Young Boy In Printers Workshop In Kolkata, India

A lovely formal portrait, in black and white, of a young boy in his father's print workshop in Kolkata, India

My time in Kolkata, India was filled with deeply moving experiences such as when I met and photographed this young lad inside a small printers workshop in one of the cities backstreets. He was a lovely, gentle soul and I enjoyed photographing him inside his father's workshop.

The Importance Of Composition In Great Portrait Photos

Notice the repetition of the circular design element within the image. The wheel on the side of the printing press, the shape of the boys head and the old electric fan on the right hand side work together to create a sense of balance and harmony in the image.

Black And White | When It’s Better Than Color

I opted for a black-and-white rendering to enhance the old world nature of the workshop and to concentrate viewer attention on the strong shapes and tonality within the image.

In reality the young lad was wearing a bright blue shirt which would have attracted too much attention, given the diminished color throughout the rest of the scene.

Since I wanted attention placed on his face, and not his clothing, black and white was definitely the way to go.

The fact is that, sometimes, color just gets in the way.
— Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru

How I Photographed That Beautiful Young Boy In Kolkata

To make the original photo I simply asked the young boy to walk forward, into the light, and then rest his hand on top of the press. A final direction to just tilt (not turn) the head a little helped to illustrate the boy's gentle nature.

The entire process of getting permission to make the photo, both from the boy and his father, and actually exposing the image in camera was undertaken within a few minutes. I moved on, happy with the interaction and exhilarated by the result.

India, from my experience, is an amazing place for photography. Dramatic mountain landscapes, tropical environs and incredible temples and palaces await the enthusiastic photographer. But it's the people that I always remember with the most fondness. And that's after, I think, five trips to India since 1988.

Perhaps, one day, we’ll travel there together.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru