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With masks being the new normal, Kerala photographer develops one which reveals identity

Binesh said he came across different masks carrying pictures of Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Dora, Chotta Bheem, teddy bears, film actors and animals but did not come across a mask carrying one’s own photo. He said this forced him to sit up and think.

Updated: May 24, 2020, 19:40 IST

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by Sohini Sarkar, Hindustan Times Thiruvananthapuram

A digital photographer in Etumanoor in Kottayam, Binesh G Paul (38), has developed a unique mask to overcome this identity crisis. (HT PHOTO.)

Going by the advice of the medical fraternity, it seems we have to live with coronavirus for some time, at least till a vaccine is invented. From now on it will be a masked life. It is true that masks have become an integral part of our routine. But it creates many difficulties also-- once you wear it, it is difficult to identify you because it covers the nose, mouth and chin completely.

A digital photographer in Etumanoor in Kottayam, Binesh G Paul (38) has developed a unique mask to overcome this identity crisis. After wearing it others can identify you quickly since in the new mask, the covered portion will be superimposed on the mask as it is. Binesh elaborates on how this mask will be made.

“First we take a photo of the concerned person in a high resolution camera. Then we carry out sublimation printing and transfer the image to a particular paper. Later, the image will be enlarged and we cut the particular portion and superimpose it on the cloth mask with a high degree temperature. At times, we take the measurement of the chin,” he explained. A photo-imposed mask can be made in 20 minutes and it will cost Rs 60 a piece.

“I have made 1000 masks in the last two days and got orders for another 5000. I am flooded with queries. I think nobody has done this before. Once we get more orders we will diversify without compromising the safety of the mask,” said Binesh who is into digital photography for more than 10 years.



His family, too, is into the business of photography for about 55 years and he has inherited his studio from them.

Binesh said he came across different masks carrying pictures of Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Dora, Chotta Bheem, teddy bears, film actors and animals but did not come across a mask carrying one’s own photo. He said this forced him to sit up and think.

“In ATMs, while checking in airports, examination halls and other occasions masks often create problems. The new mask can overcome this. Like our PM Modi said we have to convert each crisis into an opportunity,” said Binesh adding many new innovations are in the offing as long as we cover our face with masks.

In port city Kochi, a leading cloth mart has come up with designer masks to fit all occasions, be it a birthday, wedding, betrothal or funeral.

There are reports that the Southern Naval Command in Kochi has instructed its personnel to wear masks matching the occasion like white masks with white uniform and navy blue with ceremonial uniforms. During parade different colours will be an eyesore, said a senior police officer adding khaki masks will be made compulsory on such occasions for the police. For the differently-abled, especially who are deaf and hard of hearing, these masks pose innumerable problems, say people working with them.

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