A play of light and colour: Sharad and Rathika Haksar stage the perfect moment

Sharad and Rathika Haksar stage the perfect moment for Indulge, in a very special interaction.
A photograph by Sharad Haksar at POV Gallery, Chennai
A photograph by Sharad Haksar at POV Gallery, Chennai

Rathika Haksar, A jewellery designer, fashion stylist and artist, rues the days when her husband, the advertising professional and popular photographer, Sharad Haksar, isn’t able to get a picture or visual that he has his eyes set on.

“There are days when he doesn’t talk to me, if he doesn’t get his image,” cries Rathika in false alarm, as they laugh over a few stories from their travels around the world.

On a good day, such as in say, Reykjavík, Iceland — the couple can work magic out in the field, in their own different ways.

While Sharad, a noted lensman in the circuit, is known for his picture-perfect compositions that can have him stand at a spot for hours, even days at a time, in wait for the perfect moment, Rathika is well-known for making a splash with her inspired jewellery lines.

At the POV Gallery, a new space that they recently opened, the couple are playing host of a show titled, TRIPLE: A photo exhibition of pictures by Sharad.

We got to sit down for a chat with Sharad, and his wife Rathika, to speak about capturing those perfect moments, and taking the time to enjoy the view... 

We were looking around the gallery, and we couldn’t help but notice, the only living beings in the photos here seem to be of sheep!
Sharad Haksar: We were out driving in New Zealand, and I saw this perfect mound, with the perfect hill in the background, and we stopped the car and I set up the tripod. When I yelled, they all (the sheep) looked over at me, and then I clicked the picture. They are Merino sheep.

Are you more of a nature photographer on your travels? Do you tend to avoid crowds?
I like to shoot when I travel. I don’t like to shoot people, but just nature as it is. In crowded spots, I can wait for hours, until there’s five minutes where no one is there, and then get my shot. I like it untouched. We live in cities where it’s so crowded that I prefer it like that.

I love architecture and landscape, so that’s something I try and shoot. I want to do a series in Tokyo, because there are so many people there. I want to show extremes. But, otherwise in my travels, I prefer something clean and pristine.

CLICK FOR GALLERY: Sharad Haksar's pristine visuals from around the world 

That pristine quality is quite a departure from the norm in the digital era of photography — of a frenzied barrage of images, in shoots, and also while sharing them...
It’s a given that you should be in the right moment, at the right time, in the right light. That is very critical. Over the years, the number of photos that I click has also reduced, as I have become more finicky about what I’m shooting.

On our New Zealand trip, for instance, we were there for about 15 days, but I had only about nine images from those 15 days. For me, the pictures just have to be exceptionally different.

Rathika Haksar: I travel with Sharath on all these trips, and since I’m a fashion stylist as well, I work with him closely, and I’ve seen an example of this... I remember, he did this series in Japan, and I was just going camera-happy and shooting a hundred angles, non-stop. 

And, I came back to him, and he only had one shot. Of course, it was an unbelievingly mindblowing shot that was completely different from everything that I took!

CLICK FOR GALLERY: Sharad Haksar's pristine visuals from around the world 

Do you ever shoot pictures on your cell phone?
I never shoot on my phone. Just for reference though, if I like a particular piece of art, or a door or something — then, yes. One is because it’s an inferior lens, and pictures are so easy to take that you’re just not in the groove.

If I’m on a holiday, I’m either shooting or not shooting, there’s a clear difference. If I’m not shooting, I don’t take my camera along, as you might be in the right place, but you have to wait for hours — which really doesn’t work.

I’m very particular of what I’m shooting, and if I like something, I take a reference, but I know it’s not my shot. We do a little research, a few months in advance, and we often do road trips, with 6-7 places to stop and take detours. Sometimes, I go to the same place multiple times, to get a shot. I used to be happy if I got one or two images in a day, but now, I’m happy with one image in two to three days.

RH: He really understands light, and I’ve learnt that from him. When you see the images around here, what stands out is the way that they’re lit. If you’re a phone photographer, they’re not looking at the light.

Most of the time, they’re just changing filters. But Sharad’s images are not edited like that. He might shoot two stops over, and two under, but it’s all at the same place. He’s working on the light... 

Check out the Indulge video interview! 

The exhibition Triple is on display at POV Gallery, Teynampet. Visits by appointment only. 

— Jaideep Sen

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