RK : What are your favorite genres of Photography?
Bobby: That would be Landscape and Travel, Wild life, portrait, Macro.
RK : Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become a photographer?
Bobby: Not really. I always was a hobbyist. I went to work after studies and spend a lot of time in tech world having worked for IBM, Dell, EMC and other consulting firm. With the passing time, Photography continued to become more and more serious. The then the switch happened.
RK : Which is your favorite lens? Why?
Bobby: My fav lenses are wide angle lenses. I love shooting with 12 and 14mm. They allow me to cover very wide angles. Also most of these lenses are f 2.8 and are very good for astro and landscape both.
RK : As a travel photographer, in your opinion, what makes a good travel photograph?
Bobby: Every time I see a travel photograph, what makes me stop a little longer and notice the image is if I see an extra effort that was put in creating that image. This extra effort could be any or all of the following”
i. Time of the day it was shot. It’s very boring to see travel photos shot at one’s convenience. Images shot in the early morning or late evening make attractive to look at.
ii. Season when it was shot. If you align your travel to the right seasons, you can catch great photos of places in the right season. Some place photograph well in winters, some in summers, some in fall season.
iii. Composition. Getting same cliched photograph of a place does not make an appealing proposition. Spending extra effort to find some new POV, composition will go a long way in creating a telling narrative
RK : How do you pick the spots you travel to ?
Bobby: It’s a combination of Research, recommendation, Instagram and bucket list
RK : What have been your top 3 places to photograph so far and why?
Bobby: That would be:
i. Italy – Entire Italy is just draw dropping beautiful. It has some beautiful mountains ranges – Dolomites, stunning azure blue lakes and rolling landscapes of Tuscany. For street photographers Venice makes an excellent city, plus all historical and old sites and cities like Florence, Pisa, Rome etc.
ii. Bali – Bali is one country that offers everything for photography. From beautiful rice terraces to stunning beaches, from volcanos to mist covered landscapes, from astro photography (right time of the year) to street and culture. Bali has everything.
iii. India – For sheer diversity and breadth of what it has to offer. I love shooting rural life in India.
RK : You’ve taken thousands of photos over the years, but do you have a favorite?
Bobby: It’s hard to call a favorite. As they say, my best work is yet to come
RK : Can you tell us about the gear you use for your travel photography? What is typically in your camera bag while traveling?
Bobby: I typically carry 2 bodies and a slew of about 4-5 lenses (wide angle, Mid range tele and a long lens) if I am going for a photo trip which is upwards of 7 days. If it is a short trip to a particular place then I carry 1 body and 2-3 lenses. In my bag you’ll also find essential filters (ND/GND), shutter cable release, extra batteries, torch, energy bar, a bottle of water and a pair of good ear phones.
RK : Are there any unique challenges and hazards as a travel photographer when it comes to your gear? For instance, keeping your batteries charged in remote locations and preventing theft and damage.
Bobby: There’ll always be risks when you travel. From losing and misplacing stuff yourself to theft and damages. I have been on the receiving end of it several times. Initially I would get hassled, but over time I have learned to take risks in my stride. Last incident that happened with me was when I dropped one of my stock landscape lens, 16-35mm, in a rice field in Vietnam. I thought I had lost the lens. But a sweet lady who was working in the rice field found my lens and brought it to me after an hour later. That lens was submerged in the water for over 45 minutes and I had mentally written the lens off. I did not let the incident affect me at all. I continued shooting and going around with my business. I did not even take the lens to Nikon for a service. However, after almost 2 months after the incident one fine day on checking, the lens just worked. As if nothing had happened.
I have also lost my gear to theft. That was a total loss of well over 25K USD, have lost my phones, batteries etc.
I have become careful but there’s no risk free traveling. Anything can happen anytime. You have to learn to take it in your stride and continue.
RK : What defines a “good” photograph for you?
Bobby: To me a good photograph is a one that has YES as an answer to following two questions:
i. Is the photograph interesting?
ii. Is the photograph beautiful?
RK : You are not only the inspiration for photographers, but also the Founder of online learning platform Goodshotz. You have really created a wonderful photography learning community. What motivated you to create such an amazing learning portal? Would you like to tell something about Goodshotz ?
Bobby: Genesis of GoodShotz can be attributed to a singular fact that we love creating images and we want to empower everyone to realize their dreams to create images of their dreams. Reality in India is that there are handful of photography learning companies in India and all of them only focus on the basic and start up courses. Most of them teach you how to handle cameras, or how to do basic processing in Lightroom. I felt that photographers in India understand how to handle cameras and process image, what they’re really interested is to learn advanced topics. We wanted to bring those courses to people at an affordable price. GoodShotz is the only company in India and among the handful in the world to offer App based subscription learning called iLearn. In the first year we added well over 250 lessons spanning several thousand hours.
Besides iLearn GoodShotz is also into photography bootcamps, photo tours and classroom based workshops. You can always stop by atwww.GoodShotz.com. We have something for everyone.
RK : We (retrokolkata.com) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.
Bobby: I think this is a great initiative and people will benefit immensely from an endeavor like this. My best wishes to you in this effort. Keep inspiring people. And to people who follow my work: Thank you for your love and support.
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