Retro Kolkata : First of all Heartiest congratulations for your selection in Retro Kolkata Magazine Green Edition. Please introduce yourself. Tell us about your background.
Ritesh : Thank you Retro Kolkata for reaching out to me with this opportunity. My name is Ritesh Ghosh and I am from the City of Joy, Kolkata. I was a Banker by profession and presently a photographer by choice. I have been pursuing this art form for the past 7 years now after a freak road accident prevented me from resuming my Corporate Career. I call myself a Visual Storyteller who likes to capture the small moments from our everyday life.
Retro Kolkata : How important is photography to you? How did you start photography? Ritesh :"Photography to me is what breathing is to living beings". I decided to take it up initially as a serious hobby and later as an alternative full time job when I was recovering from the accident I mentioned earlier. Photography gave me the strength to overcome my pain and create visual stories taken from the moments of everyday life. Street is where my heart is and I love the human interaction while I am photographing.
Retro Kolkata : What motivates and inspires you as a photographer? Ritesh :Life has been the biggest teacher for me and so I take most of my inspiration from it. Apart from this I also learn something or the other by going through the works of various new and celebrated photographers. In photography, everyone has a unique perspective of observing things and this can be quite inspiring.
Retro Kolkata : Which genre of photography do you like and What inspires you? Which masters of photography have inspired you in your photographic work? Ritesh :Anyone who has been following me on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/love_thy_camera/) will know that my primary genre of work is STREET. From my very early days as a photographer I enjoyed walking the streets in search of my next subject and story. I have been inspired by quite a few Masters of this Art viz. Henri Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams, Vivian Maier, Fan Ho etc. Some new age artists such as Alan Schaller, Sean Tucker, Vineet Vohra, Prashant Godbole etc have also been instrumental in inspiring my thought process as a photographer.
Retro Kolkata : What type of camera, lenses and lighting equipment do you use? Ritesh :Initially I started experimenting with the Canon 600D for a few months before I took to the Fujifilm mirrorless system. I owned the X100S at first which I traded for the 23mm prime once I acquired the interchangeable XT1 body. Presently I own the XT3 and the first Gen XT1 along with a set of 5 lenses of various focal lengths ranging from 10mm upto a 140mm. I am also using the Godox TT 685 speedlight as my external light source.
Retro Kolkata : What subjects inspire you and prompt you to look for the shot? Ritesh :Interesting faces, colour , texture and patterns is what I look out for while on the streets. I am also inspired by quirky moments (Juxtaposition) which makes the audience think twice before swiping to the next image on Social Media.
Retro Kolkata : Do you prefer black and white shots or colour? Ritesh :Personally I prefer shooting in colour although one should learn to see things in Black and White first.
Retro Kolkata : What is the best project you have worked on and how did you get involved with it? Ritesh :I have worked on many projects till date but honestly I have yet to come across the 'Best' one. Good things happen to those who wait and I believe in this proverb.
Retro Kolkata : Where would you like to be in 10 years time and what are you going to do in the next 6 months to get closer to that goal? Ritesh :Life is totally unpredictable and I learnt this 7 years ago when I took up photography after being a corporate guy for 8 years. So I would rather let time take its course and decide where I would rather be in a decade's time from now. Although I wouldn't mind sharing an exhibition space with the World's Best Street Photographers or signing copies of my Coffee Table Photobook for my fans.