Photographers @ Pune or as they are popularly referred to ‘P@P’ started with half a dozen photography enthusiasts, a little over a decade ago in 2006. Today, 12 years later, the group has over 6,500 members and is known as one of the most active photography communities in India for a reason.
The word ‘photography’ is an original Greek word made up of two words: ‘photos’ and ‘graphe’, meaning ‘drawing with light’, referring to the true essence of word photography.
P@P, flaunting their love for the Marathi language and belongingness to the city, have translated their name literally in Marathi making it ‘Punyache Prakashchitrakar’ and are gearing up to put on a show, their ninth exhibition — Drushtikon.
This year from April 6-8, for three days, P@P will put up their exhibition at the Raja Ravi Varma Art Gallery on the Ghole Road, displaying 97 photographs clicked across the globe.
But, putting on a show of that scale requires a lot of man hours so that the viewers get the same ‘viewing experience’ looking at each picture. “This year’s selection process was the toughest I have witnessed over the years, as we had to make the selections from 5,000 photos. The process began in December 2017,” Soumitra Inamdar, the admin of the group, expressed.
Viewing experience and ‘Chitra Katha’
What makes Drushtikon different from other photography exhibitions is the unique viewing experience for all the pictures that are on display. A team of three, comprising Ram Balmur, Suhas Desale and Pratik Patki, have put in countless hours to work on photos so that each shade of colour, as seen on screen, appears on the paper.
This year P@P will have another unique event called ‘Chitra Katha’ as part of the exhibition. It will be a small event where photographers will talk about their experiences and the thought process behind the photographs.
Drushtikon not only provides a platform for photographers to display their art, but also supports social cause. P@P is associated with Vidya Mahamandal, an NGO that works with specially-abled children. Half of all earnings from the exhibition goes towards sponsoring education for children with special needs. Also, voluntary donations from visitors to the exhibition are added to contribution from members.
This year, the exhibition will be inaugurated by Pune’s prominent theatre personality, Nipun Dharmadhikari along with children from Vidya Mahamandal.
Swati Gavde, who works as e-learning content designer with Vidya Mahamandal, is connected with P@P since 2008. For her, the happiness on the faces of the children and the fact that they are able to understand the essence of the pictures, matter to her.
Stories to tell
“I have been doing photography for quite a while now, but I saw Drushtikon for the first time in 2012. After seeing the exhibition, I decided to join the group. The exhibition changed my approach about how I look at the art. This year I have one picture on display,” said Sarang Nerlekar, a businessman.
Ram Balmur is a well-known name in Pune’s photography community and he is a member of P@P for a decade now. He is credited with the editing work done on the photos.
“I am an asocial photographer so to say and therefore find it little difficult to make new friends beyond a certain age. But at P@P I have made some of the best friends,” he said.
Photographs inspire people and Drushtikon provides exactly the same for Aabha Chaubal. A professional photographer, who primarily works in wedding photography, Aabha loves to see the stories that other people have created.
Deepak Tiwari, who is an IT professional, shifted back to Pune from Bengaluru for his love of photography. He couldn’t find the sense of belongingness that exists within P@P in Bengaluru. Amit Gurjar, an entrepreneur, whose picture will be on display for the first time, spoke about how one can learn about the nuances of the art via Drushtikon.
ST Reader Service
Drushtikon — a photography exhibition will be held at Raja Ravi Varma art gallery, Ghole Road from April 6-8