Friday, May 22, 2015

Featured Photographer: Mohammad Moniruzzaman

"I started photography in late 2006. My first camera was a Sony cybershot point and shoot. I bought a Canon EOS 350D when I decided to take photography more seriously. This camera stayed with me for the next four years. I switched to a Canon 30D after that, which I am still using. This is accompanied by a more portable Fujiflm X100 now. I also use several lenses: EF 24-70 f/2.8 L and a EF 70-200 f/4.0 L."

"My photography started in Bangladesh, which is my home country. Right now I am in USA for my PhD, so this is my playground at this moment. A lot of my trips within Bangladesh were dedicated to photography, but this also enriched my experience as a traveler. In the USA I also make trips as time permits. However, these outings are more focused on leisure and less geared towards photography.  "

"Honestly, I always wanted to travel to a war zone. Wars are the situations where things are on the edge, both in terms of morality and human condition. More to explore and understand than photographing the situation, but that's how I have integrated photography in my life nonetheless - to express my perspective of the world to the rest of the world."

"I'm attracted to portraits for the honesty and unguarded emotions. Candids with subtle expressions can tell intense stories. I think portraits are more challenging, since emotions can exist for a fraction of a second."

"I have photographed my subjects stealthily and also after getting their consent. I think showing respect and interest in the people I want to photograph always helped me to capture what I wanted. There were times when people refused to be photographed, and that is completely understandable. In Bangladesh people are usually welcoming to the photographers, and as a native I didn't have a tough time approaching them. In the USA, I focus more on candid shots in public places where consent is not explicitly necessary from the subjects. Not any major difficulties I can think of. Being compassionate and observant about the surroundings can save you from a lot of unexpected hassles I guess. I simply tend to avoid situations which might potentially be problematic. I also tend to switch to zoom lenses and shoot from a safe distance if I find a subject very interesting (but potentially problematic). "

"Content comes first. In a lot of cases I stick to traditional framing techniques (rule of thirds, etc) when I find the subject to be a strong one. Candid shots/Fleeting moments permit a very short time to capture, and in such cases there is not enough scope to think about the composition or other aesthetic aspects. When the subject itself is not strong enough to deliver the message, I try to make the frame more interesting by adding unconventional angles or secondary objects in the frame."

"Our reality is colorful. The first thing that hits home about BW images is the stark and instant separation from this reality that they can provide to our eyes."

"Raghu Rai from India and Trent Parke from Australia inspire me a lot right now."


"I love to tell a story through a series of images. However, due to time constraints I am unable to pursue such endeavor  at this moment - except for a few long term and very slow going projects. But I think if presented correctly, a single shot can tell equally compelling stories."

 (Interview by Carli Rentsch)

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