Photographer K. Jayaram’s ‘Moody Landscapes’ shows how he treats photography like art
Internationally renowned photographer Jayaram displays prints of his landscape photographs, shot over many years across India, for the first time in Coimbatore. Titled ‘Moody Landscapes’, the exhibition at Contemplate, has over 50 landscape photographs he has shot in locations such as Kabini, the Nilgiris, Silent Valley, Bharatpur Sanctuary and the Chambal Valley.
The prints are on archival museum matte paper imported from Germany. This conforms to international standards and adds artistic value to the photographs, explains Jayaram. Better known as a macro photographer, Jayaram says there are so many other things in Nature to observe besides birds, butterflies and animals. “Every single day is a different one.”
His series on Kabini captures the many moods of a misty landscape at dawn. Pointing to a lonely boat in the mist he says: It is important for a photographer to pre-visualise an image and approach it as an art form, he says. He does this in ‘Sunrise In A Sanctuary’, where he highlights the play of light and shade. Jayaram’s biggest regret is the rapidly changing landscapes. He shows a photograph that he had shot many years ago on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway. The photograph is of trees in silhouette against a red evening sky. “The trees were over 1,000 years old. But they are no more.”
For example, there is a black-and-white photograph of wild flowers, shot near Madurai. “There were hardly any colours, so I converted the image to black and white. You can’t click images at your convenience and later photoshop them,” he states.
Like most of his other photographs, one of the Silent Valley also has a story. “It rained for six days continuously. One day, I woke up with an intuition about the possibility of a good photograph. Sure enough, a beautiful landscape opened up to me for a few seconds,” he remembers.
He describes the experience of shooting in the cold at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. “In winters, the temperature is one degree till noon. You have to go prepared with gloves, shoes and winter wear. Even my camera wears a woollen blanket,” he smiles.
The display is open to the public from December 5 to 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all days.
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Jayaram regrets how many of the landscapes he has photographed no longer remain. He remember shooting 1000-year-old trees on the Bangalore-Mysore highway which have been felled