is common (other than science) to all the three biospheres – lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere? Why, adventure sports, of course. Trekking, parasailing, snorkelling, rappelling, or rock climbing is what everybody wants to do while holidaying. These days, it is one of the best ways to be with nature and sometimes, it's the only way.

Susheela Nair, a travel writer, photographer and consultant at Essen Communications has put together an exhibition of a hundred photographs, “The Great Outdoors”, of all the adventure sports and activities on land, water and air.

“After four editions of seminars and a guide book on ‘The Great Outdoors', I thought of putting together a photo exhibition this time. The point of the exhibition is to show people that so many activities can be done outdoors,” says Susheela.

These are photographs by a whole range of people including photojournalists like Akhit Hardia or travel photographers like Susheela Nair.

Some of them have been sourced from adventure companies like Iquest adventures or tourism boards of Thailand and Jordan. But most have been taken by a mixture of amateurs and professionals like Hema Narayanan, H. Satish, C.R. Satyanarayana and Raghavendra K.S.

The first set of photographs are all about defying gravity – by touring the skies in hot air balloons in Thailand, parasailing in Choral Dam (Indore), paragliding in the Solang Valley in Himachal and even in Bangalore.

Then there are the ubiquitous photographs of trekking and mountaineering – in Uttaranchal, in the Stok Mountain, in Nepal, in Ladakh, or even in Karnataka's hilly regions like Kemmanagundi. Some of these photographs are the most memorable in the exhibition, whether it's “Ascending Mt Stok at 4 a.m.” or “Surpassing Heights” or even “Trek to the Paradise of Uttarkhand”.

Some of the other terrestrial adventure sports also include “Pedalling to Khardung-La”, “Biking in Ladakh” and rock climbing and bouldering in several places, including Thailand's sea-side cliffs. There are photographs of safaris (in the Corbett National Park), abseiling, riding on bare-backed elephants in Thailand or riding camels in the world-wonder Petra in Jordan.

Adventure sports would be incomplete without the water sports – “Snorkelling at Phang Ngu” or jetski-ing in Thailand, riding banana boats in Jordan , “Punting Away on the Neckar River in Tubingen” , not to mention rafting, canoeing and braving the rapids in the numerous Indian rivers.

What's different about the exhibition is that there are interesting photographs of offbeat sports “Mucking around in the Monsoon Fest” or “Mud Therapy with a kick” during some muddy football matches in Wayanad, dirt bike racing, zorbing (or revolving inside giant beach balls) on the beach, exploring caves in Cherrapunji and kite flying in Bangalore.

What stands out about these photographs is that they've not been glamourised and each photograph seems real enough for anyone to reach out and explore its subject.

“The Great Outdoors” is on until August 7 everyday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Thimmiah Road, Vasanth Nagar.