Welcome to our series of 100 interviews we are holding with photographers who use mirrorless cameras for their work. This week’s interview is with Raviraj Kande, a photographer based in Mumbai, India who uses Olympus cameras for his people, fashion, food and lifestyle photography.
All images in this article are property of Raviraj Kande and are published with permission.
1. Who is ‘Raviraj Kande’ in three simple sentences?
I am born and based in Mumbai – India. I am a stand-up comedian and actor by profession and a self-taught photographer whose interest lies in people, fashion, food and lifestyle photography.
2. How did you become passionate about photography?
Well, it all started with clicking pictures from phone. Like if I am in a coffee shop or if on a street and I come across some interesting face I used to ask them if I could take a pic of theirs. And I used to post them on Facebook, people started liking the pictures and started suggesting that I must buy a proper camera and start doing photography seriously. Then my friend from Australia, Rahul Dutta, a photographer himself, bought a camera for me in Australia as there was a nice deal going for Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera and got it delivered through a friend to me in India and that’s how it all started.
3. Your series ‘Street-Portraits – Striking Faces” is a stunning collection of portraits from the streets. What characteristics do you look for in a subject, and in general, how do they react to being photographed?
I generally look for anything which is unique in them, maybe their eyes, the face their attitude. Something which catches my eye and which I instinctively feel that I need to take a pic of. 95% actually feel great when you ask them if you can take their picture. Some people are busy or some are just in bad mood or are just not comfortable I don’t spend time convincing them I just move on and try to find some other interesting personality which I can capture. But my experience says people at least in Mumbai like being photographed.
4. Browsing through the pictures on your website, it is clear that you like outdoor locations and working with natural light. What is your favourite time of day to shoot? Do you also use additional lights or reflectors to achieve your desired effect?
All pics which see on my website are shot in natural light or available ambient light. I have so far never used reflectors or flash as it is cumbersome to use specially when you are shooting street portraits of normal people. I almost always shoot between 4-6pm when the sun starts to come down and there is nice fall of light all around.
5. Do you have a preferred location for street portraiture that you visit time and time again?
Mumbai is a extremely populated city and there are people all around. I generally don’t have any favorite places, most of the time i just go for a walk with the camera with me. And take pics of people or things which I find interesting in my way.
6. You seem to dedicate a lot of time to post-processing. Your portraits have a precise style with a particular colour palette. How did you define your style?
To be honest I do not spend more then 5-6 mins on a pic in post processing. I shoot JPEGs only and then post process them as per my liking in Snapseed on my phone or tablet. I prefer to keep the pictures as natural and real life as possible maybe sometimes reduce the saturation and add some contrast to get that cinematic grungy look but most of the time the post processing is minimal.
7. You’ve been using the Olympus OM-D E-M10 for a couple of years now. What drew you to the Olympus system in the first place?
I was stuck between the Sony a6000 and Olympus OMD E-M10. Doing the research it was quite apparent that micro four thirds system had more variety of high quality lenses. And I personally did not find huge difference in results when it came to sensor size difference between APS-C and m43. Like mentioned above my friend in Australia got a good deal for OMD E-M10 and he bought it for me so I decided let’s go with Olympus now. Beside another important point which was going for Olympus OM-D E-M10 was the look of the camera. Call me crazy but I absolutely need to love how the camera looks and feels in hand to use it very often and the OM-D series are just perfect blend of that retro style in a new digital package. And being a stand up comedian I travel a lot in India and abroad so I wanted a system which is small and handy which I can carry everywhere without lugging.
8. What are your go-to lenses for your street portraits?
My main 2 preferred lenses on regular basis are Olympus 25mm F1.8 and Sigma 60mm F2.8. Of course I love the Olympus 45mm and 75mm also but they were sent to me by Olympus India to use. My ideal set-up would be Olympus 25mm , sigma 60mm and Olympus 45mm.
9. If you could travel to one place in the world to take street portraits, where would it be?
New York for the only fact that I would get so much variety of faces from white, blacks, Asians, South Americans, Brazilians. Practically I would find all nationalities of the world in one city to shoot.