About Dr. Muhammad Imam Hassan
Dr. Muhammad Imam Hasan is a child physician and street photographer based in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. His passion for photography makes him spending his holidays and leisure time practicing Street Photography seriously since 2014. Muhammad evaluates his work as a “unique composite of complex layers, emotions and precious moments of the people of Dhaka city.” His multi-layered and decisive moment shot of an elderly woman looking away from a door with a outgoing silhouette figure received the “Layers (Webb Award)” in the 6th Golden Glove Awards organised by the Flickr Group Street Fight. We interviewed Muhammad to learn where and how he worked to make this story-dense shot.
Making Of Interview
How would you describe your photography work in reference to what is commonly defined as street photography?
I like to explore what is happening in my surroundings. I love freezing the moments in the streets as it is, and love to keep it in memory. To me Street Photography is CANDID PHOTOGRAPHY which will give you a SMELL from the STREET. Candid is the backbone of street photography and storytelling is it’s beauty.
Where and when did you make the photo, was it a new or familiar location to you?
I took this photo during my last India (Varanasi) tour 2019 (1st February). I visited Varanasi two times before. The place is called Manikarnika Ghat. I walked through this place several times before but not at very early morning like this time. During this tour I meet with my Varanasi Friend Sayed Wasi Haidar. He suggests me to visit this place at morning time and he named this door “The Door to Heaven”.
What was happening and why did you photograph the scene?
I planed to shoot in this place at early morning with Wasi Haidar. The light was very dramatic and people were moving through this door. We were exploring the scene and taking photographs. That door with dramatic light was itself providing a storytelling shot and ultimately that´s what happened.
In case you made more that one image, could you please share some of them and describe your thinking/working process?
Yes I took 5 photos there.
In the 1st Image and 2nd image a man was standing in the door which gave it a smell for story but the foreground was not strong.
In the 3rd, 4th image a new old man holding a bag was crossing the door and I noticed a lady coming to me, but there was no light near me. So I used my flash and took continuous shots.
The 4th image is my published shot.
In the 5th image the flash did not fire.
Did the photo came out as imagined or did something unexpected added to it?
Initially I did not imagined anything. People were passing through the door and I was shooting. At a certain time I found a man was standing in the door and holding bag. I have the tendency to shoot in layers, so I was waiting for something in the foreground. Suddenly I found a lady which was coming and a “the old man was moving to heaven keeping his lady on earth” thought came to my mind. There was no light on the lady but I always keep a flash ready. I used it and interestingly that gave the image a dramatic light and feel. Also I knew that the dog was passing but the bird was my luck.
What camera, lens, flash and exposure settings did you choose?
I used Fujifilm X-Pro2 with Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R. Used off camera flash Godox TT685F and Godox Xpro-F tigger. Exposure was: f/16, t 1/500, iso 640
Yes I increased contrast and sharpness slightly.
What makes it a popular/well received street photograph in your opinion?
Dramatic light and a strong story made it well accepted.
Is there anything you took away/learned from making this picture?
Obviously. You should explore your old place with new time and a fresh mind.
If you could ask any photographer to tell his/her particular making of story, which picture would that be and why?
Soumyendra Saha’s following picture https://flic.kr/p/2g32SvY is very surprising to me. How that lady walking on river?
Thank You very much for your time and the interview Muhammad!
Links to Dr. Muhammad Imam Hasan
In-street.com – http://in-street.com/interview-with-muhammad-imam-hasan/