KARACHI: A frail-looking girl in a red dress with a camera in her hand continued to stare at the pictures she had taken. The first one was of a carpenter working oblivious to the world and the second was of a lonely tree.
“I took the picture of this elderly man from a window of a fort where we stayed in at Khairpur,” said Zeest Shabbir, a student of media sciences at Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Szabist). “I tried to capture the isolation of the tree and how the carpenter was unaffected by our presence.”
Shabbir was a participant in a photography competition at Szabist at the institute’s media festival held on Friday. Over 100 students from Szabist, Karachi University, Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture (IVSAA) and Lahore University of Management Sciences took pictures on “View from a Window.” The competition will be judged by eminent names in photography, Tapu Javeri, Kohi Mari and Amean J.
Mina Kidwai, the organiser of the event, said that the students were given two weeks to photograph and then submit their work. The pictures could be taken by a DSLR, digital camera, and a mobile phone. The pictures taken from a DSLR were developed and printed while those from digital cameras and mobile phones were displayed on digital screens.
A second-year student at IVSAA, Taha Bin Khalid, had attempted to capture a hen’s view as she looked out from her cage at the people going by their business. “The concept behind my photos was the view from the eyes of a hen. I used the theme to try and show how a hen might look at the outside world,” he explained. “It doesn’t even release that this may be the last time. Someone can pull it out of the cage and slaughter it anytime.” The black-and-white picture was titled “My last moments; I want to see it all through my window,” while the caption of the coloured one read “Things are beautiful when you are not in them.”
Mudassir Iqbal took the picture of a slum just across a big under-construction house, trying to depict the difference between the poor and the rich. “There is a lot of poverty in our country,” said Iqbal, a third-year media sciences student at Szabist. “I tried to show that for one rich man in the country there were 99 poor people.”
His other picture was the view of a batsman from his helmet as he waits to hit the ball. It was titled “A batsman’s nightmare.” When asked how he managed to capture the ball for this angle, Iqbal said that he put his camera on a tripod, covered it with a helmet and then bowled at it.
The winner in the DSLR category will get a prime lens, while the winners in other categories will get a digital camera and a new mobile phone.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly noted the full form of the Szabist acronym. This has been corrected. The error is regretted.