Visakhapatnam

‘A picture should tell a story’

Veteran photographer K. Ponnuswamy and K.R. Deepak, Sr Special News Photographer, The Hindu, being felicitated on the occasion of World Photography Day in Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Ch Vasu Prakash, director, Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan, noted photographer B.K. Agarwal and C.V Subrahmanyam, Spl News Photographer, The Hindu, are seen.

Veteran photographer K. Ponnuswamy and K.R. Deepak, Sr Special News Photographer, The Hindu, being felicitated on the occasion of World Photography Day in Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Ch Vasu Prakash, director, Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan, noted photographer B.K. Agarwal and C.V Subrahmanyam, Spl News Photographer, The Hindu, are seen.   | Photo Credit: arranged pic

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A picture should essentially tell a story through the frame. One of the first lessons that noted photographer K. Ponnuswamy learnt at the beginning of his career was this.

“Back in the 1950s, I sent a picture of man standing against the wall after perfecting the correct exposure and light effect to many national level photography competitions. But the picture was rejected everywhere. Finally, I walked up to the judge explaining the efforts and the concept behind the picture I took. The judge had a simple explanation to offer – the photographer was not there to explain the picture. The picture should be able to speak for itself,” the veteran photographer recollected.

That incident changed the way he perceived photography. The 80-year-old photographer, who was here in the city on the occasion of World Photography Day, shared many of his experiences with students of Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan where he was felicitated.

“I started photography in the year 1949 with a box camera. At that time I faced a lot of discouragement. I remember how I was made to stand out of the classroom for holding a camera,” he said.

But that did not deter him to explore his passion further. “My photography career took me to different places across the country and it was a learning process for me all along. There was a stage when technical knowledge among the professional photographers was missing. So I took up the chance to impart the technical knowledge to them. That’s how I became a bit more popular in the profession,” said Ponnuswamy, who went on to specialise in macro photography.

Covering macro photography with the film camera was a very complicated affair as it involved lot of calculations, he remembered. “Until you see the result, you don’t know what you are getting. But my desire was to make macro photography popular and standardise the techniques,” he adds.

Having travelled extensively across the country, the veteran photographer now plans to encapsulate his experiences, especially his photographs of sculptures and temple architecture, in a book titled ‘The Living Rocks’. The book is expected to be out by the end of this year.

He gave away the prizes to the winners of the photography competition at Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan. Later, he conducted a workshop on macro photography for the Visakha Camera Club.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 7:39:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/article11206961.ece

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