In the honour of Ruliaram Roopchand Bharadwaj, an iconic photographer of his time, Photoink presents ‘Morelight’, a collection of vintage work from the late 1930s. The exhibition ignites interests among the viewers through his rare and beautiful vintage prints.
Born in a remote village in Himachal Pradesh in 1902, Bharadwaj completed his school education in his home city near Bhakra Nangal. He then enrolled at the Mayo School of Art in 1922 in Lahore for intensive photography training.
Years later he toured the nation as a member of the Archaeological Survey of India, documenting significant historical sites like Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, and the Ajanta caves. His Ajanta images were featured in the book ‘Ajanta’ authored by Mulk Raj Anand.
Bharadwaj provided idealised and exquisite vistas of the Indian landscape, and his photographic work was defined by an unyielding dedication. He had exceptional skill in managing natural light when pointing his camera at the sky to take dramatic, atmospheric pictures of clouds, trees, and plants.
Additionally, he applied unique tone formulas in the darkroom to highlight the print’s tonality and painterly features. Out of the few albums that have survived, the one about the Garhwal Himalayas stands out for its collection of images, which includes expansive landscapes—some taken at altitudes of 20,000 feet—interspersed with smaller, more intricate compositions of flora and fauna. It is an exquisite depiction of the majestic mountains.
In 1934, Bharadwaj started a six-year relationship with Kodak. This gave him the opportunity to tour India showcasing Kodak goods. He received the Kodak Eastman Gold Medal within three years, making him the first Asian to do so.
Where: Photoink, Vasant Kunj, Delhi
When : Till 1 October