‘My work participates in the arts of other people’

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Manav Parhawk Photographer
Manav Parhawk Photographer

What did you think you were getting into, when you started out photographing?

Photography brought together a lot of things that interested me and worked for me — from going camping to traversing the Upper Himalayas. It was not my first choice of career but training with Farrokh Chothia has equipped me well. Farrokh has influenced me deeply, in both the creative and business aspects of photography.

How would you describe your work — which, although it encompasses a wide range of subjects, has a distinct, inimitable style?

If I were to talk about the psychology of my work, I must acknowledge my continuous oscillation between the varied genres that pull me in different directions. But to me, it all comes from the same place. To a large extent, my work is about participating in the arts of a lot of other people.

To what extent do you think technology should score over the photographer’s prerogative. Does technology get to be dominant and interventionist or should the photographer keep it at an arm’s length and let subjects speak for themselves?

There are no absolutes there, and that’s how it should be. Intervention is about interpreting truth and each of our truths differ widely. While shooting on film, you need to be more discerning, while digital is a different medium altogether.

What are your most favourite subjects to photograph? Any projects that you are especially proud of?

I photograph everything from fashion designers, chefs, motorcycle builders to winter landscapes and modern architecture. There’s this project called ‘The Rockstar Experience’ — which is about celebrating people and their passions — that has now acquired a life of its own.

What do you do when you are not doing what you do — being a photographer?

I travel a lot, especially in the winters, to the Himalayas and capture the landscape there. I never travel to the mountains in the summers, when it’s crowded. I like to have them all to myself, when the crowds are gone and there’s just me, my thoughts and my camera for company.

Shalini Rai

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