Bobby Joshi is a world traveler and nature admirer based out of Bengaluru.
LAA : Hi Bobby! Tell us about yourself.
Bobby : I am a travel and landscape photographer based in Bangalore, India. I started photography really early, as early as when I was in 8th std when my mom bought me first point-and-shoot film camera. From there I graduated to using Film based SLR’s and then to film auto-SLR’s. I moved to digital photography sometime in 2012. I’ve worked for tech firms (IBM, Dell, EMC) all my life in the areas of strategy, alliances, consulting etc. The roles in these firms gave me opportunity to travel around the world and every once in a while I’d take time off and shoot.
LAA : Tell us about the moment that made you decide to pursue photography as your profession?
Bobby : The idea of going professional only started taking a shape at the beginning of this year (2016). I realized that I love teaching (was a part of my last corporate assignment), and there were lot of people who liked my work and wanted to learn from me. It was with the intent to give back to people who love my work and help them make better photographers that resulted in the genesis of GoodShotz Photography Pvt. Ltd.
LAA : What are your favorite genres other than Nature & Landscape? Why?
Bobby : My fav genre will always be nature and landscape. But I also love travel and wildlife. Travel goes hand-in-hand with photography. And when you travel as much as I do, photography is just an extension of your travel journal. Photographing the beauty of the place, local life and culture is something I like. I also like photographing wildlife, something that I’ll do more of in the coming months.
LAA : Are you a self-taught Photographer?
Bobby : I firmly believe that we all are self-taught photographers after a while. If someone’s not then they’ll only be a shadow of their mentors. It’s important to be known and recognized by your own unique style. You may learn the basics in the beginning, you may also learn other nuances of Photography and post-processing thereafter through various courses and tours. But with THAT as a base, you then evolve—you practice, you experiment, you learn and then you apply all that learning and constantly improve. My competition is with myself. I challenge myself to make better images. Improve the composition, catch a better light, find a better spot…even if I am shooting in the same place for the 3rd time. However, having said that, I have been fortunate enough to have collaborated, worked and shot with some of the very accomplished photographers world-wide and that has helped me in growing myself.
LAA : Tell us about the difficulties you faced in establishing a name in Photography Industry?
Bobby : Photography market in India is very fragmented. It’s highly competitive and it’s a known fact that most photographers guard their art and skills very carefully. Today anyone with fancy camera and lens can become a photographer and with the advent of social media, it’s not hard to get out there and start. I think I’ve been one of those fortunate photographers who had a chance to shoot world over and showcase the beauty of different places to my audience. That helped me to carve a niche and differentiated position for myself. Been also very get the love and support of the people.
LAA : What gear do you use to get the perfect shot?
Bobby : As the saying goes, the skill is not in the hardware you use, it’s in your eyes and mind. I’ve got perfect shots even with low end point and shoot cameras. Though, for more serious work I use full frame body from Nikon and a whole range of lenses and accessories.
LAA : How do you plan your shoot and how important it is to plan the shoot in advance?
Bobby : Oh I firmly believe in doing your homework before you plan a trip. I sometimes get down to meticulous and ridiculous details before my trip. I travel far and wide and I do not want to miss an opportunity or a point of interest because I didn’t know about it. If I am going to a new place, I prepare weeks in advance. I look for photos online of that place. I connect with, and ask for details from the photographers who’ve been there before. I take GPS points of locations I want to shoot. I hire guides and taxis in advance to take me to those points. All this helps me in minimizing risk and chance later.
LAA : According to you, how important it is to Post Process an image? What software do you use for it?
Bobby : Processing is an integral part of photography. Even in the days of the film photography, lot of attention and time was put in to skill fully post process in dark rooms and chemicals. From Ansel Adam to Jerry Uelsman, masters of bygone eras have dodged and burned, sliced and diced and created composites.
You’d like to do as much possible in-camera; however, even the best cameras are nowhere close to offering the dynamic range that human eye has. Adjusting white balance, adjusting contrast, correcting saturation levels—all these are reasons why we do post-process. Most photographers today also shoot in RAW format. In that format camera sensor records the flat data. Raw files are named so because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be printed or edited with a bitmap graphics editor.
Processing allows you to create a visual experience that you “saw and felt” when you were in a beautiful place. Landscape photography, of all, requires the most technical and advanced level of post processing skills. It aims to evoke a “WOW” reaction in every attempt. It should transport viewers to the place you shot, and make them feel as if they’re right there. It’s the manifestation of what you saw and what a dream is like.
I use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR Plug-in) and Photoshop CS6
LAA : Which is the first big break you got?
Bobby : My big break was not really shooting for some magazines or ads or anything, I’d like to think my big break was really the opportunity I got to travel around the world in my corporate work life. That allowed me to shoot in various places, in varying conditions and lights. It also provided me an opportunity to make and meet new photographer friends around who contributed in my evolution as a photographer.
LAA : What is the best compliment you received so far?
Bobby : It’s hard to pick a particular compliment and call it the best. But every day I get messages on social media about how someone was inspired by my work, or would like to follow my footsteps, or learn from me…all of these brings a smile on my face.
LAA : Who is your favorite Photographer? What’s your, all time, favorite picture by him/her and why?
Bobby : I love and follow work of many photographers world-wide. I love almost all the work of Max Rive, Miles Morgan, Steve McCurry and more. I absolutely adore the work by Marc Adamus. I think I can fall in love with each and every frame of his.
LAA : Which is the most beautiful country you have clicked till now?
Bobby : That has to be Tuscany in Italy. In fact it is so beautiful that you can close your eyes and point in any direction to shoot and you’re almost guaranteed a postcard shot.
LAA : How fascinating is it for you when you are shooting in India?
Bobby : India probably offers the most diversity for a photographer. From beautiful mountains and snow peaks in North to sand dunes and salt marsh in west. From many waterfalls and green valleys in east, to beaches in south. India offers opportunities for street photography in Varanasi and Kolkata, it offers backwaters & ghats. Plus the rustic life in rural India—any rural place. I LOVE shooting in India and can never get enough of it in my lifetime.
LAA : Which is that country you have always wanted to click? What is your next stop and when?
Bobby : Two places I’ve not yet been to and are on my list to photograph in very near future would be Patagonia and Iceland. Waiting for that day.
Next overseas step for me is Bali. Would be my 3rd time. It is one of my another all-time fav places to shoot and its happening in November end when I take a group of participants for a 5 day photo tour.
LAA : What would you suggest to budding Photographers?
Bobby : As a budding photographer what you should really aim is two things:
- Consistently create better images and push boundaries for yourselves. Your competition is not with other photographers or to get more “likes” on social media. It is with yourself. You need to constantly push yourself to make images that deeply satisfies you.
- Carve out a niche for yourself. It’s great to be inspired by photographers you admire and respect. But eventually you should strive to have your own signature style. So much so, that people should not even look for your name in any image to know that it’s yours.
Learning is a continuous process and we all are a work-in-progress. Hard work and commitment will always pay off. Keep shooting. Best wishes. – Bobby joshi