“Photography is a passion, hobby and inheritance for me.”
Shaswat Padhi (Mystik Monk) has inherited photography from his father, who himself is an internationally recognized and awarded photographer.He started serious photography in 2007 with a basic point and shoot canon IXUS camera and slowly upgraded to a Canon 1000D to learn the basics of manual photography.With a fascination for film,he is the first SLR photographer to be featured on The Broken Scooter.
He draws influence from the Lomographic Society since 2011. He also has a knack for collecting old Film SLRs.
Q. Where are you from? What gear do you use?
I use film cameras dating from the 60’s to 2000. Some of the cameras in my collection are Canon A-1, Nikon FM10, Nikon F801s (from my father), Yashica Electro 35 a range-finder camera, a medium format Lubitel, a lomo LCA+ and a DSLR -Nikon D7000. Soon I’ll be getting hold of a Mamiya RB67; a medium format (120mm) SLR.
Currently I have 50mm 1.8, 60mm macro 2.8, 70 – 300mm 3.5 – 5.6, 24 – 120mm 3.5 – 5.6 and 135mm 2.8 lenses.
Q. In this age of DSLR’s, why do you choose to use a SLR? Isn’t Digital Photography a lot easier and time-saving?
Digital Photography is not only easier and time-saving but also cheaper in the long run. Still I prefer using film as it makes me think. Using film has its own charm that digital technology, in my opinion, can never replace. Its un-predictive,different films used produce different results. If scanned properly, a film scan still has better resolution than a 35mm DSLR. A 35mm DSLR would take almost 36 mega pixels to produce the same resolution as a 35mm Film would. Most of the cameras that i have are old and hence the metering in them doesn’t work, so I have to calculate the exposure using the rule of sunny 16, which itself is a challenge.Film photography is a world in itself, you need to take ample time to compose a frame,shoot and develop the film. It’s not that I exclusively shoot film, I also use a Nikon D7000 and my Iphone to take photos as well.
Q. How different is SLR Photography from DSLR Photography?
Shooting Film is definitely more challenging. There are 24 or 36 frames in one film and sadly they are not cheap. So one cannot go click-click-click!! One has to think, compose a frame, calculate the proper exposure, dial in the shutter and the aperture, and there is no way to look into a LCD and check if the shot is proper. So for shooting film, one has to be really aware. Sometimes, if I manage to get 20 good frames it’s a success for me, but with practice it improves.
Q. Please tell us something about Lomography. How is it done and whats special about it?
Lomography is a society which focuses on film photography. It was made famous with the LOMO LCA camera. The specialty of the camera is its lens, which gives vibrant colors and produces vignette. It achieved a cult status during the 1990’s and is still very much popular!
Q. One can see and clearly make out that flowers are your favorite subject to photograph. What interests you in flowers?
It’s not that flowers are my favorite subjects to photograph, it’s just that I do gardening. I curate lots of flowering plants and watching them grow and bloom is always an experience. Hence I capture their beauty as I feel connected to them.
Q. What other subjects/genre’s of photography are you interested in?
As I said I love Portraiture. Along with that I also like Landscapes, Flora, Macro and the newly popular digital technique of HDR.
Q. Anything for the young and budding photographers there?
Please pay attention to what you are trying to capture with your device. Just “go and click” isn’t the aim of photography! Try to learn the proper basics first. The basic theory must be crystal-clear in your minds. Once you have that you’ll rock as a photographer.
Always remember, having a DSLR, SLR or any sort of camera doesn’t make one a photographer; neither one needs to possess the most expensive equipment to be a good photographer; it’s all in the mind.
The best camera is the one which you have at the moment you need.It may, very well be your cell phone too.