In all It's glory!, Krishna Temple, Hampi

An Exclusive Interview with Commercial Photographer Anirban Basak

Anirban Basak

Anirban Basak

Commercial Photographer

Phone No – +91 97399 29469 / Website – www.anirbanbasak.com

1) Would you tell us more about you and your interest in Photography?

I do not consider myself just a photographer. Photography is my profession. But I am an artist. And as an artist, I create. Apart from photography I also practice other forms of auditory and fine arts.

Growing up watching a photographer work is a great deal of inspiration and exposure. My father Goutam Basak, a noted commercial photographer in Bangalore, has been a constant in my life. From an early age I have been exposed to a lot of photography, set preparation and darkroom work. It was only natural that I took up photography as my primary profession.

In all It's glory!, Krishna Temple, Hampi
In all It’s glory!, Krishna Temple, Hampi

2) Can you please tell us about the types of Photography you indulge with?

I photograph what I love and enjoy. Studying architecture has been one of my most passionate pastimes when growing up. Photographing architecture presents its own set of challenges understanding perspective being the most important of them all. These challenges push me to try and do something different with every property I shoot. Apart from architecture, I also do product photography and food photography. These genres of photography form the base for my professional practice.

When I find time out of my commercial practice of photography, I travel. I love to explore new places, cultures and people. To travel is almost every photographer’s dream! I am a storyteller, and telling stories of the landscapes and the people that dwell amidst it is something that I love to do with my camera.

The Divine, star trails at Langza
The Divine, star trails at Langza

3) What is the inspiration that keeps you going?

My muses are all around me. I see. I observe everything around keenly. Sometimes a crack in a wall or even a straight line can be inspiring. These are things that most people don’t see and hence I feel compelled to tell them about it. I tell them stories, stories that I create out of that detail. Like a poet adds a word to another and goes on to create a poem, I add one element to another and make a frame. This urge to tell stories, that I see or rather devise in my head, is what keeps me inspired to keep at it.

The Witch, portrait of a lady at Pushkar
The Witch, portrait of a lady at Pushkar

4) How do you feel when your work is exhibited and viewed by tons of people?

It is every artist’s dream to be able to reach out to an audience. Art has facilitated the exchange of ideas for ages. And to meet this purpose an artist presents his/her idea in a commonly understandable form, in my case visually. I always look forward to presenting my work to an audience and to be able to tell them what I want them to know or feel through my visuals. And this sure is immensely exhilarating!

Frenzy
Frenzy

5) Can you tell us something about Photography and its inception?

I would like to skip this question as I feel it is generic.

6) To you, what is Photography?

To photograph, one must see. And then isolate what is seen to be able to present it to the world. This simple series of acts, i.e. of observation, isolation, imagination, skillful execution and then presentation is what is photography to me.

A Tonic for your thoughts
A Tonic for your thoughts

7) Please share us some of your achievements in Photography Profession?

I consider myself too young to have really achieved anything. In my professional practice of photography, the feeling of being able to make my client content with my work and to help them sell their product better with my pictures is an achievement of sorts.

My non-commercial work on landscapes and abstracts have been exhibited thrice at group
exhibitions ‘Gurudakshina‘ under the banner of Drishti School of Photography and once at a solo
exhibition ‘A Visual Dialogue‘, all at Bangalore.

Life in a bubble, Pin valley
Life in a bubble, Pin valley

8) Can you tell us something about your Photography community?

My photographic community starts at my own home, with my father. We exchange a great deal of information and ideas on photography regularly. As a trainer at Drishti School of Photography, a photography school my father founded, I am constantly in contact with established photographers and also numerous people who wish to be photographers. This is a community where we share knowledge, skills and experiences among each other. And it is here that we celebrate photography as a form of the visual arts as well as a great story telling tool!

9) Can you tell us about the general response you receive in exhibitions?

In today’s world of the digital visual media, I feel it is difficult to get audience at a physical gallery.
Apart from photographic connoisseurs and fellow photographers, it is only a handful of people who walk into an exhibition space to view printed and framed works on the wall. I am associated with a couple of art galleries in Bangalore that do display photographs apart from other fine arts and I find the response to be very thin and dismal.

I have not exhibited any of my work in a gallery since 2013 and I feel l have not been missing out on much. My personal website went online with a selection of my works on display on 2016 and I’ve found that I get a continuous and regular flow of visitors to my online gallery.

You can find my online gallery at www.anirbanbasak.com.

Portrait of a paper
Portrait of a paper

10) What do you think about the scope of Photography in the modern Digital world?

Digital imaging has opened up more new avenues in photography than anything else ever has before. Just as one might say that the availability of digital capture device (digital SLRs and mobile phones) as well as editing tools on just about any digital device has provided photographers with so much power to do more than back in the film days, it also has been instrumental in getting photography to the masses. Almost every person with a phone has a working camera in their hands. And all these people who could never afford to buy a film camera, film and lenses and then spend on processing and printing can now suddenly go about capturing anything to their heart’s content!

In the professional scenario, I feel not much has changed. Although new techniques and ideas only just need new and different tools, and a sharp and inquisitive mind will find the most genius of ways to utilize them, the basic creative workflow of a photographer still remains the same. We select a subject, choose a background, create or place ourselves in a setting, create or wait for the desired light, at the decisive moment we capture an image, process it in some sort of a ‘lightroom’ as against a dark room and then distribute or share it with an audience online at online galleries. So, you see, the most important bit of the process, i.e. visualization, is absolutely independent of the form of media. And hence I feel the digital revolution only greatly assists a creative photographer in making a more effective picture.

Contrast aplenty, Nubra Valley
Contrast aplenty, Nubra Valley

11) How do you feel about your association with Honeycomb creative support?

I have known of Honeycomb/Photostop for a very long time. We have had workshops and talks from them at Drishti School of Photography and we look forward to a continued association in the future as well!

12) Can you share us your future plans and dreams?

As an artist who practices different forms of art, I am constantly searching for ways to associate and combine multiple forms together. And this is something I feel will bring back people to galleries as it’ll demand a combination of senses to experience and imbibe it all. Only a physical space would be able to provide that, until a more disruptive and advanced technology comes along to provide the same at the comfort and confines of one’s home.

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