The flagship photographic society of LUMS, PhotoLUMS, held its first event for the academic year 2016-17 , ‘Mehfil e Tasaweer’ on Friday, 4th of November. For the first time in six years, the annual photography exhibition was open to not just Luminites, but Non-Luminites as well. The exhibition had total of 198 entries, of which 78 were external entries.
Even though the event took months of careful planning and toil, things really took off on Friday morning, when Photoluminites could be seen hard at work in the central courtyard; the carpets were unrolled, wires untangled, and the demon of snapchat unleashed. The whole setting up was no mean feat, yet the society accomplished it very well. The pictures, artfully displayed against mustard velvet backdrops, were a miscellany of abstract portraits and landscapes, depicting the theme ‘Amazing Pakistan; Abstract and Night Photography’. Even a novice eye would have been awed by the potential of the budding photographers.
Whilst the registrations started at 2.00 p.m, the event kicked off at four in the evening, with all the eager delegates and visitors pouring in. The conveners and executive council gave the welcome address at the opening ceremony, followed by the Chief Guest, Shuaib Nasir- a leading product photographer and lighting expert-‘s speech. Mr. Nasir gave the participants advice about the basic rules to follow when framing the photos, and officially declared the event ‘open’. A photography workshop had also been organized in order to help the delegate hone their skills, and aid them in living up to their potential. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the workshop was cancelled. This, however, did not dampen the mood of the exhibition.
The exhibition was in full swing by the late evening. The warmth of the lights and the music created a soothing ambience. Many people could be seen lounging on the floor cushions, while others could be seen milling about the panels, scanning the photographs. The consensus of the crowd was that the raw talent of the photographers was indeed praiseworthy.
The ultimate eye catcher, however, was the centerpiece; a six by six frame, lit up by fairy lights, had the masterpieces of the exhibition strung across it. The pictures portrayed scenes from different parts of Pakistan, alongside portraits. It was, needless to say, the most frequented part of the exhibition. The photo-extravaganza came to an end at around eight at night, with the announcement of the results-the most awaited part of the event. The winner for the DSLR category was Ali Chugtai, and the runner-up for the same category was Mehroz Asif. Meanwhile, in the cell phone category, Zainab Awan bagged the first position. This was followed by an eminent sigh of relief from the conveners at successfully delivering an excellent event, and a spontaneous acapella performance!
The whole aim of the exhibition was to provide the emerging photographers with a platform to display their art. Appreciation in the beginning of the profession goes a long way to motivate the artist. Also, no other educational institute in Lahore provides the amateur photographers with a forum to display their work. Hence, Mehfil forms an integral part in helping the students channel their creative energies by providing them with a proper outlet. Moreover, the motive behind centralizing the pictures around the theme of Pakistan was to show our country in a better light, to display the myriad of colors and cultures that it houses.
The collective effort of the society is commendable and surely deserves praise. The whole event ran without any glitches, at least at the forefront. Whilst the whole society contributed in the exhibition and it was indeed a cohesive effort, nonetheless, conveners, Haider Hassan and Junaid Khalid deserve special mention for delivering an event with such finesse.
Mehfil e tasweer was an amalgam of great taste, aesthetics and unparalleled talent. Kudos to Team PhotoLums. Wishing you best of luck for your future endeavors!