Retro Kolkata : Please introduce yourself. Tell us about your background.
Sroman : My name is Sroman Roy. I was born in the Royal City of Coochbehar but was brought up in Siliguri, West Bengal. I'm 25 years old and currently pursuing my Post Graduation in Political Science. Since a very young age I had a keen interest in arts and creativity . I was into drawing, painting, Indian classical music, Table Tennis and eventually Photography.
Retro Kolkata : How important is photography to you? How did you start photography?
Sroman : Photography is like meditation for me. Whenever I'm upset or even extremely happy, photography helps me out. I get to know myself and my creative mind in a better way.
As a school student, I never had the opportunity or permission to travel around until in class 12 when we had a geography class excursion in Gajoldoba, Jalpaiguri. I had borrowed a SLR Camera from my friend for this excursion. While all of my friends were busy with the field work, my attention went towards the bunch of Great Comorants gathered near the Gajoldoba Dam. It was then when I realised my interest in photography. And perhaps that was the first intentional photo I have clicked.
Retro Kolkata : What motivates and inspires you as a photographer?
Sroman : The story behind every frame and new possibility to add creativity inspires me as a photographer. Motivation comes when each day I learn to get better challenging myself to reach a further extent.
Retro Kolkata : Which genre of photography do you like and What inspires you? Which masters of photography have inspired you in your photographic work?
Sroman : I am into Wildlife Photography. Being a nature enthusiast and an animal lover who love the hills, the greens and the colourful species those exists in this nature has a lot to give. The story behind every lifestyle pattern and habitat of various species inspires me the most. The realisation after observance compared to those of humans, it is mesmerizing to witness so many happenings in the day to day nature around us.
My cousin brother Dipayan Ray is an amazing wildlife photographer. He studies every species and has the patience to find out the correct timing and composition for every shot. He is my all time mentor and I'm blessed to have him as my brother. Apart from him I am inspired by the story telling captures of Mr. Varun Aditya and Mr. Shaaz Jung. Recently after attending one talk show I started admiring Mr. Ripan Biswas for his dedication and perspective towards his work.
Retro Kolkata : What type of camera, lenses and lighting equipment do you use?
Sroman : Earlier I used to use Nikon D7100 and Nikkor 70-300mm AF-S. Then I upgraded to 200-500mm and now I'm using Nikon D500 with Nikkor 200-500mm AF-S. I work on natural light but I do have Sonia Speedlight which I don't use for wildlife photography.
Retro Kolkata : What subjects inspire you and prompt you to look for the shot?
Sroman : Any species with a good background and adequate amount of natural lighting. What I like most are the action moments. It has a story in itself.
Retro Kolkata : What exactly is wildlife and natural habitat conservation & why is it important? How can you as a photographer help protect wildlife and conservation?
Sroman : Wildlife conservation aims to protect plant and animal species as the human population encroaches on their resources. It is the practice of protecting plant and animal species and their habitats. As part of the world’s ecosystems, wildlife provides balance and stability to nature’s processes. The goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure the survival of these species, and to educate people on living sustainably with other species.
The conservation of wildlife is necessary for prevention of drought, new deserts, fires as well as floods. Also, this conservation ensures that the upcoming generations of humans and wildlife will be surrounded by nature thereby loving it and understanding the significance of wildlife. Also, wildlife acts as a gene pool for various resistant strains of pests causing the diseases. The production of food is also enhanced via wildlife. Various pollinating agents like birds, bats and bees help in increasing the productivity of plants. Moreover, wildlife also contributes as a medicinal source. Humans benefit from various species of microscopic animals, fungi, animals and plants in some or the other way. The wild plant species are responsible for the production of various pharmaceutical drugs. The study of interaction of various species with their ecosystem and the effect of human and environmental influences on the wildlife will help in conserving the wildlife.
As we all know the number of species are getting endangered because of the technological world growing. The more we study about it the more heart breaking it is. As a Wildlife Photographer I would like to start with the people near me and aware them of the beautiful nature and its species. Promoting to plant more trees and keeping the habitats untouched and undisturbed. Many people are getting to know more about the species and their importance in this nature through the work I project. The Greens and the blues of nature are to be protected and kept clean. I try to bring a connection between the wildlife and human world and aware people with a message of harmony that it is the duty of humankind to conserve the wildlife and the habitats of all the beautiful species within it.
Retro Kolkata : Bird photography is almost always about the action. How do you get a good pose during the fast action? What should one look for? How would you prepare for such shots?
Sroman : I always look for the background. The brids are always beautiful in every pose. If the background isn't good enough, even a good action shot wont give a good presentation.
While preparing for a fast action pose, patience and observance are the keys. While observing I study the subject's activity. Keeping patient and quiet, keeping a distance and not letting my subject know my presence, I predict the timing of the pose I am going to take and right before that exact moment I start clicking in Continuous High. Additionally, I set my Shutter speed and ISO in mannual. Sometimes I get amazing frames, sometimes blurry. Again, patience is the key. It took me time to get my fast action pose but the more I attempt for a fast action pose, the better I get.
Retro Kolkata : What is the best project you have worked on and how did you get involved with it?
Sroman : There aren't any such projects I have worked on. I have done quite a lot of photography trips with my cousin brother to the hills. I got all my best shots from among these trips.
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?
Sroman : In 10 years as a wildlife photographer I would like to travel throughout India and have a collection of pictures of all the species of all over the country including mammals and birds. In the next 6 months I have a planned trip of covering the north eastern states of India.
Apart from photography, in 10 years I would like to become an Assistant Professor in the department of Political Science in a recognised college. I'm about to sit for UGC NET this month so hopefully in 6 months I will be able to start my journey as an Assistant Professor.