Tarana Patel Chatterjee #Biography
For Tarana, starting off her day mapping out a new landscape, kicking off a conversation with a stranger, discovering a new aroma, or searching for a unique experience is her way of life. She enjoys exploring uncommon destinations like Argentine Patagonia, Maritime Canada, and Myanmar to find similarities and learn about differences in the landscapes, languages, food, and culture. Her first trip in 1989 was to see the pyramids of Egypt and the castles of Germany. These timeless monuments made her hungry for more adventures and since then she has backpacked, kayaked, hiked, ridden camels, and sailed in 28 countries and has enjoyed a cup of tea in over 230 cities.
Capturing beautiful moments, experiences, and sights with her own distinct viewpoint is an important element of travel for Tarana. Recently, a gift of encouragement from her “Kaka” (uncle) in the form of a professional Canon SLR camera motivated her to advance her photography skills. Exploring new ways of photographing what she sees helps her develop a new understanding of her surroundings and teaches her to accept her surroundings. In her view, as you travel more you understand each time a little better that yours is a minute existence in this vast world of beauty and diversity.
When not on the road, Tarana enjoys meeting fellow travel and photography enthusiasts through National Geographic seminars, and other excursions, and exhibitions around Los Angeles. Some selected photographs by her are a part of the National Geographic Image Collection and she has displayed them in shows at her university. She enjoys journaling her travels on her blog or through photo stories on Instagram. Some of her best trips around the world have been with her childhood friend, Hemali, a fellow Amdavadi. Her Bengali husband, Shashwata, is her favorite travel planner and navigator.
Tarana has lived, studied, and worked in India, Germany, USA, and China. The contrasting cultures, languages, and landscapes of these four countries have played a significant role in how she views the world today and thus have a great influence on her photography.
Professionally, Tarana is a language educator. She has formally learned German and Mandarin besides English, Gujarati, Hindi & Sanskrit. She enjoys attempting conversations in Spanish - an official language in her home state of California, Punjabi - the language of her host family in Germany, & Bengali - her husbands mother tongue. She recently founded her company learned, which is an effort to provide specifically designed learning experiences in English for students and teachers in schools & colleges in India. She and her husband, a screenwriter and film producer, currently reside in Los Angeles and split their time between the USA and India for work and family. Photographing the Northern Lights in Norway, taking the Trans-Siberian Rail, and driving through Rajasthan for a month are at the top on Tarana travel list. Tarana is thankful to her father for giving her his curiosity and to her mother for giving her an eye for fine things.