We might not learn to write but speech comes naturally to us. Conversely, the same happened to me with photography.
My (late) father, Agha Sadaruddin (Sadar to his friends), apart from being a renowned documentary filmmaker, an exceptional artist, a superb human being and a father to-die-for, also happened to be a Time & Life photographer. Hence photography came “naturally” to me. Pun intended!
As a kid, I would beg my father to allow me inside the darkroom merely to watch him expose an image on a plain piece of paper using this big Omega enlarger and then insist on agitating the developer tray, only to witness an image slowly emerge on that very piece of paper, after only being exposed to light and then dipped in this “water”.
It was absolute enchantment!
Years flew by with a film-camera in my hand, and although now a hardened digital-photographer, I still turn towards adopting more conventional methods for acquiring the desired exposure. I preach the same to my students. It’s an advantage I enjoy over a lot of my contemporaries.
Today, after hundreds of rolls of film and a lifetime of photographs later I’m still fascinated by how light behaves under different conditions. I would recommend all interested in photography to do the same. To me it’s nothing less than magic! - Agha Abbas
Agha Abbas's extensive digital portfolio brings a rich interplay of experimentation of light exposure, and spaces that evoke unique relationships to the human element. At a time when the digital does not rely on conventional techniques, Abbas uses film techniques and filters, creating what he terms as 'realities that are etched in the mind', and find reflection in the image.
Agha Abbas studied advanced film-making and film directing from the New York Film Academy in the early 90s.
He is based in Karachi, and besides running his own studio, he teaches photography at the University level. He was recently part of the Afro-Asian initiative, Imagining Cities, Karachi, 2011.