William Dalrymple’s photo exhibition: shot on phone, edited on Snapseed - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

William Dalrymple’s photo exhibition: shot on phone, edited on Snapseed

ByArundhati Chatterjee
Mar 11, 2016 05:09 PM IST

William Dalrymple has always been one to keep up with the times.

Dalrymple shot Frozen Frames (all photos untitled) over the course of a year, when he travelled across Central Asia(William Dalrymple)
Dalrymple shot Frozen Frames (all photos untitled) over the course of a year, when he travelled across Central Asia(William Dalrymple)

Opulent presidencies from the British Raj, imposing architecture, formidable forts, dashing Rajputs and debonair Mughals: just a handful of images one conjures up while reading William Dalrymple’s (50) books.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

After having written acclaimed books such as In Xanadu (1989), The Last Mughal (2006) and Return of a King (2012), the Scottish writer has now turned his attention to reviving one of his earliest passions — photography.

His first book of photographs, The Writer’s Eye, is a collection of 60 black-and-white frames shot over a period of 18 months. And it has been shot on non-traditional equipment, the phablet Samsung Note — something he describes as an excellent little camera tucked away permanently in his back pocket.

ALSO READ: Young Anupam Kher to Shashi Thaoor in a college play: Pablo Bartholomew redefines celeb portraits

Dalrymple says that, much like his writing, his photography is also inspired by his travels. “This collection is a record of a restless year between books, when I took the opportunity to visit some of the world’s remotest places, especially in Central Asia. Themes relating to Mughal architecture, the ruins of Afghanistan, the domes of Golconda run throughout the book.” A major share of his inventory of images has been shot in Ladakh, Kannauj, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Yazd and the deserts of western Iran.

“I am a fan of the app Snapseed. It helps me get the perfect dark, grainy tones for my work”: Dalrymple (William Dalrymple)
“I am a fan of the app Snapseed. It helps me get the perfect dark, grainy tones for my work”: Dalrymple (William Dalrymple)

Apart from his book, an exhibition of Dalrymple’s work (curated by bestselling writer and Sensorium Festival co-founder, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi) will open at Sunaparanta: Goa Centre for the Arts in Panjim on March 18.

But while this may be the first time he is professionally venturing into photography, he is not new to the medium. His interest in photography goes back to his childhood, when he received a Kodak camera for his seventh birthday.

Untitled (William Dalrymple)
Untitled (William Dalrymple)

And the boy was hooked. He’d spend as many hours developing photographs in the dark room as he spent writing, he says. In fact, he says those who knew him as a teenager, still consider him a photographer and not a writer. “I used to spend a lot of time leafing through photographic books. I particularly admired the bleak and grainy war photography of Don McCullin (British photojournalist) and the landscape work of Fay Godwin (British photographer). But my real hero was Bill Brandt (British photographer and photojournalist), whose brooding images were marked by a stark chiaroscuro, a strong geometrical sense of composition, a whiff of the surreal, and a taste for the uncanny and unsettling.”

And though Dalrymple misses the dark room, he has kept up with the latest photo-editing apps on smartphones: “I am a fan of the app Snapseed. It helps me get the perfect dark, grainy tones for my work. I am also a regular Instagram user,” says Dalrymple, while clarifying he “doesn’t do selfies”.

Not that we’d expect him to.

William Dalrymple
William Dalrymple

Dalrymple shot Frozen Frames (all photos untitled) over the course of a year, when he travelled across Central Asia. The Writer’s Eye by William Dalrymple is available for pre-order; publisher: Harper Collins India; pre-order for Rs 999 on amazon.in.

Are you a cricket buff? Participate in the HT Cricket Quiz daily and stand a chance to win an iPhone 15 & Boat Smartwatch. Click here to participate now.

Catch your daily dose of Fashion, Health, Festivals, Travel, Relationship, Recipe and all the other Latest Lifestyle News on Hindustan Times Website and APPs.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On