Lucien Brongniart, the Belgium-born Swedish photographer, is noted for his portrayal of people and rural life of Belgium and France, and likes to document life of ordinary people.

The 58-year-old photographer is here at the invitation of a professor of Andhra University's Department of Fine Arts M. Adinarayana.

He is bowled over by people in general and those in fishermen colony in particular.

“This is exotic and different from Europe and Sweden,” he says about India. “Surprisingly, people are very friendly. They are simple people with a big heart. I am fortunate to have come here and see common people.”

The people now recognise and treat him as one among them. Mr. Brongniart is keen on paying back the love and affection by organising an exhibition on the fishermen and their colony in Sweden next year.

The 58-year-old photographer arranged a three-day exhibition in the Fine Arts Department on Tuesday.

The exhibition named ‘Meditations' is a kind of a retrospective and has on display the photographs he has taken for different projects during his 40-year-old profession. There are pictures of some artistes such as the one of a Swedish artist Erland Culberg. The colour photograph shows Culberg sitting by the side of his portrait.

First love

Mr. Brongniart loves black and white photography. He uses the Hasselblad film roll camera with a fixed wide angle lens, which is famous the world over for its excellent quality. He gets the film rolls (12 frames in reach each) from Sweden, which are now being produced only for professionals after the advent of the digital camera. He uses the digital camera too, but his first love is black and whitephotos and the film roll camera.

“Prints of black and white photos are of high quality. Though I have to spend a lot of time in the dark room to prepare prints, I get the best results and derive great satisfaction,” Mr. Brongniart told The Hindu on the sidelines of the exhibition.

Pointing at two black and white photos of a school in Binche village he had taken in 1969, which show a teacher dressed in a suit and tie and a couple of poor schoolchildren, he said: “Now, we do not find a teacher attending school dressed up like this or such poor students.”

“Black and white photographs still have currency because the collectors and auctioneers want them. They accept photos printed only on silver paper,” he explained.

T. Sudhakar Reddy, a professor in the Department of Fine Arts, inaugurated the photo exhibition, which had 42 photos on display covering people and artistes, whose moods were captured in an excellent manner.

Prof. Adinarayana said the photo exhibition would help students and those interested in photography learn a lot about the art of photography.