Tag Archives: Prashant Panjiar

Dayanita Singh’s #1 tip for young photographers

The photographer Dayanita Singh in conversation with Shougat Dasgupta of Tehelka:

What also may appear archaic to young photographers is your insistence on reading. You advise photographers to take a course in literature rather than photography…

I don’t think there’s anything to go to photo school for. I could teach you how to make a photograph in two days. Where does that leave photography? So I say to young people, what you need to become is the author of your work.

How do you find your voice? Literature shows you something about life. The family portraits I could have taken had I known William Shakespeare when I took them. Who understands jealousy, betrayal, treachery, all these human emotions that are so much part of family life, better than Shakespeare?

A comparative literature course is a great one for anyone interested in photography. You can study how Italo Calvino finds a new form for every work; how Geoff Dyer completely takes the idea of the novel apart and stitches it back together, how he has the courage to write a book [Out of Sheer Rage] about a book that never gets written; how Michael Ondaatje knows just when to stop, to keep you guessing.

When I read [Dyer’s] Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, I was on a grant from Harvard to photograph ‘social issues’. It was a lot of money and very prestigious and it was a trap. I took the photographs I thought Harvard wanted during the day, and photos for myself at night. I was obsessed with this hallucinogenic colour of Calcutta at night. I learned from Dyer how you can weave together two different books and complicate both.

Photography: courtesy Arts Collaboratory

Read the full interview: Dayanita Singh

Also read: Raghu Rai on photography

T.S. Satyan on photography

Prashant Panjiar on photography

T.S. Nagarajan on photography


PRASHANT PANJIAR: Lensmen be more reflective

Prashant Panjiar‘s critically acclaimed solo exhibition Pan India: A Shared Habitat, a visual tour de force of how the Indian landscape has changed since the turn of the millennium, moves to Bangalore and Calcutta next after Delhi run.

In this sans serif video, the acclaimed photojournalist talks about why he shot the pictures with a panoramic camera, why he came up with the exhibition (curated by Sanjeev Saith) of the way Indians live—and why all photographers should at some point get away from the physicality of the image, and turn a bit more meditative, a bit more reflective, because the audience has become more image-savvy.

“In India, we tend to congratulate ourselves too quickly. We are really seduced by our own success. In the past we have seen this manifest itself in ways in which people will dispel any thought or any criticism that is made of India’s success. The view in all these images, in this exhibition, is to reflect upon what is happening, reflect upon what is changing. But the view is from bottom-up, with the idea that whether we like it or not, we have to live together, and therefore we have to regard the other in some way.”

View a gallery of the pictures: Pan India: A shared habitat

Visit Prashant Panjiar: www.panjiarphoto.com

Read Prashant Panjiar: The elements of photography

‘India’s best lensmen don’t come from media’

The celebrated lensman Prashant Panjiar has captured “the visual landscape of India at the cusp of change” for his solo exhibition Pan India, to be held in New Delhi from September 25 to October 5 under the auspeices of Tasveer, the art and photo gallery.

In an interview with the Sunday Express, Panjiar, a former photographer with India Today, Time and Outlook magazines, talks about the state of the craft.

How would you define the present state of photojournalism in India?

In the 1980s, if you counted the top photographers in India, most were photojournalists. Now it will be hard to find many of them on the list. Media has changed a lot. In the new set-up, photography has suffered.

Photograph: courtesy anzenberger

Also read: Prashant Panjiar on photography

5 photography tips from ace lensman Raghu Rai

Master-photographer Raghu Rai, who was nominated by Henri Cartier-Bresson to join Magnum, in conversation with ASRP Mukesh in The Pioneer, on his entry into photography and what it takes to be a good lensman:

# “Skills are never taught, they are acquired. I can give you a camera, but can’t feed your vision.”

# “Photography is a strguggle to respond to the situation and realise its importance. Death and life don’t wait for anyone. One has to understand this hidden meaning before picking up a camera.”

# “Non-professional photographers should begin clicking portraints as it teaches them to connect with emotions better than juggling between doing overambitious pictures.”

# “If your mind is not connected to what you are shooting then you are not a good photographer.”

# “A creative photographer is one who either captures mystery or reveals things, everything else is useless.”

Photograph: courtesy Magnum

Also read: Raghu Rai‘s Magnum photo gallery

T.S. Satyan on photography

Prashant Panjiar on photography

T.S. Nagarajan on photography