Hello Raviraj! Good to have you here today. Could you start by introducing yourself?
Thank you very much for the invite guys. I am Raviraj Kande born and based in Mumbai, India. I am actor, stand up comedian and a self taught photographer. I enjoy shooting people, food, fashion and lifestyle.
Being an actor and stand-up comedian, how does Photography fit into your life? Exclusively for personal projects, or also professionally?
My work is quite demanding mentally and physically too so destressing is extremely important. Photography allows me to de-stress. Though I do photography professionally, personal projects take precedence over professional assignments.
Your portfolio has a bit of architectural photography, food, fashion, product photography, but essentially street portraits. Is this the genre that gives you the most pleasure to photograph?
I enjoy all genres of Photography equally you mentioned in the question above. The thing with shooting street portraits is that in Mumbai I can do it anytime I wish. No prior preparation is required. Secondly Mumbai is a metro city devoid of any landscapes and whatever old historic architecture we have is already shot countlessly by many photographers. So when I got the camera I thought what I can shoot on consistent basis? And I thought why not go on walk whenever I wish with one or max 2 lenses and shoot interesting people I come across? That’s how I started shooting people on the street more often.
What’s your secret to photograph strangers on the street? What is your usual approach and how do people usually react?
I have a extremely simple approach when it comes to approaching strangers on the street. I go up to them and ask if I can photograph them as I found their face interesting. Some people are shy, some are apprehensive a bit, but majority of them agree instantly. My experience tells me people like to be photographed it makes them feel good and important about themselves. And when I show them the pictures on the camera screen they are genuinely happy which in return makes me happy too.
As you once said, you like to apply the KISS principle to your photography (Keep it simple, stupid). What’s your typical camera and lens setup when you go out to shoot some street portraits?
Yes I like simple, straight forward approach. I shoot in manual mode because I like to have all the parameters of exposure in my control. White balance is set on auto with the warm filter off all the time. In my opinion Olympus cameras do a kick ass job in auto white balance mode. Metering is mostly set to spot. Focus is set to single auto focus and I never use any in-camera filters or scene modes given by Olympus. Besides above mentioned things I do no other special thing when it comes to setting my camera. I own 3 lenses the 14-42mm ez kit lens that came with the Olympus OMD E-M10 and later bought the Olympus 25mm f1.8 and Sigma 60mm f2.8. (Olympus India does send me variety of lenses to shoot and test so I have used the Olympus 45mm and 75mm extensively) I consciously decide prior that today I will try and shoot with only 25mm or 60mm and then only use any one of those lenses and shoot. I believe more limitations we put on ourselves the more creative output comes as you try to extract the best possible result in the available resources. So mainly the portraits are shot with Olympus 25mm and Sigma 60mm.
Do you always carry a camera with you, or only when you leave your home with the sole purpose of taking some photos?
When I am traveling the camera is always with me but when I am home, sometimes I leave with the camera bag with a sole intention of taking some pics.
What’s your usual workflow, from the capture to the final results? You use the wifi a lot, to transfer the photos to your smartphone and process the images with Snapseed, is that right?
Yes, after I finish shooting I usually go sit in some nearby cafe order a coffee and till then get the pics transferred via WiFi on my phone and then I post process them minimally in Snapseed. Every pic I have ever shot on Olympus cameras is post processed in Snapseed only or occasionally in VSCO. I find Snapseed a complete package for post processing pics as per my liking and taste.
The first series of lens from the Sigma Art line (19, 30 and 60 mm) was pretty underrated despite the highly praised image quality. What’s your opinion of your 60mm on the E-M10. Would you recommend it as a portrait lens?
Absolutely. The 60mm f2.8 from Sigma in my opinion is the most value for money lens in the M43 world. The only drawback maybe is the f2.8 aperture which may struggle in low light. Rest the lens is ridiculously sharp and renders lovely contrasty images with punchy colors.
There are rumors of a E-M10 mark III to be announced in a couple of months. Which improvements would you like to see materialized?
First and foremost I would request Olympus to provide a sturdy design for the eyecup and more sturdy dials, rest I think the ergonomics, look is something which Olympus has nailed perfectly.
You have recently started “Photo diaries with Raviraj Kande” series. Can we expect more small movies from you in the coming days?
Of course. I am already working on the next content for the photo diaries series with my friend cinematographer and editor Jaljeet Ajani and Prithvi Shetty. So yes, you will be seeing some more action on that front from me soon.
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