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Linking Young Minds Together
  Volume 6 | Issue 17 | April 29, 2012 |


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Reading the Snapshots

Photographer Debasish Shom
Talks to
Promiti Prova Chowdhury

Courtesy: Debasish Shom

I studied at the Shaheed Jabbar School in Bagerhat district. Like any other village school, this school was not very strict about conventional school rules. We did not have any uniform. The school was situated by the bank of a river. During lunch breaks, my friends and I would go fishing and sometimes even for a swim. We literally grew up under the open sky. Bunking classes and then flying kites with friends were just part of a normal day. My high school years were spent at the Government PC College in Bagerhat. There, I made some new friends. Though I was from the Science background, most of my new friends belonged to Arts and Commerce. Very rarely, I would let the pressure of studies bother me.

There was a railway track connecting Khulna and Bagerhat - the shortest one there. Many a times, we would get on the train and go to different places. During summer, we used to drop by at Jatrapur to have the really good watermelons available there. The most fascinating incidents of that time would be the unplanned picnics that we used to have at friends' places. We used to play a lot, climb coconut trees, fish and what not!

My time spent at universities was full of twists and turns. After completing my HSC exams, I went to India to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from Calcutta University. But due to some family problems I had to return to my village home, thereby missing a chance to get into a public university in Bangladesh that year as well. So I had to opt for private universities. I studied Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the American International University Bangladesh (AIUB) for three years. Then I returned to my village. From there I did a BA (Bachelor of Arts) 'pass course'. The sole reason for doing it was to get an admission at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at the University of Dhaka.

When I did not qualify for IBA, I became quite frustrated. A senior friend, Partho, at that time, who was studying at Pathshala South Asian Media Academy, told me about the institution. Just for the sake of earning a living, I joined Pathshala. But eventually Photography became my passion. I graduated from Pasthala after three years. Since then, I have been continuing with Photography. Among many exhibitions, Chobi Mela VI in 2011 was a significant one for me. By nature, I am an introvert. Before Chobi Mela, I never had a discussion with anyone about my creations. But during Chobi Mela many eminent personalities and veterans in Photography talked to me openly regarding my works, which were exhibited at the festival. Some liked them, some did not. But their feedback was extremely helpful!

For the last one year, I have been teaching at Pathshala. I enjoy this job quite a lot and wish to continue with it. Alongside teaching, I also want to work on my personal projects. For example, I love documentaries and would like to spend some time on them. I had also worked in the fashion magazine 'Canvas' for two years.

I believe the technical aspects of Photography can be learned from any video tutorial available on the internet. For that one needs not take an institutional course. But to understand Photography as a medium of Art, one might need to study at an institute where one learns to 'read' photographs and understand the aesthetic and conceptual aspects of a composition. For me, at the end of the day, 'love for Photography' is the main mantra; without this one cannot be a photographer.

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