Tirtha Sinha was my classmate and a very close friend from our post-graduation days. He is also an ex student of South City College. Tirtha and I have been in touch even after our University days. Receiving a phone call from him was quite normal. However, this time he had a different agenda. Although he himself is not an avid photographer, he was very excited about launching the Photography club at his alma mater. And then came a request which I could not say no. He wanted me to inaugurate the Photography club an initiate a culture of photography among the present students.
The day came on 29th September, 2015. It was a very unique experience as I would be visiting a College after many years and this time will be on the other side, addressing to young minds. The journey itself to the college was unique. I was given a ride on a motor bike from Kalighat Metro station. I was assisted to the Student’s room by some of the current students. Slowly, old memories of college days was revived. Meeting young students was an interesting experience. Finally, the time came up for the inauguration. I was assisted to a class room that was decked up for the Photography session.
I was honestly expecting to meet unknown faces. But to the surprise I ran across a few of them who already knew me, courtesy of Facebook. The projector was set up, lights dimmed out. And the room filled up with audience. Well, I never expected Professors and Principal Madam to be a part of the audience. However, it’s highly praiseworthy that even the Teachers took an active interest with enthusiasm.
Since, this was my first interaction, I never wanted the session to be a technical one. As there would be students who might have visited to understand whether Photography would be an interesting hobby to pursue. So, after the formal welcome address, I stepped into a non-verbal mode of communication – a slide show of Photographs of our city Kolkata. I let the photographs speak. This was done as an ice breaker to let the verbal communication flow. Since, it was a slide show dedicated to our city, the photographs connected easily with the viewers.
The second session was an introductory session on photography. However, instead on speaking on Cameras, I focussed on a session solely based on photographs. Apart from the technical aspect, aesthetics play a vital role in photography. The session was dedicated to understanding the basic composition techniques. No, prior technical know-how neither any inclination towards photography was needed to comprehend the session.
The third session was an interactive discussion with the students. By this time, students were more comfortable. From simple to technical questions started flowing in. All said and done almost 2 hours were over by then. The bigger surprise was a few Teachers choose to stay back.
I sincerely thank Principal Madam, the Teaching Staff, my friend Tirtha Sinha, the Student Union committee members and the wonderful students who choose to be a part of the session. I wish the Photography Club all the very best for its future endeavours.
About Soumya Shankar Ghosal:
Soumya Shankar Ghosal is a Kolkata based Street and Documentary Photographer. Soumya has over a decade’s experience in Photography with numerous accolades in India and internationally. He is the founder of one of the largest Street Photography movement – Streets of Calcutta, which has a follower base of 10,000+. He is the co-founder of Snappho Photography Services LLP.
Soumya was the Curator for the first official Instagram exhibition in India. He has been associated with Photography projects across several brands and industry domains including Facebook, IBM, Idea Cellular, Amazon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sigma, Tamron, Indus Towers, Asian Photography Magazine, Apeejay Group, ITC Hotels, Turtle.
He has initiated Photography projects at prestigious educational institutes including IIM Calcutta, Presidency University, WBUT, Medical College Kolkata and Techno India. He has judged several Photography competitions and been a part of Photography for Philanthropy projects.
His work has been published in several publications including NationalGeographic.com, National Geographic Traveller India, 1X, Better Photography, Life Force Magazine, DPS (Digital Photography School), Fujifilm India, 121clicks.com, Raghu Rai Center for Photography, CNN Travel, The Times of India, DNA, The Telegraph, Roli Books, Top Photography Films to name a few and his articles have been regularly featured in Epson Fotoflock.
He received the Special Mention Award from CGAP – World Bank in 2013, Grand Winner of Red Frames FOMC 2013 and has won several other Photography Contests held by Nikon, Fujifilm, Olympus etc. India 5 Senses, 1X Year Book Mono and World Street Photography Coffee Table Books featured his work. He is regularly invited as a Speaker at Photography Seminars and conducts intensive task oriented Photography Workshops and Blogs on Photography.
He is a MBA by education and a Management Consultant by profession.