Interview with Anup Gandhe, an Architectural & Heritage Photographer from India

© Anup Gandhe | Sun Temple

Anup Gandhe, an amazing Architectural & Heritage visualizer, whose photographs have already been featured in Lonely Planet India, Canon India and in a lot of prestigious platform, has shared his story with Retro Kolkata.

Composition is the gateway to a great image. A good composition with technical expertise tells a different visual narrative & makes your image stand out from the rest. A great image should be one which touches some chord in your heart.

RK : Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What made you want to pursue photography? Anup : Hello my name is Anup Gandhe. I am an architect working in the field of animation & based

in Pune. I was always mesmerised by our cultural heritage & its monumental scale. I always wanted to photograph these structures as each monument has a story to tell & document them for our future generations.

RK : How would you define your style? How did you set about developing your own style? Anup : It was bit trial & error. These monuments & their spaces are main subjects in my photographs. After trying many photographs I decided to shoot them without crowd as they were causing distraction to the viewer experience. I shoot people & animals only if they add any artistic value to the structures & depicting their scale or proportions.

© Anup Gandhe | Hampi

RK : How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph or series of photographs? Do you have any preferences regarding cameras and format? Anup : I generally do a detailed study of plans, sun movement & do a recce of the site before planning the shoot. Shadow is an important factor in architectural photography as it represents depth in 3rd dimension. I get very small time window to shoot these monuments so every minute detail is taken care of in planning. Regarding cameras, Tripods are not allowed on many heritage sites so I always prefer full frame camera with good dynamic range & low light performance. Many of my shots are taken handheld.

© Anup Gandhe | Adalaj Stepwell

RK : Which is your favourite lens? Why? Anup : Canon 17mm f/4 Tilt Shift lens is my favourite lens. Tilt Shift lenses are specially made for architectural shoots & give a lot freedom to compose shots in tight spaces.

RK : Out of all the locations you’ve travelled to, which is your favourite? Anup : Its hard to pick one. All sites have different challenges & shoot conditions. Out of all locations I have travelled to, Hampi was my favourite place. Hampi is heaven for photographers. I was awestruck by the architectural & monumental scale of this lost empire.

© Anup Gandhe | Hampi

RK : What makes a great image stand out from the good ones? Anup : Composition is the gateway to a great image. A good composition with technical expertise tells a different visual narrative & makes your image stand out from the rest. A great image should be one which touches some chord in your heart.

RK : How do you balance your time on the road between work and travel? Has it blended into one for you? Anup : For me, work and travel has certainly blended into one. My work offers me plenty of opportunity to travel. During travel, I explore various sites and study the cultural & heritage architecture belonging to those regions.

© Anup Gandhe | Hampi

RK : Do you have a favourite monument or a sculptor? Anup : This is a tough one. India has got different cultural heritage all over with their own architectural characteristic. Till now Adalaj Stepwell at Ahmedabad have been close to my heart. To shoot this site was bit challenging & to capture the monumental scale & those beautiful spaces was tricky.

© Anup Gandhe | Adalaj Stepwell

RK : What have been your top 3 places to photograph so far and why? Anup : Forts in Maharashtra , Hampi & Stepwells in Gujarat.

RK : You’ve taken thousands of photos over the years, but do you have a favorite? Anup : Every photograph has a different visual narrative & story to tell. Its tough for me to select a favourite from them.

© Anup Gandhe | Suntemple

RK : What's the most exciting shoot you've ever been on? Anup : Theres a temple named palasnath dedicated to lord shiva at Palasdeo village near Bhigwan. This ancient structure dated between 9th & 11th century was submerged under water in 1978 when Ujani dam was built. The structure was visible this year when water level receded & was most exciting shoot for me.

© Anup Gandhe | Palasnath

RK : Do you believe the phrase ‘A picture is worth a thousand words?’ Anup : Yes I do believe in this phrase ' A Picture is worth thousand words. '

RK : Do you have any tips for photographers to help them grow artistically? Anup : Work hard & believe in your work. Identify the genre of photography that interests you & be honest to yourself & your subjects all living & nonliving. Don't be in a hurry to shoot. Pre - visualize your photograph before shooting. Stay focused and keep enhancing your skills.

© Anup Gandhe | Palasnath

RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to build one single stage for all the artists, because we believe that artists are the most beautiful creation of God and geographical boundary can never break their unity and harmony. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your followers. Anup : Its a good initiative. This will provide a platform for all artists, irrespective of their varying cultural and national backgrounds, to present their art and showcase their rich heritage. To all my followers, thank you for your love, appreciation. Stay connected.

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