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“This was kind of breaking free from the monotonous life I was having due to the virus,” explains photographer Achuth Krishnan to us in an interview. “This shoot was done after almost four-five months of being stuck at home because of the pandemic. And I needed to get out and start shooting.” Indeed, Achuth joins the great list of photographers who found new ways to be creative in the pandemic. Best of all, Achuth did these multiple exposures with very little Photoshop. We asked him how he did it.
The Essential Photography Gear of Achuth Krishnan
Dazed and Expositio are two sets of images from a single shoot. Both were shot on the Canon 1Dx Mark II and the Canon 50mm 1.8 STM on a tripod and lit by two Godox AD600 Flashes. I have been using Canon gear for around 6 years now and I am comfortable and familiar with my camera system. So, whenever I set out to shoot something like this it is easy for me to set-up and play around with the camera settings without too much trouble.
Talk to us about how you first got into photography.
It was right after school, and I was about to start college. I had a lot of time on my hand, and I started off shooting pictures as a hobby. I met my mentor during that time. And then I started doing this more seriously, putting in more time and effort into making myself better.
What made you want to shoot portraiture?
I love meeting new people, talking and getting to know the subject, and portraying them the way they are. I strive to make those pictures look true to themselves and something they can show as their own.
These double exposures seem a lot different from the stuff you normally show on Behance. What made you want to try your hand at this technique?
I never shoot for platforms. I got out and shoot what I find interesting and upload them. This was just one of them. And I’m always trying to find interesting ways to shoot portraits.
How’d you go about doing this? Did you have a concept in mind to start? Did you shoot the portraits, then the layers and start stacking them in-camera?
I had a basic idea beforehand with a few reference images so that I could communicate with the model on what we would be shooting and the technique to be used during the shoot.
And I started off with a few simple portraits and then moved on to shooting the concept. Even with the references and ideas, almost half of it was improvised due to location limitations and the likes.
How did you explain to your model what the final results were going to look like?
I had a few similar images conveying the idea, ready at hand. It was easy as showing her what kind of images we would be shooting. And we have shot together in the past too, which makes the process of communication easier.
You seem to have a lot of contrast in dark and light here. Did that make this process easier for you?
I knew I had to have a lot of contrast in the dark and light because we would be having a busy foreground, and I wanted the attention to be on the model. This made the process tricky because I did not have a black backdrop and had to move around to get the desired black background.
What made you choose the specific color palette in these two sessions?
We planned on Yellow on dark and Brown on dark combinations. I chose yellow and brown because I knew we would be shooting in the dark, and I wanted to move away from the usual reds that are paired with the dark. I was playing around with the color schemes and did not restrict myself to anything.
How do you feel you’re expressing yourself creatively?
This shoot was done after almost 4-5 months of being stuck at home because of the pandemic. And I needed to get out and start shooting. This was kind of breaking free from the monotonous life I was having due to the virus. This was one of the first shoots I did after the first wave of the pandemic hit.
So not much Photoshop was done with these, huh? They were mostly done in-camera?
Yes! Just blemish removal, color grading, and evening out the background is done on Photoshop. Everything else is done on camera with a slow shutter speed and strobes.
Do you plan on doing anything like this in the future?
I would love to explore more on this, couple it up with more ideas, and shoot more interesting imagery in due time. I love experimenting and will be doing more for sure.