From the eerily flying bat silhouetted against a glistening moon to the magnificent colours of the Eastern Ghats, from the fishing boats basking in the light of dawn in the Bay of Bengal to the royal flight of the sea eagle, Falguni Ray, a Bhubaneswar-based plastic surgeon, lets his camera do the talking.
Chronicling a series of memorable images, an exhibition of some of his best shots was displayed at the Lalit Kala Akademi here from August 14 to 16.
Ray was bitten by the shutter bug even before he was fascinated with the scalpel. “I started photography 30 years ago as a hobby and the passion for it has become more intense now,” said Ray, who has headed the departments of plastic surgery in SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, and MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur. He has also served as the principal of SCB Medical.
In spite of being in and out of operation theatres, Ray said he always made ample time for photography “because photography helped me relax during many stressful moments.” After his retirement in 2002, Ray started devoting more time to his passion. He was inspired by some of his photographer friends and influenced by his father, Pulin Bihari Ray, also a doctor with passion for painting and creative writing.
Ever since he bought many books on photography to study and learn this art. “It would have been better if I was trained in an institute, but I didn’t have the time,” he said. Though the plastic surgeon started with his father’s humble camera, today he has a very complicated one, Nikon D90. “I just know 10 per cent of the mechanism of this camera. I had started with a Kodak and then moved on to Pentax and then to Nikon. There are even better ones in the market today,” he said.
From Swiss peaks to Andaman beaches, his penchant for natural beauty was clearly reflected in the collection. “I feel nature makes a man happy, so I focus more on natural scenes compared to other things,” said Ray who had also captured the rising sun in Puri, Kendrapara and Paradip, fascinating landscapes of Odisha, Europe, Italy, UK, Scotland, US, Singapore, Maldives, etc.
Even as Ray’s pictures were all inspired by nature, he did portraits as well. “The beauty of photography is that it differs from person to person. I try and portray reality as I see it. I don’t over-abuse or dramatise it. It’s like any other creative art. There are times when you do get frustrated when you miss the timing and fail to capture the moment. But it is still worth it,” he said showing a series of images taken during his stay and travel abroad and in the Himalayan regions.
“For some of these I had to make the trip three or four times to get the right light and movement,” he said, adding that photography is an art, which never satisfies you. “Every time I see a print, I feel I could have done better.”
As a photographer he has consistently shown respect and love for his subjects over the years. Whether it is an abstract pattern of a bridge with a road-marker in the centre of the frame disappearing dramatically into the distance, the flowers decorated on a woman’s hair, or a bent old man walking across, one finds in them a photographer, an artist, truly in love with life and conversant with its changing moods.
Although each of his photographs had a story in them, together, they narrated one common tale - of enthusiasm, determination and enterprise.