Home >> Podcasts >> Sudip Chanda on Shaping Stories Through Photojournalism
Show Notes

We’re back with another fantastic episode of Photosynthesis!

How did he get started in the rental business? What are the major challenges in the business? How to take care and generally maintain your cameras, lenses and other pieces of gear? What necessary precautions should one take for rented and personal equipment? When is it good to rent out vs buy equipment? What care should you taken when getting your equipment serviced from a service centre? We have all of these topics covered in today’s session with Abhijit.

Listen to the full Podcast on Spotify

Check out Primesandzoom’s stunning work on Instagram – Primesandzoom

References mentioned in the podcast –
This is Your (Well Our) Camera at Burning Man
Please, Don’t Take Our Photography and Video Gear to Burning Man

Indievisual’s Blogs on Renting Gear and Preventing Camera Damage –
Renting Photography Gear in India
The Top Threats to Your Camera’s Health: Identifying and Preventing Damage

A post by Abhijit on taking care of lenses –
Lens cleaning

Looking out for video production services? Try Us – We take care of the entire video production process. We combine tech & process improvements with a national network of creative professionals – to produce videos fast, affordably and professionally.
Instagram : IndieVisual Instagram
LinkedIn : IndieVisual LinkedIn

See more of our videos:
IndieVisual Clips: IndieVisual Youtube
IndieVisual Shorts: IndieVisual Youtube Shorts
Photosynthesis (Podcasts): Photosynthesis (Podcasts)

Stay tuned ! More fun-filled and insightful chats to follow !

Subscribe to the show, stay up to date

Looking to work on Exciting Video Campaigns for Big brands and Startups?

We’ve got the projects, and we’ll handle the admin. So you can focus on being creative – and leave the rest to us.

Transcript

Vineet (00:03.106) 

Hello and welcome to Photosynthesis. Individuals podcast where we on a weekly basis talk to some really interesting people from the photography and videography industry in India and discuss the art, the business, the history and the culture of these two genres. Today we have with us Mr. Sudeep Chanda who’s actually been working in a genre that we haven’t explored so far which is photojournalism. 

Stock footage, yes, but also working with agencies with new services and of course going around he’s into street photography and photogenarianism. So I am actually very interested to find out how they come together. Hi Sudeep. 

Sudip Chanda (00:48.458) 

Bye, minute. 

Vineet (00:50.35) 

Hi, welcome to Photosynthesis. You have started this at the time of lockdown. You said that you are a hobbyist for many years, but you have started pursuing this professionally in lockdown. How did this journey start? 

Sudip Chanda (00:53.01) 

Thanks. 

Sudip Chanda (00:56.732) 

Yeah. 

Sudip Chanda (01:03.303) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (01:07.512) 

Uh… 

as a photojournalist my journey is very tough because in journalism section there is so much competition so to establish a photographer as a photojournalist to stand that I am a photojournalist so it is a very tough journey because there are too many journalists suppose you go to an event 

Event is less, journalists are more. So, you have to push and push and take a good photo. So, if your photo doesn’t give that sound, then your photo doesn’t mean anything. So, taking a photo from that gathering means a very tough situation. And when you are new… 

So no one will give you a place. So from that place, reaching a place is very tough. I started in 2019, end of 2019. 

Sudip Chanda (02:28.441) 

Now that I have been identified, my path is a little bit better. But the new people’s path is very tough in this genre. 

Vineet (02:40.334) 

So what happens in Photojournalism? First of all, there are pre-established events like a press conference or a known event whether it’s news or a glamour site and many more 

Sudip Chanda (02:46.227) 

Huh? Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (03:00.434) 

Hmm. Uh, or the, uh, 

Sudip Chanda (03:20.002) 

It has happened that police couldn’t identify us and attacked us. It has happened many times. Normally, your glamour section or celebrity section or your known… Like your media conference has happened. There is no problem in that. You go and click the photo and come. It is a simple thing. But when you go to the street, in the open area… 

at that time it becomes very tough to take a photo very tough one thing is done my competitor will want to take a better photo than me there is a fight for that on top of that what we see in a photo there should be mood, action and story should also be there 

Vineet (03:51.699) 

What challenges do you face? 

Sudip Chanda (04:15.346) 

where it is happening, that description should also be there in that photo all this in one photo like you are seeing a photo after seeing it you will know what is happening in this to remove that thing you have to see everything and if you get the same situation, you have to click at the same time if you miss out then that scene will not come to you again second time will not come 

Vineet (04:44.29) 

So this story telling part, Let’s say there is a politician who is giving a speech at the rally. Now, one thing is to convey that yes, he was here, I clicked the photo.  

Sudip Chanda (04:45.03) 

So these challenges are very difficult. 

Sudip Chanda (04:53.891) 

Hmm. Hmm, hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (05:00.423) 

Mm. 

Sudip Chanda (05:08.883) 

then his expression how he is giving it expression and in his background if someone is giving a speech against the ruling party and in his background there is a canopy of the ruling party ok it is there in many streets 

they can differentiate it that is what we have to see and if we talk about emotions, it is not like that it is the expression of your face if someone is giving a speech against the ruling party  

Vineet (06:05.262) 

So you study this during the event that today this politician was in a happy mood so let me take a photo where he is looking happy. Today this politician was in a little angry mood so let me take a photo where he is looking angry. Because you will take 50 photos, 100. Some happy ones will come out, some angry ones will come out. How is a decision made? What is the emotion? 

Sudip Chanda (06:15.545) 

Come on. 

Sudip Chanda (06:25.366) 

Hmm hmm Ha hmm Ha ha 

Vineet (07:01.138) 

So basically you have given all these photos to show different emotions and after that it is the editor’s decision what he wants to use 

Sudip Chanda (07:06.334) 

Huh, huh, huh. 

Sudip Chanda (07:10.752) 

Which photo will be given? 

Vineet (07:13.698) 

So in your work, first of course is capturing the event. Right, that is one major part. Secondly, what is your editorial role in this? Deciding what news will come out from here. I want a photo right now. 

Sudip Chanda (07:16.183) 

Mm. 

Sudip Chanda (07:25.314) 

Editorial role… Yes. Editorial role means… When we take photos, after taking photos, when we do shotting, we see from that, suppose we have taken 10 photos in an event. In that, the best photo which I found the best, that this moment is the best and this moment is not with anyone else. It can’t be. Everyone has a different angle. 

Vineet (07:40.396) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (07:54.962) 

So it is not possible. And this thing is clearing the whole story. This thing has happened. So we send it. 

Vineet (08:07.966) 

Makes sense makes sense because I… Sorry 

Sudip Chanda (08:08.282) 

Like suppose, somewhere in the rally 

Sudip Chanda (08:16.436) 

Suppose someone went to a rally and the rally people set fire to a car. We captured that moment. It describes the whole situation. That this is what happened. 

Sudip Chanda (08:39.202) 

When the fire is going on, the police is coming from the backside, and they are also running away with the fire. It will describe the whole situation. So we have to see if the story we are going to cover is being described in the photo I am taking. 

Vineet (09:00.858) 

Interesting, so if you are going to cover a specific story First is the rally Which you don’t know what story will come out of it Rally in itself is not a story but whatever is said in it will come out Second is that if you say that there is a fire, an event or an incident To cover that Then how do you think that this event will be captured in one photo So what is your thought process in this 

Sudip Chanda (09:05.7) 

Hmm. 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (09:14.034) 

Huh. 

Sudip Chanda (09:26.994) 

Thought process should be there. Like if there is a fire somewhere. It happened recently. 

Sudip Chanda (09:52.983) 

Just recently we had a fire in a plastic factory. At that time we were thinking that we will not reach the fire brigade as soon as the fire starts. We will reach after we get the news. Fire brigade also came at that time. Fire brigade is throwing water from here. And from the other side, from a little distance. 

fire is coming out again so what we get is that fire brigade was on fire brigade came and the fire brigade was extinguishing the fire so the whole and the name of the company is also in front if the main gate is in front the name of the company is also in front and fire brigade is giving water so from that your whole story will be out so some things we have to keep in mind what all things should be there what all things should be there in my photo 

where it is said that if the company’s name is found somewhere and there is a fire brigade vehicle or anything a fire brigade is giving water with a pipe and fire is coming out from the other side the whole story gets described there 

Vineet (11:04.694) 

And  

Vineet (11:23.413) 

Mm. 

Sudip Chanda (11:41.706) 

And their daily life, their life’s challenging. 

they used to listen to everything after that we take photos and another thing is if you do photography in any studio then what happens is light source we can manipulate according to our own and now if you go outside in natural light you can’t manipulate it you have to manipulate with the sun with natural light 

how much shutter speed you will keep in which light, how much aperture you will keep, how much ISO you will keep it all depends on you so that  first after that in the photojournalism section anywhere but photojournalism section is 

mother of street photography. 

Vineet (13:11.943) 

What makes you say that? 

Sudip Chanda (13:12.222) 

First came photojournalism and somewhere in photojournalism this street photo is connected 

Sudip Chanda (13:23.822) 

Because in the photojournalism section, there are many things. Sports, celebrity, glamour world, many things. One part of that is street photography. Which is also connected with your stock image. 

Vineet (13:45.312) 

So the stories and documents you started with the photography Now you have gone to the journalism side How did you document the stories and photos you took? 

Sudip Chanda (13:47.774) 

No. 

Sudip Chanda (13:57.339) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (14:02.247) 

Some of the photos are in the same way as the stock photos in the daily life. For example, if you go to the financial page a few days ago, then in the paytm section, or the UPI section, you can see the photos in the news media. 

Vineet (14:08.715) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (14:30.31) 

that UPI is doing a lot of progress in India now maximum people use UPI no one uses liquid money so for that we had come to you that you give some photos so what we will do for that we will go in the street obviously in some shop everyone has QR code take a photo from outside so that is a part of street photography so when we go out to do street photography we 

Let’s see which match is coming with this photojournalism or which match is coming with stock image It’s not like there are many people in street photography that only take portrait, only take candid 

Sudip Chanda (15:14.334) 

Not like that. If we go into street photography, we try to tell a story. 

Sudip Chanda (15:25.846) 

So, it can go in my photojournalism, as a street photography, or in my daily life. It can go anywhere. 

Vineet (15:36.53) 

And how is your experience in stock till now? Last few years, you are doing that for many years even before becoming a professional photogenerator 

Sudip Chanda (15:40.83) 

In the stock image, yes, in the stock image, but right now, Vinit, all the foreign companies, as I said Pacific Press, they are a very good company, If you see in the Pacific Press, I have many people from Kolkata. So if there are so many photographers under one agency, then 

Sudip Chanda (16:41.408) 

Then the struggle will be too much 

Vineet (16:44.567) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (16:48.799) 

Okay. And they don’t even pay much money from the stock image. We struggle so much to get the photo. After that, when the photo is sold, we don’t get the money. They cut the maximum commission. 

Vineet (17:04.718) 

it is live But yes, we have heard this struggle from many people especially over the last few years Especially since the subscription model has come the income of the photojournalists has decreased a lot The revenue per sale share that used to be received has now decreased a lot 

Sudip Chanda (17:10.834) 

Huh. 

Mm. 

Mm-hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (17:20.276) 

Mm. 

Huh, huh. 

Mm-hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (17:29.758) 

Yes 

Vineet (17:49.966) 

transparency is important what about Getty Images, Shutterstock, which you have uploaded how was that? 

Sudip Chanda (17:57.534) 

Getty Images is good. Shutterstock is also good. But what is in Getty Images? There is one problem in Getty Images that everyone faces. That… Suppose I am doing photojournalism. So I upload a photo. You assume that you are going from the road. I clicked a photo of you as a street photographer or photojournalist. And I uploaded it in Getty Images. 

or any rally I took a photo and uploaded it so get images says that give me model release form so when I am doing street photography in street photography I am mentioning as a photojournalist so how can I give you model release form this is not possible so they 

Vineet (18:33.752) 

Yes. 

Sudip Chanda (18:51.414) 

After doing this, I saw that it has an editorial option, you have to go and put it in that. This is a very lengthy process. The first time you upload, many of its photos get cancelled out. 

Vineet (18:59.338) 

This is our reality. This is the reality of the industry. We have kept our editorial and commercial separate. Because… 

Sudip Chanda (19:18.541) 

Yes, yes, 

Vineet (19:33.794) 

True, but this editorial option on Getty Bay also means that news agencies can buy your photo but it can’t be used for commercial use 

Sudip Chanda (19:40.062) 

Uh-huh. 

Uh-huh. 

Sudip Chanda (19:51.483) 

Mm-hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (21:05.691) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (21:09.926) 

Yeah, it can be here. Yeah. Hmm. 

 What took you from street photography to photojournalism? What was that one step? What did you do professionally before this? 

Sudip Chanda (22:19.988) 

and your 

Sudip Chanda (22:30.302) 

I am professionally from an account background. I am in the hotel industry as an F&B cost controller. This hobby of photography has been my hobby since childhood. I started it in 2019. Street photography to photojournalism or one thing. 

Vineet (22:35.125) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (22:39.978) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (22:52.204) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (23:02.094) 

As a street photographer, you don’t get entry in many places. If you don’t have any permission, then street photographers don’t give permission to access. So for that, I needed an access card. So I joined photojournalism for access card. After that, I saw that if I do photojournalism, for news channels or for anyone else, 

Vineet (23:06.347) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (23:11.047) 

press accreditation. 

Sudip Chanda (23:30.802) 

So I can do street photography, daily life and also photography is happening. So all my work is happening at the same time. So that’s why I entered the news channel. And then now I go out in street photography very rarely. I don’t get much time. Now I go to cover only your sports. Like now ISL is running, so I am going to cover ISL. And your 

Vineet (23:54.655) 

Mm. 

Sudip Chanda (23:59.738) 

Durant was done in last month. 

Vineet (24:06.818) 

But do you think that with the spread of the internet and internet based news, demand for more photos, like for example Durand or ISL, ISL is new, Durand and Ranji let’s say, do you feel that their demand has decreased or increased over the last few years? As newspapers are less popular and people are consuming more on the internet, social media. 

Sudip Chanda (24:07.279) 

That’s why I… 

Sudip Chanda (24:13.841) 

Mm. 

Sudip Chanda (24:20.487) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (24:34.706) 

Social media and internet are doing more. Newspaper is getting offloaded. Now everyone is going into digital and… 

Vineet (24:37.45) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (24:40.658) 

Exactly, exactly. So, has the demand of photogenarianism decreased or increased? 

Sudip Chanda (24:50.222) 

Demand is not decreasing, it is increasing gradually Because the demand of photo journalism is not decreasing Newspapers are getting shut down Digital media is not getting shut down All the newspapers are slowly converting into digital media So go into digital media, wherever you go, you need photos If you need photos, then you need photographers too You need someone to pull it 

Vineet (25:04.236) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (25:19.378) 

So that’s why photojournalism will never stop Its craze is slowly increasing Because my motive was that If I want to do street photography well Then I need an access card Access card means press card So for that I have to do photojournalism too So slowly everyone’s motive is coming 

Vineet (25:43.038) 

And in fact, in between, I would say 2005 to 2015, a very popular phase was formed, citizen journalism. That everyone has a smartphone and everyone has become journalists. That is a bit… Now it is that they only become direct social media. There is no professional journalism happening from… See, people can take photos from smartphones, amazing, yes. But there is no professional journalism happening from… 

Sudip Chanda (25:47.559) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (25:55.118) 

Haha, he’s still here. He’s still here. 

Haan, wo, reddit, blogger. 

Vineet (26:13.122) 

So the craze of citizen journalism, I think, has become a little stronger. You can go out and see a small film one day, you can still take a professional photo. But the general public is still not contributing to stock sites much. The general public is not contributing to the wire agencies much, for at all. What is your view? I don’t think that something like this has come. 

Sudip Chanda (26:23.124) 

Huh, a bee? 

Sudip Chanda (26:29.182) 

Huh. 

Vineet (26:42.639) 

if the public will take over from the photo. 

Sudip Chanda (26:43.707) 

Any pop. 

Sudip Chanda (26:47.522) 

Smart phone can be used for photo but photo journalism is not done with smartphone and second thing is if someone is doing YouTube or Facebook live every news company is also coming in Facebook live because it is coming in social media because of that it should be a little bigger and all the rest 

He says he is a blogger and took a mobile, a tripod and left. He is entering the rally. That is not a photojournalist or photojournalism. Because the photo he is taking, you will take a photo from a mobile. And we take a photo from a DSLR. There will be a difference in that. Sometimes we also take a photo from a mobile. Where there is no option. 

Vineet (27:45.018) 

Exactly. And there are two things. This is why, we have to discuss two separate things. One is equipment. Where a DSLR is still far better than the best smartphone. If they do it by iPhone 15, there are 15,000 dollars lights behind them on Tim Cook’s face. They say, by iPhone 15. So, professional equipment is professional equipment. And second is the skill that a photojournalist has built over years. For example, 

Sudip Chanda (27:45.631) 

So, 

Sudip Chanda (27:53.298) 

Huh. 

Sudip Chanda (27:57.573) 

Mm. 

Whatever 

Sudip Chanda (28:04.335) 

Huh. Hmm. 

Vineet (28:14.566) 

Emotion. Like we were talking about storytelling. Storytelling is also a skill. Randomly, I take an amazing photo while walking. Is a possibility. Absolutely. But the guarantee or the likelihood that I can take a great photo versus a photo journalist can take a great photo. There is a huge difference. Which is where I think that citizen journalism phrases have been lessened. 

Sudip Chanda (28:16.002) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (28:24.356) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (28:43.35) 

keep professional. 

Sudip Chanda (28:44.146) 

Yes, it has decreased but… No, no, the way you are saying that it has decreased that… this word has changed Now, not saying citizen photographer they are calling him a blogger they are calling him a YouTuber they are saying all these but his number of… this quantity has increased it has increased even more 

Vineet (28:49.655) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (28:56.866) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (29:02.37) 

Stop. 

Vineet (29:09.445) 

You’re right, he has become a creator economy. 

Sudip Chanda (29:15.016) 

Now, when we are going to a rally or protest rally or any other place like a celebrity shoot or anywhere else it becomes very difficult for them to take our photos. Suppose you take a shot and have a frame ready and suddenly you see that one hand has been lifted and the mobile has been lifted. There are many problems in that. 

Vineet (29:29.678) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (29:41.878) 

Yeah. Sorry, I’m cold. Yeah. This is the idea. I’ve heard this complaint from wedding photographers. That they’re trying to take photos. There are 18 phones everywhere. 

Sudip Chanda (29:44.764) 

So, there are many problems for this. 

Sudip Chanda (29:55.613) 

wedding photography 

Vineet (30:07.202) 

Yeah. 

Vineet (30:12.779) 

Actually I have heard from some people that those telephoto that used to use 7200 from shock from far away that you know good compression will come they can’t move because 20 phones will come on the way so now they stick to ultra wide 

Sudip Chanda (30:17.83) 

Mm-hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (30:27.084) 

yes you can’t do it in that you can’t take that photo from 72 if you take it, then you can’t take it if you touch something it can’t be done and the most important thing is if you are going for street photography then in street photography like I have I have two bodies one is wide angle and the other is 

Vineet (30:49.524) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (30:53.25) 

zooming lens because you should never change lens in street dust gets inside the lens so the camera lifespan of shutter gets reduced so we keep wide angle because you can see anything anywhere in which you can’t use zooming lens 

Sudip Chanda (31:16.21) 

So at that time your wide lens is very good and street photography means wide lens In street photography zooming lens has no use 

Vineet (31:25.442) 

I guess street photography, if you want to take an art type photo, if you have luxury, today I can go and take a few photos, then telephoto can be useful, I guess. But not from a journalism perspective. Then you have to capture the scene. 

Sudip Chanda (31:36.236) 

Hmm. Nah. Hmm. 

Vineet (31:41.811) 

His reviled lens. Yeah, yeah, agreed. 

Vineet (31:47.07) 

and it may… sorry. 

Sudip Chanda (31:50.062) 

and your as you can see an outside photographer from India called Lee Jeffries I follow him a lot you will see some of his photos he always uses wide angle and we think that in one photo 

Sudip Chanda (32:16.978) 

means the photo is not good a distortion can make the photo very good very good now with any wide angle lens take a photo of any person’s face from the front try it sometime i am telling you, try it his face will change 

Vineet (32:32.074) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (32:40.43) 

Okay, distorted and his face will be changed And if you can sit with that person and take his emotion out After that if you can take a photo, then try to see his photo once 

Vineet (32:55.702) 

Otherwise you’re saying this is the emotional difference. This is not a technical or a focal length thing. 

Sudip Chanda (33:00.642) 

Nothing 

Vineet (33:03.743) 

How? What did you do? 

Sudip Chanda (33:06.046) 

Now, you go anywhere, go on the streets, go and, say, an old man is sitting here, talk to him, take out his inner emotion, after taking it out, take a photo of him by saying it, take a photo of him from the front, from the wide angle. 

Vineet (33:09.087) 

Hmm. 

Vineet (33:29.654) 

Tag room. 

Sudip Chanda (33:31.922) 

He will tell a different story. 

Vineet (33:36.207) 

I’ll try another time. 

Sudip Chanda (33:40.083) 

I had given a picture of an old woman in your individual. It was a picture in natural light. They live next to my house. She is over 100 years old. I spent the whole day with her. After spending the day, I took a picture with her. To see her in her eyes. I am not saying to see the whole picture. Just see her in her eyes. It will say a lot. 

Vineet (33:52.898) 

So, I think that’s it. 

Vineet (34:07.062) 

We’ll put this photo in show notes. 

Sudip Chanda (34:09.47) 

Thank you. 

Vineet (34:12.694) 

Done, done, done. This is very interesting. And I think my questions are done. Thank you so much for talking about photojournalism. And we haven’t explored this angle on this podcast yet. So this was a very interesting journey. And good luck to you. And today, now this is the day we are recording this. Of course, this will be live after a long time. The day we are recording this. 

Sudip Chanda (34:13.211) 

Manjit, where are you? 

Sudip Chanda (34:27.972) 

Okay. 

Mm-hmm. Thank you. 

Vineet (34:42.978) 

Cricket match is going on right now. I think now we shall get back to India New Zealand semi-finals. Thank you, Swam Siddique, for joining us today. 

Sudip Chanda (34:44.207) 

Hmm. 

Sudip Chanda (34:48.35) 

Yeah. Thank you. OK. 

Vineet (34:53.142) 

Thank you and thanks everyone for tuning in. See you next week back on Photosynthesis. If you have any questions for Sudeep, comment me and we will get them answered. We will reach out to Sudeep and get them for you. Thanks. Bye bye. 

Sudip Chanda (34:58.764) 

Okay. 

Sudip Chanda (35:03.766) 

Okay, thank you, bye. 

SIGN UP FOR UPDATES

Subscribe to the
show, stay up to
date

Subscribe via your favorite platform today –
you’ll get notified for all new episodes!