Photography Eleven photographers train their lenses on men and women we rarely pause to notice

On an upward incline in the slopes of Nepal, a porter, bent with the weight of heavy rods strapped to his back, walks ahead unmindful of the tough terrain. Boban James spotted this porter during the Annapurna trek. “He had walked thus for about three kilometres and had two more to cover. It stuck me that he is an unsung warrior doing a physically strenuous job,” says Boban. He captured the image of the porter from behind. “We don’t know these people. To us, they are faceless and nameless,” reasons Boban. This is one of the images displayed as part of ‘Professions of the World’ photography exhibition at Kalakriti Art Gallery. Boban James walked away with the second prize at the contest.

The exhibition featuring works of 11 photographers is an eye-opener, drawing our attention to unsung professions. Lona Logan’s image of a human hand captured against the black-brown rubble along with construction implements offers a new perspective into the life of construction workers.

Venkata Sunder Rao’s lens focuses on a potter at his wheel in black and white, Radha Varanasi brings to life the caretakers of the sacred bull ‘Gangireddu’ clad in colourful clothes.

The seviyan factories in Hyderabad’s Old City are a photographer’s delight. Rajesh Pamnani captures a worker behind sheets of fresh seviyan in one such factory. Munaf Siddiqui travels to a rural colony in Araku valley where men are working, spreading out grains to dry in the early morning sun.

Avani Rao Gandra moves to the waters of Cochin with its famous line-up of Chinese fishing nets. Apart from capturing the beauty of these nets, she gives us a closer view of fishermen getting ready to check their haul as the boat is filled with heavy ropes, nets and round stones. Fisherman, again, become the subjects for photographer Sandeep Jangala who captures the men at sea.

The most unusual profession featured in this exhibition comes from Tamilmalar Shenbaga Kumar’s photograph of a crocodile caretaker in a crocodile park in Malaysia.

‘Professions of the World’ is on view till February 23 at Kalakriti Art Gallery.


The winners

Swarat Ghosh: A city-based IT professional, Swarat likes to click unusual images. He won the first prize in the ‘Professions of the World’ contest for his two photographs — of an idol maker in Kumartuli, Kolkata, and a Surabhi artist gazing into the mirror minutes before her stage performance. “I was looking our for theatre and art festivals in Hyderabad to take photographs and learnt about Surabhi theatre group. I attended their performance and also got a chance to interact with them backstage,” he says.

Boban James: He walked away with the second prize for the pictures of the Nepal porter and a street sweeper in Bhopal. Like in the case of the porter, Boban doesn’t focus on the face of the sweeper. “One morning, I was on the streets trying to photograph a masjid and came across this lady sweeping and kicking up the dust. The sun rays against her gave me an opportunity to photograph her from a new angle,” he says.

G.V. Prashanth: A travel photographer, Prashant won the third prize for two of his entries — an idol maker from Rajasthan working in Uppal, Hyderabad, and a priest in front of the kitchen at Madurai Meenakshi temple. “The reflection of the colourful plastic sheets in the tents in Uppal where Rajasthani men and women were making idols gave me scope to play around with colours. The picture of the priest was taken around noon in the temple, as the sun rays entered through the dark pathway from a 75-80degree angle near the entrance to the kitchen,” says Prashanth.