July 19, 2013

Photographers Showcase II

Streets, Portraiture, Music, Nature, Weddings, Underwater, Surreal- The second edition of our Photographers Showcase from Kyoorius #15 features another interesting mix of photographers from the various platitudes of photography. Here is the abridged version of the showcase.

Do check out the first edition here. And to read the entire pieces, subscribe hereOr mail us at: subs@kyoorius.com


It has been two decades since Chirodeep Chaudhuri first picked up a second hand copy of LIFE magazine off a pavement in Flora Fountain in Mumbai and a definite desire to pick up photograph kindled in him. Since then, he has worked as a photographer for the Sunday Observer, Time Out magazine (as a design and photo-editor) and has been featured in various books. “LIFE magazine led me to other magazines, which led me to books, and which in turn, slowly pointed me in the direction of works of various photographers. Gradually, I discovered and developed my tastes and sensibilities with regards to the medium. I got interested in journalism and this is the career I have pursued, choosing the camera over a pen.”



Parikh is a travel/documentary/street photographer whose biggest photographer vices are Alex Webb, Sebastiao Salgado, Elliott Erwitt and Raghu Rai’s black and white work shot on 35mm film. He started street photography long before he realized that there was a unique genre for what he was doing. The rawness of the genre, the candid moments which are so hard to spot in the chaos of urban life, is what lures him to it. Parikh explains, “Ten years from now, good street images created today will represent a very different time gone by. So street photography is a documentation of history really, and the most accurate documentation of the way things at ground level really were.” Parikh has shot for Conde Nast India for Vogue India magazine, National Geographic Traveller India, Tatler UK, among several other national and international publications.



For Kaushik Chakravorty, the exclusivity of his father’s camera at age ten is what created a hankering for photography which he hasn’t gotten enough of. He is a 35 year old self-taught fashion and people photographer whose inspirations in photography are Henri Cartier Bresson and a betel leaf that his art teacher asked him to draw a hundred times until he perfected the exact shape, colour, veins and curves. He has been working on a series shooting the fisher-folk in Bombay. “I am so involved in this project that I have shifted lock, stock and two gorgeous cameras to their village so I can stay with them, talk to them and go fishing whenever I’m free. I have been working on this theme for the last four years which I will eventually turn into a book which will open your eyes to the people who once owned Bombay.”



Kismet Nakai is a self-taught photographer who is originally trained to be a special educator with a Masters degree in psychology which she says is now in a parallel universe. She has been professionally photographing weddings for three years but also dabbles in other genres. Nakai credits “a few good men” in her life who encouraged her to own a camera and kick start her photography career. Her photographer idol is Prabuddha Dasgupta who she says has done exactly what she aspires to do. “I am quite keen to get into fashion photography and I want to fuse art with fashion which is precisely what Prabuddha did. I am also fond of various other Indian photographers like Bharat Sikka whose work I cherish and learn from.”



It happens to be incredibly difficult to capture the bustling verve, vigor, and energy at a gig as everything at that moment also happens to be in motion. Kunal Kakodkar manages to get stills of the artists at their prime moment on stage along with the feel of the music. He is a music photographer and former photo-editor of NH7 and has worked extensively over the past ten years to cover and promote the nascent, yet rising independent music scene in India. Kakodkar says the biggest highlights for him have been the projects he worked on at events like NH7 Weekender, Eristoff Invasion and the television series The Dewarists also whilst serving as photo-editor for NH7, building a solid photographic identity for the site. Shooting stills for The Dewarists was the most challenging and fulfilling experience for him. Speaking of the experience, he says, “We shot on a fairly grueling schedule, traveling and working with brilliant artists from India and around the world. Shooting stills for a moving picture production also poses a unique set of challenges — you’re invariably jostling for space with multiple cameras, and you have to make sure you get what you need without disrupting the actual shoot.”



Puneet Rakheja is a filmmaker and photographer by profession and is driven by the duality of subjective and objective experiences fueled by expressionism, surrealism and magic realism. Photography gives him a perfect space to practice his interest in science and arts. The kind of photographic work he does compliments his style of filmmaking. He says, “Most of my photography work is very conceptual and pre-conceived. It is drawn, planned and meditated upon before I shoot. I do make street images, but those are mostly used as fodder to take form in my film or other photo work.” He draws inspiration from books, films and mythology and from artists like Peter Greenaway, David Cronenberg, Marc Chagall, Jorge Luis Borges and Floria Sigismondi.



Suhas Desale, a trained computer engineer fled away from the routine 9 to 5 job and started photography to understand cinematography. He started clicking away about six years ago as a hobby but photography has now set in as an integral part of his life. His photography work broadens from nature to people to street and many other forms, except for Industrial Photography. His prime inspiration has been the genius physicist, Richard Feynman. An interesting project which he has been a part of is a photo exhibition called ‘Drushtikon’. “Instead of participating in exhibitions, around five years back a team of us friends decided to host our own exhibition to provide a platform for people like us to display their work. It is unique in a sense that it’s an exhibition by photographers, of photographers and for photographers.”



After an eleven year stint in advertising, working for big and small agencies and starting up a few himself, Trilokjit Sengupta’s advent into photography stuck by him along the way. Photography beckoned and he left everything else behind and started travelling extensively to pursue his passion. His biggest influence in the photo-field has been the Late Prabuddha Dasgupta. He says, “I have had the privilege to work with the legend a few times. I worked on the BPL campaign in 2003 and recently on the Platinum campaign with him. He truly was a great man.” His other influences include Ingberg and David Bailey. Sengupta’s favorite subjects are people dipped in black and white.



Sometimes in the endless pursuit of perfection and with exceptional work does one find their niche. Such is the case of diver, diving instructor and ace underwater photographer, Umeed Mistry. He started diving at the age of 15 out of sheer love of being in the water and to explore the depths of the reefs. About seven years later, he became an instructor at Lacadives, a premier diving spot in Bangaram, Lakshadweep. He had found his passion and he knew that mere words couldn’t translate the splendor he witnessed in the parallel world he lived in to his family and friends. This led him to pick up the Nikon D-70 and a housing with all of his savings and that happened to be his diving board into photography. His voyage into photography was further extended with his upgradation to a D-300 and then a D-800 over the years. Mistry says, “Apart from my passion for this, Bangaram proved as the ideal classroom for me to go down and photograph the beauty and the surrealism in the lagoons. Since the water was flaccid, I would just wade in it with my camera and capture
the stills for hours everyday. I would instruct in the morning and go on my photography expedition in the afternoons.” Mistry’s favorite photographer/inspiration is underwater photographer David Doubilet.



Vikas Vasudev gate-crashed a photography workshop in college which was strictly for arts students which he wasn’t, and eventually the guy conducting the workshop took a liking to him and lent him his SLR camera. And hence began his quest into photography. Vasudev is now a photographer/filmmaker based out of Bombay. He has primarily been influenced by literature and cinema and he says his life has been defined by Krzysztof Kieslowski who is his biggest source of inspiration. He also admires Steve McCurry, Raghu Rai and Anders Petersen a lot as they made him believe in the power of photography. Vasudev is a people’s photographer who specializes in commercial photography for a living. He is working on a couple of exciting commercial and personal projects currently and is gradually trying to blur the lines between the two.



Yatin Patel says that the creative spirit has always been a part of him. The main theme in his photography is the interconnection between architecture and mankind. He says, “What fascinates me is how, after thousands of years, the original environment and its habitants have organically evolved in time to find a delicate balance between tradition and modernism, without compromise. My work seeks to document this astonishing harmonious paradox. It is the spatial and intimate interconnection between architecture and mankind which matters to me.” Patel says that he uses photography and a free-spirited shooting style to capture rare, often unseen perspectives. Then, through the use of custom inks, special hand-crafted paper canvases (Japanese Kozo paper made from mulberry bush) and a meticulous attention to detail, he brings the images to life, relying on tones and textures to tell a story.

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