Indian travel photographer Prathamesh Dixit shares his passion for documenting adventures in the hope that intrepid travelers become inspired to do the same.
I am Prathamesh Dixit, a full-time travel photographer based in India with an experience of over five years. The opportunities I had along the journey involved some amazing places such as Venice, Paris, Scotland, and London, along with the beautiful Himalayas and Indian destinations. Currently, I am traveling with my buddy, a Canon 5D Mark IV, and a few amazing lenses.
While there are thousands of creators and photographers around the world, what is the one thing that can differentiate me from the rest? It’s the question that hits me while I shoot. The answer lies in emotions! Perhaps, it’d also why I chose travel as my genre. It gives me plenty of opportunities to connect with my subjects in any form. As a photographer or an artist to be precise, I don’t like to bind myself to create only one type of image. Photography for me is a mirror of emotions, and I expect my subjects to speak out those emotions or my thoughts at the end of the day.
Exploring the unexplored and connecting my emotions with a place is what I love and cherish the most in any expedition. The journey of creating images starts way in advance even before visiting the place. I like to research my destinations well in hand. If I am traveling for my own assignment, I ensure to give sufficient time to explore during my hike out. If I am visiting city destinations, I like to visit souvenirs shops where I look for postcards which display amazing images of the city. That gives me an idea and feel about the place.
At times, I take help from locals to explore hidden treasures. Until this point, my canvas always stays blank. From this point onwards I start connecting different pieces together — be it inspiration from well-known photographers who have been at that place before, be it from the vision of local surroundings or be it from my inner instincts and emotions. With landscapes and cityscapes, I am always creating and enjoy playing with the light and vibe of the place.
Why did you get into photography?
The zeal for creating my own art was the real reason I moved to photography completely. I am an engineer by education, but an artist by heart. I always wanted to create something of my own while exploring amazing places around the world. Hence, photography.
What photographers are your biggest influences?
From my early days as a photographer, I came across some big names such as Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, and Serge Ramelli. I consider them some of the greatest living legends and they always inspire me to craft my vision.
How long have you been shooting?
It’s been almost 5 years now. I started to take photography seriously in 2013.
Why are photography and shooting so important to you?
It’s the only time I see myself less nervous! All I could see at that point is the viewfinder. I never understood why this happens with me but I always see myself ready to take on the challenge for capturing my desired photos.
What made you want to get into your genre?
I was into weddings initially. Though I loved that side of the job as well, I enjoyed being out in the world and exploring the unexplored. I love to write about my experiences as well, so travel photography was the way to go!
Do you feel that you’re more of a creator or a documenter? Why?
I consider myself both. Post-processing is a vital part of my process and documentation with which I begin my work. I love being candid with subjects most of the time, then I add an influence of creation to it later to some extent. This way, I believe I can keep myself on both platforms.
What’s typically going through your mind when you create images? Tell us about your processes both mentally and mechanically.
It’s a tough question indeed. But when I think of it, all I look for is my experience and subconscious. Over the years, I started to become less happy with my results, and that keeps me pushing to learn more and observe more around me. The process is to always find my inner voice always and create something unique. However, it’s still a tough job for me!
Want to walk us through your processing techniques?
I always shoot RAW. Lightroom and Photoshop are my two weapons when it comes to post-processing. As I said earlier, I love working on the field as a documenter and off the field as a creator. The second half of the image happens at my desk with these two weapons. The work proceeds the way my mind is at that particular moment. It’s quite possible that I would come up with a different image altogether the next day while working on the same frame. This is exactly what I see as the voice of an artist’s life!
Tell us about the project you’re pitching, or your portfolio.
Currently, I am traveling across India, trying to engage in Indian culture and tourism. Travel, people, and culture are my main areas of interest.
Tell us a bit about the gear you use and how you feel it helps you achieve your creative vision.
I am currently using a Canon 5D Mark IV, along with a 24-105mm and 16-35mm lens. I have a tripod and Hoya ND 10 stop filter as my major equipment. I do have a second Canon body for backup. Pieces of equipment are just like your body parts. Unless and until you become in harmony with them, there is no point in using the best of the best. It’s a part of the journey and its part of the job to make yourself comfortable with it. Canon is what I am comfortable in at the moment and I’m happy to shoot with it!
What motivates you to shoot?
Building a life to inspire others is what motivates me to shoot. Capturing beauty around places and showing it to people who haven’t had the chance to explore the world is my driving force. What will stay after me is my work. What’s better than a photograph?
Visit Prathamesh Dixit’s portfolio site, Facebook page, and Instagram to see more of his projects and stay updated with his work.