Kerala photographer’s alluring monochromatic images of wildlife

Colour in {a photograph} turns into a barrier in seeing ‘differently’, believes Praveen P Mohandas whose photographic repertoire is nearly all in black and white. To him, monochromatic footage intensify the tonal ranges, the form, texture and lightweight within the picture.

A current picture he posted on Instagram (@praveenpmohandas) exhibits two elephants and a calf transferring away from the digital camera, behind a curtain of mud. The black and white picture tells many tales — as many because the quantity of eyes that have a look at it and imaginations that weave tales out of it. That is the response he seeks for his work.

Monochrome is seldom related to Nature pictures, however Praveen will see it no different method. He shuns color as a result of he’s not a journalist, documenting or reporting an occasion.

Praveen Mohandas

Praveen as an alternative seeks to speak the emotional join of the scene. “If you remove colour, it elevates a photograph to a different level. The way the light falls on a subject, say, at 11 am is different from how it is at 5.30 pm… you see light in a different perspective. The difference in this photograph can be seen due to the colour of light — evening light being warmer, and noon light neutral,” he says.

Colour turns into ‘noise’; sans color, a picture acquires a personality. For occasion in {a photograph} of a lush inexperienced forest or a deep blue sky the much less apparent particulars are missed.

He sees his pictures as opening a door to the creativeness of the viewer. “Close your eyes and imagine a scene. It will not be ‘colourful’… it is muted and sans detail, it is more of shapes, subtle shades of colour and light. Memory derives from light and form, that is the input for the imagination,” Praveen says.

Kerala photographer’s alluring monochromatic images of wildlife

The Thrissur-based architect has been a photographer for 25 years, 20 of which have been spent photographing wildlife and Nature. In 2010 he began ‘reducing’ color in his images and 2015 onwards he shot Nature solely in black and white.

All about ‘Kari’

  • ‘Kari’ is one of the Malayalam phrases for elephant. The images for Kari are drawn over 15 years of Praveen’s pictures of elephants. It is collaborative challenge with an artist – a mix of images, work and installations.
  • Conceptualised for a gallery house – it’s to be unfold throughout three rooms, for 3 concepts associated to the elephant – Body, Memories and Destiny. ‘Body’ is of the animal’s physicality, “There is a picture of an elephant with a mynah close by, it exhibits it measurement. Another is a picture of a single-tusked elephant…the trunk and tusks are their instruments, so the loss of a tusk is a handicap. It is one other method of it, not anticipated images.
  • Then comes ‘Memories’, which they’ve and these are handed throughout generations – so there are images that convey that after which there may be the ultimate half, ‘Destiny’ – its future. Where is the animal headed, metaphorically?”
  • The final is an set up with a print of elephants’ foot and a series, used on one, is positioned round it, whereas a mirror displays the toes of guests. Perhaps suggesting how its destiny is related with man. A ‘thotti’ (hook utilized by mahouts on domesticated elephants) is a macabre reminder of the jumbos’ fraught existence. He has proven these works at Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur, the pictures could be seen on his Instagram deal with.

Praveen just isn’t averse to color, however makes use of it provided that it communicates an emotion. Such as in his diptych of road-kill — one is {a photograph} of an elephant and the opposite, the reflection of purple tail-light on a moist highway giving the impression of spilled blood.

The uncooked images are clicked in color after which transformed into black and white. “When I click I have an idea what a picture will look like in black and white. How variations in exposure will work,” he says.

His tryst with pictures started after his Class XII, or Pre-Degree because it was identified then, when he enrolled for a one yr diploma course in nonetheless pictures, in Thrissur, of which black and white pictures was a component. “There were two ways I could go either cinematographer or architect. I chose the latter and went to Hosur, Karnataka, to study architecture,” Praveen says. As half of his schooling he began pictures as a way of documentation. He is a practising architect who builds nature-friendly, up to date dwelling areas.

“While in college I didn’t have access to a lab for black and white photography. That’s how I slipped more into colour. I had access to darkroom while I was studying photography and later working in a studio,” he says. Without entry, to a lab, he stopped. This was additionally the time pictures shifted to the digital format. He too, and began clicking in color.

Meanwhile a stint in Bengaluru, the place he was a member of the Youth Photographic Society (YPS), led him to wildlife and nature pictures. “There the deviation toward wildlife happened. My first trip into the forest was with senior photographers of YPS to Bandipur National Park,” he says. He remembers not having all pictures gear and the assistance of seniors who shared theirs.

Exploring elephants

Over the final 14 years, since 2006, he has gone to Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand nearly 20 occasions; this yr too, he was planning a visit. He calls it the “African experience in miniature,” for its panorama, open forests and abundance of wildlife. “Each time I go there, I return with a new lesson,” he says.

Kerala photographer’s alluring monochromatic images of wildlife

Most of the images of elephants for his inventive challenge ‘Kari’, by way of which he explores the ‘past, present and future’ of the animal, had been shot there.The others are from Kaziranga National Park and Kabini.

He says Corbett National Park’s open panorama makes recognizing and capturing images simpler when in comparison with Kerala’s forests with thick foliage. The grasslands there, which open up throughout the summer time, entice elephants and different animals. “I have seen so many elephants … hundreds, but corridors being converted to highways, and resorts and hotels being built have affected animals,” he says.

Like with Kari, he needs to work in another way round project-based themes — “About 99.99% of all wildlife photography has been about the so-called ‘beauty’ trapped in it — the ‘beautiful and pristine’. Other genres of photography have changed and practitioners are expressing themselves in different ways. In wildlife photography, it hasn’t.”

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