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An Interview with Award winning Street Photographer Ehsan Hemmati from Iran

Ehsan Hemmati is a street photographer from Kermanshah, Iran. He was born in 1980 and has had a passion for photography since childhood.

RK : First of all thanks for accepting our invitation. Please say something about you.

Ehsan : Tthere to readers, my name is Ehsan Hemmati, I was born in Kermanshah, which is located west of IRAN. I was born in 1980.

RK : What are your favorite genres of Photography?

Ehsan : Well I enjoy street photography, Documentary, Night photography.

RK : What was the first camera that you had used?

Ehsan : Zenit-122 & Yashika mg-2

RK : What camera & equipment do you use now?

Ehsan : Well, I own Canon eos 60D, Fujifilm Xa1, canon eos n2000 analog but mostly I use my IPhone 7.

RK : What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?

Ehsan : Observing life, Capturing moments. Discovering new places.

RK : What first drew you to street photography—and how did you discover it?

Ehsan : I saw some of the photography work of masters and I started reading and learning.

RK : How does Black and White Vs Color play into your work? Do you find them to be totally separate beasts—or complementary?

Ehsan : Well mostly when I see forms I tend to switch into black and white. I take color photos when color is an essentiality, therefore I believe they are complementary.

RK : What makes the good picture stand out from the average?

Ehsan : Two things.1) Composition 2) Content or let's say forms and emotions.

RK : Whose work has influenced you most?

Ehsan : Besides the masters these days there are many really amazing all around the world. I inspired by them and the same time I try to keep my own unique style.

RK : Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

Ehsan : Well, I don't have any favorites' guess by the time I posted them on the internet or printed them I thought they were good enough. Maybe the best ones are the ones I'm going to take.

RK : What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Ehsan : I wish I knew the camera and gears are not that much important, The person behind the camera matters.

RK : If you were told that you could only keep one camera and lens combination, what would it be?

Ehsan : The simplest compact camera with a tilting screen would be the best, here are my recommendation Fujifilm x100t Fujifilm x70 Ricoh Gr II, Olympus pen, basically a small high quality compact with 28 mm or 35mm lenses.

RK : In general, it is increasingly common to use smartphones to take photos. And there are also those who consider their smartphones very seriously as photographic gear. What do you think about it? Do you use (or have you tried to use) a smartphone for your photos?

Ehsan : These day there are good cell phone with great camera like IPhone and Huawei p20 pro. Sometimes the camera is your cellphone because you carry it with you all the time and you won't miss moments. I took some of my great shots with my phone.

RK : In recent years, Street Photography has boomed, what do you think it’s due to?

Ehsan : Well, street photography is observing and capturing life combined with art of composition. It's such an effective way to tell stories.

RK : In a street picture, do you think the contrasts of light are important to tell a story or are just an aesthetic fact?

Ehsan : Street photography is all about proper light, form and content. In black and white photography, it matters even more. Good subject and how you compose it.

RK : Do you have any tips for photographers to help them grow artistically?

Ehsan : Yes, see the work of masters and buy photobooks watch related videos on YouTube. Take photography lessons. Go out there and take photos. Practice make it perfect. Take it easy and enjoy the photography. Buy a pair of comfortable walking shoes.

Don't forget to drink coffee it gives you energy helps you see better.

RK : Have you ever been to India and anything you know about Indian Art & Culture?

Ehsan : Well to me India is of the best countries That I wish I have a chance to visit

I like the food, culture, all the wonderful people, it is such great place for street photography.

RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture by featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.

Ehsan : We (Iranian and Indian) have great history and culture, I'm sure there are amazing artistes in both countries. Why not cooperate together and create more art. well I recommend to my Indian friends visiting Iran and see all the magic of the historical cities. People are open and kind to tourists and it is very cheap in IRAN.


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