Kolkata is beyond doubt one of the most phenomenal, vibrant and overwhelmingly chaotic cities there are in India, not only in terms of Street Photography. No wonder that it holds a particularly strong appeal to amateur and professional street photographers from all over the world, who are always in search of those dazzling, mind-bending images and willing to leave instantly behind any preconceived ideas about this awesome place. Be sure that it will allow you to discover and reveal those intriguing and weird scenes of Indian urban authenticity you will hardly get anywhere else to spot.
Kolkata as one of the most populous global cities offers nothing less than a mind-boggling and rich kaleidoscope of images, colours, smells and emotions, that reveal the city’s enormous dynamic, by bringing together old urban tradition of the country with the modern aspects of a fast developing Asian Megacity.
Street Photography in Kolkata – the perfect places to get started
Rabindra Sarani Road
There is so much to see and do here in Rabindra Sarani, in the northern part of Kolkata, which is lined with historical buildings, stunning archways of the impressive Nakhoda Mosque and numerous minarets. Discover the incredible stories associated to them, allow yourself to immerse into the eternal hustle and bustle in former Chitpur Road, Kolkata’s oldest street, and its backstreets, with crowds of people that are a staggering blend of different ethniticities.
All this in an urban world so rich in contrasts and blends, where futuristic and very traditional modes of transport try to complement each other in the way of poverty-reflecting rickshaws and shiny glam cars.
Potter’s Area of Kumartuli
A special highlight for every passionate street photographer is the Potter’s Area of Kumartuli, also called Potter’s Lane or Potter’s Colony, which is situated in the northern part of downtown Kolkata. Indeed you will be astonished at the magical backdrops for your stunning street photographs, provided by the hundreds of photograph friendly artists, sculptors, potters as well as dressers and the nearly 500 domestic workshops, where whole families work together in order to create strikingly impressive, religious Hindu statues.
Howrah Bridge Area und Mullik Ghat Flower Market
For an extraordinary backdrop image you should definitely include famous landmark Howrah Bridge, which is not only an utterly iconic image of Kolkata, but also one of the most frequented cantilever bridges in the world with more than 200000 foot passengers and vendors crossing the bridge on a daily basis. Get some great street photographs of this after nightfall, when the bridge is illuminated or visit the famous daily Flower Market at Mullik Ghat near the eastern end of the bridge, where you can get inspired and take a fairly laid-back approach to get some fine street market portraits of the place.
If you want to take some truly candid, unposed street photographs, you should definitely head into the direction of Sir Stuart Hogg Market, also known as New Market, which was established in 1874 and still holds striking examples of the ever-present British architecture in Kolkata. The bustling market place is the perfect location for any genuine Street Photographer wanting to snap the shutter at the very right moment, when all compositional elements are impeccable.
Floating Fish and Vegetable Market at Lake Patuli
A stroll along the piers and wooden walkways by placid Lake Patuli in southern Kolkata will lead you past the 115 boats accommodating over 280 floating shops with vendors selling daily basic food products such as fruit, vegetables, fish and meat as well as souvenirs, household and utility items at Kolkata’s first Floating Market. Discover this colourful lakeside marketplace with its authentic warm and spicy Asian atmosphere and get that perfect street photography shot of one of the fascinating floating farmers, barbers or tailors.
Best Photo Galleries in Kolkata for Street Photographers
As one of the contemporary and highly sophisticated Arts centres in Kolkata, Gallery Gold frequently hosts absolutely interesting domestic and international Street Photography exhibitions and Photo Festivals. Gallery Gold is situated in the heart of the Lake Area, at Abdul Rasul Av. 11, between the Rabindra Sarobar Gate Park and the Mudiali Lake Area Park.
Birla Academy of Arts and Culture
On a more regular basis international Street Photography exhibitions are carried out in one of the gallery spaces at the Birla Academy of Arts and Culture in Kolkata. The Birla Academy of Arts and Culture is situated at Rabindra Sarobar in Kolkata, 108/109 Southern Avenue, near Lake Terrace.
Jadunath Bhavan Museum and Resource Centre
For a thorough insight into the unique street life in Calcutta between the years 1970 and 1991, come and see the famous „Cintrabani Photographs“ („People of Calcutta“ and „Shahid Minar“) at the Jadunath Bhavan Museum and Resource Centre in Kolkata, a permanent street life photography exhibition, which reveals the artists‘ values and messages as well as their observational powers and capacity to impart ubiquitous persistency to their street photographs on religious and political life, child labour and slum dwellings in Calcutta at that time. The Museum is a unit of the „Centre of Studies in Social Sciences“ in Kolkata and located at 10, Lake Terrace, Kolkata.
Kolkata Academy of Fine Arts
There are some really fine photography exhibitions that are frequently hosted at the Kolkata Academy of Fine Arts, some of which do include stunning street photography images. You can even have some of these photographs printed, glass-framed and mounted on location. Address: 2, Cathedrale Road, Maidan, 700020 Kolkata.
Aakriti Art Gallery Kolkata
For some additional street life impressions from the early twentieth century you should head for the famous Aakriti Art Gallery and view formidable exhibition like „A Yank’s Memories of Calcutta“, over 60 original gelatin silver print street images by the renowned American military photographer Clyde Waddell (also available as a photographic album of 60 prints). Location: Orbit Enclave, 12/3A, Hungerford Street, Kolkata 700017.
Some examples of Street Photography from Kolkata:
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Street Photography Workshops and courses in Kolkata
Street, travel and culture photographer Gil Kreslavksy regularly organises Street photography workshops and tours that take you to unique Indian Street Photography Highlights, including the amazing city of Kolkata. This year’s 8-day street photography exploration tour starts on 29th September in Kolkata, where you have two days at your disposal to get some great potraits of the daily life in Kolkata and discover the fascinating street market life in overwhelmingly sensational places such as the Wholesale Flower Market plus the many stunning attractions in Rabindra Sarani as well as the intruigingly decorated and imposing clay Durga Puja figure display in the Potter’s district of Kumartoli, Kolkata.
This workshop is a unique street photography experience for participants of elementary to advanced level. The fully organised trip is in groups of no more than 8 persons.
In association with „The Hope Foundation“ famous British professional Photographer Mark Carey regularly organises workshops in Kolkata, which will lead you under the competent street photographer’s guidance through the gigantic city centre with its abundance of typical Indian street life. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to not only optimize and enrich your street photography portfolio by capturing in your very own way some of the finest street life moments in awesome locations, but also to get inspired by the rich cultural experiences, while at the same time actively contributing to the fundraising purpose in favour of Kolkata’s street and slum communities.
There will also be detailed instructions in terms of artistic and technical approaches by famous street photographer Mark Carey himself. The upcoming 5-day Kolkata street photography workshop with Mark Carey will be held from 18th November to 22nd November 2019. For further details and bookings you should get in touch as early as possible with Darragh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kolkata Street Photography Tour
Participate in a fantastic street photography tour, that will provide you with a unique opportunity to discover and explore some of the most stunning street life images. Top professional street photographers only are going to instruct and guide you through this carefully organised, absolutely fabulous 8-hour Street Photography workshop tour through the numerous attractions and overwhelming highlights of Kolkata, among them the Mallick Ghat Flower Market. Experience the incessantly brisk street life with its never ending rickshaw traffic and colourful street vendor images as well as exotic spices that fill Kolkata’s air in Lindsey Street, the industrious atmosphere at Sir Stuart Hogg Market or the eternal hustle and bustle in Sudder Street.
Spot thoses formidable street scene images that emerge like hidden gems off the beaten track in one of Kolkata’s backstreets or head into the direction of College Street and Queen’s Way. The tour begins with a pre-arranged pick-up service on any chosen day at 8 o’clock in the morning and lasts for approximately 8 hours.
Full-day Street Photography Workshop and Tour through Kolkata
Discover what Kolkata holds in store for your amazing portfolio: Under the guidance of an English speaking expert street photographer, this street photography workshop and tour tour through Kolkata takes you to the most significant places that are bound to secure you some of the nicest shots of daily street life scenes in Kolkata, which your more or less well-trained eye will be allowed to detect. Find those overwhelmingly realistic images of street life at Howrah Bridge and along the banks of the Hoogly River as well as amidst the energetic market bustle at Mullick Ghat Flower Market.
The Street Photography workshop tour begins with a pre-arranged hotel transfer to the meeting place at Strand Bank Road 67/4, Fairley Place, BBD Bagh, Kolkata, 700001 West Bengal.
Nikon School of Photography
Nikon School of Photography regularly schedules Street Photography workshops and tours in rapidly changing Kolkata, which will allow you to capture photograph-friendly people, stunning motifs in photogenic locations and spectacular street scenes in Kolkata’s noisy yet warm-hearted atmosphere at Bagbazar Ghat. The Nikon School Street Photography workshop is suitable for both Amateurs and semi-professionals, who will equally appreciate both the competent technical instructions (fine tuning exposure and depth-of-field control, framing, composition) and the free aesthetic as well as artistic exploration under the guidance of the competent Official Nikon Mentor.
Upcoming Nikon School Street Photography workshop in Kolkata: 4th August, 2019. Meeting place and time: Bagbazar Ghat, at 3.15 pm.
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