Legendary Photographers – Eliot Elisofon (1911 – 1973)

Eliot
Since tri-sangam period, Tiruvannamalai had been a preferred destination for creative people from various traditions and the Annamalai hill in this historical town has found mention in many Sangam period literatures. The light, landscape and people of the sacred hill and its surroundings attracted many photographers to document this town. The earliest known photograph of Tiruvannamalai was taken in the year 1880. During the late 1940s Life TIME Magazine had sent noted American commercial / documentary photographer Eliot Elisofon on an assignment to document the Annamalai (Arunachaleshwarar) temple in Tiruvannamalai.

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Eliot Elisofon, (1911 – 1973) was an internationally known photographer, filmmaker, author, artist, and art collector. He started as a commercial photographer in 1935 but soon after developed an interest in photography as social documentary and decided to devote his career to photojournalism. He joined Life TIME magazine in 1942 as a war photographer-correspondent and worked on staff or freelance for the magazine until it ceased publication in 1972. After the war he worked on large geographical photo features in the United States and around the world. He was appointed a research fellow in primitive art at Harvard University in 1958 and was a member of the Harvard Peabody Museum’s 1961 expedition to film tribal life in New Guinea. He published more than 20 books, made documentary films, wrote numerous scholarly articles, and was a founding trustee of the Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. He died in the year 1973.

Photography (C) Eliot Elisofon
Photography (C) Eliot Elisofon
Photography (C) Eliot Elisofon
Photography (C) Eliot Elisofon

Eliot’s assignment in India was to depict the art and ancient rock cut architecture of Hindu and Buddhist temples at various locations in India, including cave temples at Ellora, Ajanta, Elephanta Island, and Māmallapuram; Lingaraj and other temples of the Hindu god Siva in the temple city Bhubaneswar; the Sun Temple of Konārak and Arunachaleshwara Temple in Tiruvannāmalai. He had made several photographs of Tiruvannamalai, the Annamalai (Arunachaleshwar Temple) and Sri Ramana at his Ashram. Eliot’s photographs on Tiruvannamalai was published on 30th May 1949, the article was titled “Holy Man”, written by Winthrop Sergeant.
Click this link for the full article:
https://books.google.co.in/books?id=1k4EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA92&dq=ramana+maharshi&hl=en&ei=iQ4tTbGSFcH-8Ab53eiDCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=ramana%20maharshi&f=false

Disclaimer: Images (C) Eliot Elisofon / Time LIFE magaziine archive. Text research Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / Ekalokam Trust for Photography

 

Project 365 Tiruvannamalai

Collectively creating and preserving photographic visuals of the fast vanishing landscape, divergent customs, pluralistic culture and diversified Dravidian society of ancient Tamilakam, a region comprising modern Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.

Title: Colors of Tiruvannamalai
Photographer: Dinesh Khanna
Medium and format: Digital
Year: 2014 / 2015
Courtesy: EtP Project 365 public photo archive

EtP PROJECT 365

Collectively creating and preserving photographic visuals of the fast vanishing landscape, divergent customs, pluralistic culture and diversified Dravidian society of ancient Tamilakam, a region comprising modern Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.

இ. டி. பி. ப்ராஜெக்ட் 365
அதி வேகமாய் மாறி வருகின்ற நவீன தமிழ்நாடு, கேரளம், புதுச்சேரி, கர்நாடக மற்றும் ஆந்திர மாநிலங்களை உள்ளடக்கிய பண்டைத் தமிழகத்தின் சமகால வாழ்வுமுறையையும், கலாச்சாரத்தையும், பன்முகத்தன்மை வாய்ந்த திராவிட சமூகத்தையும் புகைப்பட பதிவுகளாக பாதுகாக்கும் ஒரு பொதுமை புகைப்படக்கலை திட்டமே ப்ராஜெக்ட் 365.

EtP പ്രൊജക്റ്റ് 365
അതിവേഗം മാറ്റങ്ങൾക്ക് വിധേയമായിക്കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന ആധുനിക കേരളം, തമിഴ് നാട്, കർണാടകം, പുതുച്ചേരി, ആന്ധ്രയുടെ ചില ഭാഗങ്ങൾ എന്നിവ ഉൾപെടുന്ന സംഘകാല തമിഴകം പ്രദേശത്തിലെ സമകാലിക ജീവിതരീതികളും നിലനില്കുന്ന സംസ്കാരവും വൈവിധ്യമുള്ള ദ്രാവിഡവേരുകളുള്ള സമൂഹവും കേന്ദ്രീകരിച്ച്‌ ഫോട്ടോ ദൃശ്യഭിംഭങ്ങൾ സൃഷ്ടിക്കാൻ ശ്രമിക്കുന്ന ഒരു പൊതു സാംസ്‌കാരിക കൂട്ടായ്മയാണ് പ്രൊജക്റ്റ്‌ 365.

For more information contact EtP at project365@etpindia.org / http://www.etpindia.org

Colors of Tiruvannamalai

“There are infinite ways of seeing. But when you see the world through Dinesh Khanna’s eyes, you are overcome with an innate sense of awe, besides many other emotions. The reason perhaps is the fact that he shoots from the heart. And it’s his incredible way of juxtaposing what he sees and what he feels that creates images that stay with you forever.” – Ami Gupta, Project 365  Photographer and Editorial Team, EtP on the works of noted contemporary Indian photographer and Project 365 leading photographer

Photographer Dinesh Khanna in Tiruvannamalai / Smart phone photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photographer Dinesh Khanna in Tiruvannamalai / Smart phone photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives

Dinesh Khanna had visited Tiruvannamalai during Pongal festival. Dinesh has always been fascinated by Colors. As soon as he landed in Chennai, he was captivated by colors that can been seen every where. He happily said, “Tamil Nadu and I have one thing in common – colors”. His photographic contribution to our ancient town, “Colors of Tiruvannamalai” portrays the vibrant mood of this ancient town.

Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives

Everyday life in an ancient town

Dinesh Khanna is the co-founder and managing trustee of the Nazar Foundation in Delhi, a non profit trust that promotes the art of photography through various workshops, interactions and exhibitions. Doing this is his way of sharing his passion with budding and even experienced photographers. This organization also sponsors the biennial ‘Delhi Photo Festival’ which is an incredible platform for photographers to showcase their works.

Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives
Colors of Tiruvannamalai / Photography (C) Dinesh Khanna / DSLR 35mm camera / Archival pigment prints / Project 365 public photo archives

Thank you Dinesh Khanna for being part of this cultural initiative that creates and preserves photographic visuals of the fast changing culture and lifestyle of our ancient town.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author (photographer) and is a part of PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and/or EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing for non-commercial public use and research. For more information contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / project365@etpindia.org / FACEBOOK – Project 365