An Icon of New York Street Photography, Jeff Mermelstein, said “Street photography has the capability to allow us to look into the mirror for clues, suggestions and warnings about who, what and how we are. It must be memorable, elastic and at the same time unwavering,” further adding that for him, “Street photography must be akin to the free flow responsive and expressive nature of music that makes us feel something. It needs to be honest to its creator and viewer in the now and the future. I believe that street photography can make us better.”
Life truly exists and thrives on the streets, in fleeting moments of daily dealings, in the nooks and crannies of by-lanes. There is something about human connection, intimacy and slip-second moments that seeps into the candid images of street photography. While life occurs around us on a daily, there are few that are able to perfectly capture and translate it into frame. Here are three homegrown photographers that see the unusual in the usual.
I. Debrani Das
Kolkata-based street photographer Debrani Das’s frames perfectly capture the magic that happens in the streets. Her work focuses on the connection that people have with their surroundings and perfectly captures the small interactions between people as well. Her use of colour and lights further enhance the atmosphere that an everyday scene can have. When it comes to capturing humans in her frames, she wants the picture to reflect the soul. Through her work, she also tries to focus on women and how they interact with the world around them.
II. Mihir Patel
Street photographer Mihir Patel’s portraits are a masterclass in visual storytelling. There is a documentary-like character that his frames carry. A master of catching moments where the subjects in the frame interact in exciting ways, his images are characterized by contrast, lights, a bit of surrealism and human beings. But what is perhaps my favourite image of his is a set of empty swings on a foggy night with a dance of the lights in the back that lends the frame a sense of eeriness.
II. Sourav Das
From the city of Kolaghat, Indian street photographer Sourav Das’s frames rely on creating contrast using strong colours. There is something about the way in which he captures how people are interacting with the structure of their surroundings and the relationship they have with the camera lens. A master at capturing street life and unusual moments from everyday life, he was even awarded the UNICEF Photo Of The Year 2021 for his documentation of a school teacher who moved the classes outside in a village school during the pandemic, his pictures capture the unusual yet usual scenes in that village school.
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