MG Radhakrishnan, about Gireesh GV’s Online show Unleashing Panoramas

“For many decades, it hewed close to that often elusive balance between the news of the week and timeless photography..” wrote Elena Martinique, a contemporary art critic about the iconic Life magazine. This observation is equally suitable for India Today magazine which can certainly be credited to have defined India’s contemporary world of photo-journalism. Like the immortal photographers of Life like Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt or Andreas Feininger, an array of brilliant lens persons from India Today, like Raghu Rai opened to the country the stunning world of photojournalism. A common sulk we reporters and writers at India Today had was that if there wasn’t a striking picture to go with it, even the story of a Prime Minister getting shot will not see the light in the magazine. Never before had the image dominated the word in Indian journalism.

To such a great league of lens masters belonged Gireesh GV when I first met him at India Today. Like all camera artists, Gireesh’s niche has always been the twilight zone where photography and art met each other. Being a trained artist himself, Gireesh’s work more often than not assumed the composition of an artwork despite news photography’s inherent compulsion to race against time or even deeper concentration. But then, as every work of art, a news image too is a priceless moment etched in time and history for ever. I can’t forget our gruelling yet exciting journey through Nagapattinam and Cuddalore in 2005 to revisit the lands and faces ravaged by the previous year’s tsunami. It was an expedition to discover the faces and identities of the anonymous who were pilloried by the disaster. Gireesh’s each picture in this exhibition deliberately looks everyday to the uninitiated. Yet the conossieur cannot miss the extraordinary perspective, the brilliant composition, the wonderful ballet of light and shade. As for the journalists who have traveled with him, they open windows to go back in time to history and memory.

While traveling with M G Radhakrishnan in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu in 2005. this I shot from inside our taxi while he stepped out to pickup his cigarettes. Interestingly What attracted me is that the graffiti of a television on the wall.

While traveling with M G Radhakrishnan in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu in 2005. This I shot from inside our taxi while he stepped out to pickup his cigarettes. Interestingly What attracted me is that the graffiti of a television on the wall.


M.G. Radhakrishnan serves as the Editor at Asianet News, a popular Malayalam news channel. Radhakrishnan started his career in Mumbai as a sub-editor with Minerals and Metals Review. He was the Associate Editor of India Today magazine for two decades. M.G. Radhakrishan holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Kerala. He also has three books to his credit. His major areas of interest are politics, culture, economics and sports.


the show “Unleashing Panoramas” is still on, www.gireeshgv.in/online-show/


Adoor Gopalakrishnan


.Adoor Gopalakrishnan, is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer. Adoor Gopalakrishnan had a major role in revolutionizing Malayalam cinema and is regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of India. Adoor’s first film Swayamvaram (1972) pioneered the new wave cinema movement in Kerala. (text: Wikipedia.)

Adoor Gopalakrishnan, in New Delhi 2001/02 Outlook Magazine. © Gireesh GV/ Outlook

It was On a summer noon at India International Center guest house. He was there in Delhi for some meetings, I got his appointment through Namrata Joshi (my colleague, Outlook correspondent), she was doing a story about his new movie for the latest issue. Her story has to go into pages on the same day. So I rushed to IIC guest house.
I was trilled to meet him for two reasons. I always love his movies, getting to meet him its self is a golden opportunity. Then to photograph him is also a bonus.

I reached there at 12′ clock. That was the only free time he had, Just before his lunch. I know it wont be a good idea to photograph him at that harsh sun light, neither I was not keen to photograph him inside room. On my way, i planned to request him for an another time only for photo-shoot. But he couldn’t reschedule for another time.
Unfortunately he is going back to Trivandrum on the same day, so my plans … !!!

We were also on a tight deadline. I felt sorry for myself, not to getting enough time to plan. But the chance to photograph another celebrity.
But…. How can I do like that…. just do the job and leave. I decided to look for a better location than his room. I knew I can’t take him any where else, because of the heat and lack of time. And the allotted time for the shoot was just 30 mins… So…. many challenges.

I found a light falling through the glass door towards end of the corridor, on the same first floor where his room is located. It’s reminded me about Mankada Ravivarma’s lighting. So I decided to take him there, shoot with that cut lighting. By including more shadows and black area…. a nice portrait of him. I thought of monochrome, though we were shooting in transparency film.
The moment I reached the spot, I had noticed the bumpy silver painted rooftop of the walkway of IIC.
I opened the door into the roof area. He followed me. I still having that harsh sunlight for my shoot, I don’t know what was doing there… But somewhere in my mind I decided that I will be using the silver paint as a backdrop. I requested him to sit on the roof, it’s a burning heat, Delhi summer time……, nearly 40-45°c but he was so cool and just obeyed my directions. Difficult to shoot him without any shadows on his face at this lighting… the only option I found is that I requested him to look up straight to the sun…. he did, and I shot. just happened

Unleashing Panoramas

My upcoming online solo show of photo montages.

View this post on Instagram

After a prolonged slumber, i have been working feverishly for the last three months to put my work in public domain. The task involved sifting through thousands of photographs, paintings and recollecting and burnishing the memories around them– i think i have achieved my target. i have been working continuously for the last 24 years in photography. There have been difficult, and very difficult, times. Only passion drove me to continue in photography. i have been a staff photographer for national news and features magazines and contributed quite often for foreign news agencies but had to face many challenges and moral ambiguities at workplaces. The Covid-19 lockdown has been a blessing in disguise. It finally let me dig into my archives and showcase the best and the most cherished of my works. Riffling through nearly 1.5 lakh digital images—arresting, astonishing, chilling, captivating and life-affirming—pushed me almost to the edge of madness. There have been different projects— i continued to work on them intermittently, in spite of the burden of bread and butter assignments. As a photographer i have always preferred to take the long view. i understand that whatever i have shot during all these years are incomplete, unless i do not show them. That’s what led me to go through my archives and hold these images—the salt and pepper of my life—before you. There will be more online shows like this, for i have more to share with you—to make it a monthly online show. i invite you and your friends, family members and their friends to visit my web pages which have categorized my photography projects into four 'e' s. They are expressions, emotions, experiences and exclusions. And the archives, paintings, drawings, videos and many more…. Today, i invite all of you to visit my Solo Online Photography show from 20-07-2020 at my page, (https://gireeshgv.in/online-show/ ) And don't forget to scroll down the page to see more @galleryartpositive @galeriemirchandanisteinruecke @gallery_g_arts @gallerysumukha @paletteart_gallery @vadehraartgallery @gallery_art_1821 @vadehraartgallery @aicongallery @galleryespace @tandspace @sai_gallery27 @art.monica #photoMontagesGireesh

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” THE GIREESH GV I KNOW” by Sanjog Sharan

Sanjog and I had worked together in many projects. This is what he wrote about me for my newly updated website, www.gireeshgv.in

with Sanjog in Jajpur, Odisha

Over two decades ago when we were young, sitting in Gireesh’s apartment near Gol Market in Delhi, I made a promise to him. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I would seek the services of him, the ace photographer. Bearing witness were Sasi and Manoj Nair, his and mine closest friends and colleagues in Outlook. The magazine then bore imprint of the finest that Indian print journalism would offer, in design, visuals and content. The proverbial young energy in flow, with its editorial strengths emanating from the magisterial Vinod Mehta.

Gireesh is that fine light who shines through his camera. I would look forward to his credits and marvel at the controls he exhibited through his eyes over the shutter and the moment. For all the publications he has worked for. In this time I always look forward to his byline, well aware that both his individual snaps or a photo feature or within pages of a book, will leave me marvelling at his consistent, evolved feel for his art and craft, rigour and dedication.

Photo journalism often calls for a split, nano-second decision making of the subliminal moment where magic is present and may be recorded. Once the moment is gone the magic is lost. Forever. One thing that distinguishes Gireesh from his immediate tribe is the fact that he is a fine art student. His lensing and expressions are invariably sifted through an instinctive understanding of the frame and the composition within it. That is supremely aware of movement, colours, transience and then life itself. I was an admirer then and continue to be so now.

Having left the security of a fixed salary in 2000, I had started working as Karmic Design, a small firm with a proud, big heart. Initially the book assignments we worked on relied on visuals from the client themselves. In 2009-10 came the first opportunity where I could invite Gireesh to work on a monograph on which he was the principal photographer. Awakenings in BodhGaya was the culmination of our own pilgrimage to the site of Buddha’s enlightenment. Through each of the photograph that Gireesh carefully edited were borne elements that allowed us to forge a visual monograph rich and delicate, that elucidate all that is magnificent about BodhGaya.

Since then we have worked on a number of assignments together. On catalogs and books and theatre productions. In particular have come two books one on the heel of the other. First a book on Jajpur, the ancient capital of Odisha, and the second titled Beyond Barriers, a monograph that documents the indefatigable, splendid work of mobilisers, striving tirelessly for polio’s complete eradication in Western UP and in India at large. Both to us are marvelous well realised assignments that involve significant travel and rigour. In all our enterprise, me and Gireesh have worked well as a team which allow me to seek his company and natural born excellence. Always.

Gireesh likes to work alone on an assignment. As the book editor I have been relaxed enough for him to explore and capture moments solitary. For one because he would like to be out even before the crack of dawn. And then he works on till noon when the sun is up and the light become harsh and the shadows minimal. A brief rest later he is on his feet again to seek the outdoor and many a time he surprises me as he goes on to photograph till midnight. In the process he can climb several hills, walk long kilometers in deep cold and harsh heat, ill or not. Committed to the pressing deadlines and supreme performance. To top it all with heavy gear of a couple of cameras, multiple lenses, tripods and lights whenever required, which he insists on carrying himself. What he comes back is with great art, without fail.

Beyond the books on which we have worked together are the photographs he shoots for himself and keeps close to his chest or within his multiple hard drives. I am convinced I am yet to see some of his most profound works. However, in between we have worked on a maquette for a book of his titled Faith. For Gireesh is a traveller par excellence. Over time through his journey he has visited mosques, temples, gurudwaras, churches et al. He has captured moments of ecstasy, of solitude, of the divine and our dialog with creation and its magical overtures

From across India. Of faith that brings people together. That bridges divides and overcomes discrimination with ease, sophistication and finesse. Moments that are lit by grace, compassion and supreme trust in the often incomprehensible ways of the living reality. Often paradoxical and still, illuminated by beauty, subliminal. I personally would love to live for the day when this book of Gireesh, Faith, gets realised. Both as an exhibition and as a momentous coffee table book. I am convinced that the art project would be realised, apposite for the fractured, yet vital time we live in, soon. By Sanjog Sharan, Karmic Design.

with Sanjog Sharan in Ratnagiri,

wrist watch vendor

time lapses _© Gireesh GV

On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time.
But it is never lost, my lord.
Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts,
buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.

I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed
and imagined all work had ceased.
In the morning I woke up
and found my garden full with wonders of flowers.

from Rabindranath Tagore

street vendor

Street Vendor, a boy who use to sell ‘refrigerated drinking water’ for Rs 2/- is now start selling soft drinks and bottled drinking water, near Rajiv Chowk metro station in New Delhi

Sushil Kumar

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Sushil kumar is an Indian freestyle wrestler, instructing his disciples at his Akara (training school) in Delhi

Thakazhi with wife Katha

thakazhi_ggv-446

Thakazhi with wife Katha at his residence in Kuttanad, Allepey. Photographed him in 1995 for a magazine assignment.

Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (17 April 1912 – 10 April 1999) was a novelist and short story writer of Malayalam language. Born in the village of Thakazhi, in Kuttanad, Alappuzha district of Kerala,  He focused on the oppressed classes as the subject of his works, which are known for their attention to historic detail. He wrote several novels and over 600 short stories. His most famous works are Kayar (Coir, 1978) and Chemmeen (Prawns, 1956). Pillai, a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, was awarded India’s highest literary award, the Jnanpith in 1984 for the epic novel Kayar.