Motivated and inspired by nature, Abhishek Deopurkar describes himself as always on a journey of seeking out beautiful light, and stunning landscapes. Based in Pune, where he works as a SAP Consultant, Abhishek picked up nature and landscape photography a few years ago as a hobby but it quickly developed into a passion.
It became his way to express his creative and artistic side. “It allows me to fully appreciate the extraordinary beauty around us, interpret it in my own creative way, and share it with the world.” Landscape photography takes Abhishek to some of the most beautiful places, leaving the city behind and connecting with nature in its purest form. Rachana from Team Livingit connected with Abhishek for the #IamLivingit series. Read the story to know about Abhishek, his passion for Landscape photography and how he follows his passion – photography, in general.
RJ: What is the story behind you getting started with photography, what inspired you?
Abhishek: Back in college days I was introduced to a DSLR camera by one of my friends and I was amazed to see its capabilities. I was immediately hooked and bought my own DSLR. I started following the work of some of the best photographers out there and it just blew me away. I always used to think, how can they capture such images? What are they doing which I am not? It really picked my interest and I started learning. I always get inspired by looking through the amazing work you find on social media like Facebook, 500px, and FLICKR etc. It motivates me to get out there and shoot.
RJ: How did photography develop into your passion over time?
Abhishek: I think Photography is a form of meditation to me. It enables me to drop everything before and after that particular moment. I need to be constantly aware of the present, that ultimate moment and nothing else matters. It’s always a pleasure to be out in nature. I think that since I started with photography I got more aware of environment and nature.
RJ: How would you describe your current personal style of photography?
Abhishek: My personal photography style I believe is a combination of composition and post processing techniques. I think that the composition is a soul of any image, especially in landscape photography. I always try to find interesting ways to use the elements around me in a foreground which can enable viewer into the scene.
RJ: Do you have any formal training in photography? How did you learn to improve your photographic skills?
Abhishek: I am a self-taught photographer and I have not taken any formal training in photography. The internet played a large role here. Today it’s easy to learn something new. There’s so much information available to get one started. In the beginning, I read many articles and blogs which helped me to build up my knowledge. Besides acquiring information from the internet I practiced and experimented a lot.
RJ: What camera and other equipment would you recommend investing in?
Abhishek: In my opinion pretty much any DSLR with manual controls that shoots RAW files is good enough. Many people ask me which camera I use and it surprises them when I tell them I don’t use any pro level full-frame camera. I think having basic knowledge of photography concepts is more important than having an expensive camera. So if you understand concepts such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed, exposure etc; you can get a good result with any DSLR cameras. I’m always after high-quality results. But this doesn’t mean buying expensive equipment. It’s more about the correct use of the equipment I have.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that one should not buy a good camera body or good quality lens. But in the end, these are just tools. As Ansel Adams famously said, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!”
RJ: Explain 2 or 3 of your post-processing procedures. What’s important when editing an image?
Abhishek: Post processing plays an important role in my photography. My main focus when editing my photos is for them to reflect the atmosphere as I perceived it. I try not to draw any lines between what is or isn’t an acceptable way to process. It’s up to each individual what is acceptable in their own processing.
Each image demands a different approach for processing but generally, my workflow consists of basic RAW image adjustments, Tonal adjustments, Contrast adjustment, Colour adjustment, and Sharpening. I enjoy experimenting with different techniques in the field and in post processing to create a unique look to my photos.
RJ: In your opinion, what makes a picture successful in comparison to others?
Abhishek: In photography, there are many aspects which can contribute to a successful image such as subject matter, light, mood and moment. However, one aspect clearly rises above the rest – Composition. The composition is not the only important aspect of photography, but it is vitally important. Also the importance of the emotions evoked by a light, subject and mood cannot be underestimated. So, I think the combination of these aspects makes any image successful.
RJ: Which of your photographs would you consider your favourites and what is the story behind it?
Abhishek: It is hard to pick any one image as my favourite. But one image I believe that is very important to me personally is “Ripples”. This image received many awards and recognitions which changed me as a photographer and I started taking my photography more seriously than I used to. It has an interesting story behind it. On one amazing day, while roaming around Pune, I stumble upon this place near Mulshi Lake. The unique quality of light and glow that can be seen this photograph was not due to sunrise or sunset. In fact, this was shot at 3 pm in the afternoon. Like most photographers, I’ve trained myself to completely forget about shooting during midday, but sometimes, life can take you unawares and great things can happen. This was a good reminder of the same.
RJ: On your Instagram handle, you have a lot of wonderful landscape photography shots. Do you plan your travels around the photo shoot?
Abhishek: Interestingly until now I’ve rarely planned my trips solely for photo-shoots or thinking about landscape photography. Most of my images are taken on a family trip. Although I am planning some tours in near future; but I think you don’t always have to go to a distance to make a good photograph. I frequently travel to nearby places on weekends or any spare time I get from my office work.
RJ: What are some places you would recommend for their photographic beauty?
Abhishek: I live in Maharashtra which has a long coastline stretching 840 kilometres along the Arabian Sea, so we have many coastal regions which provide plentiful of opportunities for seascape and landscape photography. Also recently I travelled to Meghalaya which I think is a must visit place for every photographer. It offers such heavenly sites that will make you fall in love with Mother Nature once again.
Also, Mulshi and Tamhini are in my backyard. I feel so fortunate as I live in such a beautiful area and I would suggest all my local friends to venture out and experience the beauty of nature in its purest form. The hilly region of Pune, with one of the biggest mountain ranges in Maharashtra i.e. Sahyadri is another favourite destination that I love to explore. Although this place looks beautiful in all the seasons, it opens up in the Monsoon.
RJ: Do you have a preferred landscape, or time of the day to shoot in terms of lighting?
Abhishek: There is no particular landscape or subject that I love to shoot but I have always been fascinated by moving water, be it streams, waterfalls or the sea. Water is very dynamic. It’s the movement and sound of the water I like. When I’m near rushing water I feel really immersed in nature. I can even forget if there are people or a road nearby.
If we talk about time, my favourite time for landscape photography is a time of day called the Golden Hour. As photographers, we are in the business of capturing light and there is no better light to have cast on our subjects, than the sunlight that is low on the horizon. Landscapes shot during the Golden Hour have more colour in the sky, especially if there are clouds picking up the warm light.
RJ: What is something you wish you knew before you got hooked on landscape photography?
Abhishek: I wish I knew how expensive this hobby is ?
RJ: That was definitely a good one! Are there any particular styles or subjects you want to attempt shooting in the future?
Abhishek: In future, I want to explore Astrophotography.
RJ: How do you balance your passion with your profession?
Abhishek: It is very hard to balance between my passion for photography and my office job. At times, I have to cancel my plans due to some professional commitments. But when there is a will, there is a way. I always make sure to take some time on weekends to shoot, which fuels me for the rest of the week.
RJ: What advice do you have for photographers who are just starting out?
Abhishek: Maybe a tip for people who are starting with landscape photography. Don’t go crazy over expensive gears and spend your money on learning the aspects of photography instead – Invest in Experiences, NOT Equipment.
Indulging in his artistic side through his passion for nature and landscape photography, Abhishek believes that “If there is a will, there is a way,” and, we at Livingit could not agree more.
You can follow Abhishek Deopurkar here