Originality In Street Photography | Subrata Dey

Updated: Jun 18

The key to learn is years of experience in regular association with the streets. Street Photographer, Mr. Subrata Dey who lives in Chandernagore, West Bengal has a dramatic outlook of the surroundings. All his photographs may have different individual stories. However, when looked at as a whole, they convey a bold and direct message on the sole perspective of any creative head.

Photo by Subrata Dey

How you got involved in street photography in the first place? The time was 2015 when I was taking portraits, not knowing that my deep love for street photography will one day be born in my heart. I saw a picture of a master on social media, from that day I realized my interest in street photography.

Photo by Subrata Dey

What's the most unusual feature of street photography? To me, the best feature of street photography is that you don't need any expensive equipment or travel to a specific place, just slow walking, concentration, and eyesight. How important is the originality of work in street photography? Real work always reflects the uniqueness of a photographer which sets him/her apart from others.

Photo by Subrata Dey

How can artists find their independent styles? Photography is the use of photography as a medium of creative expression in line with the philosophy of photography as an artist. The goal of photography is to convey an idea, a message, or an emotion. Expressing life experiences in photos with stability can be helpful in creating any style. The photographer confirms whether it is unique or not by its innate nature. I always believe that every photographer has their unique potential but they get stuck in a class. They have to get out of there and feel the real being and glory inside. So, a photographer has to go through the inner soul to always move forward. What are the clichés in street photography that you don’t appreciate? People that start off shooting street, will most likely photograph homelessness. I will admit I fell victim to it. People who have no idea what street photography is, think it’s about shooting homeless people, turning the photo into black and white, and cranking up the contrast along with the sharpness. For one, NO street photography is not about documenting the homeless. If you find this subject matter interesting, then I highly suggest you make it the subject matter. There are current and past street photographers who captured unique moments of homelessness. Their photos were quite intimate.

The two photographers that come to mind are Suzanne Stein and Vivian Maier. Most vulnerable homeless photos I see circulating social media are boring…at best. Keep in mind, photography like any other art (music, film, painting, acting) is about storytelling through the visual medium. What is it about the homeless person that you want to say? What’s the story in the frame? Every major city in the world has an influx of homeless…so yeah there’s nothing special here.

Photo by Subrata Dey

What is your take on social media influence on street photography? I started out on Facebook and Instagram, uploading my street pictures, to gain some reactions and feedback. At first, I just uploaded anything I liked and my photostream was kind of “messy”. Different aspect ratios, black and white pictures followed by color images and no cohesive style. Since I just started getting into photography this is to be expected, but the most important aspect was that I had fun with it. Honestly, getting reactions and interacting with other photographers was probably what kept me motivated to shoot. Filling my feed with pictures of other photographers I adored was a great inspiration and defined my goals as a beginner in photography.

Photo by Subrata Dey

Who are the street photographers whom you look up to and why? I love observations, mysterious, emotional, and original images, and thus those who take these types of images, the list goes on and on. I discover new amazing photographers every day whose pictures inspire me. Here are some of the ones that have influenced my photography at different times in the last few years: Raj Sarkar, The Vohra brothers, Koushik Sinha Roy, Sarasij Dasgupta, Sankar Ghosh.

Photo by Subrata Dey

Light observations of your pictures are really good. Can you tell us the timing of your pictures like what time do you click all your pictures because the subject of your pictures is getting clear day by day? How do you identify such shapes like it's an animal or any other thing, how do you relate to it? It is very special because what I see through my own eyes and even though the viewfinder is not what I find in the actual photo. Or let me put it this way, I get to see only a fraction through the viewfinder. There is a distilled, abstracted reality, a story at the moment one captures. Every picture tells a story. I am always trying to strike a balance between the abstract and the real.

What message would you like to give other practicing street photographers? It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary. To know more about his work, follow him by clicking here.

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