Night lights

Photo exhibition

Armed with his Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 550D, Raghav Gautam likes to explore the city at night and capture it on his camera. The city, which is bustling with noise and traffic during the daytime, offers him calm at night. During such night excursions, spread across nearly four months, he clicked some photographs which are currently on display as part of his solo show, ‘City Lights - Delhi by Night’.

“The initial idea was to capture night markets, but eventually it turned out to be an effort to capture the silence, the buildings, the speed of the cars, and some lonely travellers. I then wanted to capture the details of the beauty of Delhi roads, and some off-beat locations, by mixing up the silence of the night, with some busy locations, beautiful buildings, and the moon,” says Gautam, who is also a cinematographer.

His series has around 35 images, of which 14 form the exhibition. While the entire city finds representation in the project, he has widely covered areas like NH10 and Gurgaon, Noida and Kashmere Gate. Adding, Gautam says that most frames have been clicked after 11 pm till around 5 am.

“Delhi isn’t known for its nightlife, so it’s quiet at most places after about 11 pm, which makes it quite scary at that hour. Cars constantly pass by on the roads, people are outside in some areas, especially near CyberHub, or some office locations in Gurgaon which have night shifts. But I observed plenty of police patrolling vans and guards, some of whom even asked me what and why was I shooting,” he tells Metrolife.

Talking about the most challenging bit, the photographer says it was the “fear of unknown place and time”.

“It is an out-of-comfort-zone experience. Also, for some of the shots, I was dependent on the cars and the people passing by. So, at times, it was difficult to get outside the car around 2 am, set up the tripod, and wait for the perfect frame and then shoot it. Thankfully, there were no scary experiences,” he says.

City Lights - Delhi by Night is exhibited at Delhi O Delhi Foyer, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, until October 31.

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