Satya Brata Mishra is a common name in photography circles in the city. Currently working as a photojournalist with Yuva Sambad, he is an avid wildlife photographer. He is an inspiration to many youngsters in the city taking up photography. Satya Brata is a fine example of someone who effortlessly turned his passion into profession and enjoys it a lot.
The Broken Scooter caught up with him to find out more about the man behind the lenses.
TBS: Where are you from ? What is your educational background?
SBM: I am from Bhubaneswar. I am an undergraduate in Pharmacy stream.
TBS: How did you start photography ? What is your current profession ?
SBM: I started taking photos when I was in my high school. I always had a natural inclination towards drawing, painting, sketching, temples and nature. One of my cousins and me used to roam around the entire city exploring the temples of Bhubaneswar. My maternal Uncle Debesh Mishra’s photography has influenced me a lot. That time I was having a Kodak Chroma point and shoot reel camera with me.
TBS: Is it difficult to be a photojournalist in Bhubaneswar? What was the worst memory you’ve had as a photojournalist? (Any conflicts or anything as such).
SBM: It is both difficult and easy. It differs from organization to organization and goes as per the demand from your institution.
The definition of a “Photojournalist in Bhubaneswar”(Don’t have an idea about outside) is a photographer who can create/make a photograph.
It is not considered anymore that “a right person at the right place” can make a good photojournalist.
There are lots of pictures published which are staged or arranged. The ugly part of it is when your picture is criticized and severely cropped and edited by the desk staffs who hardly understand the compositional ethics of a photograph. Lack of a Photo editor in the setup can easily be seen reflected in a newspaper.
TBS: How does a photojournalist work ? Many of our photographers are into this genre but don’t know how a photojournalist works. Could you please enlighten us?
SBM: The working hour of a photojournalist is not fixed. He should always be ready to rush to any location at a short notice. Building sources is a must, which may be with policemen, firemen, other photojournalists, any body and everybody. After reaching the spot, he should look for interesting opportunities. Many a times apart from the main incidence one can find nice candid photographs from the crowd.
One example that I can cite here is in a fire mishap, photographs of the firemen and their effort to extinguish the fire is important as well as the outcry of the people, their sufferings , their anguish,acts of saving the valuables in the last-minute are also good pictures.But one should not cross the limitations and ethics of a photojournalist.
TBS: Apart from photojournalism, what other genre’s of photography interest you?
SBM: I love to click street, portraiture, sports and wildlife photographs.
TBS: You seem to have a very soft corner for Wildlife photography, would you like to tell us how and when your fascination to the wild begun?
SBM: Yes, my venture started from New Delhi railway station. I had participated in two trekking programmes conducted by the Youth Hostels Association of India. One is to Coorg in Western Ghats and the other one to Kedarnath in Himalaya region. I was returning from Kedarnath and while sitting in the station, I was calculating the expenditures of my entire trip. Suddenly the thought came that why was I coming to such distances spending so much of money with 12-13 days leave. How much do I really know about my own land Odisha?That day I changed my mind and searched for friends on social networking sites who share the same passion for exploring Odisha.I found Aditya, Rudra and some more friends with the same zeal. I started visiting jungles, wetlands etc with them. I acquired new camera and lenses to capture the beauty of the wild. Now I am a regular member of the annual bird census conducted in Chilka, Bhitarkanika, Chandaka. I had also participated in the Similipal Tiger Census.
TBS: A basic equipment guide for starters ?
SBM: For starters one should have an entry-level DSLR camera body of a good make. DSLR’s are good because they offer a variety of controls.
There are numerous options available regarding the choice of lens depending on which genre of photography you choose. A general purpose lens should range from the wide to some telephoto lens. So 18-55 is the option normally camera company offers. Even 18-105 or 18-135 and 18-200 lenses can be chosen along with the body. It is always better to study thoroughly before purchasing.
TBS: What is it that today’s photojournalist/wildlife photographers lack? Any tips for the numerous photographers that we are witnessing in our state now?
SBM: Well the work of a photojournalist has become monotonous now a day. They work as per the requirement of the demands of their newspaper or magazine,so they are not to be blamed. But apart from the regular work one should look for the opportunity for any kind of pictorial story which can be documented and shown to the masses. A wildlife photographer or an aspiring one needs to learn the ethics and rules of the jungles before venturing into any wilderness. Studying the animal behavior is a must,only then one can click the artistic wildlife photographs or the documentary shots.
You can check out some of his shots here