In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Dipanjan Mitra, as his photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 55th Month, 2nd Place. Let’s discover more about Dipanjan Mitra, and his forays into photography in the following interview with him.
Light & Composition: Greetings from Light & Composition, Dipanjan. How does it feel being selected as the winner of Photo of the Month, 55th Month, 2nd Place?
Dipanjan Mitra: I feel extremely privileged, honored and delighted.
L&C: Your photograph “Signs of Age” was selected as Photo of the Month, is a wonderful Portraiture Photography with artistic perspective, correct lighting, and very well presented. Overall, a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.
Dipanjan: I clicked this image during one of visits to the high Himalayan towns in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2011. A local festival was taking place at that time in a particular area and it had huge opportunities for photography. Somehow I am very fascinated by the faces old people in the mountains. The texture of their skins is unbelievable. It was not the first time that I clicked such a portrait. And I was happy that both the old ladies paused for a moment to look into the lens and I could frame the image that I had visualized.
L&C: Besides this winning photograph, many people liked and voted for other photographs of yours in the Photo of the Month contest. You must be proud. How do you see your journey to the world of photography so far?
Dipanjan: It has been a fascinatingly challenging journey so far. A journey of thorough learning, self improvement, pushing myself out of comfort zones constantly to take better pictures every time I go out with my camera and I am thankful to the Almighty for everything.
L&C: As we know, you are originally from Calcutta. Do you think the rich diverse cultural and artistic heritage of Calcutta portrayed a different essence to you?
Dipanjan: Kolkata has always been known as the cultural capital of India and thus the rich heritage definitely has a big role to play in my choice to be in the field of art. Other than that, I have grown up in a family where I have seen art being practiced and discussed about all the time. That had big influence on me since childhood. And I learned a lot about my city while doing photography.
L&C: Do you like a particular genre of photography and if so, why?
Dipanjan: Well, I consider myself to be a travel photographer as I travel all around my country. And my passion is mostly traveling in the Himalayas, where I went first in 1990.
L&C: One of the keys to any style of photography is visualization. Please tell us how you started this process and what you did afterwards.
Dipanjan: The process started in 1995 with a simple Yashica auto camera during a trip to the mountains. Since then photography has been a part of my life. Till the year 2004, I used to click mostly in controlled environments. In 2005 I shifted to the digital format and from 2008 I started taking more and more interest in photography. I started reading articles online; see loads of work of other photographers from the past and the contemporary professionals. From 2010, I started doing assignments professionally.
L&C: Have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.
Dipanjan: My work has been exhibited in a few of places outside India. Within my country, I was once a part of a group exhibition which took place in my city in the year 2012. The experience was something absolutely new and something I never thought of doing, till it happened. Six of us were involved and we all had different style and bodies of work to show. It went on for six days and we had a lot of visitors. The guest book is still with me where the viewers put in their remarks. It was fun.
L&C: Are you involved with any photography organizations? How does this help you in your photography?
Dipanjan: No, I am not involved with any organization. I have been working independently so far, but I have learned a lot of things from many people who are not directly involved with just photography. I am thankful and grateful to them.
L&C: What advice would you give our readers who want to take part in the journey around the world with photography?
Dipanjan: It is an extremely difficult journey which requires immense patience just like any other art form. Hard hitting images or a piece of great art does not happen every day with every hit of the shutter. It is a long journey and the path is full of ups and downs.
To quote the legendary Ustad Ali Akbar Khan – “If you practice for 10 years, you may begin to please yourself, after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience, after 30 years you may please even your guru, but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist and then you may please even God.”
L&C: Thank you, Dipanjan, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.