We spoke with lifestyle photographer and movie-lover Saptak Ganguly about his journey into photography, his editing process, and how his affection for great films has influenced his rich portfolio of stock media work.
How did you get into photography/cinematography?
My love for photography started when I was 17 years old in High School(around 199😎), actually. I was more inclined towards movies, I was fascinated by the works of some directors and cinematographers, the way they tell stories and create different abstract moods and feelings with use of camera angles, camera movements, lights, colour, compositions… I was mainly inspired by the works of Satyajit Ray, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Joel and Ethan Coen and many others. I still vividly remember the film “The Terrorist” by South Indian filmmaker Santosh Sivan which has less dialogues but more visual imagery to convey the feelings and story.
But at that time, video equipment was beyond my reach and so I started using a cheap compact film camera to substitute my passion for cinematography and in the process, I fell in love with photography, starting with a focal press book on the basics of photography I was blown away by the works of David Alan Harvey, Raghuveer Singh, Raghu Rai, Sebastian Salgado…. I was simply astonished how a single frame could convey so much feelings and story. My humble journey into the world of photography started then. I still consider myself a student every day amazed by the works of talented photographers/cinematographers all around the world and here at Stocksy.
How did you find out about Stocksy, and what made you decide to join?
I was then contributing to a major stock agency (Getty) in the year 2011-2012, but their commission rate was meager and also their approach towards photography was more commercial and product like to my liking, I was always looking for an agency that has a more friendly touch and artistic approach towards photography and I found Stocksy through a google search, I was immediately impressed by the authentic and artistic collection of imagery, I applied and got accepted in 2013 and consider that to be my biggest achievement in my humble photographic journey.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in life, in nature, in light and darkness. The candid moments, the warmth of a relationship, the various emotions that life unfolds every moment, the sound of nature,play of light and shadow and the endless flow of energy that life carries inspire me to shoot.
Which song, music album or artist have you had on repeat?
There are many like Enigma, Kisnou, Amethystium, Deep Forest, Terry Oldfield but particularly the track “On the nature of daylight” by Max Richter is mostly on repeat.
What is your workflow when post-processing or color grading?
I edit my raws in Adobe camera raw (white balance, tint, contrast, shadow, highlights, lens correction and some local adjustments using radial filter) and if required open it in photoshop for spot removal, cloning and minor adjustments in color and contrast. I try to keep my edits as natural as possible.
How do you go from shooting to uploading assets to Stocksy?
I shoot raw and once at home copy the files to my computer and also backup them in an external hard drive, I then select the photos and edit them in Photoshop and keep a tiff file and upload the jpegs to image manager and add titles, keyword, attach releases before submitting.
Any up and coming plans?
At the moment I am shooting mainly lifestyle photos with my friends and family whom I am comfortable with but I am planning to shoot other genres of photography that inspire me and also work with other people other than my acquaintances. I plan to get out of my comfort zone and explore other genres for new experiences and to enrich my photographic journey.
How do you disconnect from work and recharge yourself?
Travelling, reading books, listening to music, watching movies and spending time with family.
What would you like to share with new contributors?
Photography to me is a journey – not the destination – so enjoy the journey, don’t let your prior knowledge control the creative flow entirely rather listen to your inner feelings, emotions and your instincts to connect with the environment and situation you are in to tell the story.