Dreaming, Relearning, Tasting Life

Alphan Yilmazmaden

Living in a very dynamic, crowded, and historic city, Alphan Yilmazmaden is clearly a student of the people of Istanbul. He observes their familiarity, their idiosyncrasies, what one may hide, what another does not. Whether his frames are filled with social statements or warmth or mischief or love, one thing is certain… Yilmazmaden is an apt pupil.

I would call myself an amateur photographer. I prefer using small cameras, mostly ready to shoot (pre-focused and exposure adjusted) in a wide angle 24-28mm full frame equivalent, so I can use my time to observe and decide. I find that living in Istanbul, a very dynamic, crowded, and historic city, gives me unlimited opportunities in terms of photography. I try to reflect interactions between humans and their social environment, while blending in and observing the micro stories taking place. I believe street photography is about covering the details that are generally skipped. It isn’t about missing of catching something, but about really tasting life and relearning what it is. Alphan Yilmazmaden

Kujaja: What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?
AY: Street photography is a way to learn that human beings do not differ too much from each other.

Kujaja: When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
AY: I prefer to use the word “dreamed” instead of “planned”. This happens when a suitable light or background is detected while dreaming of something worthy to shoot under these conditions. I would say 40% dreamed, 60% instinctual.

Kujaja: Have you ever had formal training?
AY: No, but I have participated in some workshops and seminars.

Kujaja: Is there any particular genre/style of photography you would like to learn about and try?
AY: No. I’d like to improve what I am trying to do now, Street Photography.

Kujaja: How has photography changed you as a person?
AY: I think I’ve learned what patience is.

Kujaja: What are your photography weaknesses?
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Dreams, Opportunity, Changing the World

Sandip Bose

Sandip Bose calls Kolkata, India home. Sandip views photography as his hobby. Though he loves all genres, street photography is his passion. Since the journey's beginning, street photography has helped Bose see the streets and the people around him in a new light.

About 2 years ago, I had the opportunity to use a Sony point and shoot on a holiday trip with my friends. I started seeing frames in almost everything I saw around me. I just had to get a camera for myself and I ended up borrowing money from my boss and bought the Sony DSC HX 200V. The next year was spent learning how to use the full potential of a camera. Different blogs, websites and social media sites helped me in my journey. I spent most of my time looking at photographs of different artists and tried to understand them. But my photography was limited to my travel opportunities. Having a corporate job made it difficult to find time for photography. It was then that I came across the term street photography, and that changed the world around me. I realized that there were photographic opportunities everywhere around me and street was very challenging. Since then my camera became my weekend buddy and this friendship will go a long way. Sandip Bose

Kujaja: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
SB: As of now, I do not follow a particular style as I believe in capturing moments. Those moments can happen anywhere and anytime and irrespective of any style. My idea is to capture those moments in their true sense.

Kujaja: Have you ever had formal training?
SB: Not yet, but I would love to hone my skills further if I have the opportunity to do so. As of now, I rely on different blogs and websites for my learning. The biggest part of my learning has come from going through and understanding photographs taken by other photographers and reading through the different interpretations of those photographs.

Kujaja: Is there any particular genre/style of photography you would like to learn about and try?
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Hope, Honesty, Power to the People

Abir Choudhury

Abir Choudhury’s work is photography that teems with joy and hope and power of the people of his nation. Whether it is children enjoying Holi Festival or men bonding during daily working life, Choudhury’s images all speak to the heart. Cliché is never a thought that comes to mind viewing Abir’s work. It is fresh, uplifting, and downright stunning.

I am a street photographer from Konnagar, India. For me, street photography is a way of life because every day, every moment of life, is different. Capturing a new day filled with hope continually draws me to street photography. Abir Choudhury

Kujaja: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
AC: My photography style is the true movement of life. I like hardworking people very much, those who are spending the majority of their time in daily work. Through them, I develop myself. Every day I spend my time with them. Basically they are my developers. Every angle and every color of nature and everyday people are my teachers.

Kujaja: What is the most challenging part about being a photographer?
AC: At the time I began my photography, I was facing a lot of financial difficulties. But I never gave up hope. Every day I faced challenges. I had to decide if the life of a photographer was worth the challenges I faced. I am now beginning to realize successes in photography.

Kujaja: Have you ever had formal training?
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Mystery and the Unfolding

Biyas Chatterjee

Perhaps celebration is the word that best describes Biyas Chatterjee’s photography: a celebration of color, a celebration of motion, but mostly, a celebration of life. Using unique perspectives, hidden meaning, and unexpected innocence, Biyas unfolds the mysteries of his land. Chatterjee’s work is a new take on the much photographed, and it is anything but common.

By profession I am an equity dealer. I have an interest in technical analysis of supply and demand in the stock market. I also have a fascination with mystery books and thriller films. I suddenly started photography in 2011 when my wife gave me a DSLR camera as a gift. Since then, I’ve had an emerging interest in photography. Biyas Chatterjee

Kujaja: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
BC: I have my own specific eye for photography. I capture what I see and love. I am usually a street photographer and that’s not the stereotypes like beggars and crows. There are stories happening all around us every minute that we do not notice. During these moments, when I have a camera with me, this is something I would like to capture, something that is persisting mainly in front of my eyes. The construction involved in each photograph is the essence of the story it carries. There was this photograph I was taking a while back, that involved red and yellow cars in the background. There was also a bus in the foreground which had two girls wearing red and yellow clothes. This is the unfolding aspect. I am more interested in people and their surroundings. In each photograph I capture, I tend to keep a relationship between the background and foreground within that image frame. From the very day I started taking pictures I have maintained this philosophy and as the time goes on, I am trying to make the background and foreground combination stronger.

Kujaja: Who inspires you other than photographers (artists, writers, music, architects, and philosophers)?
BC: I find this uncanny similarity between my photographs and mystery thriller writers. This aspect promptly involves the method of ‘unfolding’. I want to show the same in my photographs.

Kujaja: Have you ever had formal training?
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Seeker, Fighting Spirit, Human Interaction

Vu Khanh Truong

Vu Khanh Truong's street work is wholly sensory. Viewers are instantly infused with the sensations of the street. His images can be heard, and felt, and tasted. Emotion is an important component of Truong’s images, therefore, human interaction is key to his work. His is a world of opposites; joy and sorrow, present and past, light and shadow. Through his lens, Vu skillfully leads us into this world of past and present one unique frame at a time.

I come from Viet Nam, a small country in South East Asia, and I go by the nickname, Wolf. I began my photography journey in 2008. Photography to me is a joy and an adventure. I shoot pictures of everything around me. I love people; talking to them and the sound of their laughter. I love sharing happiness or sadness with everyone I meet. These are the elements I hope to convey with my images. I always say to myself, "If you think this world is awesome, show it through your pictures. If there are so many cruel things in the world, you just need to work harder to find the beautiful ones." Vu Khanh Truong

Kujaja: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
VKT: Street photography is my choice and since the beginning until now I am happy with my choice. My photographic style is very simple: I am a seeker who seeks happy moments on the street. Nowadays, it is easy to get confused or to be influenced about what or which style or trend we should follow. Whenever I get confused, I will remind myself, “Remember the reason you came to photography; remember you are a happiness seeker”

Kujaja: What is the most challenging part about being a photographer?
VKT: The most challenging part about being a photographer, especially a street photographer like me, is human interaction.

Kujaja: Who inspires you other than photographers (artists, writers, music, architects, and philosophers)?
VKT: I am not really inspired by a person but there is a sentence in the poem of the poet Rabindranath Tagore that I choose as the lodestar for me: “There is only your own pair of wings and the pathless sky”- I call it “fighting spirit”.

Kujaja: What is your opinion regarding film vs. digital photography.
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