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?
SB: I have been attracted to Street Photography from the day I first read about it and since then I learn something new every day. But I would also like to try my hand at wildlife photography some day in the future when I can get my hands on those telephoto lenses.
Kujaja: How has photography changed you as a person?
SB: It helps me see the world differently now. Daily street scenes which I would previously ignore have now become my canvas. I see photo opportunities in almost everything around me and that is fascinating.
Kujaja: What are your photography weaknesses?
SB: I am very shy on the streets, and I try to avoid people noticing me. This is something I need to work on.
Kujaja:What do you consider your greatest photographic accomplishment?
SB: This right here is my biggest accomplishment to date.
Kujaja: Do you think a photographer must have ‘natural talent’ to become a great photographer?
SB: It depends from person to person. There are people who can learn and execute things pretty fast, and then there are people who are born with the talent of seeing things differently.
Kujaja:What is your opinion regarding film vs. digital photography?
SB: Digital allows us to make more mistakes and learn from them. On the other hand, the limitation of film photography ensures that we click only what we absolutely find worthy of clicking. Both have their pros and cons, and it is always a personal choice on what each one prefers. I started photography in the digital age, but plan to try out film very soon.
Kujaja:How does black and white vs. color play into your work? Do you find them to be totally separate beasts—or complementary?
SB: Personally I am in love with monochrome and convert almost 60% of my images to B&W. But then again there are images which only make sense in color.
Kujaja:What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?
SB: I love to photograph and as a corporate professional, I do not get to go out and shoot very often. So whenever I get the opportunity, streets serve as my ‘breath of fresh air’. I am always fascinated at seeing so many interesting things happening around me and capturing those situations and moments provides me with a sense of satisfaction.
Kujaja:What do you think makes a memorable street photograph?
SB: A street photograph to me is always about those unusual moments in time that need to be preserved. They are the moments which raises questions in the viewer’s mind and leaves him wondering.
Kujaja:What were the difficulties you encountered first starting street photography?
SB: When I started shooting street, I was not very sure about its definition and would work hard trying to find the right moment. With time I realized that I needed to relax and that there can be days where I might not get a good photograph even if I was out there all day. So, now I enjoy my time out on the streets and look for opportunities as they come.
Kujaja:When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
SB: It is mostly instinct for me that plays the major role. Although you can plan a few shots and try to get them on a particular day, there is no guarantee that you will end up getting them. But because you planned something does not mean you let go of the other photo opportunities that arise that day. Hence, I plan less and shoot more.
Kujaja: What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started street photography all over again?
SB: Get rid of the fear of shooting in the streets. And remember this very interesting quote that I read somewhere "You are carrying a camera, not a gun."
Kujaja: What advice can you offer for those who want to get into photography but maybe can’t afford equipment?
SB: I started off using my friend’s camera, and then bought my first point and shoot by borrowing money from my boss. Finally, I managed to buy my first DSLR eight months back. What I learned in this process is that it does not matter what camera you own, but what matters is what you see. To be very honest, I have learned most of my lessons before I bought my DLSR. And now I shoot street with my phone as well. Let nothing stop you from shooting, and never give up on your dreams.
Kujaja: Thank you for this interview Sandip.