It was during my Instagram research for 1 Day 1 Follow that I discovered the photographs Ashraful Arefin. I introduced it to you few times ago in story on Instagram and you enjoyed it very much. But I wanted to know more about his life and his way of working. So I got in touch with Ashraful Arefin, a confirmed Bangladeshi photographer. And he graciously agreed to answer some of my questions.
I got my first camera when I was a second year student of Fine Arts to take good quality photos of my artworks. But later I felt a bit uninspired with what I was doing, I was too much concerned about creating perfect works and that urge for perfection took away the happiness of creating. So I took a break, picked up my camera and started taking photos and never looked back! My way of learning photography has always been trial and errors. I mostly learnt from online classes, Youtube videos and tutorials shared by other generous artists.
Well its a bit of both. Sometimes I just roam around and look for capturing people with spontaneous moments and sometimes if I have a specific image on my mind I would location scout and look for fitting subjects to portray that story.
When I am on the street I love to focus on people and their lifestyles. I like to capture people being themselves in a spontaneous manner and all those split second moments. Right now I am working on a series of photos from the old town of Dhaka. I am really fascinated by the authentic and diverse lifestyles there and trying to explore as much as I can.
Currently I am using a Nikon D850.
Thank you! Well I am obsessed with light and a nice dramatic light is what I search for in the first place. Also I love to shoot in the back alleys and narrow streets, for me they are full of interesting stories and characters. And I always search for capturing people with spontaneous moments.
I try to shoot during the time when the sun is bright enough but doesn’t create any harsh shadows. This is why I mostly shoot either in early morning or late afternoon. The nice soft and diffused light during those times helps me to create a dreamy, painterly look.
I am very much inspired by classical paintings. Especially I love Dutch Genre paintings and try to apply the similar kind of tones, composition techniques to my images. For street photography I am really inspired by Fan Ho. I just love his way of using light and turning a simple scene into something extra-ordinary!
Sure! I recall This image. I shot it in Yamuna ghat, at the bank of river Yamuna in Delhi, India. It was very early in the morning, just before the sunrise. I went there to photograph the Siberian seagulls. Every winter, flocks of Siberian seagulls migrate through Delhi making a temporary home in river Yamuna. While looking for subjects to shoot, I saw this man roaming around in the water with his small raft filled with trashes. Later I got to know his name was Sikandar, a lone boatman who stays in the water from dawn to dusk, picking and collecting trashes from the river water and this is how earns his living. The way he appeared in the morning mist with flocks of gulls surrounding him, it felt very surreal and mysterious to me. He seemed like a character from story book and I wanted to capture that moment and atmosphere within my frame.
I really love this one. Whenever I look at this image it gives me a certain feel of peace and melancholy. I can almost feel her emotions. And it immediately takes me back to that beautiful ancient road of Bhaktapur.
What are you trying to convey with your photos: are you seeking to bring emotions, messages, reflections, testimonials? In other words, why are you taking pictures?
Personally I really believe that beauty is everywhere, all you need to do is look at things with a different perspective and an open heart. And thats what I try to convey through my images. I hope to make people feel positive, appreciate their surroundings and all those little moments of everyday life a bit more when they see my images. Its all about finding happiness in those little moments which we often ignore.
Its been a great platform to share my works with the world! I love how my works can easily reach out to viewers and get access to the people I want to work with. Also I have met some really amazing friends and artists in different places through Instagram which is really great!
Website of Ashraful Arefin : https://www.ashrafularefin.com/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ashrafularefin/