When I came across Arkamitra Lahiri’s Flickr photostream, his images grabbed my attention right away, although at first, I couldn’t put my finger on why exactly. Then it hit me. So often I see beautiful street photos from India, but these were different because when I looked at them, I saw people just like myself – instead of a vibrant foreign land I do not know. I would say Arkamitra has a gift for capturing humanity in a way we can all relate to.
I asked Arkamitra to tell me a little about himself.
“I’m from northern side of West Bengal,currently living in Kolkata. I’ve just completed my Masters and currently I’m looking for a job. I would like to call my photography style a simplistic type. Mundane people in mundane places. That’s it. I strongly believe that over-analysis of street photographs has taken the fun out of the genre.”
I also asked Arkamitra if he had any advice for street photographers visiting Kolkata.
“Shooting in Kolkata doesn’t require any special advice. They are the most camera friendly people I’ve ever met. Old and new co-exist here, that is the most striking feature of the city.”
Here is a small selection of Arkmitra’s photographs:
The Tea Shop Owner
This first photo was taken inside a tea shop in Kolkata. At the time, the shops remained empty. Gradually it gets crowded. Hence,the lonely tea maker looked interesting to me.
Lord Shiva’s right hand in his ox avatar
The Tired Rickshawpuller
A street barber of Varanasi with his customer
Musicians of Varanasi
The second photo was taken on the Ghats of Varanasi, the Vatican of Hindus. On a dull cloudy day, I found this man wearing vibrant saffron clothes. It was the colour that drew my attention.
Go ahead and give Arkamitra a follow on Flickr. You won’t be disappointed with his images that, though they were perhaps taken a world away from where you live, feel like home.