October Issue 2009

By | Arts & Culture | Published 15 years ago

Travelling is a habit that can set in early in life. As it did in the case of Qamar Bana. Growing up between Bombay, Burma and Bangladesh — then East Pakistan — Qamar lived in London before moving to Pakistan.

She began to observe life through the lens of a camera early on, using a Rolleicord. Short courses in photography and darkroom practice in Washington DC and Mumbai helped to hone her technical skills. Qamar’s travels with the camera have taken her through several continents and a host of countries since.

In this portfolio, we present a small slice of Qamar’s work, much of it from a journey through India, undertaken in 2005.

The travel photographer has to be a person with a keen eye, ready and willing to capture the fleeting moment with dexterity. Qamar’s photographs of the ghats at Varanasi do just that.  She has an eye for colour, apparent in the images of bangle-sellers in India and a fruit market in Thailand. She enjoys black and white photography and has an archive of analog work that has been digitalised. Given the disappearance of darkrooms and the craftsmen who worked their wonders in them, this has been something of a forced choice.

Qamar searches for the unexpected in everyday life and often hits upon it. She is able to photograph children with spontaneity. Portraits are of special interest to her, and they vary from poignant close-ups to street shots, establishing a context and locale.
She has extensively documented the mud architecture found in certain parts of Africa, and this body of work was shown at the Italian Cultural Centre and at the VM Gallery, Karachi.

It is difficult to do justice to the work in one brief portfolio, but we hope it takes you to a different place, something it was meant to do. Enjoy it.

View a slideshow of Qamar Bana’s work below: Click on any photo to begin: