Chatting up Chandigarh-based photographer Namrata Singh about her craft and more
I am an artist and I used to paint. Since I wanted to improve my drawing, I took to photography since you can click as many pictures as you want and then recreate them through art. For me, photography is just an extension of my art — while it is difficult to show your abstract ideas through paintings, it is easier to capture everything you want to show the world through your photographs,” says Chandigarh-based photographer Namrata Singh whose photographs are displayed at a solo exhibition titled ‘Exploring Nature’ at Bliss Art Gallery, Koregaon Park (till July 1). For the 38-year photographer, her work is a way to show the world her imagination and ideas.
The title of her exhibition may give an impression that the photos shows only wildlife and majesty of nature. But before you jump to any conclusion, let us tell you that the photographs are just candid shots of animals like cats, cows, ants, houseflies, birds, plants and so on. “I love nature, and animals are an integral part of nature. Also be it the cow that I have captured in the photograph or the cat happily relaxing on the couch, or the birds — I have been feeding them all, so they keep coming to me and visiting my house. It is my way of caring for them and giving back to nature,” says Singh.
Singh likes to capture the most natural behaviour of animals, so her photographs include a cat purring, or a cow licking her nostril, a housefly trying to pick up a fallen piece of a sweet, birds feeding from the bird feeder, a honey bee trying to climb a leaf and so on.
Generally, when we talk about nature and nature-inspired photography, we think of going into the wildlife and capturing the action. But Singh’s definition of nature photography is quite different. Her focus is on her surroundings and day-today life. Says she, “Nature is not only about wildlife, or being into the jungle — nature is everything that you see and observe on a daily basis. When I feed the birds, they come to me and even if I stop, they won’t. If you notice, in one of the photographs, the toy car has a broken wheel. I have recycled it to use it as both a decoration piece and to feed birds. You can’t train the birds, if they want, they will eat and if they don’t want, they don’t. That’s the beauty of clicking pictures of animals and birds.”
Singh further adds that she can’t be in the wilderness everyday. “Hence I try to show the beauty of nature through these animals. These may not be wild animals but at the end of the day, they are animals who show their emotions in an unrestrained manner, unlike humans who can mould or suppress their feelings. They always retain and show their natural instinct. I do not necessarily have to go to the wildlife sanctuary or only capture exotic bird species or an animal which is endangered.”
Singh, a professor at Indo Global College of Architecture in Abhipur, Mohali district, Punjab, started photography in 2008. She strongly believes in god and often likes to click the majesty of The Golden Temple, Amritsar.
Some of Singh’s photographs are like paintings showing the beautiful and artistic side of nature — leaves with patterns, blooming flowers and so on. “The leaves represent art and The Golden Temple is one place I go to every year. Being a Sikh by faith, my heart lies in the temple. Actually, every photograph — from the animals around me, birds, plants to the temple, is a representation of who I am and what my thoughts are. I try to connect myself with everything and normally I see a heart shape in everything. Once I even found a Ganesha image in the leaves which I have captured in my lens.”