Meet this Hyderabad-based scientist who paints not with brushes but with light
Until lately, Pulak Halder was like any other photographer, capturing landscapes, architecture, and travel
On the weekdays, City-based DRDO scientist Pulak Halder remains immersed in researching and making tactical aerospace vehicles. On weekends Pulak turns into an impressionist who paints not with brushes but with light
Until lately, Pulak Halder was like any other photographer, capturing landscapes, architecture, and travel. But, the scientist in him was bored to death. He did not like what he was photographing, so Pulak started experimenting with photography — the uncanny way. “Photographers generally look for pretty places to get beautiful shots. I look for the otherwise. I look for dirty-moss ridden, old walls with decaying layers of paint, dirty dustbins and nalas. I am interested in anything that has taken shape with human intervention and is over time, moulded by nature unintentionally,” says Pulak Halder, an aerospace researcher at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Basically, the scientist looks for anything that is time-worn. It need not be something like a wall where painters scrub their brushes or a denting store where paint accidentally falls. Or a close up of peeling layers of paint on an old wall. “It can be natural too. Photographers generally 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, fallen leaves or anything time-worn,” the scientist says.
“The base rule of impressionism attempt to capture the subjective impression of light in a scene. I do my best to capture it with light and not a brush. Because I understand light more than I understand a brush, by looking at places where nobody does. Many people told me that my pictures resemble 19th-century impressionist works,” he says.
Pulak recently got selected for a month-long Artist in Residency (AiR) Programme-2022 organised by Association des Centres culturels de rencontre, and supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communications. During his stay at France, the artist cum-scientist aims to capture and showcase experiments with photographs. He uses macro photography techniques to capture the most mundane objects from up close and presents them as works of a 19th-century impressionist.