By Sahidul Haque
I started photography with an old Zeiss Super Ikonta in 1975, when I was just a student. I felt a growing urge to create ‘art’, to express myself and my vision of the surrounding world, artistically. Pictorial photography allured me. In the pursuit of beauty, I strolled every nook and corner of the neighborhood. But beauty eluded me. I made a frantic search for her day after day. I was overtaken by a frenzy to woo and seize her. For months, I could not rest. Gradually beauty began to emerge out of the ordinary objects I ignored.
I came to realize that beauty is everywhere but I had not the eye to see, recognize, and discover her. I felt the need to train my eye. I studied books and pictures carefully. Gradually, there was an awakening of visual sense, or, more precisely, photographic sense, within me. I began to look at objects differently, see and study them aesthetically. All on a sudden, ordinary objects before me cast off the dark film of familiarity and appeared, as it were, ‘Apparell’d in celestial light’. And I got myself involved all the more in creative photography.
Rural Bengal – land, life, people, and culture that I intimately know and love – is my forte. Still I am always haunted by beauty. My love’s labor is to capture the essence, the truth that lies underneath the external reality. I have dealt with common and simple subjects but transformed them into something artistic and uncommon. Much time and patience have I spent to observe and study them.
In the 80s, I started my photographic journey. Success came instantly. I received many prestigious national and international prizes, awarded by the State Governments of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and the Govt of India; Second Prize in 7th UNESCO Photo Contest in Asia and the Pacific; Second Prize in Vienna Art Photo Competition; Gold Medal of the Pictorial Print Division of Photographic Society of America and many others. Besides, I held three Solo Exhibitions, two in Calcutta and one in New Delhi.
Then I went into hibernation for nearly two decades due to some crisis in my life. But the old creative spirit could not die down. It was reawakened and revived. And I restarted my photographic journey in 2009 with a digital camera.
You can find more of Prof. Sahidul Haque‘s work here. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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