Name some dream destinations that you would love to capture?
I have been fortunate to travel and photograph some of the most exotic locations around the world, but there is still so much more to shoot. The two destinations that I’d love to photograph sometime soon will be the Patagonia region in South America and Iceland. Hopefully soon.
What is your criteria when selecting a particular destination? Does its culture and history play a role too?
Yes, absolutely. Shooting landscapes will always be my first love, but I also attempt to photograph people, culture and history. Viewers easily connect and identify with the human element no matter from where they belong. Some of my popular work on social platforms like Facebook are photographs depicting places and people in their everyday life, showing their culture and natural surroundings.
Which photographer’s work has influenced you? Why?
I follow more than a few photographers from across the globe. Some of them are Mark Adamus—his landscape work is truly staggering. His choice of location and creative eye is unparalleled. I also like Rarindra Prakarsa from Indonesia. His photographs are sheer poetry. They are a great example of his technique of controlling light along with choice of subjects and location. The list is endless.
Do you believe that formal photography education is necessary to be a good photographer?
There is no substitute for technical education in photography. It is good to be an intuitive photographer, but I don’t subscribe to the fact that you have an ‘eye’ for photography without understanding the intricacies. The Rule of thirds, leading lines, balance, depth of field, different modes of shooting etc. are things every photographer has to know. I am shocked how often people don’t even read the manual of their new camera. If you don’t know what your camera can do for you— you cannot explore its full potential or your abilities. So yes, take up a course, pick up the basics. It will go a long way.
Tell us about one of your memorable achievements in landscape photography?
What gives me an immense sense of achievement is when people write to me from all around the world. They tell me that my work inspires them, and that they are getting serious about landscape photography. To have won their love and respect on a daily basis, is what gives me a sense of satisfaction.
Sometimes, some of our best-laid plans may go wrong. What would you do if that happens to you on a landscape photo shoot?
It has happened so many times. Best-laid plans, all the money and preparation can sometimes give zero usable frames from a trip. However if you love travelling, all this will be another adventure in life. So what if I can’t shoot, I can always come back rich in experience and stories with a lot of fond memories. While planning my trip, even if I try and maximise my chances of success by checking the right time of the year, weather conditions etc. I’ve learned to keep low expectations. Nature has a soul of its own and no matter how good we get, just when we think we’ve got the pulse, she has a new twist in the tale.
What would you like to advise budding landscape photographers?
It takes time to find your calling and niche. The more you shoot, the better you get at it. Stop being lazy and start waking up at 4 am. Stay up till late night if you want to get the perfect light and colours. There is no substitute for hardwork. You don’t chance upon a shot; you go find it. You need to know in your head what you want to photograph and then you need to go find it. |SP