The photo maker

The photo maker
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First Published: Wed, Sep 10 2008. 01 37 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Sep 10 2008. 01 37 AM IST
Photographer Akashendu Das, popularly known as Akash Das, believes in making pictures, not taking them. He thrives on the “love and death relationship” he shares with the wilderness. A professional photographer who has worked in the ad world and has a client list that includes Microsoft, Revlon, Sony, ArtDnox among many others, he has also had his works featured in the National Geographic. While fashion photography is what his work portfolio is all about, “wildlife art photography” is his passion and life. And that is what he brings forth in his current two-part exhibition, Asian Nudes in the Jungle and Asian Nudes in the Urban Jungle, at the Visual Arts Gallery in the Capital.
(Click here to watch a slideshow of Das’ photographs)
Das, who is considered a pioneer in the field of socially conscious photography, has worked with sensitive subjects such as HIV/AIDS and homosexuality. While his commercial work is full of vibrant colours and strong imagery, his personal work is all about shades of grey, black and white. “I love the mystery, depth and the story that black-and-white pictures give a hint of,” says the 50-year-old photographer.
A coffee-table book of Das’ photographs on the same theme, titled Asian Nudes in the Jungle and Asian Nudes in the Urban Jungle, was also launched. Priced at Rs600, the book displays some of Das’ most stunning photographs.
Das lists out his five favourite photographers:
1. Richard Avedon: The photographer who shot the iconic image of actress Nastassja Kinski with a python wrapped around her. Das loves Avedon’s strong sense of design and graphic approach.
2. Annie Leibovitz: Das believes Leibovitz is bigger than the celebrities she shoots. He appreciates the way Leibovitz plays with lights.
3. Raghu Rai: Probably the best known name in Indian photography, Rai is a “journalist photographer”. “He is the one who made journalistic photography un-boring,” says Das.
4. Nick Brandt: A fellow wildlife art photographer, Brandt shoots in Africa, “which is much easier to shoot, but his images (in black-and-white) are simply stunning”, says Das.
5. Brian Lanker: Das loves the way Lanker “brings out the character of the subject in the photograph”.
Akash Das’ Asian Nudes in the Jungle and Asian Nudes in the Urban Jungle is currently being exhibited at the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, till 12 September.
The photographs are priced at Rs50,000-Rs1 lakh each.
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First Published: Wed, Sep 10 2008. 01 37 AM IST