Tag Archives: T.S. Satyan

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

How some Bombay-ites read their newspapers

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The Samrat Vachanalay at Shivaji Chowk in Chembur (East)

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The Shiv Sena-RPI stand at Lalubhai Complex, Mankhurd (W)

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The Dhakka group mitra mandal at G.D. Ambedkar Marg, Sewri

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RPI newspaper stall outside the Chembur (W) railway station

Vachanalays or newspaper reading centres, where locals read the papers and discuss the day’s news, have been a familiar sight in (and an integral part of) most neighbourhoods in Bombay.

Usually sponsored by the local ward of a political party or a mitra mandal (friends’ group), these informal newspaper points are stocked with the major Marathi newspapers, but several of them also do have Hindi, Gujarati and English newspapers depending on their location.

As can be seen in the second picture from the top (click on the picture to view a larger frame), there are designated slots for different newspaper brands. Readers are expected to place the paper back in them after perusing their daily poison.

The Shiv Sena, their electoral allies, and the groups associated with these parties maintain the largest number of these vachanalays in Bombay and there is sufficient academic indication that they helped the party mobilise the masses, especially in their initial days.

MNS, the Shiv Sena offshoot which too tried to set up vachanalays, however did not find the same success.

Some political parties, like the Republican Party of India (Athavale) even allow their vachanalays to be used by enterprising vendors to sell newspapers.

But in recent years, the vachanalays are slowly going out of fashion in most parts of the metropolis as people prefer to buy their own newspapers. Plus, there is the growing spread and reach of television and telephony. Or maybe there is just diminishning interest in reading newspapers.

The adman cum photographer M.S. Gopal, who runs the excellent Mumbai Paused blog that captures slices of urbs prima in Indus, has shot some pictures of vachanalays in Bombay. And they bring home the social intercourse that newspapers have created in the public space, thanks to the political parties.

View M.S. Gopal’s Bangalore pictures: Mains and Crosses

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Also read: T.S. Satyan memorial awards

Every picture tells a tale, Babu‘s tells a tome

T.S. SATYAN Awards for Photojournalists

The winners of the T.S. SATYAN Memorial Awards for Photojournalism 2011: (Left to right) Yagna, K. Gopinathan, Netra Raju, Bhanu Prakash Chandra, Regret Iyer, M.S. Gopal

sans serif is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural T.S. Satyan Memorial Awards for Photojournalism, instituted by India’s first web-based photosyndication agency, Karnataka Photo News, in association with churumuri.com, in memory of the legendary photojournalist who passed away two Decembers ago.

The awards will be presented by the governor of Karnataka, H.R. Bhardwaj, in Bangalore on Sunday.

Lifetime achievement award: Yagna, ex-Hindu, Udayavani, Mangalore

Best newspaper photojournalist: K. Gopinathan, The Hindu, Bangalore

Best professional photojournalist: Netra Raju, The Times of India, Mysore

Best magazine photojournalist: Bhanu Prakash Chandra, The Week, Bangalore

Best freelance photographer: ‘Regret Iyer, Bangalore

Best online photojournalist: M.S. Gopal, eyeforindia.blogspot.com

Nominations for the awards came from the Karnataka media academy, press club of Bangalore, Karnataka union for working journalists and the photojournalists association of Bangalore. The lifetime achievement award carries a cash prize of Rs 10,000 and a citation; all other prizes carry a cash prize of Rs 5,000 each and a citation.

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Read more about/by the winners

K. GOPINATHAN: Why namma Gopi (almost) cried in January 2008

REGRET IYER: Success is standing up one more time than you fall

M.S. GOPAL: Every pictures tells a story. Babu‘s can fill a tome

M.S. GOPAL: When Chamundi betta relocates to amchi Mumbai

From Our Staff Correspondent: R.K. Narayan

On the 10th anniversary of his death, The Guardian, London, has a long piece on the legendary creator of the fictional town of Malgudi, R.K. Narayan, who did a short stint as the Mysoe correspondent of the Madras newspaper, The Justice:

“After graduating in 1930 from the Maharaja’s College – prototype of the Albert Mission College in Bachelor of Arts – Narayan decided to “throw [himself] full-time into this gamble of a writer’s life”.

“In his memoir, he recalls with affection his first typewriter – an “elephantine” Smith Premier 10, which had separate keys for upper and lower cases, and which he had to sell to a shopkeeper to pay an overdue bill for sweets and cigarettes.

“One of his first professional assignments was as the Mysore correspondent of a Madras newspaper, the Justice.

“All morning he “went out news-hunting” in the bazaar and the law courts and police stations, gathering everything from crime stories to gymkhana results. At 1pm he returned home, “bolted down a lunch”, typed up his report, “and rushed it to the Chamarajapuram post office before the postal clearance at 2:20pm”.

“He aimed to produce “ten inches of news” a day, at a rate of about 15 annas an inch, but “thanks to the news editor’s talent for abridgement” his earnings were minimal.

“Though he dismissed this work as “a little bit of pot-boiling”, one can see that the news-hunting Mysore stringer is an important forerunner of the chronicler of Malgudi – an ambulant, inquisitive figure, “going hither and thither”, his antennae tuned for stories.”

Read the full tribute: Rereading: R.K. Narayan

Illustration: courtesy R.K. Laxman/ The Tribune, Chandigarh

Also read: R.K. Narayan on Mysore

Ved Mehta on a day in the life of R.K. Narayan

T.S. NAGARAJAN: The R.K. Narayan only I knew

T.S. SATYAN: The R.K. Narayan only I knew

R.S. KRISHNASWAMY: A day in the life of R.K. Narayan

CHETAN KRISHNASWAMY: As Mysorean as Mysore pak, Mysore mallige

We’re all maalis in The Great Gardener’s hands

Among his many stand-out traits, the photojournalist T.S. Satyan, who died in Mysore on Sunday, went out of his way to “give back something to the profession that gave them so much”.

Even in his 80s, he was ever ready to travel long distances to speak to young students of journalism; delivered anecdote-filled lectures; opened photography exhibitions; held workshops; took part in debates.

In this file picture, he interacts with photojournalism students of the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM)*, Bangalore, who visited his residence showing off his almost masterly knowledge of plants and flowers. The department head, Saggere Ramaswamy, is to the right of the frame.

* Disclosures apply

Legendary photojournalist T.S. Satyan dead

sans serif records with deep and profound regret the passing away of the legendary photo-journalist Tamabarahalli Subramanya Satyanarayana Iyer better known as T.S. Satyan in Mysore this afternoon.

Mr Satyan was five days away from his 86th birthday.

He is survived by his wife Nagarathna, children, grandchildren and a City (and a profession) he dearly loved till his last breath.

Mr Satyan belonged to a golden generation of the Maharaja’s College in Mysore in the 1940s, from which almost everybody ascended to reach great heights in life. He took to photojournalism at a time when neither photography nor journalism was the first-choice profession and communicated with images the way another famous co-townsman of his (R.K. Narayan) did with words: simply and honestly, without any frills.

His work chiefly appeared in Deccan Herald and The Illustrated Weekly of India, and in Time, Life and Christian Science Monitor.

Fittingly, for someone who was full of zest, Mr Satyan titled his memoirs In love with life. In the last few years, the octagenarian developed a love for the wired world, and wrote several pieces for sans serif, whose friend, wellwisher and guide he remained from the day of its inception.

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T.S. Satyan on churumuri.com:

Once upon a time, early in the morning

The R.K. Narayan only I knew

Once upon a time during the Quit India movement

Mysore’s shortest man was only in height

The Raja said, ‘Why don’t you go with Mohini?’

The cop who stopped the maharaja

T.S. Satyan on photography

The genius of the Indian villager

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