A ‘little’ different

Amrita Prasad
Saturday, 27 January 2018

Kolkata-based visual artist Arnab Dinda and photographer Saumen Nath have come up with a miniature wedding photoshoot

Photographers around the world are pushing the envelope to come up with visually surprising pieces of work. As a consequence, we get to see newer trends being set and newer genres being introduced.

Wedding photography, which was just functional till a few years ago, has become really huge today.  Brides and grooms are looking for ways to make their wedding shoots more interesting, appealing and clutter-breaking. So they are going for underwater wedding shoots, sport — or Harry Potter-inspired themes, and so on.

“Gone are the days when couples wanted only cinematic poses. Today, they want a lot more. Miniature photography has become a craze in the West, and a few Indian photographers are also exploring the idea,” says Arnab Dinda, a visual artist and retoucher, who along with photographer Arghya Carinoso Majumder from Kolkata has done a miniature wedding shoot series.

In such a photo series, one can see different moods of the couple, but with a twist — the couple is shown as miniatures, looking really tiny in front of all other objects. While in one photo, you can see the ‘tiny’ groom sitting on a topor  (a type of conical headgear traditionally worn by Bengali grooms) and the bride is standing with a mala (garland) in her hands, in another one, you’ll find the miniature groom striving to hold a humongous gaachkouto (vermilion container). In yet another picture, the bride is riding a scooter and the groom is running after her.

Dinda explains how miniature photography is done. “The technique for making an object look like a miniature model is done by progressively blurring the image from the centre to the top or bottom. The blurring can be accomplished either optically or with digital post-processing,” he says.

Here, a lot depends on the way the camera angle, the light and the depth of focus is used during the shoot. Dinda first cropped the models from the real background, then superimposed them on a new background after reducing their size to the minimum and then blended them with the background. “I later used the tilt-shift and retouched the pictures, to make the models appear as miniature creatures,” adds Dinda. Not only the process of shooting difficult but the post-production is also a meticulous and time-consuming job, he points out.

Shutterbug Saumen Nath elaborates, “Actually miniature photography is an extremely interesting concept. In photography, we often use different props to enhance the look, feel and visual appeal of the shot. These props are usually smaller than the models. However, in miniature photography, the smaller objects become the main subject. We break the rules of regular photography in this technique. So when our Heart Beat team sat down to discuss the theme of miniature photography, we realised that winter also means the wedding season, hence doing the bridal shoot seemed to be the perfect idea. We also thought of the outdoor shoot and a touch of greenery excited us. The bride’s red saree played up against the green background attracts the audience. Topor, mala, gaachkouto are integral to a Bengali wedding, so we played around them.’’

    Model: Titash Ghosh and Suprabhat Sarkar
    Photographers: Saumen Nath and Arghya Carinoso Majumder
    Makeup: Alok Sha
    Costume: Kushal Sen
    Post Production: Arnab Dinda

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