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An Interview With a Street and Candid Photographer – Nilanjan Ray

Published by weekendtrivia on

A person who is passionate enough about his work can excel marvelously in any work whether its his/her profession or simply a hobby. Nilanjan Ray – a street documenter and candid moment photographer has shown us just that. He is a banker by profession yet indulges in his passion for photography and how. He has several achievements in his kitty and has travelled far and wide to pursue his passion for photography.

Today, Mr. Ray gives us an candid interview with WeekendTrivia about his work and photography journey. Please read on to know more.

Follow him on Instagram – rnilanjan

P. S. – Copyright of all the captures in the article lies with ©Nilanjan Ray

The man himself – Nilanjan Ray

Q1: Would you kindly introduce yourself to our reader? Along with the genre of your photography and on which projects are you currently working? What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: I am Nilanjan Ray (b. 1959), have a handful of exposed stock on “Human Interest” and keeps stock of other people’s money in a Bank since it is my profession.  

Has received Merit Prize from National Geographic, USA & National Award from Photo Division, Govt. of India.

Has received Third Prize from Photo Division, Govt. of India for the Contest “Incredible India”.

Solo Photography Exhibition on ‘VARANASI – AN ETERNAL CITY’ organized by OXFORD BOOKSTORE, Kolkata, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS, (NCPA), Mumbai and INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE (IIC), New Delhi.

Solo Photography Exhibition on “FAITH – A QUAINT EMOTIONS” was organized by INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTER, NEW DELHI from 29th November 2016 to 9th December 2016.

Other than above, my photographs are selected for exhibition at British Council, UNICEF, ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS, Calcutta, LALIT KALA ACADEMY, New Delhi etc

Photographs are also selected for a Book” Framed City” – published at Indian Art Festival, New Delhi.

Photographs are also selected for a Book “INDIA- 5 Senses” by Roli Books.

Photographs are also selected for a Book “tiffin” by Roli Books.

Photographs & Articles are published regularly in leading daily Newspapers and Magazines.

Contact Details: +919433137920

E-Mail : neelanjan59@gmail.com

The Genre of my Photography is Candid and views the Photograph as capturing the moment.

I am currently working on a Project “Faith – A Quaint Emotions”.

The Details as below:

Faith is not about belief. Faith in fact has very little to do with what beliefs you hold, other than that it allows you to hold them. Faith is a sacred, deep, emotionally involved kind of trust. Faith is the kind of trust that you enter into with your whole being. Faith is the kind of trust that, when it has been broken, it hurts deep inside… but faith is the kind of trust that finds a way to trust again despite the hurt.

We are all people of Faith. Faith is a basic aspect of human nature. We live in a universe that is so awe inspiring, so infinite, so grandly complicated that all of human knowledge amounts to only a tiny fraction of reality. Indeed, much of human perception about reality is pure construct… because the whole of infinity cannot be understood by finite human minds.

A Religious Faith is not a collection of people who share beliefs, but a community of people who have made the commitment to trust one another to care for each other’s spirits and souls, and who join together for a Faith filled purpose.

Blind Faith is a trust that is not examined, not understood, and of which requires only body and soul, neglecting the mind and the spirit.

Pure Faith is the kind of trust that you hold even when your rational mind says you should not. This is a two edged sword, because at times the ability to hold a pure Faith is a blessing, at other times it is simply Blind Faith in disguise.

My Greatest Achievement:

Received appreciation letter from Henri Cartier Bresson.

C:\Users\Nilanjana\Desktop\Exposure\NR\bresson_1.jpg

Q2: What attracts you to your genre? Whose work has influenced you most?

A:  Human Character as well as Behaviors.

I am mainly influenced by Henri Cartier Bresson, Raghu Rai, Robert Frank, Sebastio Salgado, Joseph Kudhelka, Trent Parke, James Natchway, Larry Towell, Ansel Adams. But there are many more whose works also attract me. One of my favourite photographers is Raghubir Singh

Q3: Is it important to have any professional training to be a photographer? Did you have any at the time you set of your journey?  

A: A minimum professional training is needed for technical aspects. Otherwise an Artist is born, not made.

No, I do not have any professional training but I got important lessons from my club, namely Photographic Association of Bengal, Kolkata, one of the oldest Clubs in India. 

Q4: When you go in one of your photo-shoot which one is your favorite lens and why do you prefer it?

A: I prefer Short Zoom mainly 15-85mm/17-40mm as these are good for Candid moments.

Q5: How do you as a photographer to make sure that the thing, person or landscape you want to shoot looks the way you want it to? 

A: It is actually depending on lot of facts like Light/Action and waits for that to make sure the way I want to be.

Q6: Can you explain to the budding photographer what makes a good picture stand out from the average?

A: The most important element of a Good Photo is the ability of the Photograph to communicate with the viewer. It should be able to tell a story through its composition and most importantly its subject matter.

Q7: What is so important in documenting something or in street photography? How important it is to have a story in street photography? 

A: Importance in documenting street is about documenting everyday life and Society on the street. It is usually done candidly without permission and without subject’s knowledge.

Q8: A “Good Camera can make a Picture perfect” do you believe this myth?

A: As Ansel Adams said,” The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” But a Good Camera provides more flexibility and consistent results, which can help to make the job easier. 

Q9: What is that you have adhered and learned through photography over the years?

A: I travel. I carry a camera. I don’t know. It depends. I don’t plan life. Be focussed on Geometry, have Patient and be unobtrusive.

 I do photography for pleasure. These are my idea of having fun. I don’t think that my creations on their own can do anything, but together with all the information that is now available, they may be able to add something.

 Q10: What do you think of B&W versus Color with street photography?

A: The choice of whether to use color or black and white for an image is subjective. Looking at some photos in both black and white and color to get feel for what works and what does not work. No matter which option go with, make sure know why you are choosing it. The color or lack of color in an image should contribute to its impact. 

Q11: Which post processing software you use for your pictures? 

A: Photoshop CS 6.

Q12: Many of the photographers ask us where they find out about the salon news or exhibition news. Can you please give them some ideas?

A:  A Photographer should be a member of a leading Photographic Club in his/her state. He/She can get Information regarding Salon News or Exhibitions from Photographic Club easily.

Q13: Name the last photography book/journal that you read.

A: Magnum Contact Sheets by Kristen Lubben.

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: For Amateur Photographers, Photography is just a hobby. For professionals, however, Photography is also their main source of income, hence, they are tended to be dedicated to their Job. Nowadays, a big number of Amateur Photographers are doing great creations as they are very much dedicated.

Q15: Any quick message for our blog? Thanks for your time!   

A: THERE IS ONE THING THE PHOTOGRAPH MUST  CONTAIN, THE HUMANITY OF THE MOMENT.

Thank you Nilanjan Sir, for your valuable guidelines and sharing your thoughts with us. We look forward to seeing more of your wonderful work…!

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