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Updated: June 17, 2013 16:08 IST

In black and white

PRINCE FREDERICK
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CITYSCAPE Captured over the years. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu CITYSCAPE Captured over the years. Photo: Special Arrangement

‘Madras 360 +2', an exhibition-cum-contest captures the city's long journey

Madaras Kafe serves filter coffee in dabara-tumblers. This fairly new café — at Ispahani Centre — seeks to offer a flavour of Madras in more ways than one.

At present, it doubles as an art gallery, displaying black-and-white photos of timeless structures and establishments that define the city's history.

The photos are part of ‘Madras 360 +2', a reference to the years the city has been in existence. This exhibition-cum-contest is organised by Photostrophe, formed by a group of shutterbugs.

An open event, it has attracted entries from visitors to the café and those who discovered Photostrophe online. The exhibition concludes on October 29, when prizes will be given away for the best three photos.

Works by amateurs

A good number of images on display has captured grand structures — such as the Chennai High Court and the Napier Bridge — while they were bathed in moon and electric lights. Presenting the Express Avenue at a crepuscular hour, a photo appears to give this highly modern building an old world look. All these images have been clicked by amateurs.

Says Raghu Lakshminaarayanan, an IT professional who founded Photostrophe together with two other techies, Manu Murthy and Jenny Srinivasan, and a writer, Mira Balachandran: “With the digital revolution scaling new heights, photography has become a hobby for many people. A camera allows almost everyone to dabble in creativity.”

Mira explains that ‘Madras 360 +2' aims at encouraging people to connect with their environment and points out that Photostrophe — more of an online community with members spread across the globe — organises photo walks at various places. “Manu Murthy lives in the U.S. and has authored photo tours in scenic areas there.”

Another goal of Photostrophe is to encourage discussion about photography through an open forum — www.forums.photostrophe.com.

“These discussions throw up information about the right equipment and techniques, and thereby help neophytes get started and experienced photographers get better,” says Mira.

“When I was a fresher with an advanced camera, I felt the need for guidance,” says Raghu. “Through nominally-priced workshops that are moderated by experts, the forum helps photo enthusiasts get to higher levels of the art.”

It is interesting that Manu, Raghu, Mira and Jenny, who started as amateurs, have graduated to freelance photography and accept projects in their spare time.

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