Society

Who said the sea was blue?

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Is it a painting? Is it a piece of shimmery cloth? It is a photo of the sea at Marina. Photographer Naveen Gowtham captures the ever-changing colours of the sea and sky in his latest series

The first shot happened by accident. Photographer Naveen Gowtham was on his usual stroll by the Marina with his camera, early one morning. “It was a little before sunrise and I intended to take photos of a few people who were performing some rituals by the water,” he recalls. But he happened to pan his camera by mistake. What resulted was a stunning image of the sea and the sky, captured as a hazy blur of colour. Intrigued, Naveen repeated the movement; he panned the camera from left to right and kept the shutter speed low. What resulted was a series he later called Kadal Kadhalan, meaning lover of the sea.

Who said the sea was blue?

Every photo in the series, in essence, is the same thing: the sea and sky at Marina. They have been shot at around the same time too: when the sun is lingering at the cusp of day and night. But each of them is unique. “I observed how each day, the colours of the sky and sea are different,” says Naveen. One day he would get a frame filled with metallic grey, and on another, he would shoot purple and beige; algae green, mustard yellow and blue-grey in harmony; or pink bleeding into orange. The photos actually resemble abstract paintings. “The movement of waves creates the textures,” he adds.

“It is fascinating how many different shades the sea takes on each day,” says Naveen, who has been documenting this play of colour for over three years. He is also part of Chennai Weekend Clickers and has displayed the photos at one of their exhibitions in the city.

Who said the sea was blue?

Naveen, who is also into wedding photography, spends a major part of his mornings at the beach, the Marina especially. “There are several other beaches in the city, but somehow, I am drawn to Marina because of the innumerable kinds of people it attracts. It is the first stop for many people from other parts of the State and country who come to Chennai. I have seen travellers come here straight from Central Station with their bags; some wait here to pass time before their next train if they cannot afford a room for those few hours; I have seen men and women sit and cry by themselves. I often pass them by, but I do stop to ask what troubles them sometimes,” he says.

Naveen’s current series, actually, is quite different from his style. His frames are usually of people. He adds: “But I will continue shooting for it. The sea is endless and so is this.”

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 9:12:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/who-said-the-sea-was-blue/article30087172.ece

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