It began with the 34-exposure black and white Agfa Clack camera some 26 years ago. Shridhar Deshpande has come a long way since then. The owner of Sheil’s Photography,this 58-year-old is the pillar behind Earnest Photographers Group (EPG). Formed three years back,it was the common ‘frame and capture’ passion which brought people from all walks of life together. The group is now hosting its first ever photography exhibition,Pratibimbha 2011,a collection aimed at evoking every photographers’ soul.
Pratibimbha 2011 has no particular theme; it reflects the emotive quotient of the photographer, says Deshpande. The mission of the group is to promote the art of photography as a medium to express oneself and introspect,he explains. In accordance with this,the exhibition features photographs clicked by the members at different times of their lives and at different places.
The group meets twice every month to discuss frames. The photo enthusiasts,both young and old,often indulge in several weekend escapades to picturesque spots located on the outskirts of the city. Pune is a photographer’s delight. From the hustle-bustle of the city to the mighty ghats,every bit of the city can be framed, says 55-year-old Anil Thakre,a member of EPG.
The regular meetings often end up being a sharing space for presentations and slide shows of recent shoots. The group decides on a monthly theme and pictures are taken accordingly. A 16-km photo-walk around town or a trek at the steep Tamini Ghats is but natural for these earnest learners.
Though EPG began with Deshpande,it now boasts of 730 members,the youngest being a ninth grade student. Despite most members owning high end cameras,Deshpande ensures that the group excels with the basic digital camera first. Thirty years back,photography was constrained to people who could afford it. Things are different now. Though most of our members own DSLRs,we try getting the basics right, shares Deshpande.
The value of each click of the camera has reduced. We rarely think before taking a shot because deleting it is just a click away. EPG values the person behind the camera more than the camera itself, adds Saurabh Srivastava,a core member of EPG.
(The exhibition is on today at New Art Gallery,Ghole Road)