The exhibition will showcase the hard work that has gone into constructing the metro and the efforts put in to keep it going.

Chennai Metro Rail celebrates World Photography Day with week-long exhibitionJoseph Raja
Features Photography Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 13:05

This year, the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) too is celebrating World Photography Day. Commemorating the date (19th of August), CMRL in association with Photographic Society of Madras (PSM) will be exhibiting its infrastructure and the hard work that has gone into constructing the state of art metro stations in the city.

A week long photography exhibition will be held in the concourse of Vadapalani Metro Station in the last week of August, starting on the 23rd. Speaking to TNM, M Swaminathan, President of PSM says, “Last year we did a similar photography exhibition for the Tamil Nadu forest department and it was a success. This time when we heard from the CMRL, we were more confident in how to go about it. We immediately agreed to CMRL’s project and started planning from June. During the meeting with the officials, it was discussed that we keep the exhibition in Vadapalani metro station as it has the maximum footfall, considering it is close to a popular shopping mall.”

A team of 38 members of PSM have captured CMRL’s project sites, yards, its rolling stock, stations, people using metro, some aerial views of the trains crisscrossing the city and the last mile connectivity initiative.

“After announcing the project and setting the guidelines given by the CMRL team to our group members, we allotted them in groups to various areas and within three days in July, all photographs were clicked. A team of CMRL officials and PSM have selected 95 plus photographs," says GV Balasubramanian, Secretary.

Image courtesy: Vinaya Mathews

The photographs highlight the tremendous efforts being put in by CMRL, its staff, its contractors and vendors. A look at the photographs taken at the under-construction sites of the metro stations near Sir Thyagaraya College and at Korukkupet reveal the hard work put in by the labourers to construct the state of art infrastructure.

Ramesh Raja, who has clicked pictures at one of the underground stations under-construction, recalls, “We were taken care of during that one hour shoot in the area with challenging external environment conditions. Artificial air was pumped throughout and we were given constant supply of water to avoid dehydration."

Like any outdoor photography assignment, a lot of patience and presence of mind were needed for this shoot as well. Joseph Raja, who clicked a photo depicting two different tracks with their respective trains, said, “I waited for an hour on the terrace of a hotel and had to adjust the shoot to the sudden change in the weather condition and lighting. My electrical engineering work experience helped me get the right perspective and vision. While some of the photographers have begun using the metro service after this photoshoot, some of them always used it on a regular basis."

Image courtesy: Vinaya Mathews

Vinaya Mathews is very happy that she got an opportunity to be a part of this photo shoot as she has always been using the metro whenever she needed to go to the airport from Anna Nagar. Appreciating the security, vigilance and cooperation shown by the staff from different levels during the photo shoot, she recalls, “There are many women staff deployed in various functional areas--security, operating the train, station incharge among others and this makes me feel safe whenever I travel alone.” 

On the inauguration to be held on the 23rd of August, in addition to the CMRL gallery, the photographs of the PSM members, depicting various genres of photography--nature, architecture, travel, wildlife, landscapes will be exhibited. Coinciding with the Madras Day celebrations in August, PSM will also be awarding winners of the “Shoot Madras” contest where the participants have captured the essence and uniqueness of Chennai’s landscapes, architecture and city by the night.

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