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Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk

Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk

13 October 2012, Calcutta (Kolkata)

See Also: My blog post on Scott Kelby’s Photowalk 2013, Calcutta (Kolkata)

About Scott Kelby:

Kelby is editor and publisher of Photoshop User and Layers magazines, president and co-founder of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and is president of Kelby Media Group, an Oldsmar, Florida-based software training, education, and publishing firm.

Scott Kelby's Photowalk, Calcutta (Kolkata) Group Photo (Photo Courtsey: Manjit Singh Hoonjan)

Scott Kelby’s Photowalk, Calcutta (Kolkata) Group Photo (Photo Courtsey: Manjit Singh Hoonjan)

Kelby is a photographer, designer, and the award-winning author of more than 50 books, including Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks, The Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers, The Photoshop Channels Book, Photoshop Classic Effects, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers, The iPod Book, The Digital Photography Book, and The iPhone Book.

His books have been translated into dozens of different languages. The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers won the ‘Professional/Technica/Computers’ section of the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association.

He is the training director for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour and conference technical chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo. He is featured in a series of Photoshop training DVDs and has been training Photoshop users since 1993.

In 2008 he started the “Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk”. In 13 October 2012 the fifth version of the “Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk” consisted of 1339 photo walks with 32109 participants. [Source: Wiki entry on Scott Kelby]

Calcutta Photowalk:

A Bhisti (water seller) in Bow Barracks, Calcutta (Kolkata)

A Bhisti (water seller) in Bow Barracks, Calcutta (Kolkata)

The Calcutta (Kolkata) edition of the Scott Kelby Worlwide Photowalk was lead by Manjit Singh Hoonjan, his self introduction in FB says, “I am passionate about photography, meeting people and have an insatiable desire to know more. I dream of a job traveling the world, and taking pictures of all that I experience.”

Manjit a veteran tour and photo guide in the streets of Calcutta (Kolkata) designed his walk to bring out the cultural kelidoscope of Calcutta. The worldwide photowalk website says “This walk will give you all an ample opportunity to photograph the “soul of Calcutta”. Be it people, buildings, interesting neighborhoods, places of worship, markets and what not. If you are living out of Calcutta, this will be a great opportunity to get under the “skin” of this city. Calcuttans will get to know a part of their city which they never knew existed.”

Riskshaw, Bow Barrack, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Riskshaw, Bow Barrack, Calcutta (Kolkata)

As per schedule Akash (my colleague and fellow photographer) arrived at the Indian Airline Building, a few minutes before the schedule time (6:30 am). Manjit was already there and so were quiet a few fellow photo enthusiast. The other participants soon started dropping in and the ever punctual Manjit decided to give a fifteen minutes grace.

Our first stop was the Bow Barracks, where we met the last of the Bhistis, the water carrier and seller. I had a short run with the bhisti, in a desperate attempt to document the vanishing trade. My colleagues tried their hands on Calcutta’s hand pulled rickshaws.

Out of place, Buddhist Monk on Calcutta (Kolkata) street's

Out of place, Buddhist Monk on Calcutta (Kolkata) street’s

From Bow Barracks we moved on to Tiretta Bazar, Calcutta’s Old Chinatown. Tiretta Bazar is one of my favorite place of photography and I have spent years documenting the Chinese Temples of Old Chinatown and famous Chinese Brekfast of Tiretta Bazar.   But with the inspiration of Akash and a few fellow participant I decided to try my hands on street photography, some which has never been my cup of tea.

I tried experiment with the Calcutta hand – pulled rickshaw and a few tea stalls. Suddenly I spotted two Buddhist monks, with their flowing bright yellow robes, making their way through lanes of Tiretta Bazar. I picked my camera and clicked and no doubt they seemed “out of place.”

Alter of Tong On Church, Tiretta Bazar, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Alter of Tong On Church, Tiretta Bazar, Calcutta (Kolkata)

As my untrained eyes scanned the streets for interesting street shots we passed the Tong On Church. “Old habits die hard” and I was back again to my familiar field of architecture shooting. I made a short detour past the garbage dumps, with fellow photo walk participant Arko accompanying me.  The caretaker was friendly enough to open the gates for us. The Tong On Church, which onced housed the famous Chinese eatery of Nanking, at its ground floor was been closed for almost three decades due to a property disputed, the building have remained sealed since then.

Recently some enthusiastic Calcutta Chinese have taken the initiative of restoring its interiors. As we took the wooden staircase to the first floor we saw the repair work in progress, and the statue of a strange Chinese god in the alter. Arko and I spent several minutes photographing and interiors and then went on to join the group with the usual photo walk.

The walk continued toward the Dalhousie Square (BBD Bag) clicking all along the way. The unusual October heat and humidity was not enough to dampen our spirits. We made our way past the St. Andrews Church, where we experimented with the trams of Calcutta (Kolkata) and finally making it to the St John’s Church Complex past the Standard Assurance Life Assurance Building and Government House (Raj Bhavan).

St. John's Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

St. John’s Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

St. John’s Church, is one of the few churches in Calcutta (Kolkata) that allows photography, and no doubt my favourite place. I have been their numerios time and decided to spent the time chatting with Manjit and other photographers. After a brief rest we made our way past the Dacres Lane to Anand Restaurant, for a brunch.

We discussed photography over plates of Dhosa, Uttapams, Idlys and Badas and gulping it down with cups of filter coffee. Finally it was time for home but we returned with memories and friends to last a lifetime.

  1. October 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Thank you very much for introducing Scott Kelby , lucid narrative of Photowalk and the very good images of Kolkata.I am surprised to learn that ‘Bhistis’ still exists in Kolkata. During our childhood we have seen them .

    • October 18, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Dear Mr A K Sircar thanks for your valuable comments. Yes the Bhistis still exists in Calcutta, especially in the Bow Barrack region. I am planning a detail write on the Bhistis.

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