Even after my blog post on Mobile phone photography last year, I used to be a reluctant Instagram user, until I saw I have 998 followers. Since then, I have taken a special interest in this social media platform. Very naturally, I did come up with numerous questions, the prime question being – Who are the Kolkata based photographers one should follow over Instagram?
Why is this question very important? – I would like to get connected to the right people over Instagram, get inspired by their work and perhaps learn from them. There is a lot of buzz and to connect with real people who appear like islands on the sea of mediocrity is a major challenge. A lot of young people like me are still enthused by photography and Instagram is their newest media. They should get connected to a few, whom the others look up to.
Kolkata is home to numerous award winning photographers who are humble and help younger people around. I started to learn about camera in a photowalking group called “Kolkata Weekend Shoots”. There are groups like “Kolkata Photographers Club”, where the individual quality of work of every member is almost unparalleled. In recent times, there is a group “Cam2O Photowalkers” and they produce incredible photographs. Other groups like “Click Start from Kalighat” and “Streets of Calcutta” are also doing good.
A lot of young and experienced photographers hail from Bengal/Calcutta. I thought of connecting to a few young contemporary thought leaders who have in their good faith and criticism helped other younger people learn.
“Instagram has been picked up as a tool by several photographers as a handy tool to take pictures on the go, to work on candid frames, to put forward a running diatribe of the world around them and more importantly to showcase their talents. Until recently the “square” format posed a unique challenge that stimulated photographers to think out of the box and produce images that are if not extraordinary but unique in their presentation and style wise.”, said Anish Chakraborty who works as a writer with one of the leading financial dailies.
He added, “One of the brilliant contemporary photographers of India starts using Instagram, what follows is sheer opulence of storytelling and truly stands what this medium is capable in the right hands. His images are rich in their visual narrative and also act as a visual diary in the daily life of a photojournalist. Ronny Sen.”
I believe we all look up to Mr. Saikia. “Kaustav Saikia is one of the leading fashion and art photographers from Kolkata. He has shot major campaigns for famous fashion designers and brands, and his photographs make their way quite often in newspapers, magazines and online publications. His instgaram account stands almost a testimonial for his work. Vibrant colours and beautiful ladies are almost a staple in his work add to that a little dash of quirky frames and you have an account that is a visual delight.”, added Anish.
A photo posted by Kaustav Saikia (@kaustavsaikia) on
His Instagram bio reads “Love, Sex and Scenography” and I think that quite sums of what this Instagram handle is all about. Welcome to the world of masks, avant garde spread and the inside mind of a maverick. He along with the usual photography also splashes in glimpses of exquisite sets he has been working on. Be ready for a lot of retro styled photographs and impressive titbits of life from this account.
If one of the few people who have taken up Instagram with full gusto and has exploited its full potential to portray Kolkata, it would be him. He uses a range of subjects and street shots that show his diverse nature and well as the potential to make use of his surroundings to work in his favour. His instagram account is refreshing as well as helps to look at the world with the trained eyes of a photographer.
A photo posted by Srimallya Maitra (@srimallya) on
Anish remarks, “Arka is one of my favourite people to look up for inspiration among people of my age. He shows maturity and a very refined sense of aesthetics which is rare in most people. Portraits are his forte and if one browses through his work, one would have to agree that this kid may or may not know what risks he is taking with his photographic journey but till now he is doing a fine job out of it.”
Going under the name of lee la, this lady produces some of the most interesting works of Kolkata. Most of her photographs are a mix of intense curiosity and a creative bend. She is more inclined to monochrome and that helps to give her pictures a sense of intrigue and almost a painterly feel in some of the frames.
“I have been following this woman recently and it is quite a nice balance of urban and small town narrative. What she does photographically may not be very out of the ordinary but it is nice the way she brings her own sense of personal attitude to the photographs. To have a voice is more important than just clicking and I think this lady puts it across quite nicely.”
After a month of procrastination and indecisiveness, I finally gathered enough will to give writing a travelogue a “first attempt”. And, here it is. For starters, 1. No, it is not a mechanical day to day summary of what I did and what I saw but, has other intimate details of lessons learnt and observations I made throughout. 2. This trip was made solo and under a very tight budget and I succeeded. 3. Why I chose to call my first post probashi is because it became my daak naam. 3. Naming the travelogues bottom shelf brandy has a story behind it. Ask away. Feedback please. Okay. Link in bio.
Anish is extremely enthusiastic about this young photographer. He says, “One of the few youngsters that I am really looking forward, to making quite an impression in the recent future with his work. His mobile live series is an ever moving, ever travelling journal that is a pleasure to look at and be a part of. He is still learning the ropes and he keeps on sharpening his skills. He will make a mark.”
A photo posted by Soham Dutta (@soham.dutta.18) on
Anish is confident about this young lad. He says, “He has taken to instagram quite well and also to the Kolkata kaleidoscope of images and storytelling. Mainly working on standalone pictures and rich tones, he has got oodles to learn and work on. This point of time working on structural as well as bringing the texture laden rich old Kolkata heritage. He is a good person to go along with on a nostalgia trip.”
Well, I discovered that Abir is my school junior. Anish too, for that matter, hails from the school I studied in.
Over enthusiastically presenting:
#vsco #vscoindia #vscokolkata #vagradiaries #myfeetstories #mextures #everywherevsco #simplicityeverywhere #oyemyclick #talktomyphotos #momentcapturerz #myimmensedreams #thefilmdiaries #shutterlive #ofhumans #thatperfectshot_ #thatperfectshot #overthesurface #clearthehorizon #thisismymuse #convexrevolution #vagrantdiaries #dopeforsquare
“One of the few people who know Kolkata and instagram can be when mixed in the right doses. Playing heavily with minimalist and silhouettes in his photographs, he uses Instagram with the advantage of getting up and close with his subjects.”
A photo posted by Jit Rakshit (@jitrakshit) on
Next up is a person whose name was suggested by Avinandan Sthanpati. He holds a very significant place in my heart. When I was fiddling with the compact camera, not knowing the basics, he introduced me to the world of photography and got me into Kolkata Weekend Shoots. A person younger to me, who has never failed to inspire me.
Born in 1991, Swastik Pal is a graduate from Calcutta University, India.
After completing his post graduate diploma in mass communication from Jadavpur University, he received full scholarship to pursue Diploma in Photojournalism, at the Asian Center for Journalism, a World Press Photo partner organization at Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.
Presently he is an independent photographer/writer based in Calcutta, working on long term projects.
His series “The Hungry Tide” has grabbed many eye balls previously and would be schowcased in Chian Mai, Thailand from October 2. His next would be a solo exhibition in Korea.
His is a private account. His username is @SwastikPal.
“Not only is his private account, many photographers like Rahul Dhankani (@rahuldhankani) do not upload their photographic work much to Instagram” added Avinandan.
I wondered how not many street photographers were being talked about. I chipped in and asked. Anish is of the view that street insta-photography is coming of age. However we have a few enthusiasts like Soumyodeep, Rajatabha and Ritam who spearhead the young street photographers in Calcutta. They have this group called Cam2O Photowalkers. Almost every alternate weekend they go out on photo walks and every year they organise their annual exhibition. And every time it is something new and people – layman and stalwarts alike, look at the photographs with sheer amazement. This year their exhibition is scheduled on the 27th of September 2015. It is called “Alor Rong Tuli 3“, their third edition of their annual exhibition.
A common Kolkata Street.
#India #streetphotography #love #Kolkata #onlyinbengal #instagoodmyphoto #India #follow #photooftheday #Calcuttacacophony #repostindia #Kolkatadiaries #tv_streelife #documentary #indiadiaries #NGTDailyShot #_soi #soiwalks #ig_india #WEBSTAPICK #webstagram #instamood #igdaily #bestoftheday #instadaily #ig_photo_club #_ccal #ig_calcutta #calphotos #WHPfilltheframes
Ritam Paul Chaudhury
Tram yer #kolkata 3 #kolkatajukebox #streetphotography #blackandwhite
A photo posted by Ritam Paul Chowdhury (@kolkatajukebox) on
Souradeep who works with Asian Photography Magazine as a photo-journalist, is enthused by the entire development of sorts. He is amused more by Subhasis Saha. While the others are fantastic photo-journalist, they are hardly active on Instagram. After Souradeep talking about Subhasis, even I found him interesting. We have exact 99 mutual friends and most of them are good friends of mine!
Talking about interesting people, I came across a person yesterday. His Instagram username is “Chobigrapher”. Now that is a term, most of us perceive very negatively. He does not know about the negativity because he is not on Facebook! He is photographying for the last seven years and started photo-blogging only last year after coming across Amitabh Bacchan’s blog. This final year computer science student of Techno India wants to pursue his masters in fine arts.
Paper boats. W I N D S. Through puddles they sail. Puddle, the connection between their house. Paper boats of colorful sheets were letters. He promised her a forever till the last rain drop of their span. She promised back, that she won’t let their boat sink. In the former monsoon, they drenched together. The two were wet & dirty amidst the brownish golden mud. She asked him, what if these rains made their boats sink? He asked her, to gather all the love she had for him, and the buoyancy of their love will let them sail. . . . . . . . . Caption – The beautiful @himanshiieeee . . . . . . #makeportraits #inspiroindia #oyemystory #myshoeboxofphotographs #myfeetstories #planhatke #ftwotw #bleachmyfilm #featuremeofh #featuremeval #DelightfullyOrdinary #simplicityeverywhere #VscoIndia #vscogrid #vscovisuals #vscomextures #jj_mextures #jj_humanedge #jj_forum #jj_allportraits #rsa #thecreativeaffair #getgalvanised #thisismymuse #visual_diaries #vagrantdiaries #justgoshoot #mextures
A photo posted by Neal Bhaumik ( Onir ) (@chobigrapher) on
Of the younger Instagram using photographers, we have Swaroop Singha Roy. I’ve known him for the last four years. He has slowly taken up the wild life genre. I am proud that he regards me his elder brother and I am worried in equal measure. I do not know why. His set of achievements in his very short work life so far, includes multiple times mentions and awards by magazines with include Sanctuary Asia.
Swaroop Singha Roy.
Number 17 – 20 would be the people who talked this much so that you know the previous 16!
He calls himself the reluctant writer, curious photographer and corrects other people’s mistake for a living. A couple of years younger to me, first I had known him for his extreme levels of sarcasm. However after having met him, I know he isn’t a bad person. He helped me when I required to be stern. His series “Hints of a woman”, is what got me really interested. Later, he series of “Photo man” and a couple of others got viral. Now he is a columnist in one of the leading financial newspapers.
This article would not have been possible without his contribution.
Umm, that would be me. I’ll be shameless and say – do follow me if you haven’t yet. I am hurt, crestfallen that no one nominated me. However, since I am the blogger and I’ll be publishing it, I’ll very secretly chip my name in! I am a photo-blogger based in Calcutta, better known for his stolen photographs and the cases that followed.
He is another person, to whom I had to literally prove myself, to earn his good behaviour. Now he talks to me by his own and like a brother. This creative director of an advertisement agency, calls himself a random person who is still searching for the best medium to express himself. I became friends with him during the Jadavpur students agitation against police atrocities.
A photo posted by avinandan sthanpati (@avinandan_sthanpati) on
He works as a photo journalist in Asian Photography Magazine. Younger to me, he had more than once scolded me with basics of framing. We have met only a few times during our Kolkata Weekend Shoots days. He somehow managed to be an integral part of my initial photography learning days. He has worked with several national and international organizations and NGOs and he likes documenting daily life in India.
Feedback time now!
Do leave your honest feedback for us. If you think this list is good, do share it on your social media profiles and make it reach more people. I’m sure that those who are featured here, if connected with, would definitely help a newer photographer learn, nurture and in the future professionally showcase.
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Good one Anirban.
There’s a lot to learn from your blog. I have seen anirbansaha.com evolving from a random blog to a niche blog. This post looks perfect, very professional and informative. I am sure if a beginner blogger backtracks this blog from present to its past, he/she would get a thousand lessons to learn and ideas to implement.
Phil m Photographic
Hi, i spent a little time in Kolkata doing some portraits kindly have a look at my Instagram too.
Many thanks for the good read, Phil M
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