“India: Continent of Circe-1” exhibits Nitin Rai’s photographs in New Delhi.

“A good photograph should capture different things happening at different levels. It is when all the elements in a photograph blend that you get the complete picture – the perfect frame,” says well known photographer Nitin Rai.

The ongoing “India: Continent of Circe-1” exhibition at Shridharani Gallery will feature as diverse landscapes as the beaches of the Lakshadweep, the ravines of the Chambal, the forests of Chhattisgarh and the crowds at Holi in the temples at Vrindavan, captured by the 40-year-old’s lens. Taken between 1992 and 2009, each one of the 32 frames captures an evocative and emotive moment.

Curator Suneet Chopra says: “If one looks at his two figures clashing with each other while practising the Kerala martial art, it is not the sound and fury that catches the eye…[The] concentration at the height of the contest is visually captured by Nitin using his camera to its full capacity, not only of freezing a moment in a narrative but also reminding us that it is taking place with so many others at the same time.”

The most recent photograph in the exhibition, “Holi in Vrindavan” is a sensual frame of swirling flower petals that almost serenade Krishna and his gopikas. The frenzied running of Naga Sadhus at the Maha Kumbh has also been aesthetically captured by Rai’s lens. The mustachioed men with doubled-barrelled guns in the Chambal ravines look like fictitious characters from a Western flick.

Mr. Rai, who shot to fame with his pictures of the demolition of the Babri Masjid by religious fanatics, was exposed to photography at a very young age. Every time his father Raghu Rai came back from an assignment he would bring a lot of black and white pictures. Therefore, there was an ambience of photography at Rai’s home.

“My dad would display the pictures on a table and talk passionately about them. There was a constant stream of photographers and many of them brought their pictures and discussed them. At home there were a lot of intense discussions on pictures on magazine covers. So, without realising it, I was drawn to photography,” says Mr. Rai.

Equating the art of photography with traditional art forms, Mr. Rai says that just as a piece of brilliant music by a maestro evokes strong feelings, similarly a strong image or photograph should touch a chord within those who see the image.

The exhibition is open till September 23.

Keywords: Nitin Raiphotography