OFOTO - Three Indian Photographers


Ryan Lobo

Ryan Lobo was born in 1973 in Bangalore. After a Bachelors degree in Science he left for the US in 1996 to do a Master’s degree in Cell Biology. Towards the end of his course Ryan returned to India and with a friend, set up an advertising agency called Opus CDM. In 2000, Ryan co-founded Mad Monitor Productions, a film and photo production company. Ryan has traveled the planet shooting and producing more than 70 films to date on subjects ranging from Taliban drug farmers, Papua New Guinean tribal initiation rites and American maximum-security prisons to the culinary enjoyments’ of Anglo Indians. His films have aired on the National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, The Oprah Winfrey Show and PBS among other networks.

During the process of film making Ryan found his still photography almost compulsive. He feels that photography often allows him greater fulfillment and endeavors that it gives voice to people and stories without.

For the last decade his photographs and writing have been featured in magazines like Tehelka, Outlook Traveler, Marie Claire, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, Geo, Time Out, The Boston review, Chimurenga, The Caravan, Onzeweruld and Bidoun magazine among others. His photographs have been exhibited all over India and are a part of many collections.

He joined Tasveer in 2006. In 2009, Ryan shared his photographs and his ideas on storytelling at the TED conference, to a standing ovation. From 2007 to late 2010, Ryan co-produced the independent feature length documentary “The Redemption of General Butt Naked” which won for best cinematography at the Sundance film festival in early 2011. He is currently based in Bangalore and his website is www.ryanlobo.net and his blog is at www.ryanlobo.blogspot.com


Raghu Rai

Indian, b. 1942

Raghu Rai was born in the small village of Jhhang, now part of Pakistan. He took up photography in 1965, and the following year joined The Statesman newspaper as its chief photographer. Impressed by an exhibit of his work in Paris in 1971, Henri Cartier-Bresson nominated Rai to join Magnum Photos in 1977.

Rai left The Statesman in 1976 to work as picture editor for Sunday, a weekly news magazine published in Calcutta. He left in 1980 and worked as Picture Editor/Visualizer/ Photographer of India Today, India’s leading news magazine, during its formative years. From 1982 to 1991, he worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays on social, political and cultural themes, many of which became the talking point of the magazine.

In the last 18 years, Rai has specialized in extensive coverage of India. He has produced more than 18 books, including Raghu Rai’s Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, Taj Mahal, Tibet in Exile, India, and Mother Teresa.

For Greenpeace, he has completed an in-depth documentary project on the chemical disaster at Bhopal in 1984, and on its ongoing effects on the lives of gas victims. This work resulted in a book and three exhibitions that have been touring Europe, America, India and southeast Asia since 2004, the 20th anniversary of the disaster. Rai hopes that the exhibition can support the many survivors through creating greater awareness, both about the tragedy, and about the victims – many of whom are still uncompensated – who continue to live in the contaminated environment around Bhopal.

Rai was awarded the ‘Padmashree’ in 1971, one of India’s highest civilian awards ever given to a photographer. In 1992, his National Geographic cover story “Human Management of Wildlife in India” won him widespread critical acclaim for the piece. Besides winning many national and international awards, Rai has exhibited his works in London, Paris, New York, Hamburg, Prague, Tokyo, Zurich and Sydney. His photo essays have appeared in many of the world’s leading magazines and newspapers including Time, Life, GEO, The New York Times, Sunday Times, Newsweek, The Independent, and the New Yorker.

He has served three times on the jury of the World Press Photo and twice on the jury of UNESCO’s International Photo Contest.


Prabuddha Dasgupta

Prabuddha Dasgupta is a self-taught photographer who grew up in the cultural chaos of post-colonial India.

In 1996, Prabuddha Dasgupta broke a taboo by publishing 'Women' (Viking Books), a controversial collection of portraits and nudes of urban Indian women. With that gesture, he reinstated the nude to its rightful place in the Indian cultural discourse; after 200 years of Victorian morality imposed by the British colonialists had almost erased sexuality from artistic expression... in the very home of the Kamasutra.

In the decade that followed, Dasgupta pursued a variety of photographic projects, while unapologetically straddling the two worlds of commissioned and artistic work, bringing to both, a bold, individualistic sensibility that very quickly placed him in the ranks of major photographic talent in the country.

Dasgupta's work has been exhibited internationally, both in solo and group shows, and published in Indian, French, English, Italian and American magazines. His second book 'Ladakh' (Viking Books), a personal exploration of India's frontier wilderness was published in 2000 and his work is included in many books publications including 'Nudi' (Motta Editore, Milan) and 'India Now - New Photographic Visions' (Textuel, Paris). He is also the recipient of many grants and awards, including the Yves Saint Laurent grant for photography in1991, and his work is in the collections of many individuals and institutions, like the Museo Ken Damy, Brescia, Italy, and Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy.

Dasgupta’s new book “Edge of Faith”, a portrait of Catholic Goa, is published by Seagull Books in October 2009.