A portfolio by Ashok Viswanathan, India

I started photography young while in school in the early 70’s starting with a Zeiss Super Ikonta IV and progressing to a Nikon FM with 4 lenses by the time I graduated.

Those were the days when film was supreme and digital was a distant dream. Large format was the standard and anything less than 6×6 cm was looked down upon. The problem with film was the quality of processing in India which left something to be desired and of course the recurring costs for film, processing and printing. In those days I shot Ilford FP4 and HP5 for b&w and Kodachrome 25/64 for colour. By todays standards, most photographers cannot imagine what it means to shoot 25 ASA film. My Kodachromes were always processed in Germany to be assured the best processing standards were met.

Ancient stepwells bhuj
Bandra seascape

Early 2000 I was introduced to digital and loved it. I was no longer dependent on erratic labs and once you invested in a digital system and laptop there were no further running costs except for software upgrades . Everything that can be done in a traditional darkroom can be done easily in digital. My workhorse for the next 12 years was the Nikon D100 a 6MP with a 24-85mm lens supported by a 14mm f2.8 and a 80-200 f2.8 Nikon zoom.

Jain temple ajmer
Bhuj palace
Kodaikanal lake
Kodaikanal lake

My subjects are mainly landscape, seascape, travel, portrait and model shoots. A large number of my images have been exhibited at national and international salons and published. When Fuji introduced the X-Pro1 I loved it for the retro looks and its size. No longer did I have to carry around a heavy camera and the X-Pro1 offered every control I needed to expand my photography. As I saw the results from the work of other photographers and the improvement in the sensors from Fuji I knew the time has come to say goodbye to Nikon and move to Fuji. Today I have the 10-24mm, 18-55mm and the amazing 50-140mm f2.8 lens. Fuji glass is outstanding and so are their sensors. The “out of camera” jpg is excellent as also the ability to “see” in low light. Most of my images are available light and “studio” being a window with daylight bounced of the neighbouring building a few feet away. A reflector helps fill in the shadows. Only a few images have been in studio controlled environment.

Mahableshwar club
Mahableshwar club
Gathering storm Palani hills
Gathering storm Palani hills
Palace at Varnasi
Palace at Varnasi

My Fuji is set for RAW + Jpg and my workflow is to use the jpg for posting images on my site. Mostly shoot in aperture priority mode. The RAW is used to process images for exhibitions and salons where adjustments need to be made. My preferred convertor and processing software now is Afinity Photo which offers excellent features and with a one time license fee. It does everything PS can do and more.

Chettinad mansion
Chettinad mansion
Kodaikanal hills
Kodaikanal hills
Palani lakes
Palani lakes

My images tend towards low key with emphasis on shapes and outlines. More recently have been working with textures and blending modes which adds a new dimension to the image. Not all textures work all the time so one has to pick and choose and try different options. It can get quite addictive.

Jaipur palace in the lake
Jaipur palace in the lake

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