Photography happened quite accidentally to Dhruv Malhotra, an Economics graduate. “I started with a small point-and-shoot camera. The turning point came right before my final exams, when I made some 8 x 10 inch enlargements and was intrigued by the medium. Soon after, I bought a digital SLR for a more professional approach to photography,” he recalls.
What sets Malhotra apart is his keen sense of documenting only at night. “I find the night far more attractive than the day. I prefer working at night, slowly and meticulously, with a tripod, with long exposures and little or no disturbance. The longer you look into darkness, the more your eyes adjust, and so the more you can see. I like the idea of unravelling what is concealed in the shroud of darkness.”
There are over 40 photographs from two of his collections, Noida Soliloquy and Sleepers which are currently on display at the Chatterjee and Lal gallery. Both series shot in 2010, explore the silence and desolation of people at night. “I moved to Noida in the summer of 2007. Instinctively, I began to photograph people at night. Noida Soliloquy is about the city I lived in the nature of modern urban space and the experience of it by night. Sleepers is an extension of my previous work. Wandering at night, I would see many people sleeping out in the open. I took photographs of these people, with the environment they inhabit.”
Who or what is he going to click next then? “There are several topics on my mind. My hope is that I will always have projects at various stages in the production pipeline. Of course I wouldn’t want to tell you about them and spoil the fun,” he signs off.