Express press service
HYDERABAD: On weekdays, City-based DRDO scientist Pulak Halder stays immersed in the research and manufacture of tactical aerospace vehicles. On weekends, Pulak turns into an impressionist who does not paint with brushes but with light
Until recently, Pulak Halder was like any other photographer, capturing landscapes, architecture and travel. But, the scientist in him was bored to death. He didn’t like what he was photographing, so Pulak started experimenting with photography – in a weird way. “Photographers generally look for pretty places to take beautiful shots. I seek the opposite. I look for old walls covered in dirty moss with layers of rotting paint, filthy trash cans and nalas. I’m interested in anything that has taken shape with human intervention and that over time has been unintentionally shaped by nature,” says Pulak Halder, aerospace researcher at the Research and Development Organization for defense (DRDO).
Basically, the scientist is looking for anything worn out by time. It doesn’t have to be something like a wall where painters rub their brushes or a dab shop where paint accidentally falls off. Or a close-up of peeling layers of paint on an old wall. “It can also be natural. Photographers usually like to click pictures of blooming flowers. I look for patterns in bark, wilted leaves and flowers. Likewise, I also look for murky waters with floating algae, dead leaves or anything that has worn out over time,” explains the scientist.
“The basic rule of Impressionism is trying to capture the subjective impression of light in a scene. I do my best to capture it with light and not with a brush. Because I understand light more than I don’t understand a brush, looking at places where no one understands. A lot of people have told me that my images look like 19th century impressionist works,” he says.
Pulak was recently selected for a month-long Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program organized by the Association of Cultural Encounter Centers and supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communications. While in France, the artist-scientist aims to capture and showcase experiences with photographs. He uses macro photography techniques to capture the most mundane objects up close and presents them as the works of a 19th century impressionist.