"I believe that a country is people.While photographing people, a photographer neither petrifies them, nor does he make them act. They move, they work, they laugh, they suffer. And he himself becomes a part of their movement, their work, their laughter and their pain. He gets involved."
I started as a freelance photographer, but did rather a long stint with the Indian government as its official photographer before I resigned in 1978 to become a freelance once again. It was my privilege as picture editor of Yojana, the journal of the Indian planning commission, to record for well over a decade, the planned economic development of the country. This enabled me to see India as is given to no man, reflecting, as my viewfinder did, the beauty and the ugliness and the colour and the potential of India, its men and women building their own future, its temples, old and new. It was then, while recording this exciting change in the life and landscape of the country.
I preferred to be not a photographer of cement and steel and inaugural ceremonies, but a photographer of people.
T. S. Nagarajan is one of the foremost chroniclers of social change in India. His work encompasses a great variety of themes, places and moods and is marked by strength and directness. Apart from their high craftsmanship, his pictures have intellectual depth; they make one think. The interaction of tradition and modernity fascinates him. His photographs on the induction of technology into rural life and on themes such as family planning and the spread of education have been internationally published.
For well over a decade, he has devoted his life to photographing interiors of turn-of-the-century homes in India, a self-funded project. This foray into what constitutes Indianess of homes is to be explored at length in a book by him to be published.
"At Connoisseur, we are greatly inspired by your wonderful photographs of great interiors in India ... The pictures are strong in their graphic sensibility, reinforcing the eloquent architectural elements, as well as full of information in the pictorial details ... The viewer feels transported into another time and exotic place - making the inaccessible known through visual means"
Pamela Hassell, Director of Photography, Connoisseur Magazine New York
Nagarajan was Director of the Photo Division in the Ministry of Information, Government of India, and a consultant photographer to UNICEF in India.
All art, the cynic says, is a form of escapism. The artist creates an image of things as he sees them with his mind and soul, but rarely with his eyes. The photographer, on the other hand, sees life as you and I see it. Most photographers record on bromide that which is obvious, without any effort to discover the poetry and the pathos, the joys and sorrows of life. But there are among them, only a few, who use their portable mechanism to capture the beauty and the glory of life«s rarest moments. Their creations transcend the photographer´s routine and become works of art in the truest sense of term.
"My life has been exciting with my camera. I am grateful to have been a photographer. I use Nikons. But my camera does nothing. It neither makes the picture nor prevents me from taking it. It only helps in achieving an idea, an approach, a sort of direction and, perhaps, a philosophy." T.S.
A veteran photographer with over 40 years experience under his Nikon strap.
PATA Gold Award in 1987;
Grand Concours Kodachrome International Contest in Paris,1987.
´An Eye for India´ (Lyttelton Gallery, London,1982),
´Interiors of Indian Homes´ (Museum of Modern Art, Oxford,1982),
´Pratibimba´ (Moscow,1988.) and
´Derriere les Portes Closes´- ´Behind Closed Doors´ (La Galerie, La Filature, Mulhouse, France, 1998)