An artist, often quite unwittingly, is the conscience keeper of a society. He fathoms depths that his peers cannot even begin to dive into, his passion sparked off with the slightest stimulation. Burdened as he is by the emotional depth inherent in his nature, he manifests that what he perceives through his art. As Michelangelo said, a man (read artist) paints with his brains and not with his hands.

A photography exhibition soon to be unveiled in New Delhi drives home just this point. Titled “From Infinitesimal to the Infinite”, this exhibition features the works of Delhi-based photographers Anidra Hom Chaudhuri, Jishnu Changkakoti and Prerna Jain. Through this exhibition, the trio aims to explore life from diminutive dimensions to transcendental terrains and into interminable expanses. Proceeds from the sale of the photographs will go to Sarthak Prayas, an NGO working in sectors such as education, health and welfare of senior citizens in the National Capital Region.

The exhibition, which will be up from August 23-25 at the Convention Centre Foyer at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, was conceived with the aim of exploring “divergent paths of photography”. So, while Prerna introduces us to artistic abstraction, Jishnu explores life through panoramic vistas and landscapes. Anidra, adding the third dimension, attempts to “document the way people live their lives,” capturing life as it happens. “So, we journey from the micro to the vast and into the third dimension, going beyond everyday life into the realm of the ethereal,” says Jishnu.

The three are very different in their approach to art, just as they are in different professions. Prerna, married for 35 years, is a painter, sculptor, photographer and avid blogger — one of the first bloggers in India, hooked right at the onset. Anidra, originally from Silchur, Assam, is a journalist, while Jishnu works as a manager with a U.S.-based company.

Prerna ‘discovered' photography two years ago. A “natural artist” as her friends like to call her, she finds her penchant in abstract photography, especially floral abstract. Colours, shapes and depth have a special attraction for her. Most of her work is an exploration of beauty with detailed or macro photography. “Too many things in the frame confuse me. With macro I can focus my attention on the details and explore.”

“With painting you have to be patient whereas with photography you are rewarded with instant gratification,” says this mother of two girls doing their Masters.

For Anidra, what started out as toying around a simple point and shoot camera (his father's Rangefinder was strictly out of bounds), blossomed into a life-long passion. His genre, he says, is photo documentary, where he documents people and places because “there is a possibility that these beautiful things may not be there tomorrow.” Though his renditions are usually black and white, his love for vibrant colours and energy has taken him to many fairs and festivals, which quite predictably are his favourite background. He has done a series on fairs and festivals such as Holi in Mathura, Aarti in Varanasi, Hola Mahala in Punjab and now wants to work on the Baul singers, jatras and jallikattu. “We as photographers are dependent on the society, and photography, in addition to giving me an expression, gives me a chance to give back to the society,” he says. A true photographer, according to him, is one who can “click photographs without using the camera. When you start seeing frames all around you — that is when the photographer in you has really come of age.”

Jishnu, meanwhile, is an avid traveller, and being with a company that gives him a chance to travel frequently, he has no complaints.

Growing up in Shillong hills nurtured a life-long fascination for nature and through his years of travelling he explored nature and landscape through photography. This engineering and management graduate did a short-term correspondence course in photography while in the U.S. and then trained with Delhi-based Munish Khanna, where he met Prerna and Anidra.

Having successfully participated in exhibitions in Delhi in the past, for Jishnu the most important element of art is the onlooker. “When people walk into a gallery, they should see your work and appreciate it. Being pedantic about the technique alone does not help. An onlooker, an ordinary person, must appreciate the composition at the very basic level.”

On their collaboration with Sarthak Prayas, he says, “Since all three of us do not rely on art for a living, we try and help people through our art.” The photographs, priced between Rs.8000 and 18000, will also be put up for sale at a virtual gallery on the NGO's website (www.sarthakprayas.org) for donors to buy from there.