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Of camera and canvas

Shankar's exhibition of photographs promises to visually bring to life celebrated writers, poets, actors, performers and political figures

"I WANT to bring the feel of painting into my photographs," says Shankar Chintamani, explaining his "artistic portrait photography". One of the pioneers in the field, Shankar is justifiably excited on the eve of his show, titled `Portrait Pavilion', in Bangalore.

Promoted by Global Consultants, the pavilion is being set up as a state-of-the-art gallery showcasing the portraits of celebrated writers, poets, actors, performers as well as political figures. Eye-catching portraits of U.R. Ananthamurthy, H.D. Deve Gowda, Girish Karnad, Nissar Ahmed, Master Hirannaiah, Ambarish, C. Ashwath, T.N. Sitaram, and several others are being readied for inauguration on August 22.

Perfect portraits

Son of renowned portrait photographer of yesteryears, the late B.R. Raja Rao, Shankar has been pursuing the art of photography for more than two and a half decades. "He is a truly gifted artist who has an uncanny ability to bring subtle human emotions to the fore," says film star Ambarish, while the former Prime Minister Deve Gowda concedes: "It was a different experience seeing my own portrait created by Shankar. I was just spellbound." Expressing similar sentiments, noted poet Chandrashekhara Kambara says: "I had only seen such portraits adorning the walls of palaces and stately homes. The fact that an individual is committed to revive the legacy is indeed commendable."

Shankar's portraits contain an old-world charm and appeal. Rich in colour and contrast, the photographs are a blend of cutting-edge technology and creativity. "It is not easy to bring out the antique feel of oil paintings as seen in the works of the masters of yore," says Shankar.

"But with years of hard toil and intense experimentation behind me, I try to capture not only the mood and expression of my subjects but also their innate distinctive personality as well." He acknowledges that the possibilities offered by digital imaging technology are immense and that he strives to be creatively driven by it.

Mobile studio

Shankar carries his paraphernalia around wherever he goes: "My mobile studio helps me to catch my clients in their own courtyard. But arranging the lighting and pressing the button is only one part of the story.

My real work begins thereafter." Shankar spends as many as five or six days in converting the image into a piece of art. The actual printing is done in Chennai where he says the facilities are favourable. Before delivery to the client, each photograph is mounted on ornate imported frame for an elegant look.

The price tags on Shankar's portraits may cause some jaws to drop to the floor, but he reasons that high technology and other input costs go to determine his pricing.

In time, though, he hopes to offer affordable packages not only to the connoisseur but also the common man.

Shankar's Portrait Pavilion is located on I floor, Mysugar Building, J.C. Road (opposite Ravindra Kalakshetra). Shankar can be contacted on 51325301/2 or 98456 17474.


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