One of the legends of photography, Ansel Adams said, “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.”
When one peruses the incredible body of work of Uncommon photographer Debiprasad Mukherjee, one finds a reflection of the keen eye, technical brilliance and most importantly, the soul and vision of the man behind the lens.
The Uncommon Box decided to focus on the Mural series of Debiprasad while discussing the journey of his passion for photography in a special tete-a-tete. These murals have been shot extremely interestingly in places as varied as Seattle, New York, Varanasi, London, Ujjain, Gangasagar, and Nayagram!
But before we launch into the details of our conversation with him, here is a brief introduction to the man in the Uncommon spotlight –
“Debiprasad is an Indian freelance documentary photographer based out of Kolkata, India. His strong passion for documentary photography and photojournalism has made him travel to various countries like India, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, UK, and the USA.”
He strongly believes that as a documentary photographer, it is his responsibility to showcase the social changes and its impact on human race and he is committed to documentary photography as the most powerful tool to capture the social changes and behaviours across the globe over the years. His photographic vision is not only to depict social, political and financial issues and conflicts but also to portray the surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit.
But amazingly, Debiprasad is professionally associated with one of the largest multinational telecom consulting company as a business consultant. He has completed his Post Graduation in Business Management (IIM Calcutta, IISWBM) & Graduation in Electrical Engineering. He is currently based in Kolkata.
“Debiprasad began his’ photographic journey, as he calls it when in school but he took up his passion more seriously from 2011 onwards.”
He reminisces,‘Honestly, I am not very sure who inspired me or why did I take it seriously. But I can remember one of my colleagues (one of the best human beings I have ever met in my life) Bhaskar took me to a camera shop to buy a camera and asked me to shoot more frequently. Then onwards it has grown up automatically. I spent a lot of time reading books related to photography and other forms of arts, visited lots of websites, attended good workshops in the country and abroad – they all contributed.
Debiprasad affirms that for him ‘photography is all about the experience.’ A gradual realization led him to realize that it was Documentary photography was his preferred genre- more specifically, social documentary, as he likes to focus on different cultures, peoples and their various issues.
He believes as he says, ‘in the power of docu-photography in changing people’s perspective towards social changes and issues. I find it meaningful and impactful on others life.’ For him, it is the most creative as well as the most challenging genre.
“Currently, his main gear comprises the Nikon D7000 with 12-24mm, 18-105mm, 35mm and a mirrorless Sony A6000 with 16-50mm.”
Every journey is made more meaningful by the challenges which serve to test the mettle of the person.It is evidence of the temperament of an individual if he approaches all problems as ‘experiences’ like Debiprasad does. But his one challenge has been to balance off his work with his passion- and therefore, there are times he cannot devote 100% to his passion.
When we asked him, what does he think sets him apart from the other photographers, the extremely humble Debiprasad observed,
‘Every human is different and special so should every photographer be. I like doing things, taking a shot my way. I prefer to shoot alone and generally spend more time with the people and in studying than actually shooting a frame. ‘
If we begin listing the accolades and awards, Debiprasad has won over the years, it might stretch this feature into a fairly long read- but just to give you an inkling, here is an incredibly brief list:
- Winner of Neutral Density Photography Gold Star Award,
- 35Awards Russia,
- International Photographer of The Year, Nikon India PowerYourClicks Photography Contest (Judged by Magnum Photographer Mr. Raghu Rai),
- Monochrome Awards,
- Photographic Society of America Gold Medal,
- United Photographers International Gold Medal,
- Photographic Society of Singapore Gold Medal,
- Fédération Internationale de l’ArtPhotographique Gold Medal,
- International Union of Photographers Jury’s Choice Gold Medal Hong Kong,
- International Association of Art Photographers (IIAP) Gold Medal
If you peruse through his website, there are several more additions! Besides this, his work has been published in several prestigious magazines like the National Geographic, Vogue Italia, 121 Clicks to name a few. He has also had exhibitions of his work in places from New Delhi to Serbia, Bulgaria and so many other cities of the world.
So what could be the dreams and goals of this accomplished young star?
He says, ‘Nothing very specific. I want to continue my work on people, culture, issues and social changes and will be really happy if my work can bring even a small positive change in somebody’s life. That is why, while photographing I always ask myself what changes my photos can bring to the life of my “subject”.
So far, it has been a great going. I have done some work with children living on the platform, especially on a kid Shahrukh Mondal who was lost in Sealdah station and finally got his mother back after 6 months with the help of NGO.
I have worked on Exorcism in India which I find a social issue that requires urgent addressing. Currently, I am working with children who are hearing and speech impaired to find out the root cause of increasing rate of disabilities and their lives.’
Debiprasad advises all aspiring photographers, the advice he follows himself- ‘create your world with your own photography. It should be very personal and close to you.’
If on this journey with The Uncommon Box, there is one life lesson I have learnt out of the many, it would have to be this- that your work, your creativity finds complete fruition only and only if you have the correct attitude and approach towards Life itself. If you respect and love Life in all its forms, your work will reflect your soul. Else, your photographs may dazzle the world but they will lack the depth and the enduring trait of all true Art. The work of our Uncommon photographer Debiprasad is a true testament to that. He has seamlessly combined his passion with a commendable social vision, and we wish him the very best for all his endeavours.
You may reach him at the following links:
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