An Interview With a Street Photographer – Raj Sarkar
August 19 is celebrated as World Photography Day and so to celebrate, 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 as well as a photography contest shall be running on as well as all other social media platforms. So dive into the fest!
A multi-talented Street Photographer who delves deep into the emotional aspect and many facets of his subject. Meet Raj Sarkar and read on to know more about him.
Follow him on –
Instagram- Raj Sarkar
Website – www.rajsarkar.com
P. S. – Copyright of all the captures in the article lies with ©Raj Sarkar
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 street photographer based out of Kolkata and love to explore possibilities on streets. For me emotions of the people can connect anyone through photographs easily. To be associated with photography itself is a great achievement. I would say photography is a philosophical journey where you are a student who has the possibility to learn every moment. When someone start believing that he or she has learnt everything about photography, the beautiful journey will be stopped instantly.
Right now, I am doing more than 8 projects simultaneously but I cannot disclose it now.
Q2: What attracts you to your genre? Whose work has influenced you most?
A: I would say emotion of the people along with reflex action of the subjects within the ambience at that moment attracts me the most while on street. More precisely the candid nature. Photographers like Raghu Rai, Henry Cartier Bresson, Ernst Haas has influenced me a lot.
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 journey should always start without a reason though later it will certainly have a reason. The time Gap of this two are very crucial. Growth in anything require specific time. Training starts automatically when we born. We learn the compositions through our daily life. Every day we witness various structures, emotions, lights, interesting moments, patterns etc. We don’t learn new things through professional training but quality workshop certainly helps us to understand what is what in photography. At initial stage of my photographic journey I took 2 days workshop on street photography and rest is self-taught.
Q4: When you go in one of your photo-shoots which one is your favorite lens and why do you prefer it?
A: Now a days I prefer 23mm f2 as my favorite lens but according the nature of photograph I use other lens also. 23mm (Crop) lens is equivalent to 35mm in Full Frame which is very good for street photography. Its about the practice through which we learn to accommodate our desired subjects using prime lens (fixed focal length)
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: Preconceived ideas most of the time is anti-creativity. It guides us to achieve old frames. The Joy to explore the unknown is limitless. I wait for the right moment to appear before me that is interesting and decisive.
Q6: Can you explain to the budding photographer What makes the good picture stand out from the average?
A: I would advise them to shoot with fresh mind and to explore new things. If I say what is good photograph or average then they will never learn the photography and they will start searching good photograph all over. Let them be free from any rules, guidance, let them discover, let them perceive, let them decide what is good or bad as I have already told it’s a philosophical journey and they are the main traveler to decide how they will complete their journey.
Q7: What is so important in documenting something or in street photography? How important
A: For street photography Decisive moment is the key. Apart from that good Light and content are equally important.
Q8: A “Good Camera can make a Picture perfect” do you believe this myth?
A: It’s always who is behind the view finder. In this era all the cameras are good. For street photography a small size camera is preferable and due to the small size, nobody will notice you as a result you may get the candid moments out of busy environment. A good moment or content or play of light and shadows may be enough for a street photograph but for other genre of photography high end camera can add more drama like noiseless photograph or high dynamic range and crispy detailing etc.
I use small mirrorless Fuji camera which is very handy for street photography.
Q9: What is that you have adhered and learned through photography over the years?
A: Everything has a value in this universe even tiniest one. While on street one must respect subjects. Remember a stopped watch is right twice a day.
Q10: What do you think of B&W versus Colour with street photography?
A: According to the mood of the content one must convert his/her frame. There is no such rule that a street photograph has to be in B&W. For information B&W is also a part of colour.
Q11: Which post processing software you use for your pictures?
A: Adobe Photoshop CC.
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: Google, Facebook is the best tool /platform to search for exhibition news and about salon photography.
For open and all type of famous competition worldwide one must purchase Better Photography magazine to get all the details.
Q13: Name the last photography book/journal that you read.
A: There are few good magazines and websites I read/surf regularly like Better photography, Indian Photo Art Magazine, Fujilove , Chiiz,121clicks.com etc
The last book I read was Raghu Bir Singh’s “KASHMIR”
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: When someone earn money periodically from photography are professional photographers in my view. They dedicatedly perform the tusk for their client. Rest all are passionate photographer. But these passionate photographers can produce professional level (Good Photographs which is acceptable in general sense) photographs also. On the other hand, there are some professional photographers who sometimes produce low level of photographs. Good art should always be concerned about the beautiful meaningful artistry -not about the artist. One must remember a good artistry is not slave of any tag.
Q15: Any quick message for our blog? Wish you a very happy world photography day! Thanks for your time!
A: Certainly, a great initiative by Weekend Trivia. Wish you all the best for present and future. Happy World Photography day to you all.
Thank you Raj Sir, for taking out time for us and letting our readers know about your wonderful journey so far. We look forward to seeing more of your wonderful work…!