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For Jackson Heights photographer Adeet Deshmukh, taking pictures is all about symmetry. Last year he exhibited a series of black and white photos at the Jackson Heights café Espresso 77, which displayed his talent for shooting objects with proportioned lines across uncluttered backgrounds.
Deshmukh photographed the series, entitled “The Space Between Us,” in various countries including the United States, France and India. Discussing his approach to photography, he said, “I look for symmetry, for angles, for lines, for sky. I’m really into everything being neat and organized. A lot of my pictures are very simple that way. When I see a great set of lines, that’s what I look for.”
Since his subject matter deals mostly with architecture, Deshmukh believes his photos look better in black and white because they leave the viewer with a stronger impression. “I shoot everything in color, but I change the pictures to black and white just because it’s so simple and, at the same time, so stunning and strong,” he said. “If I showed the pictures in color, they would lose 60 percent of their appeal. The color photos don’t have that really dramatic sort of visceral, raw feel to them like the black and white photos.”
Technologically, Deshmukh is following in footsteps of most modern-day professional photographers. Admitting he hasn’t shot on film in 15 years, he says he now takes only digital pictures and uses Photoshop to add “a tiny bit of grainy texture to give the photos that newspapery feel.” He said, however, that he never uses Photoshop to alter a picture. “My rule is anything I could do in the darkroom, I could do on Photoshop,” he remarked. “I would never be like, ‘Oh, I think I want a bird here,’ and plop one right into the photo. That I don’t do. I don’t think that’s right.”
Deshmukh’s interest in traveling and taking pictures began at an early age. Although he was born in Chicago, he moved when he was 2 months old to his parents’ homeland of India. Returning to the United States when he was 5, he eventually attended high school in a suburb outside of Chicago, where he began taking photography courses. After receiving accolades for his photos, Deshmukh decided to study photojournalism at Syracuse University, whose curriculum allowed him to study in London for a semester.
During his time at Syracuse, Deshmukh was the photography editor of the university’s newspaper, which covered on-campus events as well as national news stories. Since the publication was well-funded by revenue from advertisers, he assumed responsibilities comparable to editors at professionally run newspapers. “I had a staff of 25 and two assistants,” he recounted. “I traveled all over the country, shooting sports, politics, NCAA tournaments. In 2000 I covered the presidential Bush/Gore debates and the senate race between Hillary Clinton and Rick Lazio. They would fly me everywhere.”
Since his graduation in 2000, Deshmukh has spent the last ten years working primarily in image procurement for various book publishers. Currently, he is an image specialist at the McGraw-Hill School Education Group. As the book publishing industry has become increasingly digital, his job responsibilities have expanded into more multimedia areas such as art, audio, video and photo research, editing and acquisition.
Outside of the corporate world, Deshmukh hopes to explore his more creative side by participating in future exhibits. Referring back to the graceful symmetry of his architectural photos, he said, “When people see my photos, I want them to feel peace, calm. My photos are simple and understated but, at the same time, powerful in the way that they make you feel at ease. That’s what I really want to get across.”
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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