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Punjab diaries

THE ASIAN AGE. | NIRTIKA PANDITA
Published : Jan 26, 2020, 3:40 am IST
Updated : Jan 26, 2020, 3:40 am IST

Photographer Samar Singh captures the beauty of Punjab through portraits of its people.

The dusty road and tiny bridge makes for a perfect place for village youth to catch up with friends.
 The dusty road and tiny bridge makes for a perfect place for village youth to catch up with friends.

Photographer Samar Singh lives and breathes his home state of Punjab. Each of his portraits, set in the backdrop of blooming mustard fields capturing the smiling eyes and wrinkled faces, has a tale of its own. Born and brought up in Chandigarh, Singh’s love for his state came about at a very young age. “When I was 13, I roamed a lot around the state with my parents. Back then, my father brought a digital camera for the family that I used intensively to click pictures,” recalls the self-taught photographer, who has not stopped documenting Punjab since.

For the 21-year-old the beauty of Punjab exists through its people, which he aims to captures in his ongoing series Portraits of Punjab that started in 2017. “The beauty of Punjab is way too much. It has not been captured and shown to the world. The landscapes are different and speak for themselves. Even if you walk into an ordinary lane, you will feel at home. The lifestyle of Punjab is a celebration, celebration of life,” he shares.

Samar firmly believes that the essence of a state is aptly drawn from the people and their stories. With every portrait, the photographer first spends time getting to know the people he wants to click. Knowing all about their life, family, struggles and as part of the conversation shares a few about himself. “When their emotions flush their faces while narrating an incident that is close to his/her heart, I pull out my camera. I have realised that to capture a face, emotion is the most important thing,” Singh explains, adding, “When I shot portraits, I look for the kind of energy that emotion is bringing to the portrait, the complete graph. My aim is to bring the honest form of the person in front of me into the frame.”

While his portraits bring out the emotion and energy of Punjab and its people, the photographer also brings to fore the rampant drug abuse in the state. From capturing the cannabis plantations to the young boys consuming it, Singh aims to bring attention to a less favourable side of life.

“I want to show the abuse that the youth of the state is embroiled in. These are young and middle-aged men, often from disturbed families, that run off to the fields,” says the photographer, who wants to continue clicking portraits while going slow portraying the drug abuse. “This project is an interpretation of my Punjab, how I see the state and my experience,” concludes Singh.

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