The Journey of a Travel Photographer
The Journey Begins…
A travel photographer not only captures moments of his travels, but he also represents an area’s culture, landscape, cuisine, people, livelihood, history, mythology, and so on. Being a travel photographer, myself Kalyan Chattopadhyay, feel blessed to be engaged in such representation. Being an engaged member of the genre of Travel Photography, I learn whenever I visit a new place and shoot that area. I am the founder of Seen Shot Society, a photography club that seeks to enrich contemporary visual culture through the promotion of different genres of photography.
The journey of a travel photographer is not so simple; it is a fusion of challenging adventure, excitements, and hurdles. But, when I came to it, I gradually loved it. I am not a photographer by born, even I had never felt any intense passion to take photography as my profession. But I always loved to see the photographic works of others. Otherwise, I loved traveling which provided me insights about people, places, rituals, and activities that nourished my future endeavor to be a travel photographer. From my passion for traveling and an intense liking for the photographic works of other photographers, gradually I explored that I have the potentiality to become a travel photographer. My passion turned to be my profession just five years ago when some of my photographs got recognition and people loved my works.
Unveiling The Art of Travel Photography
The art of travel photography is not complete if your photographs lack storytelling quality. Hence, to capture a photo having such quality, one needs to know the story associated with a place, people, and their culture. Travel photography provides someone with a vital scope of knowing places and people that mostly remain unexplored. When I travel to several remote areas of India, I get mesmerized to see different cultures and rituals of people. Even, I explore that there are so many unknown facts of people’s lives in a known landscape.
As a travel photographer, I have experienced the fact that accessing the lives of people is not an easy task. Photographers consistently engage themselves with people and the landscape of an offbeat location to bring out the hidden stories of people’s lives. Unlike a tourist, a travel photographer’s job is like that of an anthropologist. He comes out of his comfort zone to mingle with the unknown culture, variety of ethnic communities, and unexplored landscapes. But when your shots speak for the people and places, the satisfaction is also limitless.
Being a travel photographer, traveling is my passion. I use to explore people, their manner, their livelihood, local cuisine, rituals, festivals, and many more. When I capture people, I mix with them and observe their way of living minutely. As a travel photographer, I enjoy the privilege to be connected with people so passionately and earnestly.
India: A Travel Photographer’s Heaven
India is noted for its pluralist cultural, religious, and ethnic festivals. Capturing the essence of Indian festivals into my lens is my favorite hobby. I travel all across the nation to capture the vibrant colors of festivals like Durga Puja in Bengal, Holi in Mathura and Vrindavan, Ganga Arati in Varanasi, Gajan festival in Jharkhand, Eid celebration, and Chinese New Year Celebration in Kolkata, etc. Kolkata, being my hometown, is my one of favorite locations that I like to shot. I have captured the vibrant lives of people living on streets as well as mansions. Things of Kolkata that attract me are its festivals like Durga Puja, Eid, Bengali New Year, Diwali, etc.
Purulia is another favorite and frequently traveled photography destination to me. Whenever I visit Purulia, my photographic passion is rejuvenated with the colorful landscape ladened by red and yellow Palash flowers during the springtime, tribal culture, indigenous life, handicrafts, etc. The colorful Holi festival of Mathura attracts me a lot and I use to spend a week there every year to catch different aspects and rituals associated with the Holi festival in Mathura.
Perks of Being a Travel Photographer
I feel happy to say that my captures have been published on various websites & photo competitions of national & international acclaim such as National Geographic “Your Shot” Edition, for 7 times in a row. One of my recent captures has been selected to be published in “All About Photo” magazine in their special edition titled “Special Edition All About Photo Awards 2020”. I have been honored by the photographic societies of more than 10 countries globally with over 50+ Awards (National & International) including Bronze, Silver & Gold Medals from Federation of India Photography (FIP), Photographic Society of America (PSA), Master of Light (MOL), International Union of Photographers (IUP), Image Colleague Society International (ICS), International Union of Photographers (IUP), etc. for my contribution in the field of photography.
I would like to mention a few recent recognitions that make me proud as a travel photographer. I have been honoured with Distinction EFIAP (Excellence FIAP) from Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (France), an organisation recognized by UNSECO, EFIP from Federation of Indian Photography, and Hon. PESGSPC from Cyprus. Indian Numismatic, Historical, and Cultural Research Foundation hounered me for my noteworthy contribution to Shanti-Krishna Museum of Money and History’s photographic portfolio. I am very fortunate to be featured in journals and photography blogs across the globe. My travel photographs have been published in Ei Samay (Bengali Magazine), National Geography – Your Shot, 1x.com, photoimaginart.com, etc.
The Roads Yet to Take…
I think that the job of travel photographers is not only to enrich a society aesthetically but also to represent different aspects of society for mass awareness. I do not want to limit myself to the specific and traditional genre of travel photography. I wish to preserve the culture, rituals, and celebrations that I meet on my way to travel photography. During my journey as a travel photographer, I felt that the world is gradually losing so many cultural practices of indigenous people of different areas. I wish to make documentaries side by side of my photography so that these become vital deeds for studies and research if a culture faces extinction. Travel photography is an emerging art that delights and teaches at the same time. Being a travel photographer, I wish to contribute to the making of a culturally aware and aesthetically rich nation.
My photographic journey can be explored at: