The profound power of the lens | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

The profound power of the lens

Pakistan Press Foundation

Conventionally speaking, a major difference between a painting and a photograph is that while the latter can be embellished with colours, applying special techniques to give it a special effect and improvise on the subject, a photograph just registers what is in front of the lens, just the way it is.

The photographic image has a robotic similarity to the subject. Or at least that’s what one would think, but very close scrutiny sometimes shows that that may not after all be the case and that the photograph can also be garnished with light and postures, while shooting that can create an effect that may not be as pronounced in the subject.

This is what is portrayed at the photographic exhibition titled Kam Sukhan that opened Tuesday evening at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and shall run up until June 8.

The exhibition is based on the works of nine women photographers – amateurs and professionals – from different walks of life.

Even though mostly amateurs, they seem to have attained mastery over the inflow of light and other ingredients of photography to give their end-product a profound effect, no matter how simple in real life.

The photographs are both in colour and black-and-white, but as far as effectiveness goes, the black-and-white shots overshadow the ones in colour in many cases. For example, there are black-and-white shots of various European cities by Nazia Akram. There’s a photograph of a block of multi-storeyed buildings in Innsbruck, Austria.

Although just buildings that one may not even pay much attention to in real life, yet the coordinates from which the photograph has been shot and the positioning of the camera make the whole structure look so very impressive.

Same is the case with her shots of the interior of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and other structures in Budapest, Moscow and Paris.

Akram, who has commendable antecedents, is currently teaching photography at SZABIST.

Same is the case with Khaula Jamil’s black-and-white shots of absolutely routine, daily-life occurrences in cities made so profound by her camera.

There’s her shot of a female Airport Security Force official. Even though the official doesn’t have a matronly, stern bearing, Khaula has most masterfully captured the stern expression in her eyes, which indicates her authority and power.

In her work titled Waitresses at Nando’s, she has very aptly captured the light-hearted mood of the teenaged waitresses.

Insiya Syed’s five works tiled The Amma Jan Project depict various stages of motherhood.

All 61 photographs adorning the walls of the exhibition hall are worth seeing and drive home the creative power of the camera.

Source: The News

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