An Interview with Eminent Photographer Murali Santhanam

Murali Santhanam

Murali Santhanam
An Avid Nature Photographer

1) Would you tell us more about you and your interest in Photography?

My interest in Photography was ignited when I first read the book “The Kodak Camera Guide” when I was in college. It immediately appealed to my scientific mind and I wanted to experiment. In fact, one of my earliest investments, after I got a job was to buy a range finder camera. The Yaschica Lynx 1.4 is still with me and works.But my real journey in photography started 12 years back when I, along with my friend Mr. Amar Bhaskar, met two important individuals in my lie, Mr. Satish H, a kind and well known Professional Photographer and Mr. Goutham Ramesh, who had been my constant companion when it comes to experimenting. The 12-year journey had been one of great learning and I owe my photography to these 12 years.

Fog

2) Can you please tell us about the types of Photography you indulge with?

Like many people, my interests in photography have changed over a period of time and the equipment required followed suite. I started, like many others in Bangalore, with Nature – macro, flora, birds and wildlife and I still do some of these. But as the artistic part of photography started influencing me, I turned to more complex subjects like Travel, Landscapes, Monuments and am learning street photography. I love photographing landscapes in challenging lighting conditions. I have experimented various techniques like Water Drop Photography, Focus Stacking, HDR, Luminosity Masks and Star trails.

Nature at its best

3) What is the inspiration that keeps you going?

To my scientific mind, the fact that there is something more to learn and explore is the greatest inspiration. My interest in photography will stop the day there is nothing new to learn, and I know, for certain, that that day will never come. The other source of inspiration has been the realization that my photography skills can be applied to help people in need.

4) How do you feel when your work is exhibited and viewed by tons of people?

I have a different philosophy on this. My job is done when I have created a picture to my satisfaction, put the same for display and do not regret having done so. Many may like, some may have some views to improve and a few may not like too. This rule applies for all. It is not just the merits of the picture that compels many to view, but most of the times, it is the value of the association with the photographer. I would be happy if my photograph serves some one’s purpose rather than being the target of just Likes and Dislikes.

5) Can you tell us something about Photography and its inception?

The purpose and uses of photography have evolved. It perhaps came into being as an alternative to portrait painters but has evolved into a compelling art form, a tool for recording the memory lane, a tool for social positioning, a vehicle of learning about a subject like nature, a visual news item, a profession, a marketing aid and many more. The cameras, the media and supporting equipment have evolved to meet these needs.

Walking on the Sun

Sunrise at Jaisalmer peeping through the legs of the Camel man.

6) To you, what is photography?

To me photography means many things:

  • It is a vehicle or venting my creativity

  • It provides me an identity in a circle of like minded photographers

  • It offers me a welcome change from my professional life

  • Above all, it puts in my power a tool that can be used to help others

Black & White

7) Please share us some of your achievements in Photography Profession?

I am not a person after awards and recognitions. Hence most of my achievements have come from using Photography rather than competing with pictures:

  • As a member of Vismaya, with the tag line “Photography for Cause”, I was part of a few Photography Exhibitions where we could sell pictures to help people in need. These range from Cancer patients to autism children to rural children in school

  • I had helped in developing and operating websites for collective learning – Some examples are http://creativephotoartist.in and http://ypsbengaluru.com

Lotus flower taken at one of the temple complexes in Bali. Light falling into the center of the flower made it glow from inside.

8) Can you tell us something about your Photography community?

  • I am a member of Vismaya, Photography for Cause – helping worthy causes through exhibitions and sale of pictures

  • I am a Director at Youth Photographic Society, a not-for-profit organization promoting development of photographic skills

9) Can you tell us about the general response you receive in exhibitions?

As part of Vismaya, I have so far contributed to 4 exhibitions, three of them at Chitra Kala Parishath, Bengaluru. These exhibitions changed our perspective of photography and made us focus on making pictures that people would like to hang on their walls. These exhibitions have been fairly successful. I have personally contributed to a sale of over 100 pictures in these exhibitions.

SunSet

10) What do you think about the scope of Photography in the modern Digital world?

The digital and connected world is interested in pictures that tell stories and shared with the community immediately. Click-to-share speed, rather than perfection, is the desired quality in this sphere.  Personal phones have scored over heavy professional DSLRs in this area. Simple, smart and cheap cameras have become travel companions to all tourists. DSLRs will continue to serve, with or without mirror, the Professional Photography community and community of artistic photographs.

Elephant

11) How do you feel about your association with Honeycomb creative support?

Honeycomb is driven by a team of sincere, honest and friendly professionals who are good to work with on any project. They are dependable and easy to work with. I hope they maintain the present values.

12) Can you share us your future plans and dreams?

On a personal level I would like to learn more to be able to produce pictures of India on par in quality and presentation with international photographers.  We also plan to establish a model for collective sale of pictures online to help und worthy causes.


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