The Colorful Eye of Rohit Kamboj
The sprawling metropolis of Mumbai, India is a cosmopolitan melting pot where the modern world brushes against the all the hues of an Indian backdrop. Where exotic street food is served in the shadow of skyscrapers and spectacular festivals are mixed in on occasion for good measure. It was from this chromatic confluence that Rohit Kamboj emerged, with a passion for photography and a keen eye for using color to good effect in every picture.
Although still new to the world of photography, the seeds of his passion for pictures were planted early in life, beginning with a simple point-and-shoot camera owned by his dad.
"My dad owned a Hot Shot camera and growing up I was always curious about what it does and how.” Says Rohit. “The first camera that I truly got my hands on was in my college days. It was a point and shoot film camera manufactured by Yashica. I used it to cover my college fest. At the time it was just about capturing the moments without paying any attention to technicalities."
Rohit has already demonstrated a remarkable level of talent - picking up several photographic awards and accolades. Considering that photography isn’t even Rohit’s full-time gig, his rapid mastery of the craft is all the more impressive. He’s a software consultant by trade, and now pursues his career in Atlanta, USA. And he’s brought his art and his eye to the states where he explores a wide range of subject matter.
“Most of the pictures I take are from my vacation travels.” Says Rohit. “Initially when I started photography, it was all about uploading to Facebook and focusing on likes. Gradually I started enjoying the technicalities involved in the craft as well.”
His images possess an almost movie-like quality in that any single frame does indeed capture a much greater story. It’s impressive that Rohit is able to capture so much within a single snap of the shutter. A lot of that has to do with his selective understanding of the effect of color in the composition. One can only surmise that it’s the instinct of a photographer who has grown up in the press of the technicolor Mumbai crowd. Someone who has a well-developed intuition for where the next shot is coming from and knows how to be in the right place, when the time comes to immortalize it. Rohit told us a little about his philosophy when it comes to taking pictures.
“Photography helps me re-live the moment,” Says Rohit. “I enjoy the experience over and over again. For me it is all about conveying to my audience what I saw with my eyes. I do not like photoshopping my images. For me, post-processing mainly involves playing with colors, removing distracting elements. I avoid adding elements into the frame.”
Rohit then, despite his skill with the color wheel, is a bit of a photography purist. Even with the advent of technology, it’s always a temptation to fix sub-standard pictures with photographic editing. However, if a photographer is a recorder of a lived experience, the act of digital tampering destroys the reality of the moment. In response to this, we’re seeing more photographers like Rohit trying to stay faithful to the art with the aim to keep their images as true-to-life as possible. In this pursuit, the purist photographer uses software to improve what already exists in the frame, without modifying or introducing special effects.
To help in this, Rohit uses Neat Image (Neat Video’s sister product for photography).
Rohit was first introduced to Neat Image during one of the informative sessions organized by Atlanta Photographic Society – of which he is a member. He spent a few hours experimenting with the plug-in after the session and was very impressed with the outcome. He has been hooked ever since and it is now firmly integrated into his workflow. Every image is first processed with Neat Image and then fine-tuned in Lightroom to achieve the desired look. Every once in a while, Neat Image is able to rescue a photography expedition that might have otherwise been lost. Like the time he went on a field trip to a Rodeo and had trouble with low light conditions.
“It was an outdoor event with low light conditions for photography. Capturing sharp action shots in such conditions is extremely challenging. Most of the shots I took captured the action fantastically, but as expected the images were full of noise. With Neat image, I was able to significantly reduce the noise without compromising on the image’s clarity. The results were extremely satisfactory.”
Satisfactory is an understatement. The shots from that trip are truly extraordinary and well worth a look on Rohit’s website.
On the subject of field trips, it’s true that photography and videography has a tendency to take the artist to different places. That’s part of the allure of the practice. It inspires the photographer to travel and seek out new subject matter. In doing so, the photographer experiences more of the world and more of life. It’s like this for Rohit.
Back from Hong Kong, he is currently working on processing the latest batch from another bright and blurry Asian hub. He’s particularly proud of this image from Victoria Harbour – a tricky night-time image shot from a cruise boat in motion. It turned out well after a little manipulation with Neat Video.
“The attempt was to capture the sail on the backdrop of magnificent Hong Kong skyline.” Says Rohit. “The shot came out well, but had a lot of noise especially in the sky and clouds. Neat Image helped me to reduce the noise and the output is a crisp and sharp image.”
Not long before that, he was capturing images from an alligator farm in Florida and a blast furnace in Birmingham, Alabama. He’s also looking forward to his next trip, which will take Rohit to Morocco at the end of 2018. All these experiences could scarcely be more different, but that’s life behind the camera for the photography enthusiast.
Rohit agrees. “Wherever I go, I try to take my camera gear with me.” He says. “You never know when an opportunity to capture something amazing will occur. I personally enjoy shooting landscape and architecture the most. I would love to experiment more with street photography in future.”
Photography is a passion project and a side hustle for Rohit, but it’s one that he still takes seriously and he has some simple goals for his work.
“The goal I have is to reach out and showcase my work to a wider set of audience and be able to and learn as much as I can while enjoying this journey I am on. I do not have any plan of doing this full time. I hope you enjoy seeing the world through my lenses.”
It’s wonderful to witness true passion for pictures. Keep it colorful, Rohit.