An Interview With a Man Who Chases Clouds – Debarshi Duttagupta
August 19 is celebrated as World Photography Day and so to celebrate the diverse, extraordinary and versatile world and culture of photography, we shall celebrate the whole month of August with articles dedicated to Photographers. WeekendTrivia exclusive interviews with world-class photographers as well as a photography contest shall be running on our blog as well as all other social media platforms. So dive into the fest!
In photography, every photographer has a different obsession with a particular subject which becomes the main object of their lens and their vision. This talented photographer Debarshi Duttagupta, however chases a very unique subject- Clouds. To know more about him and his work read his interview with WeekendTrivia
Follow him on –
Instagram – ushwaia1
P. S. – Copyright of all the captures in the article lies with ©Debarshi Duttagupta
Q1: Would you kindly introduce yourself to our reader? Along with the genre of your photography and on which project are you working currently? What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A: I am a photographer based out of Kolkata. I have been documenting extreme weather mostly in south Bengal with 7 of my friends (The KolkataCloudchasers) for the last 8years.
I don’t think I have achieved anything significant till now. But the fact that through KolkataCloudchasers I have been able to go to schools and colleges to talk about weather change and lightning safety. That itself is extremely satisfying.
Q2: What attracts you to your genre? Whose work has influenced you most?
A: The love for nature is something that attracted me towards my love for clouds and storms. I have closely followed works of the only storm chasers in India. They are – Chirasree Chakraborty , Suman Kumar Ghosh, Krishnendu Chakraborty , Indranil Kar , Abhishek Saigal , Joyjeet Mukherjee and Diganta Gogoi.
Q3: Is it important to have any professional training to be a photographer? Did you have any at the time you set off your journey?
A: I have never been professionally trained but I do believe that any additional input of knowledge from a school will help you understand the art form in a much better way.
Q4: When you go in one of your photo-shoot which one is your favorite lens and why do you prefer it? And what are your favourite equipment’s while you are on cloud hunt?
A: Cloud and storm chases require a lot of running and fast walking while you are on the field. Thus I prefer lighter gears. I like wide-angle cloudscapes and storms capes , but the Fujifilm XF 10-24 F4 R OIS is my favourite lens. And my preferred camera choice is Fujifilm XT-3.
Q5: How do you as a photographer make sure that the thing, person or landscape you want to shoot looks the way you want it to?
A: When you are shooting mother nature , it is as per her wishes you may shoot. I normally don’t have any preconceived idea or frames in mind.Storms and clouds are ever changing weather phenomena and they must be reshot as they change this forms.
Q6: How did you get so interested in “Chasing the cloud”? Who are your partners in crime?
A: I travel a lot to discharge my professional duties as a medicine seller and manufacturer. I spend a lot of time inflight and that is where my love for clouds started to develop.
My partners in crime are my fellow members of the KolkataCLoudchasers .
Suman Kumar Ghosh
Q7: If anyone wants to join in your excellent team what are the criteria?
A: Storm chasing is a very risky exercise and we have stayed away from adding members to our team. We have never thought about formulating a criteria for joining KolkataCloudchasers.
Q8: A “Good Camera can make a Picture perfect” do you believe this myth?
A: The camera obeys the mind. So it is the mind that is more important than the camera when it comes to creating that perfect picture.
Q9: What is your favourite “cloudy moment” so far and why?
A: Looking at the formation and progress of all storm systems are my favourite moments. It gives me sense of joy.
Q10: What kind of challenges you face while you are out on the field? Is it safe for others or you needed to have proper precaution before travelling?
A: There are many challenges. Safety being the most important of them. We normally plan a exit route before we start photographing storms. If you are following precautions then you have better chances of coming out of it alive. We do a lot of background research on the system before we start the chase. It makes everything much safer.
Q11: Which post processing software you use for your landscape pictures? Do you believe in “Digital manipulation”?
A: I am against any digital manipulation. Nature has to be shown as it is. I use Photoshop CC 2018 , and plugins from DXO Nik software.
Q12: Many of the photographers ask us where they find out about the salon news or exhibition news. Can you please give them some idea?
A: I hardly participate in Salons. But photography magazines , the internet, and some fantastic Photography groups like , Fotorbit , WPF , Steets of Calcutta and Calcutta Instagrammers are excellent sources for information. These groups are lead by some of the best photographers in Kolkata and extremely helpful people too.
Q13: Name the last photography book/journal that you read.
A: The last book I read was “On broken trails” by Sandipan Mukherjee
Q14: Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other amateur photographer?
A: I agree now a days access to technology has led to almost everyone being a photographer. I think that is a good thing. The good professionals will always stand out as their work and dedication will always be in a different level. To answer your question , yes ! There is a huge difference between a professional and an amateur photographer.
Q15: Any quick message for our blog? Wish you a very happy world photography day! Thanks for your time!
A: Photographs become part of History , they need be made and they need to be stored for the future generation to see. I am sure Weekend Trivia will play its part in this. Happy World Photography Day , Keep Clicking and as we from the KolkataCloudchasers say. .. be safe and “Never stop chasing”.
Thank you immensely Debarshi Da for taking out your valuable time and answering our questions.. We look forward to your continuing wonderful work.