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Kamat's Passion for Photography

Chronology of Kamat Photo Archive

First Online: July 03, 2004
Page Last Updated: October 18, 2017

The following table traces the history and development of Kamat Photo Archive.

Chronology of Kamat Photo Archive

Phase I
1950s to 1970s

Phase II
1980s and 1990s

Phase III
Late 1995-2002

Early Years

Accumulation of Kamat Archive

Color Photography and Last Years

1951 -- Kamat and friends, (in their teen years) conduct a public fundraiser (chanda) so the local school can have a camera. They hold another fundraiser to buy film.

1958 -- Kamat pursues photography in Karnatak College Dharwad using borrowed equipment.

1964 -- Kamat envies the cameras of classmates in Syracuse, and on his way back to India, buys an Exacta in Germany.

1969 -- While working in Plassey in Bengal, Kamat photographs rural West Bengal and especially the Santals.

1970 -- Kamat establishes Scientific Photo Lab and in the process sets up his own darkroom.

1974 -- Kamat travels extensively in India photographing Ajanta, Ellora,  and Belur, and studies the depiction of animal life in Indian sculptures.

1976 -- Kamat goes on a sabbatical to Madhya Pradesh to study the tribals.

1981 -- Kamat gets a rare opportunity to document sacred Jaina archives of Shravanabelagola.

1983 -- Kamat gets an opportunity to travel in remotest corners of Karnataka to study temple archives and folk-artists.

1986 -- During a raid on a art-smugglers warehouse, valuable artifacts are discovered by CBI. Kamat is asked to identify and document them. See: Pictures of CBI Seize I

1991 -- Kamat restores precious portrait collection from Manohara Grintha Mala featuring Kannada writers and scholars.

1993 -- Kamat extensively photographs and studies the paintings and murals of Karnataka, especially the Kavi Art.

1996 -- Kamat switches to color photography as his primary medium.

1999 -- Kamat goes on a photographic rampage documenting the last days of the millennium.

2000 -- Computer technology makes possible affordable transfer of Kamat film negatives into hard-copy prints. We are ourselves amazed by the diversity of the archive.

2002 -- Kamat passes away, leaving behind an estimated two hundred thousand photographs.

See Also:

  • Camera Monkey -- Article narrates Kamat's passion for photography, even when he had no facilities
  • Kamat's Cameras -- Kamat writes about his fascination with photography


50 years of Kamat's Photography
50 Years of 
Kamat's Photography

The S.S.C Class of 1952Prof. A. N. Moorthy RaoButter Boy!Best FriendsA Muslim and An Indian
Young and Goofy Zoology Department of Karnatak CollegePatels Wife in the village of ModnarTi. Nam. Shreekantaiya at KumtaProf. V. Seetaramaiah
Pioneer Shivaram KaranthKamat Family Enjoying Kamat PicturesA Father and a Daughter Share a Light MomentMembers of a Family Cleaning JackfruitAmma And Gindi, Oct 16, 1975
Picture of Baban NadkarniKamats First Photograph

Kamat's Potpourri Colophon Backstage  Passion for Photography

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