From the rugged mountains of India to the gleaming business district of Singapore, Photographer Ravikumar Jambunathan uses black and white images to capture moments of transcendence.
By Tina Jacob
Ravikumar Jambunathan is a Singapore-based photographer whose work has been featured in publications like Adore Noir, Landscape Photography Magazine and Camerapixo Publications. He has also gained honourable mention in the ND Awards 2017, Black and White Spider Awards 2017 and the 4th Zebra Awards.
Why do you shoot exclusively in black and white?
To me, black and white photography has the ability to transform a viewer to an observer. Colour can sometimes conceal the soul of the subject, but in black and white the true form of the subject is revealed in the photo. This gives the observer space to understand the image on a profound level.
You’re inspired by the quote: “The beauty of a landscape resides in its melancholy”. Tell us more.
I live in a bustling city where everything is fast-paced and materialistic. Society compels me to keep running. Yet, when I find myself before a magnificent landscape, everything slows down. Light changes. The atmosphere is different. Ambitions and thoughts disappear. I feel peaceful. I am a part of the landscape, as much as a boulder or tree. I no longer exist. The loneliness of remote landscapes causes a kind of sadness which I believe simulates the deeper inner experience of melancholy. This is the sentiment that I hope to convey with my landscape images.
The photos here are of India and Singapore. What were you trying to achieve with these photos?
I want people to see a new dimension of India, without the tropes of poverty, chaotic streets and holy festivals. I want people to see the country’s glory, its rich landscape and history, its simple but beautiful people and its magnificent wildlife.
For Singapore, I focus primarily on architecture. On my walks around the city, I observe light patterns and architectural forms that move me and return to them to shoot. I especially like experiencing the city when it is very quiet and the light is beautiful.
As a self-taught photographer, what advice do you have for people who want to improve their photography?
Crucial photography skills like composition, light, tonalities. The relationship between these factors can be mastered with practice. Developing a personal vision and style also takes time. I recommend studying paintings, works from master photographers, watching classics and reading books about photography. My personal favourites are Sabastio Salgado, Nick Brandt, Michael Kenna and Peter Lindberg.
Check out more of Ravikumar Jambunathan’s work here