Swarat Ghosh is an Indian street photographer based out of Hyderabad, India. His journey in the field of photography started in the year 2012 after his wife gifted him a digital camera. Over the next few years, Swarat’s love for photography gradually deepened and it earned him several awards of both national and international repute. Swarat presently works as a Lead Visual Designer at a reputed software company in Hyderabad.
Today, the experienced street photographer Swarat Ghosh joins us in an interview session. Apart from sharing his story, Swarat also reveals several street photography tips and techniques that would benefit all the budding street photographers across the world!
Hi Swarat, it’s an absolute honour to have you among us today on our platform conflatingVisions. To begin with, we would like to know a few lines about you.
Hello! My Name is Swarat Ghosh. I am born and brought up in the coal capital of India i.e. Dhanbad. At present, I am based out of Hyderabad and professionally working as a “Lead Visual Designer” in a reputed software company in Hyderabad.
How did you get into photography?
For me coming into photography is pretty accidental when my wife gifted me a digital camera in the year 2012. Initially, I joined a couple of Flickr Groups called “Hyderabad Weekend Shoots” and “The Camera Club of Hyderabad”. In these groups, the focus was more towards Street Photography. We used to travel different parts of Hyderabad. It was a great exposure for me to start in the beginning.
Swarat, tell us what attracts you to photograph in the streets.
My earliest memory of street photography was pictures of That’s Life collective works of Kaushal Parekh, Prashant Godbole and many more street photographers from India around 2012. I am proud that today I am part of this wonderful street photography collective which inspires many more aspiring street photographers (including me) to take the medium seriously and helping hooked and emotionally get connected with the medium.
I love the sheer “adventure” or “vulnerability” of making images which hooks me to this genre.
We know street photography is your favourite. Which genre is your second favourite and why?
Documentary Photography and the reason is simple I do believe and it’s my personal opinion that for me it’s purely an extension of my street photography experience. In street photography, we try to capture a single picture at a time. While in documentary photography, it’s multiple single pictures stitched together and telling a bigger message/story/cause.
As a street photographer, what are some of the challenges you face while photographing in the streets? How do you overcome them?
There is no hard and fast rule according to me in street photography. Patience is the key. I can only tell you one thing after pursuing street photography passionately over the last four years now that I have just slowed down. Not in a hurry to make images. Gives lot of time to the craft and simply enjoy the whole experience without must worrying about the outcome.
Do you take up any project or plans and then go out and shoot accordingly, or just simply go out, without any such plan, and shoot?
In streets, you can’t plan beforehand. It’s on the spot. Someday you will return back with a handful of images while other days your kitty will be empty.
Which one is your best photograph till date?
I may sound arrogant but for me, each of my images is equally important and pleasing to me.
How important are cameras and lenses for you?
I don’t believe fancy or expensive gadget is very much important in pursuing photography. It’s more about the person behind using the camera. For me, the photographer’s vision is more critical/important than a gadget anytime.
What is your take on post processing of photographs?
It’s very much personal decision of photographers. According to me, post processing shouldn’t involve manipulation of elements.
What is your idea behind a black and white photograph and a colour photograph? How do they reflect in your work?
I prefer Black & White over Color due to the classical look b&w offers at most of the time. It’s not that I don’t like Color. Mostly, I take the decision based on the time I am shooting on a given day. If its noon I prefer to go contrasty b&w as the light offers bit harsh during that time of the day in a country like India and color looks blown out in that. If its favourable time of the day mostly golden hours and also if my content along with light and shadow demands color I will go for that.
Whom do you admire the most as a photographer?
It’s a huge list. Magnum is like a photography bible to me. My own fellow ‘That’s Life’ members and other collective like ‘In-public’, who are amazing and are great sources of Inspiration.
Your tips for aspiring photographers.
No tips in particular but I can tell you one thing – just “enjoy” the whole experience of making pictures. Be true to yourself and respect your subject. Finally, be dedicated and stick to your own style that’s my humble request rest will follow.
And, one last question of this session Swarat, if you have had one wish…
Hope some day I too will be a MAGNUM MEMBER! Sorry bad joke!
On a serious note, I wish I have the power to capture all those frames/moments which I have missed till date due to either not carrying my device or due to some technical flaws. Other than that I have no regret!
As a street photographer, Swarat Ghosh has earned a good name for himself through his visual story telling images. If you love street photography and aspire to be a street photographer, we highly recommend you to follow his works to enhance your learning process.
We wish Swarat all the very best for his future works.
You can follow Swarat Ghosh’s photography works here.