The Camera, My Second Love: says Sanjay Bhattacharyya

In the year, 1985, I bought my first camera, an Asahi Pentax. Since I didn’t have any idea regarding cameras, my friend Swapan Biswas, who was a professor in College of Art, Delhi, had gone along with me to buy it from Chandni Chowk. Swapan taught me the basic A,B,Cs of a camera. Initially I was clicking only family photographs and landscapes. AT that point of time I didn’t know the potential of a camera. For many years, I was carrying my camera with me, without a mentionable shot. In 2006, I stopped the sale of a fake painting in a hotel, and thereafter, many art connoisseurs and big shots of Delhi, disturbed me by trying to prove me wrong. After that, I left Delhi along with my camera, and travelled from Jaisalmer to Cherrapunji. I was clicking and moving across many places, and clicked 4000 rolls. I became so enthusiastic that my camera died. When I came back to Delhi, another photographer friend wanted to see the things I had clicked. He scanned some of the negatives and saw those images on the computer. Initially he couldn’t find any good image. The fourth or fifth roll onwards, he felt some of the images to be of some merit. He was surprised to see my efficiency and said, “Wherefrom you learnt the basics of a camera so well?”. I had no answer for that. Later, I developed a different character to my image-making through distorted reflections and shadows. I was bound to make a switch to mobile camera, due to my subjects not yielding to a conventional camera. Basically, I’m a painter, and it gives me much pleasure when certain top photographers of India appreciate and approve of my work, encouraging me. Now photography has become my second love, and I’m sure this love affair shall continue till the end of my journey.


Sanjay Bhattacharya is an eminent painter and photographer. His works can be seen in important public and private collections in India and overseas.

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