Hope, Honesty, Power to the People

Abir Choudhury

Abir Choudhury’s work is photography that teems with joy and hope and power of the people of his nation. Whether it is children enjoying Holi Festival or men bonding during daily working life, Choudhury’s images all speak to the heart. Cliché is never a thought that comes to mind viewing Abir’s work. It is fresh, uplifting, and downright stunning.

I am a street photographer from Konnagar, India. For me, street photography is a way of life because every day, every moment of life, is different. Capturing a new day filled with hope continually draws me to street photography. Abir Choudhury

WSP: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
AC: My photography style is the true movement of life. I like hardworking people very much, those who are spending the majority of their time in daily work. Through them, I develop myself. Every day I spend my time with them. Basically they are my developers. Every angle and every color of nature and everyday people are my teachers.

WSP: What is the most challenging part about being a photographer?
AC: At the time I began my photography, I was facing a lot of financial difficulties. But I never gave up hope. Every day I faced challenges. I had to decide if the life of a photographer was worth the challenges I faced. I am now beginning to realize successes in photography.

WSP: Have you ever had formal training?
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Mystery and the Unfolding

Biyas Chatterjee

Perhaps celebration is the word that best describes Biyas Chatterjee’s photography: a celebration of color, a celebration of motion, but mostly, a celebration of life. Using unique perspectives, hidden meaning, and unexpected innocence, Biyas unfolds the mysteries of his land. Chatterjee’s work is a new take on the much photographed, and it is anything but common.

By profession I am an equity dealer. I have an interest in technical analysis of supply and demand in the stock market. I also have a fascination with mystery books and thriller films. I suddenly started photography in 2011 when my wife gave me a DSLR camera as a gift. Since then, I’ve had an emerging interest in photography. Biyas Chatterjee

WSP: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
BC: I have my own specific eye for photography. I capture what I see and love. I am usually a street photographer and that’s not the stereotypes like beggars and crows. There are stories happening all around us every minute that we do not notice. During these moments, when I have a camera with me, this is something I would like to capture, something that is persisting mainly in front of my eyes. The construction involved in each photograph is the essence of the story it carries. There was this photograph I was taking a while back, that involved red and yellow cars in the background. There was also a bus in the foreground which had two girls wearing red and yellow clothes. This is the unfolding aspect. I am more interested in people and their surroundings. In each photograph I capture, I tend to keep a relationship between the background and foreground within that image frame. From the very day I started taking pictures I have maintained this philosophy and as the time goes on, I am trying to make the background and foreground combination stronger.

WSP: Who inspires you other than photographers (artists, writers, music, architects, and philosophers)?
BC: I find this uncanny similarity between my photographs and mystery thriller writers. This aspect promptly involves the method of ‘unfolding’. I want to show the same in my photographs.

WSP: Have you ever had formal training?
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Seeker, Fighting Spirit, Human Interaction

Vu Khanh Truong

Vu Khanh Truong's street work is wholly sensory. Viewers are instantly infused with the sensations of the street. His images can be heard, and felt, and tasted. Emotion is an important component of Truong’s images, therefore, human interaction is key to his work. His is a world of opposites; joy and sorrow, present and past, light and shadow. Through his lens, Vu skillfully leads us into this world of past and present one unique frame at a time.

I come from Viet Nam, a small country in South East Asia, and I go by the nickname, Wolf. I began my photography journey in 2008. Photography to me is a joy and an adventure. I shoot pictures of everything around me. I love people; talking to them and the sound of their laughter. I love sharing happiness or sadness with everyone I meet. These are the elements I hope to convey with my images. I always say to myself, "If you think this world is awesome, show it through your pictures. If there are so many cruel things in the world, you just need to work harder to find the beautiful ones." Vu Khanh Truong

WSP: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
VKT: Street photography is my choice and since the beginning until now I am happy with my choice. My photographic style is very simple: I am a seeker who seeks happy moments on the street. Nowadays, it is easy to get confused or to be influenced about what or which style or trend we should follow. Whenever I get confused, I will remind myself, “Remember the reason you came to photography; remember you are a happiness seeker”

WSP: What is the most challenging part about being a photographer?
VKT: The most challenging part about being a photographer, especially a street photographer like me, is human interaction.

WSP: Who inspires you other than photographers (artists, writers, music, architects, and philosophers)?
VKT: I am not really inspired by a person but there is a sentence in the poem of the poet Rabindranath Tagore that I choose as the lodestar for me: “There is only your own pair of wings and the pathless sky”- I call it “fighting spirit”.

WSP: What is your opinion regarding film vs. digital photography.
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Nouvelle Vague, Juxtaposition, and Whimsy

Keiichi Ichikawa

Keiichi Ichikawa is a self-employed designer. Though relatively new to street photography, Keiichi has wholly embraced the genre and street photography lifestyle. His images are filled with light and shadow play, urban geometry, and strong contrast. Keiichi's work also often includes clever juxtapositions and even a bit of whimsy. He is that rare photographer who is instantly identified with a single click of the mouse.

I was born in 1968. I live in Chigasaki, Japan and am a self-employed designer and avid street photographer. I began shooting street photography two years ago, mainly in Tokyo and Yokohama. Capturing the unexpected is what draws me to street photography. Street scenes, for me, are like scenes in a movie or acts in a play. I enjoy the fantasy that takes place in the street that is normally overlooked by the unobservant. Keiichi Ichikawa

WSP: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
KI: My style is street photography, specifically I shoot the landscapes of people and cities. I prefer to move about unobserved because I want to record the truth in the moments I capture. It is important to carefully observe the people and activity that surround you when you are in the shooting street. Things happen unexpectedly. Those events can be very funny. They are also, at times, quite beautiful. It is important that you do not miss such moments, moments that will never again be repeated. For me, these street scenes are as interesting and exciting as scenes from any movie. However, these scenes also reflect me and what I want to express with each image.

WSP: Who inspires you other than photographers (artists, writers, music, architects, and philosophers)?
KI: I have received a lot of inspiration from movies. I am particularly interested in the Nouvelle Vague films of the 60’s and 70’s, American New Cinema, and also the 80’s and 90's road movies.

WSP: What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?
KI: Street photography is the best means of self-expression for me.

WSP: What do you think makes a memorable street photograph?
KI: Unexpected things, decisive moments, and the light and shadow that people and the city produce.

WSP: Is there any particular genre/style of photography you would like to learn about and try?
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Paris, Film Noir, Hitchcock

Elizabeth Char

Elizabeth Char lives in Paris, France. Though she has a career in the television industry, her true passion is street photography. Elizabeth believes that street photography is a kind of active meditation or therapy. Her view of the street is one that captures the everyday elegance of those around her through attentiveness to even the smallest gesture that makes us human. While Char looks mostly for her inspiration on the city streets, she is also drawn to the language of the summer seaside.

I was born in Paris in 1956 and I live here still. I have a 33 year old daughter. I work for French TV. About photography: I always say that photography came to me. I didn't choose it. I always knew that I had a sensibility, a 'touch' with pictures, even before I had a camera. Elizabeth Char

WSP: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
EC: It is difficult for me to talk about my photographic style. I am an instinctual person so my instincts and feelings guide my way of photographing. I like to be close up to the people I photograph and I like to add a "dramatic" touch by accentuating the contrast. I am very influenced by "film noir", which comes through in my photography.

WSP: Who inspires you other than photographers (artists, writers, music, architects, and philosophers)?
EC: Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Jacques Tati, Anton Tchekhov, Aragon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Cezanne, van Gogh, Canaletto and many others.

WSP: Have you ever had formal training?
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