U.R. Ananthamurthy : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Kadri Gopalnath : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
T.V. Narayan : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Ashok Soota : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Prof.S. Chandrasekhar : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Shashi Deshpande : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Pepita Seth : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Mahesh Dattani : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Protima Gauri : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Alyque Padamsee : Photograph © Mahesh Bhat
Like all my peers, I started shooting on film. In the mid '80s in India, black & white film was much cheaper than color and I could process it myself. It was also easier to print black & white than color. Ilford FP-4 was widely available at Rs. 20 per roll if one bought it in packs of ten. Microdol-X was my preferred developer, diluted 1:3. So I shot a lot of black & white, and color after I became a professional.
However, back in the '80s I didn't ever think that there would be a day when one would have to search for film in India, just as I couldn't imagine that there would be a day when one could walk into a camera store and buy anything one wanted without paying a customs duty of 250 percent.
Lately, I have been working on cataloging my work of the past three decades, and as I look back I see the "Allure of Film" that pulled me in. The images shot on film - negatives especially - look beautiful and poetic. There is an enveloping softness, something intangible in those images that tugs your heart. Shooting with film certainly teaches you the craft of photography, to visualize and be patient.