Globetrotting ace lensman captures moments of magic

Through his photo exhibition titled Triple, Sharad Haksar is narrating fascinating tales from his journey through Norway, Denmark and New Zealand. The display also offers lessons on the right use of light, composition and the need for patience to capture a picturesque location.
Sharad Haksar
Sharad Haksar

Chennai

Having spent nearly 40 years behind the camera lens capturing thousands of photographs in the realm of fashion, advertising and nature, renowned photographer Sharad Haksar does not allow his learning to stop at any point. Each year, he makes sure he takes at least three weeks away from work, giving himself an assignment of travelling to a place he hasn’t been to before to capture the essence of the land throughhis photographs.

“It was in 2017 that I travelled to New Zealand and a year later to Norway and Denmark. The journey, that lasted about a month in total, resulted in 18 photographs that I’ve exhibited through the photo exhibition, Triple. Prior to undertaking a trip, I take up a month-long research on the country I’ll be visiting and study the pictures that other photographers have captured from the region in the past. I then travel with a few images that I want to capture from the place. While some photographs are planned, some are completely unplanned. It is like magic when it works,” recalls Sharad, 49, in conversation with DT Next at POV Gallery in the city, owned by him and his wife Ratika, where the photographs are being displayed.

Unlike most photographers, Sharad is very economical with the number of pictures he captures when in a foreign land. “I don’t take too many pictures. I know whether a location will yield a good shot or not. Over the 30 days of travelling through three countries, I have captured just around 20 pictures, of which I decided to exhibit 18,” he says. Be it New Zealand’s most photographed willow tree at Wanaka, about 60km north of Queenstown, or Moeraki Boulders Beach in New Zealand’s Hampden, or the rocky mountains from Norway — all of these locations took him hours of patient waiting to capture.

“I start my day usually at 3 am when I’m travelling. I hire a car and drive down across the country along with my wife. At times there is a long wait through sun and rain to get a good shot. For instance, the willow tree at Wanaka had dozens of photographers also waiting to capture it. I like to capture landscapes without many people, so I usually have to wait for a long time for a clear area and good lighting,” he recollects. The photograph of six flock of well-grown woolly sheep atop a mountain, away from Queenstown, however, was unexpected. “While driving down, I saw the image and wanted to capture it. I quietly got close to the sheep, being careful not to drive them away, and then yelled so they would all look at me at the same time,” Sharad explains, walking us through the images printed on archival paper and ink, which can lastfor 100 years.

The award-winning photographer, who founded the digital portal One Eyeland for shutterbugs from around the world to showcase their works, feels there is a need for physical spaces for photographers to showcase their pictures in the current world dominated by social media. “When I travel I don’t post any pictures on digital networking sites as I don’t want the likes and comments on my mind. I believe there is an overload of social media that we’re witnessing — with many millennial photographers spending hours on it posting their pictures, but not taking enough time to learn the skill,” he remarks. Sharad is also keen to work with visual communication students from the city, offering them workshops on the artof photography.

Triple will be on display for a month at POV Gallery in Teynampet.

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