Veteran photographer V.K. Rajamani passed away on Friday. He was 77. In a career spanning more than five decades, he not only captured the architecture of South Indian temples, but also dancers, one of his favourite themes.

His works are inspiring lessons for others to follow in his footsteps. His passion for photography and eye for detail led to quality photographs that have now become a part of the permanent collection of Hindustan Photo Films.

It was due to his efforts that murals in the Thyagaraja Swami Temple in Tiruvarur were retrieved from definite obscurity. Over the years, the ceiling of the temple mandapam with its rich collection of murals was lost since it was used as a storehouse and workshop.

He is known for his diligent documentation of the bronze collection in the Saraswati Mahal library in Thanjavur. Over the years, Mr. Rajamani worked extensively with the Archaeological Survey of India to document the artistic treasures of South India.

In the 1980s, Mr. Rajamani camped in the Thyagaraja Swamy temple at Tiruvarur and showcased for posterity the artwork on the ceilings and walls of the mandapam. These photographs later found a place in the The Mucukunda Murals, authored by David Shulman.

Karuna Sesh, who trained under the ace photographer, remembers him as someone who had an excellent eye for quality. “He sharpened my skills. It was V.K. Rajamani's skills that helped to revive the Photography Society.” Mr. Rajamani was the President of the Photographic Society of Madras for over 25 years and also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from them.

Mr. Rajamani is survived by his wife Sarada and son Rajkumar. The funeral was held on Friday.


R. SujathaJune 28, 2012

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