My name is Mahesh Bhat and I’m a Bangalore based photographer and India is my canvas. I’ve been photographing the life and times of my country and parts of the sub continent for 25 years. I’m an assignment photographer with Getty Images and represented by Global Photo Associates, NYC. I’ve worked with Polaris Images and Agence Vu.
In the last 25 years, the city of Bangalore went from where every place was 15 minutes away from each other to every place is at least an hour from each other. It became a megapolis. Over the years I have photographed the city. In last few years I’ve been commissioned to photograph for publications as varied as The New York Times to Newsweek of Japan – from over 20 countries. Assignments have included coffee addas of Kolkata to a profile of a female suicide bomber from the LTTE for Marie Claire.
I love to work on really long term projects. In 2004, I began UNSUNG, a project about people who have made extraordinary contributions to society against personal odds. I published the book in 2007. It helped raise over Rs.8.5 million for the causes of the heroes featured in the book. The second book will be published this year. The project is ongoing now for eight years. Do visit UNSUNG here.
Since 2007, I’ve worked on a book project on Bangalore. It’s a collection of projections from my conscious and subconscious mind. Through my photographs, I explored how the city had changed in the last two and a half decades. It is also an impassioned plea to support the arts and creativity to drive the true growth of Bangalore.
I self publish my books and this new book – Bangalore/Bengaluru – In First Person Singular is in bookstores since February 2012. An application based on the book will launch soon.
Unlike some of my friends who were born and brought up here, I am not really connected to the city. In a way I am disconnected. The 17 images you see below, in a way represent that disconnection. I’m eager to hear your opinion, your critique.
Do we have a deal?
Think along the lines of how an image can convey content better. How can this work be refined? What does the photographer need to do to elevate her/his game?
Based on your responses, Tiffinbox will invite other photographers to submit their work to also be critiqued by you. So, it is vital that you get involved. Mahesh is, after all, willing to submit his work in this way. The least you can do is to support his work one way or another by commenting below.
Gopal M S says
I think these images could only have been shot if you have a connect with the city or its past. Most of the images seem to represents the changes the city is going through.
Mahesh Bhat says
Thanks Gopal.. interesting thought :).. .. I know the city very well but don’t feel connected to the city!
Marco Martinez says
Most of the images are shot from behind, or at least they have this feeling. They have a feeling that they were shoot from the outside looking in. Even in the two photos where the subjects are facing the photographer seem forced. So I don’t get a connection to the place. I get feelings of alianation instead.
Mahesh Bhat says
Thanks Marco..will think about what you said about the portraits seeming forced..
Kathryn Myers says
I do get the sense of alienation, and a feeling of randomness of the “any city” as it could be any mid sized city in the world as things that distinguish one place from another are disappearing and nowhere faster than in India. When I was in Bangalore recently I was trying to find glimpses of the old city trough what remains of cottages and bungalows, before the escalated values of real estate made everyone feel the need to make the most money out of a building plot and build up and up. What’s nice though is that the images do not have a kind of slickness that we associate with Bangalore the “IT” city from afar, there is also something very gritty and real about it. I look forward to the book.
Mahesh Bhat says
Disposable Message says
How to refine? Stories. I think it would be very interesting if you could follow the everyday life of some people for a while, to add a bit of context to those singular shots. To me, some of them out of context look a bit random. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the shots and definitely see a lot of potential! Cheers – Perhaps you might find my project interesting aswell (or, who knows, maybe we can collaborate): get in touch in twitter @disposablemsg