For Anirban Ray, photography isn’t so much an art as an excuse to step out of the cocoon of bureaucratic life. To go watch people on the street, to start conversations, to understand adversity. Fascinated by human faces — his wife vetoed his initial idea of releasing his first book, Light & Shade, as a collection exclusively of portraits — he loves capturing spontaneous moments (such as the one above), setting his subjects at ease and clicking them when they’re off their guard.
As a senior IPS officer, who began taking pictures from moving cars while posted in Darjeeling 10 years ago, it is also a way for him to carve an identity for himself that will persist even after he retires. For now, though, he remains the earnest amateur, navigating this “complicated new area for me” with a self-belief that inevitably comes with a published book.