Shiv Kumar is a trained architect who studied at the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU) in the year 2002–2007. As he talks about his passions, he tries to draw parallels between the two art forms.
“Architecture and photography are both visual media involving designs and compositions. And though we have always studied principles that can make a great visual, I believe photography is more challenging. For instance, in architecture, everything is in our control because time is on our side. But in photography, the best picture can be missed in a matter of seconds,” says Shiv Kumar.
According to Shiv Kumar, photo-shoot sessions should never be a one-way pathway. “I always make it a point to interact with the people before a photo-shoot. This ensures that people aren’t conscious about the camera, and I get to capture uninhibited, natural expressions. Similarly, when speaking to the Chindu Yakshaganam team, I realised they had so many stories to narrate. Their ritual of applying make-up and donning clothes itself was like a performance. I am always interested in the process of photo-shoot than the end product,” Shiv Kumar shares.
The monochrome narratives
Shiv Kumar then goes on to share with us about how during his college days, he’d move around with a camera borrowed from his friend just so he could shoot pictures. “Most of it used to be street photography or pictures that narrate a story. Quite often, I looked for ‘human elements’ or ‘living beings’ to juxtapose against concrete or village backdrops. This added life to the photograph, conveying a story through them. Later, I bought a 35-mm film camera and found black-and-white pictures (monochrome) to be closer to my style of working. I liked it, for instance, that in a monochrome, the background is almost cut off and the clutter of different colours is not there,” adds Shiv Kumar.