Meet Jassi Oberai, a pharmacist living his dream life by capturing the beauty of nature and everything that comes his way.
Inspiro India: Tell us something about yourself and how did you start creating?
– Photography happened to me suddenly. I did not plan to be a photographer. In one of my corporate trips to Corbett, I bumped into a wildlife photographer and my 5-minute interaction with him changed my life. The irony is that I don’t even know his name or remember him. But once I picked up my first DSLR, there was no looking back.
Inspiro India: Can you talk a bit about your travel photography and way of working?
– Unlike earlier, today my travel photography is mostly on the photo tours that I organise and conduct. And that poses a huge challenge because when you are leading a photo tour, the priority is participants and not you. I have managed to fine-tune the act of balancing.
Inspiro India: Did you face any problem while pursuing this field? How satisfied do you feel after working in this field?
– Well, nothing except for weather challenges and that is what makes photography ever so exciting. I remember one incident while I was trying to shoot a seascape in Bali. After identifying a spot on the edge of the rock on a beach, I waited for almost 15 minutes to check how far the strongest wave reaches. And I thought I was safe. I set my tripod and camera with ND filter on it and the moment I looked through the viewfinder to do fine tuning before I finally press the shutter, a strong wave came out of nowhere and totally drenched me along with my camera. The camera was dripping wet and so was I. Luckily my camera was waterproof so no damage was done. It took me another half an hour to create one image and obviously it is highly satisfying to see the final result.
Inspiro India: Which genre of photography interests you the most and why? What are your top three favourite photography locations?
– I am in love with nature and Landscape Photography excites me the most. My top three favourite photography locations are Iceland, Norway (still on my bucket list) and Ladakh.
Inspiro India: If not this, what would have Jassi been doing?
– I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Honestly, I always wondered why people look down on a salaried job but the moment I took the plunge I realised why people do that. There is nothing better and satisfying than living your dream and making it come true. There was a time I wanted to become a doctor, I became a pharmacist instead, spent my better-salaried life selling financial products and managing teams but nothing more satisfying than capturing the beauty of nature through my lens and making it eternal.
Inspiro India: How would you describe your photography style?
– Freestyle. I like shooting almost everything that comes my way. But yes over a period of time I know that some genres are beyond me like street, product and food photography.
Inspiro India: Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in landscape photography? What are you looking forward to purchasing next?
– Landscape Photography is all about patience. You identify your frame, set it up and wait. Sometimes you have to go there another time or day to get the best shot. One thing people must understand is that Landscape Photography is certainly not photojournalism. You have to be good at post processing to create breathtaking images. When creating slow shutter or long exposure landscape images, accessories like, tripod, ball head, ND filter system are of extreme importance.
The list of equipment to be acquired is long and expensive. But yes I am looking forward to own support equipment to shoot my timelapse.
Inspiro India: What did you want to become when you were a child? What dream is still on your bucket list?
– As a child, I wanted to become a Doctor. My dream is to influence as many as I can with my art and impart photography education. And I am relentlessly working on that.
Inspiro India: ‘Studio Light’ or ‘Natural Light’?
– Natural Light any day. I somehow don’t like the artificial studio set up.
Inspiro India: Out of all the photographs you have ever taken, which is your favourite and why?
– My favourite is the recent image of ‘Northern Lights’ taken in Iceland. Though I was lucky with Northern Lights with almost daily sighting but somehow good composition was eluding me. While we were at the fag end of our tour, we decided to try a new spot, Black Church and viola we got what we were looking at.
Inspiro India: Describe your post-processing workflow? Which camera do you shoot with? Your favourite lenses and other equipment that you use?
– I use Adobe Photoshop and NIK Plugins to process my images. I shoot with Canon 5D Mark IV camera and my favourite lens is my newly acquired Canon 16-35 f/2.8L III USM wide angle lens.
Favourite Photograph // Northern Lights
Inspiro India: What advice would the artist inside you like to pass on to our readers?
– Don’t be in a hurry. Embrace patience and keep moving towards your goal. Put skill enhancement on a priority list of gear buying syndrome. A good camera will give you better result only if you are skilled enough to extract the best out of it.
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