BBC – Photographs that show a bygone India

BBC report by By Pramila Krishnan

Women in 19th Century Tamil Nadu

There was a time an event would not begin without a photographer. “I remember the days when event organisers would even delay a show if the photographer was running late,” says Balachandra Raju, a 78-year-old third-generation photographer of Sathyam studio, a still surviving photo studio in India’s southern city of Chennai (formerly Madras).

“Now, all you need is a phone that fits in the palm of your hand to take a photo.”

Photo studios are on the verge of extinction in the digital era. But as they struggle to keep theirs shutters open, one research project is looking at ways to preserve their legacy by digitising archival images.

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