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Interview with Zulfi.

15 Feb Sandy

First , Can you tell us a little about of you and how you got started with Photography ?

I’m Zulfikhar, Travel Photographer based in Chennai. It all began when my passion for photography started as a child when my parents gifted me a film camera. As technology progressed and photography equipment became more accessible to everyone I pushed myself to discover the unexplored. I travelled to remote areas to find the undocumented, explore the unexplored and share the unseen.

Where do you get your inspiration for Photography ? 

My first ever inspiration was Timothy Allen, an English Travel Photographer. Later I found inspiration in every good image of all the photographers I came across.

Specially what is your favorite subject in photography? Which is your main genre?

People are my favorite subject always. I love to shoot Environmental Portraits during my Travel.

We know that you were Dubai based for a long time. Now you are in your hometown Chennai, India.

When you used to take snaps in Dubai and you take snaps in India…are there any differences you notice as a travel photographer? 

Yes a lot of differences. For instance, back in Dubai, it is not easy to shoot people! But it is not an issue at all in India. also there a lot of possibilities to shoot different genres in India. People are really very friendly in India.

Could you please guide the techniques of clicking the people’s faces and their lifestyles of the core areas? Because most of them won’t allow to be clicked always?

The formula to shoot people is really simple! First we need to make sure that you are as friendly as possible and approach with a smiling face. Talk to them for a while about their place and life, have a good interaction to break the ice. Most importantly, seek for their permission before you shoot. Then once you get the permission, choose the right background, light and capture your shots.

What are the gears you are using when you are clicking
☑️Portraits
☑️Landscapes
☑️Cityscapes
☑️Fashion
☑️Portraiture
☑️Streets
☑️Commercial works like fashion
* kindly share some specific settings too which you like the most…

There are no specific gears for specific genres. Initially I had a canon crop sensor camera – Canon EOS 70D, then I upgraded my kit with a full frame body – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Later on I also started shooting with Nikon bodies such as D810, D4s, D850 etc. I always prefer to shoot at Aperture priority except during fashion shoots at studios, where I always prefer to shoot on Manual mode.

Why are those gears much needed?

It is for the Dynamic Range. With rights gears you could get the most of what is available at the time of shoot itself. Post processing becomes easier and less time consuming.

Whose work has influenced you most ?  

There are quite a few names that would pop instantly, they are Timothy Allen, Jord Hammond & David Lazar.

Among your works , which one is your favorite ? Can you please share this photo ? 

It is hard to pick one favorite! There are quite a few, but I would say this particular photo would top the list because it was published at the Somerset Museum, London as the most commended shot.

Can you please share your any memorable experiences on your recent activities at your visiting to the places for photo shoot purposes? Ex- Kerala.

There was this one particular incident which happened during my visit to Kerala for shooting Theyyam Festival. It was 2’o clock at night and I was waiting to shoot the event which would start by 3am. Since I did not have any food earlier, I felt so hungry. There weren’t any shops or hotels available around, so I decided to go to the temple and ask if there was any food left, as they always provide free meals to all who attend the festival. Unfortunately it was all over. I walked back with disappointment. But suddenly a voice called out to me, a man from the temple management got me a full meals and said that was the last plate left. It was really touching. I felt so grateful. This is India for you, Unity in Diversity. I would never forget this incident.

Any favorite places you always love to visit…or any dream place?

The list is really long! I would love to visit Sikkim, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar and Camobida in the near future once this pandemic ends.

Any guidance for the amateur photographers?

Keep shooting, Keep learning! Be fully aware of the gear you use. Take feedbacks from others. Always improvise.