The scientific definition of a nebula is ‘ a cloud of interstellar dust and gas’ or ‘any celestial object that appears to be hazy or fuzzy’, but for those of us with a poetic inclination a nebula is something bathed in hues of grandeur and robustness, vast and inescapable against the night sky. Finding a similar hypnotic allure in this celestial phenomenon, photographer Anirban Goswami decided to pay tribute to the same through his series, Nebula, transcending the boundaries between space, time and perception through his photographs.
Often light years in diameter, nebulas are known to envelop everything in their wake, leaving a smattering of luminous dust and scattered stars to mark their territory. Through his photographs, Anirban has tried to project the aforementioned infiniteness of this astronomical anomaly through the eyes of an innocent by stander. By using simple camera and editing techniques, he has given his photographs an outlandish texture, elucidating the reflection of a nebula as perceived by a human mind in space, afloat and blinded by it’s boundlessness.
Every single element in the pictures complements not only other elements, but also the overall theme of the series. The steady black canvas he has chosen as his background alludes to the ever encroaching limitlessness of the universe, dependable and firm in it’s role of plundering everything into its deep chasm. The iridescent blue tint reflected in the eyes of his subjects plays the part of a mysterious nebula, carving a luminous niche for itself inbetween the opaqueness of space. The grains and noise panning across the pictures give the allusion of a cluster of dust and stars splayed across a dark canvas, forming indecipherable riddles and patterns. The dim lighting in the pictures does a fine job of reminding us mere mortals, that even galactic phenomena are half hidden under the weight of the inexhaustible world around us. All the aspects in Anirban’s photographs come together like the pieces of a celestial puzzle, exalting his metaphor to reality.
Upon being asked about how he stumbled onto this concept for his series, Anirban said,
The vast concept of Noise was the inspiration for my series. The quintessential trigger were the ISO values I was using during the shoot, which were pretty high as we didn’t have much light to work with. This turned the cogs in my brain and I decided to use the higher ISO values to create the effect of space dust in my images.
Well, there is a method to all madness, even if the said method is a happy accident. We at The Yellow Sparrow were blown away by his photographic prowess and poetic indulgences. We hope you had a similar experience of being transported to another reality, maybe getting a glimpse of the view from the T.A.R.D.I.S. (calling out to all the Doctor Who fans out there!).
Models -Vismay Jain, Aman Mathur, Aakansha Tyagi, Gitanshu Sharma, Utkarsh Vyas and Ipsit Raj.