Back in 2013, I used to intern at this small design and post production company called Oodio Studio in Bangalore, India. After my tenure of 4 months there, I moved on to pursuing my photography independently. Years later in 2016, I placed a Design & Print order for the Upanayana of Rishab Mohan I shot recently. This book is a Medium Landscape 9” x 11” SLIM Flushmount Signature book with Fawn Brown Leatherette. I must draw attention to the flawless production and branding by the folks at Oodio. Their work is on point and it makes me so happy to have once been a part of this firm.
I will admit, it makes me emotional to be on the client side of the company. The work flow, the communication, the delivery commitment, is as makhhan (butter) smooth. These guys not only taught me the craft and the work of post production, but also give me the constant motivation to do what I do, better.
Images Copyright © 2016 Ankit Banerjee. All Rights Reserved.
ankitbanerjee.com | ankitban.vsco.com | @ankitban
In August 2014, we were given an English assignment in college to explore areas of Bangalore. Little did I know that it would lead to a course-changing series of events. I fell in love with the roads, the chaos, and the people! Born and raised in an upper middle class family, I was a “city boy” for most of my life. Coincidentally, at the same juncture two things happened—first, I saw my city change the way it looked across my schooling years, and second, I became a part of Naresh Narasimhan’s Facebook group (discontinued) “Bangalore- Photos from a bygone age”. They shared photos of Bangalore from the years of 1800-2000’s. This pairing got me thinking: The way I perceive those photos in 2015 is very different from its time. Everything fascinated me and I began to document the city extensively, to build an archive of photos which is of potential academic value 50 – 100 years ahead. The photos in this theme are a subset of these unpublished archives. The photos here are more from a photojournalist approach than photography or “artistic” take. I felt, taking photos doesn’t always have to conform to art and aesthetic beauty, or science of composition rules. It can be as simple as, well, just capturing a moment. The intent behind capturing the photo became vital and the subjectivity associated with it appealed to me. After trying my hand at numerous genres of photography, I felt a connection in documenting the city life. An extended addition of two photos from Meerut, UP to the set is an effort to establish cause-and-effect relation— how the lanes of my city made me grow itchy feet and extend my efforts in archiving to parts of India. I am home.
Ankit Banerjee is an independent photographer based in Bangalore, India.
All Images Copyright © Ankit Banerjee. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use or reproduction for any reason is prohibited.
Almost five years back, it all started with an accidental photo of milk overflowing. Shuffling across several borrowed cameras from supportive friends and family, learning exactly what each technical number meant, to freelancing and travelling over the years, the moment is finally here—It’s time to celebrate the adventures of a Bangalore boy and his experiences with a camera. The photos are selected works from my past few years of travelling across Hampi, Goa, Delhi, Meerut, Kerala, and through the streets of my home, Bengaluru. The exhibition also showcases nature, architecture, abstracts, and portraits.
WHEN: 7th-29th March 2015
WHERE: Art Of Delight, 44/1 Residency Road, Below Hotel Nagarujua, Bangalore.
CONTACT: +919739506907 and +919964773776
Works on display: https://500px.com/ankitban/sets/exhibition_picks
IN THE PRESS:
I am a 19 year old photography hobbyist turned freelancer based in Bangalore, India.
To and fro, everything around me kept moving. I don’t know whether it was the motion blurry sight, or just the funny feelings in my stomach that made me so happy. Or maybe it was just the air hitting my face repeatedly, waving through my long bowl-cut hair that made childhood blissful. It took time to learn how to push myself— the crazy torso movement to imaginary leg acceleration. But the best was yet to come—jumping off right when it was on the top. The leap from that height was so exhilarating that soon after I landed, I rushed into another round.
Now, every time I pass by a vacant plank held by chains, I can hear it calling me.
Another rainy afternoon in the city, and I watch through my window the people grasping on to the collars of their coats and umbrellas running to meet up deadlines to free some space for a glass of wine by the fire place with their persons escaping from their mundane schedule. So many people and their daily impact on one and another, each one significantly contributing to the life of other for better or, for worse. Some shake hands, hug and spread smiles while some push the other off the cliff by looting them for their own greed. Who remains with us when we differentiate the materialistic things from the humane behaviour that we exchange?
You were always there with me.
You were a critic, a support, a necessity, a foe and a partner: that somebody who patiently sits by me without saying a word while I hear you. You were me, but just not within me. I can see you standing by the door looking at me. You carefully learnt the ways of others, the style of my friends and carefully integrated them within. The many forms you took to never make me feel the absence of anyone else, who would otherwise not be there. By your simple objectivity and acceptance, you left a significant impact on my life. You were me, just not within me.
Such is the person who has significantly made an impact on my life. In moments of extreme emotions, the third person always jumped outside my body to restore normalcy. When I grew weary, he talked to me and made me understand with a rational explanation and did not let me feel small. He celebrated my victories but reminded me nobody has seen what tomorrow brings. When she and the rest made decisions for themselves, he told me it’s alright and I must not expect. When I escaped to a new dimension to seek solace, he told if I was doing it right, and whether the photographs conveyed what I wanted to say. He critiqued my work with great finesse and found the flaws that needed to be corrected, advices and quick tips to be kept in mind such that I could make a good picture, great. When I am on stage, I see him sitting there in the audience knowing exactly where I stumble and point out the pros and parts that need improvement. He established the fine line of right and wrong and through simple and effective humane connection of friendship, he introspected for my self-improvement.
He was I. You were me, just not within me. My principles, morals and all that I believed, mastered like a lawyer.
I am not a loner. I have friends whom I cherish. This is just a practice of being empathetic to myself first, and then to others. We need answers to all that we face and it is best to go back, place ourselves there and relive. The span of life is a long journey to 00different places. It would be irrational to expect and depend myself on to another person to everywhere I go, unless the person is me
June 10th 2013
6:00 AM, the alarm rings, I head out for a run. It’s almost 7:00 AM now and I need to freshen up, have breakfast and leave for work. 8:20 AM, getting past the typical Monday morning rush hour, I manage to make it on time. At Oodio, we always have a morning call at 9:00 AM with the co-founder who allocates us jobs for the day. 9:30 AM, I have been assigned to cover a conference for Microsoft Ventures and I must head out to the shoot pronto.
Since I never had formal photography training, it was indeed an exciting challenge to understand all the technical factors that made a great photo ‘great’. Oodio, fully aware of my inexperience, took me on board as their youngest intern. Initially, learning was just random experimentation with a lot of dark, white, and blurry images; now I exactly understand what each number means.
10:20 AM, Microsoft India Research Labs awes me with its giant American corporate feel and the conference commences at the Accelerator. 12:30 PM, seeking an opportunity of the refreshment break, as the President of The Debate Club, I have to make some calls to the co-organizers of The Bait ’13 (an inter-city competition we are organizing) enquiring about a venue for the event.
3:00 PM, the conference ends at Microsoft and grabbing a bite of a cheese sandwich, I head back to office to back up all the coverage data. I reach Oodio and learn that our e-commerce clients and wedding photographers landed us with new jobs for post-production and so I decide to take them up. 4:00 PM, the co-organizer informs me that the venue costs 60,000 INR. This worries me as The Debate Club Bangalore already has a negative figure balance. 5:00 PM, the part I look forward to the most, I head to piano class and my new teacher ensures that I have a thorough practice session. I feel rejuvenated.
Traveling always gets me thinking about my choices—“You plan to just sit at home for a year?” People often confuse a gap year with inactivity whereas my reality is far from it. When I graduated from high school, I had boldly decided to take an unconventional detour. Although I felt quite scared, I chose to add value to my life and engage in things that I felt a personal connection with. For the first time by this decision, I wasn’t living someone else’s life.
Oh well, I have bigger worries—I need press coverage for the debate event. No, I need a venue first!
7:00 PM, I’m home; I boot my laptop and start designing a sponsorship brochure. 8:30 PM, the organizing team reviews the brochure, implements necessary changes after which I send it out to all companies who could potentially partner with The Debate Club. 9:00 PM, after 17 long emails, I realise that I also have to send out e-invites to all the schools in Bangalore. 9:30 PM, we begin an hour-long conference call with the organisers, who, with their diverse opinions, made it really intense. Meanwhile, my caring mother ensured that I gulped a few spoons of rice and curry. 10:30 PM, I need to start researching on Mexico for Harvard Model United Nations India 2013. This is my first MUN conference, another opportunity to stand in front of an audience, and do what I love, to express my opinions on a topic in search of viable solutions. 12:00 AM, I usually spend time learning on Quora, but tonight I just feel like reading V. S. Ramachandran’s “Phantoms in The Brain”. I don’t know what time it is, I have fallen asleep, awesomely content.
“….No college? You plan to just sit at home for a year?”
The magic of growing up in India is that, every individual has a unique story to tell. I was born to a typical Bengali family of high academic rank holders and toppers. When I graduated from high school, I had boldly decided to take an unconventional detour because I believed that I was more than a piece of paper judging me. The concept is not anew, but it was a life decision uncommon to my background. To most people it was hard to accept the fact that I was not attending college. Many often reminded me about the adverse effects and dreadful uncertainties of my “wasteful” decision. People often confuse a gap year with inactivity whereas my reality was far from it.
My fulfilling experience included photography shoots, trying my hand at videography, learning new software like Adobe Illustrator and Premier Pro, classical piano training and music making, reading mind expanding books, studying neuroscience and economics via online courses, attending my first MUN conference, and so on.
In the age of online tutorials, learning image post production is a just click away. As an amateur photographer, it was indeed an exciting challenge to understand all the technical factors that made a photo ‘great’. I interned at a photography firm called Oodio where, along with technical skills and work responsibilities, I also learnt priceless people skills. The work environment gave me a taste of the real world; decisions have consequences. It also helped me network and interact at entrepreneurial hubs such as the Microsoft Accelerator and Startup Leardership Program.
Further, I took my passion to argue – to the masses through The Debate Club, and ever since I have been better informed about the world and myself. In this active life I led in exploration, I met very interesting people and built truly wonderful relationships.
Although I felt quite scared, I chose to add value to my life and engage in things that I felt a personal connection with. I set goals and began to venture into things that I had very little experience in. By pursuing what I love, for the first time I was not living someone else’s life. My motivation was not to build an impressive résumé, but to acquire important life skills that took me closer to a happy place— mentally and physically.
My high school years have been full of revelations, and the three important ones that shaped my world-view are:
First, question! Always question what you study, question how basic things that surround you work, question beyond the examination, and question to seek your personal truths. Over time, this skill you will help you spark ideas. Asking ‘Why?’ and ‘What if?’ helped me identify the things that I could improve upon. Currently, Quora is my homepage as it helps me interact with people, and increase my understanding on varied issues to a higher plane.
The second is confidence. Acquisition of knowledge will liberate you of fear. You realize that your biggest fears are nothing but illusions. Upon this realization, you are instantly better equipped in your pursuits. This may not be the end of fear, but is the beginning of building character.
The third is to build a varied friend circle; one that has multiple interests across myriad spheres. This will ensure that you are in a constant cycle of sharing and learning. Further, understand that it is okay to be different from your peers. You must identify friends from acquaintances and build relations that you can save, or that will save you one day.