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Ace Photographer Rajat Ghosh Zooms into 'Innovation' During Lecture Series at TISS

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Ace Photographer Rajat Ghosh Zooms into 'Innovation' During Lecture Series at TISS

Picture this: an ace photographer talking to a heterogeneous mix of students from such varied fields as human resource management, social work, development studies and health administration, and professionals from several disciplines of management, about the power of the 'Innovative Mind'. Did somebody say, "Weird"?
It's actually more "Wow!" than "Weird". TISSians have been 'innovative' in their own right, and what better way to celebrate this innovative spirit than get Mr. Rajat Ghosh, the pioneer of infra-red photography, to share his experiences with an absorbing audience.

On 4th August, Mr. Rajat Ghosh was the guest speaker at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, as part of the latest edition of the Life & Times Lecture Series, which, for the uninitiated, is a unique, home-grown initiative at TISS, conceptualized as a journey into the cognitive activities of meaning generation and action-orientation. Mr. Ghosh is a San Francisco and Mumbai-based photographer, specializing in conceptual imagery and people/celebrity photography. His clientele literally reads like the Who's Who of the corporate world: Coca Cola, Wrangler, Eureka Forbes, McDowell's and so on. He regularly works for media and advertising agencies like Lowe Lintas, JWT, Bailey + Philips Group, etc. He has also shot editorial assignments for international magazines like Cosmopolitan, Forbes, PC Games, etc. Not only this, he has also been actively involved in the publicity of mega bollywood successes like Devdas and Company.

Mr. Ghosh kept the audience riveted from the very beginning, outlining his life till now, starting with the leap of faith he took when he enrolled for his Master's in Fine Arts in the US, paying a pricey $100,000 for the course. Having had upped the ante so high, he knew he had to give it his all - technique alone wasn't going to suffice - he realized it's something about the photographer's vision and passion that reflects in a picture and makes it special. He immediately set out on his own after getting his degree, again breaking out of the norm of first assisting a senior photographer for some time. Realizing early on, the importance of doing 'different' work, in order to get more visibility with the agencies, he started picking up burning issues from the newspapers as themes for his images. Suddenly, the big shots began appreciating the refreshing spontaneity in his work and there has been no looking back since.

The importance Mr. Rajat Ghosh attaches to innovation was evident throughout his address, particularly so in the concept of infra-red photography that he pioneered. Instead of canning landscape shots only in the early mornings and late afternoons, he found a way of putting the rest of the day to use - he captured the infra red rays emanating from foliage when the trees have absorbed heat from the atmosphere, right under the noon sun. What he got were soothingly ethereal images that soon became the rage in boardrooms across the world.

And then, the man for whom a picture is a slice out of the continuum of time took the mesmerized audience through a series of innovatively shot images, very daring and different. Each one of his pictures mirrored the moment in all its untouched impulsiveness. It was wonderful to see how well his work was stamped with emotional undercurrents all through. Finally, there was a video by Dewitt Jones of National Geographic, "Celebrating what is right with the world", that rightly explored the beauty and profundity in such small and mundane things as a pebble or a dew-drop nestling in a flower petal.

The audience not only lapped up the innovative pictures on display but also showed equal enthusiasm in making the session interactive. Here's looking forward to more such interesting times!


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Contributed by -
Amrita Mishra,
TISS, Mumbai.

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