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Home / Culture / People / Calcutta through the lens of a photographer

Calcutta through the lens of a photographer

Jayanta Saha, the 77-year-old photographer has been roaming the streets of Calcutta for over five decades, capturing the city in his camera
Jayanta Saha, a street photographer of the city

Anasuya Basu   |     |   Published 01.09.19, 12:19 AM

His Bible is The Family of Man, an exhibition of 503 pictures from 68 countries curated for the Museum of Modern Art by Edward Steichen, the Luxembourgish American photographer, painter, curator. When the travelling exhibition arrived in Calcutta in the late 1950s, Jayanta Saha, a street photographer of the city, was a slip of a boy. He visited the exhibition several times with his father and elder brother.

The art of photography is a dynamic process of giving form to ideas and of explaining man to man. This line written by Steichen, Saha internalised as his definition of photography.

Saha took early retirement from his job as an IT programmer in a public sector company to roam the streets of the city with his Nikon, Leica, Canon lenses. That was 1966. Says the 77-year-old, “The city of Calcutta has a vibrant life flowing around it. There is no dearth of ideas here. Ideas come from emotion but the content or form is an intellectual thing.”  

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