Poetic Pictures – Photographer Bandi Rajan Babu ఏప్రిల్ 2, 2008Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Art, Personalities, Photos, Telangana People.
Tags: Telangana art
Glimpses of darkroom magic
Monday March 24 2008
B Krishna Mohan
NOT long ago, photographers toiled in the dark rooms developing and printing. The darkroom chemistry – silver halide, bromide, metol, hypo all gave them a high and many considered it an art to get the right combination of chemicals. And nothing matched the happiness of getting the shadows and highlights right.Rajan Babu, a native of Koratla village in Karimnagar district, belongs to that genre of photographers who created magic in the dark rooms. Rajan, who took to serious photography in 1960 after joining the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University here, is now an accomplished pictorial, fashion and glamour, industrial and advertising photographer.
Rajan, as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of his photographic journey, is now showing a few of his works at the ICCR Art Gallery on Ravindra Bharati premises. The show will be on till March 24.‘‘Excellent pictures do not happen accidentally. There should be control on the lighting and subject,’’ says Rajan who has Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Corporation and the National Mineral Development Corporation among his clientele.Though good equipment helps in enhanced picture quality, it is the person behind the camera that makes the photo worth preserving. Rajan, who started off with a Kodak 620, has added a lot of equipment, which is now put in two almirahs.
‘‘I have a variety of cameras to teach photography classes,’’ he says adding that the Hassleblad is among the prized possessions. He bought when it was considered fashionable to ask the photographers if they owned a Hassleblad. Now, he shoots on a Canon 400 D. He does not shy from using a 7 MP Sony digital camera that his son presented to him.
He drew inspiration from Raja Triambak Raj Bahadur, the first one from Andhra Pradesh to be honoured with an Associate of the Royal Photograhic Society, England.
Rajan, who was the faculty of JNTU, got his first international honour from Belgium and got the APRS honour in 1983 and then followed it up with the Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1987.
The pictures displayed bring forth the rural and urban cultures and also show nature in its true colours. For instance, Day Break and To The Fields, both black and white photos, tell about the rural economy.
There are several snaps of Araku showing the tribal women in the colourful, traditional outfits. Nice Company, a photograph showing a hungry boy lapping up the last grain and two dogs watching him, is a story in itself. ‘‘Several scientists have asked for this photograph,’’ says Rajan.
‘‘There is a line between nude art and vulgarity,’’ says Rajan, who got a doctorate for his nude works. Though he rates all his assignments to be very intensive, photographing the Bonda tribes is a challenge.
‘‘Men, armed with poisoned arrows, shadow their women, without being noticed by outsiders. They attack the moment they feel that somebody is getting pally with women,’’ recollects Rajan, who has a sizable collection of photographs of the Bondas in their native attires.
But now these Bondas see an opportunity to make money by posing for the shutterbugs, particularly those from abroad.
Of course, customer preferences are dictating the way the assignments are handled. ‘‘Big wedding orders never exceeded 24 photos. But now it is a fashion to have thousands of pictures taken,’’ he says.
Source: New Indian Express March 24, 2008
B Rajan Babu
Master of the grammar of lens
Ask the ace photographer, B. Rajan Babu, what are the basic qualities of a good photographer?
He would narrate this story to drive home his point: While on a tour of Canada in 1942, Winston Churchill, lighting a fresh cigar, gave a photographer just a couple of minutes to take the snap. Disturbed by the wisps of smoke, the lensman pleaded with Churchill to put down the cigar for a moment, only to get a curt ‘No’.
As time ran out, the worried photographer gently plucked the cigar from Churchill’s mouth and simultaneously pressed the shutter, little knowing that he had clicked a historic portrait of the powerful statesman of the world in his characteristic pose. For, the camera had captured the “pugnacity and the indomitable spirit of the British bulldog in the darkest days of World War II”.
After finishing the story he would ask you “What is the moral ofthis story?” Explaining it himself, Rajan Babu says, “A good photographer should be sharp with his or her five senses (taste, hearing, vision, touch and smell) and should be well versed with the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) and the ‘nava rasas’ (nine moods). If one is an adept in these things then the rest would follow. In the above case, Churchill’s was an ordinary photograph by any standard but it was made dramatic in that fraction of a second when the photographer pulled out the cigar from his mouth. The elements of ‘krodh’ (anger) and ‘ascharyam’ (surprise) were dramatically captured in the lens, by none other than the legendary photographer, Yusuf Karsh.”
That is not all. According to him, a good sense of lighting, understanding of the composition and taste for aesthetic values make a good photographer.
Rajan Babu wanted to become a painter and he was all set to become one but an ordinary Kodak 620 camera and one interaction with a Raja changed his life. “One of my cousins presented me a camera when I was in my seventh class and I causally clicked some photos that were appreciated by all and that was the seeding of a photographer in me. Later, when I joined the five-year diploma course in commercial art, I came across Raja Triambak Raj Bahadur, a pioneer in pictorial photography.
It was he who inspired me to wield the camera. And here I am today from a painter to a photographer.Starting his career as a lecturer in photography in Jawaharlal
Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, he later worked as a scientific photographer in International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics. He opened his studio in 1978 and has, thereafter, been one among the leading photographers in India.
Apart from wining a number of national and international awards he is the only Fellow of Royal Photographic Society from AP.
Till date Rajan Babu is one among the top few photographers in the country specialising in portraits that are oil finished and in black-and-white reproductions. Pictorial photographs, especially ‘nude in nature’, is his area of research and over the years he has reached such a stage of perfection that anybody in the trade could recgonise Rajan Babu’s photos from a distance. He also specialises in industrial and advertising photography.
“I believe that the picture of a photographer should always reflect the experience of the artist and the images shall be as distinct as his signature. Then only one can generate a poetic picture,” he says.
Rajan Babu believes that photography is like language and one should know the grammar well to become an expert. To give fillip to this idea, he has started the Rajan’s School of Photography in Hyderabad to train budding photographers.
“I am still a learner and feel that every photographer should be so till he or she retires. Hard work and dedication hold the key for success. There is no short-cut to better photography,” he asserts.
source: The Hindu, Metro Plus Hyderabad, July 19, 2004