FRIDAY REVIEW

Picture perfect

IMAGINE SHOOTING an elephant bathing in a river (with a camera of course) from a 20 feet tall tree and you grope for a foothold suddenly to avoid falling over the tusker. And yet, you manage to click a picture perfect shot. Or imagine a leopard leaping towards you when you breach his privacy. And you nearly miss your shot.

These and similar adventurous incidents form episodes of ace photographer Mohit Midha's two decades of photographic journey. And some such exciting moments coupled with scenic beauty captured through his lens constitute "Rang Ragas", an ongoing exhibition of his works at Machan in Delhi's Taj Mahal hotel. Curated by Elizabeth Rogers and presented by Nitanjali Art Gallery, the show has over 20 nature and wildlife photographs that include elephant bathing at Corbett National Park, `fishermen at sunset' in Chitwan, Nepal, Chandra Tal at Himachal Pradesh which Mohit says, hasn't "come out half as beautifully as it is actually," `Ramganga' in Corbett and so on.

Some of his abstract photographs give impression of Photoshop tricks too. Says Mohit, "All my pictures in slide are as close to natural colours as possible. These are actual colours that are difficult to retain in pictures. So people might think it is some trick as you usually don't see such colours." Besides, Mohit is not just a nature and wildlife photographer. He is also a biker and heavily into jeep and trekking expedition in the Himalayas. Also, trained in white water rafting, he has led various groups for snow leopard adventures. As Mohit's photographs are doing rounds in India and abroad, he is heaving a sigh of relief. "A few years ago, no one wanted to buy photographs as art objects. They would either mount the pictures taken by themselves or would buy a scenery from the market. Only those who themselves are photographers or admirers of photography would buy others' pictures. Thankfully, photography as an art form, is now picking up in India."

But then digital photography is posing a threat to it. "It is a sad affair. Digital photography, which is quick and anticipatory, is posing a major threat to actual photography. A digital photographer, knows what will be the end result of his product once he sits before his computer. But for us, the results are often dicey. Now convenience has taken the place of real effort," bemoans this 35-year-old photographer. But undaunted, he continues his adventurous journey. His next venture, a drive to Kerala, would soon be captured through his lens "in never seen images".

"Rang Ragas" travels to Nitanjali Art Gallery at Ansal Plaza from this Sunday.

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