Picture this- you wake up viewing the white beaches and azure beaches of Seychelles, then spend your lazy afternoons in the cosy streets of Paris and end your magical day watching the sunsets in Slovenia. Isn’t this life a dream come true? Wouldn’t you wish to have such a fancy life? Well, we met a couple who live their life this way! No, we aren’t joking, it's true! Vidit Taneja and Savi Munjal are travel couple for more than a decade and are the proud parents of their growing baby blog- Bruised Passports. They are the soul of their the blog and trust us, one visit to their page and you would get hooked on it. As we love covering passion driven people for the #iamlivingit series, we from Livingit got connected with Vidit Taneja - the man behind the incredible photos of Bruised Passports.
Vidit and Savi have known each other since high school and ever since then, they have globe trotted together to more than 500 cities and 70 countries! Vidit is a passionate photographer and narrates fabulous stories through his photos (well Savi adds the fun and glam factor in his photos). Vidit didn't just land into such a dream-come-true life, instead of in worked hard, quit his full-time business analyst job, saved money and then travelled around the world with his sweetheart Savi!
What makes them unique?
It’s their undivided passion for travelling, penning their experiences, clicking photos and most important giving complete attention to their readers! Today, Bruised Passports is the ultimate go-to travel platform that gives you detail information from planning a destination to where to stay, places to visit.
Well, we are hooked to Vidit’s photography and wanted him to share his passion for photography and how he creates such fascinating storytelling photos.
Livingit: You are the creative man behind Bruised Passports photos, please tell our readers more about yourself.
Vidit Taneja: My name is Vid and I am a travel photographer. Together with my partner in crime, Savi, I travel the world full-time and document our adventures from around the world on our hugely popular blog, Bruised Passports. An engineer by profession, my true passion lies in photographing the world and I have been working towards that dream for the past 10 years. Now I work on photography assignments for organisations ranging from hotels to tourism boards while travelling the world. You can see some of my shots on our Instagram page.
Livingit: How did you discover the passion for photography?
Vidit Taneja: Back when I was pursuing my degree in Singapore, I would often spot groups of photographers with their tripods capturing the Singapore skyline and was always intrigued and curious to see the different visions these different photographers had of the same skyline. Increasingly I started studying the basics of photography and it wasn’t long before I had my first digital camera to play around with.
Livingit: Which camera and lighting gear are responsible for your impressive photos?
Vidit Taneja: I started with a simple point and shoot 15 years ago and loved carrying it wherever I went. When I was comfortable with the basics of photography, I got my first DSLR – a Nikon D80 along with an 18-135mm lens. Now I shoot with a Nikon D610 and four lenses: 24-70mm, 28-300mm, 50mm, and 18-35mm. I also have a flash gun in my camera bag and we always carry accessories like fairy lights to enhance our photographs.
Livingit: Your photos have an arresting factor! How do you best describe “Vid” style of photography?
Vidit Taneja: I love shooting landscapes but always try to add the human element into my photographs. For instance, I’d find a beautiful panorama and then try to include the two of us or only Savi in the frame so that the viewer feels like he or she is right there in the frame. Adding a subject in the frame makes the photo more relatable and personal. Other than that, I also enjoy shooting cityscapes.
Livingit: You look nonchalant, full of life, on social media, yet if there was one thing you would want us to know about you, what would it be?
Vidit Taneja: That in all probability you’d always find me joking or doling out a big dose of sarcasm.
Livingit: As a photographer what is your opinion on- “A camera is just a tool; it’s the photographer who matters.”
Vidit Taneja: Well, I could write a book on that. On a daily basis, we get close to 50 messages on our social media channels complimenting us on the photo of the day and also enquiring which camera we used to click that photo. We tell everyone that while the camera and lenses matter, it’s the photographer’s vision, creativity, and style that make a photo what it is. You’d never go to a restaurant, have a great dish and then ask the Chef – “That was a great dish – what oven did you use to make it?
Livingit: You travel 365 days! So what are the gadgets you carry along with you?
Vidit Taneja: The beauty of our field of work now is that our biggest passions are now also our profession. When we travel, irrespective of whether that is a personal trip or a work trip, we always carry all our camera and lenses, as well as other cameras like the GoPro and our 360-degree camera. In addition to this, we have our laptops and a tripod so you can very well imagine how big our carry-on bags are. You never know when you might need any of these equipment for a shoot so it’s always good to carry them.
Livingit: Being a professional photographer, you would definitely own a collection of gadgets! So is there any gadget that you wish you hadn’t purchased? Why?
Vidit Taneja: I am very geeky and meticulous by nature so the chances are that I would have spent hours doing research for something that I wanted to buy which means there’d rarely be anything in my possession that I didn’t think was needed. I feel that I need everything in my camera bag at the moment for my work :-)
Livingit: We would love to know the technical process behind your splendid photos! Please tell us the post processing tools, work flow for your photographs.
Vidit Taneja: I use Lightroom along with Google Nik Collection filters. I don’t have a very complex workflow – at the end of the day, I copy all my photos from the SD card to my backup drives (three of them – you can never be too safe, eh ;-)). Then I choose the ones I like and import them into Lightroom and into relevant collections. After basic highlight and shadow adjustment using Lightroom I then use the Nik Collection filters to enhance the photographs a bit – these filters are brilliant for colour correction and adjusting contrast or for that matter the sharpness of the image.
Livingit: If you had a chance, what is the one thing that you would say to ‘Vidit Taneja as a novice photographer'?
Vidit Taneja: That expensive equipment does not necessarily mean great photographs. When I had my point and shoot I would always look at the guys with the big cameras and feel that they get better images because of the equipment – that’s far from the truth. Like with every profession and field of work, practice makes perfect and I am glad that I spent the last decade (and still do) in learning and improving my skills.
Livingit: Most of your magical photos are outdoor, so how do you manage the unpredictable weather conditions and locations?
Vidit Taneja: Well, as the question itself says, these factors are unpredictable, so beyond a certain point once can’t really control these things. I always check the weather forecast for the following week and go prepared logistically as well as mentally that things can (and in all probability will) change. Even if I don’t get the sunrise that I had envisaged the previous night, I still try to make the best of the conditions – it all depends on whether you see the glass half full or empty – there’s magic happening all around us, perfect light or not. We just need to capture it :-)
Livingit: What is your preference- Colour vs. Black and White?
Vidit Taneja: I prefer colour photographs and very seldom edit the photo to be black and white.
Livingit: If you had to pick just one photograph from your massive collection, which one would you choose? Why is it so special?
Vidit Taneja: That’s a very difficult question. It’s like choosing a favourite out of your own children Still, if I had to pick one, I’d go with this shot of the two of us from our recent trip to Slovenia – it’s true to my style of photography, I love the colours and the mood right after the sun set, and there is a human element in there with the two of us standing at the edge of that pier. What’s more, the reflection in the water brings in perfect symmetry and I feel the photo does a great job of transporting the viewer to this very spot in Slovenia.
Livingit: Any words of wisdom for aspiring photographers?
Vidit Taneja: Practice, practice, and practice some more. Don’t worry about the equipment – a simple DSLR and an affordable lens like the 35mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.8 are enough to enable you logistically when starting out. The rest depends on you – your vision, your aesthetics, and your style - all these things get honed the more your practice.
Has Vidit’s story motivated you to follow your passion?
Yes? Well, that’s what we want you to do!
Go run behind your wildest dreams and make them a reality. There is nothing that can stop you from achieving your dreams. Just like Vidit Taneja, who left his plush lifestyle, career to follow his passion, we want you to follow your passion too. All you need for this is to listen to your inner voice!
STOP Existing, START Livingit!
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