Millennium Post

'Your eyes tell the story'

Raghu Rai’s view on photography, digitalisation and much more

Your eyes tell the story

The relationship of Raghu Rai – an ace photographer– with his life is not of the usual kind. He believes strongly in an almost divine revelation that unfolds in front of him like a vision, leading him to see what he does, through the camera.

In a tête-à-tête, he shares his views on the ongoing Kolkata International photography festival (which is concluding today), the City of Joy, digitalisation and social media, and a lot more. Read on...


Kolkata International photography festival is the largest and one of its kind event, happening in India. I thank the State Government for its support in such kind of creative exercises that will uplift the spirits of many young minds. Being in the Festival Advisory Board has given me the opportunity to read a photographers' mind. I believe that if a photographer takes his heart out and put it in the sensor of the camera, all the magic gets captured. It is about being one with the situation, mentally and physically. KIPF has converted this stunning historic city into an open gallery. The festival is both traditional; its rare photography has not been shown in public space, with the best of contemporary photography from the modern masters.


Kolkata's tryst with photography has had a rich and enduring history. Photography in Kolkata has evolved in myriad ways to become a rich tapestry of history, culture and visual narratives. The city is a photographer's dream; people so warm, communities embracing and open about their tradition and faith. I had a very special relationship with Manikda (Satyajit Ray). And photographing Mother Teresa was the most amazing experience. From the ghats to the crowded streets, it has given me some stunning moments.


Technology has become so easy and wonderful. Now there is autofocus, auto exposure and auto colour balance. You have to contextualise yourself and find who you are as a photographer. This needs time and that is the only thing that youngsters don't have, and then unfortunately they start to easy way out. Young photographers who goes abroad to study photography and get heavily influenced there by those styles and trends, and then they come back and inflict those same styles and those trends on another country, culture and space. This is not correct in my opinion.


There is nothing called a natural eye. You have to train the eye and observation is built over a period of time. Intuition becomes a vital part of the observation. It is the eye that tells the story. Intensity of the eye betrays emotions of the person.

Puja Banerjee

Puja Banerjee

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