Jignesh is a photographer based in Ahmedabad. He has a knack for candid moments, and his photography philosophy is to “be patient and anticipate your shot.” Jignesh was a finalist in the Environmental Photographer of the Year contest. His work has appeared on several platforms, both locally and internationally.
Imagine a busy street with vibrant colors, people dressed in traditional attire, and vehicles of all kinds. Maybe you can imagine a conventional Indian market where all sorts of exotic products are sold.
Indian society is a modern, multicultural nation that still adheres to its traditional values. It includes people of different ethnicities and religions who speak various languages and observe multiple customs. In India, streets are more than just traffic places. They are also places where social and work life meet and interact.
Jignesh Chavda, a photographer from India, has documented life on the Indian streets for the last six years. His keen eye for Light gives him a unique perspective on Indian culture.
Jignesh’s photography is much more than a way to document people and places. He can use it to express his feelings and reflect on a rapidly changing society.
In India, he says that home is where work is. In my hometown, Ahmedabad, each home has its own story. Every house has its shop, and people conduct business in a celebratory mood.
What was the first thing that inspired you to grab a camera and begin shooting in India’s streets?
All about the feelings. When I’m feeling something, I always take a photo. Street photography has a poetic quality. It’s more than just being at the right place at the right moment. It’s also about feeling, imagination, observation, and much more.
There are many things to photograph in India: colorful houses, balconies, people showing their emotions, whether old or young, candid moments, customs, rituals, and festive activities. All of these subjects are what inspire me to take photographs in India’s streets. All these subjects inspire me to capture pictures on the streets of India.
The best way to get inspired for framing is to experience new things. I enjoy meeting other street photographers and artists.
Do you consider yourself a street photographer?
Maybe. I’d call myself a street photographer, but street photography has many different looks and styles. It brings to light people and places that are usually overlooked or neglected. Street photography lets us see the details and depth of sites we pass daily.
On the contrary, I approach a situation or place with as little preconception as possible.
Many factors come together in your photos, such as timing, lighting, and composition. How do you create this interplay?
When I am out in the street, I take the time to relax, look around, and absorb everything that I see. Then I pick one element and explore all its different aspects.
On a busy street, I can observe how the Light shines and what it does to people, flowers, and the sidewalk. I watch the light fall through tiny grate gaps between leaves or cracks around doors and windows. You will gradually discover that observing one element can provide many photographic opportunities.
You have to look everywhere to capture an image with so many elements. You must pay attention to all aspects of the composition and be very attentive. You need courage, patience, and repetition to take just one fantastic picture. The key is to observe, so I prefer to be an observer rather than a part of a scene.
When I compose an image, there are many layers. Sometimes I follow the rules of composition, such as the rule for thirds, but I also break them. I use light play to add depth and foreground interest, but I always follow my instinct.
I don’t usually go out looking for something specific. I alternate between static moments where I select an attractive light and space and wait for something exciting to happen in the frame. I also have more dynamic situations where I directly approach the subjects I am interested in. The variety of people and concerns you will encounter in crowded and busy places makes them great for photography.
How can you tell if a photo will look better in black and white?
Sometimes I convert photos into black and white when the composition has strong contrasts, geometrical feeling, noise, or leading lines. Light plays a significant role in this case. The visual language of black-and-white is often more appealing and powerful.
What is your favorite camera, and why?
My camera is a Sony A7III with a full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor. I use a Zeiss Batis 35mm f/1.8 and a Sigma35mm f/1.4 DG Art to capture candid moments, but I prefer the 35mm for capturing close-ups. This focal length allows me to take close-up portraits and change the angle of my camera for better lighting.
What is your view on the importance of capturing Indian culture through your camera?
In the past three to four years, I’ve traveled around the country to experience and feel more deeply about the culture and tradition. I strongly connect with Indian culture and practice because it is based on so much knowledge and history. I am proud to show the world these ceremonies through my lens. These customs serve as a tool for well-being, and I want to share this with the world through my photography.