Tag Archives: landscape

By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

22 January 2018

Travel is liberating for his soul, discovering himself one travel at a time. | Traveller of the Week: Siddharth Soni

Siddharth Soni is a Delhi based architect who tries to juggle his life between a full-time corporate job and his passion for photography along with exploring the Himalayas. A trekking and mountain climbing enthusiast, he finds himself at ease in crowded streets, documenting lives and different cultures around him. A graduate of Cornell University, USA, he has been a passionate architect practising for years now. He also reckons photography, travel explorations and documentaries to be his true calling!

 

Travelling started quite unexpectedly for this one. Back in 2002 when he had just started college, his father pushed him to get out of his comfort zone and persuaded him to go on a Himalayan Trek, ‘The Valley of Flowers’. With no knowledge about trekking, it also happened to be his first solo trip! “I had little idea about what to expect. I did make some really good friends though and in a way, found myself in the middle of nowhere. Where I least expected it. A spark was lit and I promptly returned the next year, and it soon developed into a passion”, he says.

 

Siddharth Soni

 

The now well-versed traveller is comfortable with both group and solo travel expeditions. It started out with travelling with a group of 2-3 very close friends but he also believes solo trips to be great. “Most people never take the risk of solo and play it safe by going in a group. But then they don’t know what they are missing out on!”, says the traveller.

 

A part-time globe-trotter, he travels and tries to balance his full-time corporate job which often requires working overtime as well as tight deadlines. Notorious for convincing people to go on road trips, treks and to even quit their jobs to travel, Siddharth wants people around him to explore more and get out of the conventional city life.

 

The traveller is has been to every state in the country except for the North East, Bengal and Kerala. His 5 must-visit destinations include Ladakh, Rajasthan, Bolivia, Italy and Nepal. The landscape, heritage and cultural diversity at these places is like nowhere else on the planet.

A methodical planner, he often reads thoroughly about the places he intends to visit and does background research in order to not waste time figuring things out later. He draws his own maps, itineraries which often helps him manage his time. Spontaneous trips have often led him to waste time figuring things as well as bad experiences.

 

The Summit Ascent – Altitude 5200m, Stok Kangri Expedition

Varanasi

Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal – Main Summit

Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur

Pangong Tso Lake

Barren mountains as seen from Shanti Stupa, Leh

Trishul Summit, Roopkund Trek

Crumbling Facades, Mumbai

Markha Valley, Stok Kangri Expedition

Varanasi

 

Soni believes, attitude and mindset to travel are what counts for one’s own betterment. ‘To try and push yourself and explore your own limitations. To talk to people and share stories and experiences’, he says. He travels with his DSLR camera, GoPro, hiking boots and his shorts, everything else being flexible!

 

Siddarth enjoys the quest to explore, observe and absorb. Wherever he goes, he tries to become a local to explore things like a local. Travelling is liberating for this traveller soul, to be a traveller and not a tourist is what is more important to him. He discovers himself whilst travelling. He says, “It has made me comfortable in all sorts of environments more sensitive towards, people and different cultures. Besides, there is no right or wrong way to travel. It is a means of personal expression and experience, unique for each person.”

 

One life lesson he has learnt is, “The small and temporal nature of our lives and problems in the larger scheme of things in life. To live in the moment and thoroughly cherish each moment for what it is”.

Words by Harpreet
Images by ©Siddharth Soni

 

Follow Siddharth:  Instagram | Website

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

15 January 2018

Know how travel works as a therapy for this week’s | Traveller of the Week: Tushar Panchal

Tushar Panchal, a 24-year-old is a Digital Account Manager at The Minimalist. An engineering dropout, the emotional sense of freedom and curiosity to capture untrodden places became his motivation to travel. His initial excursions were not initiated by passion but work. His first trip was to Hampi, a trip to Bellary for a client meeting, He wrapped up is work as soon as he could and went to Hospet bus station. At a public toilet, he went through a quick change of clothes and started his journey to Hampi.

He then covered the entire Hampi ruins and heritage sites within a duration of 6 hours. This is how he successfully completed his first trip with a second-hand DSLR he bought on OLX.

 

Tushar Panchal

 

Panchal has no specific preference when it comes to travelling, he can travel solo or in a group which entirely depends on the destination and the travel budget for the same. Not a full-time traveller, he has a full-time job and at times it gets tedious to take out time for travelling. He has sacrificed three jobs to fulfil his zeal to travel. His family doesn’t find his travelling agreeable because they are aloof from this field, and at times they are completely unaware of the places he travels to. This at times, causes friction, but nonetheless, doesn’t stop him from continuing on this path.

 

He has covered almost 13-14 states and 2 Union territories (Daman and New Delhi) but has yet to explore places outside India. His favourite travel destinations within India are- Spiti Valley, Hampi, Varanasi (which he plans to visit soon), Srinagar, Ladakh and Gokarna, which can be called “Corsica of India”. His favourite international destinations include Banff National Park, Norway, Iceland, Patagonia and Alaska.

According to him, the five must-haves on every trip are good shoes, sufficient amount of water, a camera kit and a Swiss knife.

 

The freedom to savour any natural landscape in its most raw form is what Tushar feels every traveller enjoys the most. Apart from that, every excursion is an escape from the bubbling social life we all live in urban spaces. For a person like him who lives in Mumbai, travelling becomes a therapy. Instead of going to a psychiatrist or counsellor and venting out your anxieties, Tushar feels, he visits different destinations and talks to them. It’s a conversational bond he develops with the destinations he visits; the thought might sound hippie but in this case, it is true! His upbringing amidst the chaotic life of Mumbai instigated an itch to document the serenity of calm spaces.

 

 

The plethora of experiences he has had while travelling has gained him multiple experiences which cannot be squeezed into a text. To roughly sum it up, he shares two quotes from “Into the Wild”, the first goes like this, “It is important in life not to be strong but to feel strong. At least once you need to measure yourself in the very ancient of human conditions”, and the second says, “If you admit that human life can be ruled by a reason, the possibility of life is destroyed”.

Words by Laveena Behl
Images by ©Tushar Panchal

 

Follow Tushar:  Instagram

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

12 January 2018

Creative Head of the Week: Gitesh Gupta

Gitesh Gupta, also known as ‘Luke CG’ is a professional photographer who hails from the scenic hills of Kullu. His journey started from his engineering days with the first photograph he clicked from his brother’s camera. His fascination gave birth to a zeal to view the world through the lens of a camera. The episode made him realise the power of perspective and imagination combined with a single click!

 

Gitesh Gupta

 

For Gitesh, the premise of any concept is human emotion, which ranges from the bliss of happiness to dejection of sadness. He feels that photography is a similar journey- it is always about telling a tale through a picture and different types of software are the tools that aid the process. His work is heavily influenced by cinema. He is fond of sci-fi action, and movies that exhibit drama with excellent cinematic experience. There is a lot to learn, he says, from the nuances of such sources- about lighting, camera angle etc. He finds in it interesting visuals and concepts in motion and a great source of learning. Thus trying to implement all of it in his work, in an innovative way.

He is largely inspired by events happening in his surroundings- bustling streets, clouds-anything and everything so to say. He also draws inspiration from another artist’s work. All of it encourages him to create a definitive work of his own. Music is another important feature that adds a cherry on the top of all his hard work.

 

When asked about his post-processing, perfection at first glance, he mentions that it all depends on how one sees things. He thinks of it as a puzzle, which has to be arranged in a  perfect manner, conjoining the right pieces, which don’t make him feel scared about the process, unlike many other people.

He compares post processing to cooking- some like it spicy, some like it sweet, but an excess of flavours might upset one’s tongue. In the same way, one has to be efficient while making use of different kinds of software available due to improved technology, he adds. The Creative Head puts to use his Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 6D cameras along with Canon 70-200mm f2.8, Canon 85mm 1.8, Canon 16-35mm f4 and Sigma Art 24-35mm f2 when it comes to picking the right lenses. Phottix Indra500 and 120cm Octabox for the lighting. 

He primarily uses Adobe Photoshop CC for editing along with Wacom Tablet on his iMac 27. He feels Pen Tablet makes life much easier by aiding a precise selection as well as blending different elements together. He also recommends people to try one for retouching.

 

A typical day in his life is indeed scenic with a life in the mountains. Gupta prefers working late at night for editing as it is more peaceful and can focus better on ideas. His daytime is spent in regular official work-queries, e-mails, phone calls etc.

His favourite subject to click is a ‘yes’ to the camera by the subject. The attraction lies in the mysterious ways the eyes try to speak. Gitesh does not have a favourite location but he desires to explore the picturesque landscapes of Iceland and New Zealand.

 

The photography mantra he shares with our readers is to “Learn+Shoot+Practice+Repeat”. The first shot, Gitesh Gupta says, is never perfect-one, one has to rigorously practice for it.

For better results, he mentions, one needs to click a good-quality picture with the camera, and the post-processing edits can add finish to it. 
His message for people struggling in the field of photography is to never search hopelessly for the answers but figure out the right questions which will finally lead you to the solution.

Words by Laveena Behl

 

Images by ©Gitesh Gupta

Follow Gitesh: Instagram | Facebook

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine

 

By

Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Interviews

11 January 2018

Interview with Artist: Shweta Malhotra

Meet Shweta, a visual artist/photographer based in Delhi who is also passionate about baking.

Shweta Malhotra

 

Inspiro India:  How did you get started? What first got you into Painting? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Shweta Malhotra: I’ve always been interested in art. I first dabbled with paints as a little girl but my career as a professional artist began much later in my life. I painted for pleasure, to keep myself busy and to pass the time away. As a student, I was always attracted to art, and in high school, I won several painting competitions as well but never thought about making a career in art.

4 years ago I felt the desire of picking up my paintbrush again. I went and got a bunch of acrylic paints, brushes and started doing it, and it’s really been a therapeutic thing for me.

 

Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of Visual Art? And the challenges you faced as an artist?

SM: I’m a self-taught painter, who loves to colour the abstract beauty on canvas and enliven its gleam in the viewers’ eyes. For me, art is like being on a roller coaster, ups and downs, highs and lows, twists and turns. My paintings splash the eternal meaning of all the highs and lows of one’s life into a depth of emotions. My painted canvases are colourful, I cherish old traditions, new ideas, style and knowledge.

 

 

Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain your work process of Paintings?

SM: I work with several tools and try to bring out something new in every new series. But the process is sometimes easy and at times cruel as well. Some pieces take either hours or months to complete. I never set a target for completing my work. One of my paintings in my last show took the longest. I always let my work rest for a day or two and come back to it. This gives me time to think about what I am going to do next in a completely different way.

When I start something new, I have a set direction usually few sketches but when I paint, I let my creativity and mind play on the canvas. That way my work stays varied and fresh. I do not stick with a style and replicate it over and over for a long time. When I start feeling comfortable, that is not a good sign so I change things up.

 

Inspiro India: Is studying Art in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

SM: It is a loaded question but honestly it depends mostly whether you choose the right college or not.

I have never attended any art college and always feel you don’t really get much out of it financially after paying a good amount of fees. There is an overwhelming chance you will not make money in art. You will find a lot of people who will truly appreciate your art but there are very few who will buy it.

From the skill point of you, I will recommend going to small art schools or institutes. Find a mentor instead of looking for an art college. Most of the skills you can gain yourself by intense self-work, but it’s helpful to have a mentor who can guide you out of the ruts you will fall into.

 

Inspiro India: Who/What has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?

SM: I’m a person who is influenced by love the most. Fortunately, that is what I got in abundance from my family. They are my most valuable support system. My relationship with God and my family form the foundation of who I am. Everything else is built on top of this.

 

Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child?

SM: To be honest with you, I never quite knew what exactly I wanted to become. One day I wanted to be a chef and another day a teacher. I always felt a bit insecure about the future and couldn’t imagine myself as someone.

Soon I realised, It doesn’t matter what you always wanted to be. It’s just a fantasy. What matters is this moment, now.

 

Inspiro India: How would you define beauty in less than 140 characters?

SM: True beauty comes from a person’s internal attributes, the unfading beauty of being a gentle and quiet soul. It’s a state of mind, it’s a quality. Nothing in this world is perfect and I always believe that the beauty lies in someone’s eye.  If you see something with a vision of beauty it will definitely become beautiful. Else try it in any form or way that thing or person will never turn beautiful. Beauty is infinite, everyone and everything is beautiful in its own way.

 

Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides your work?

SM: Apart from painting, I’m passionate about baking. I love the process of researching new recipes and testing them. I can bake delicious cake and make some scrumptious chocolates and desserts.

 

Paintings by ©Shweta Malhotra

 

Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? Some creative tips you’d like to share?

SM: The only advice I can give is, do not wait around for some miracle to happen. All the best ideas come out of the process, the hard work. Just follow your instinct and work on it, things will happen. Definitely!!!

 

Follow Shweta: Instagram | Website

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

8 January 2018

The traveller who has visited 80 countries and gives everyone some serious travel goals. | Traveller of the Week: Abhilash Surendran

Abhilash Surendran hails from Kozhikode district in Kerala right next to a former French colony called Mahe, he calls them both home! Abhilash has quit his corporate job twice to become a full-time traveller and travel blogger. Having failed the first time, the second trial seems to be going good, he says, ‘I had not strategized properly on the pitfalls of travel blogging’.

 

Surendran considers himself to be a mix of an orthodox and offbeat traveller. He enjoys visiting tourist places as well as places unexplored by the crowd. ‘After visiting 80 countries around the world, and almost every part of India, I think every place however touristy, crowded, dirty or polluted it is – has its own charm. It’s always up to the visitor to figure it out’, he says giving everyone some serious travel goals.

 

Abhilash Surendran

 

In 2008, the now travel junkie went on his first solo trip. While working in an MNC in Chennai, he was asked to move to their office in Manila, Philippines. A scary prospect at first, he accepted. ‘Living in the Philippines ended up changing my life!

After the Philippines, I was hooked. I started backpacking to other parts of South East Asia, came back to India to do road trips around my own country, went discovering Europe, Oceania and the Americas. And I don’t think I am stopping anytime soon’, he says.

 

Abhilash loves travelling solo and makes friends in places he visits and does short travels with them as a group to nearby places, a much better way to get to know the places from the eyes of a local rarely on the tourist trail.

 

The biggest challenge for Abhilash is family! He left a well-paying job in Singapore before he changed his profession of becoming a traveller. His family was definitely not happy with his career choice. They are now fully convinced and supportive of the idea.

 

For International trips, the traveller makes it a point to have a general plan in advance for cheaper flight tickets. ‘Like, I will spend 3 weeks in Germany. But what I do in those 3 weeks, is quite flexible’, mentions the travel blogger.

In India, he travels on his motorbike, riding solo around the country which also means he can go with the flow and do a little bit of research about the offbeat places he’d like to visit and save it to google maps. Whenever he is in the area, he makes it a point to visit the pinned locations!

 

The traveller’s 5 must-visit locations would be, firstly, Eastern Arunachal Pradesh. Lohit, Anjaw and Changlang Districts are untouched and have amazing natural beauty!

Outside India, Jordan. The Bedouin culture and hospitality is amazing. Also, sights like Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash etcetera are not only historic but also out of this world. Serbia, one of his favourite countries in the Balkan region is full of delightful people, amazing food and easy to travel or hitchhike. Next is Timor Leste, the untouched and the latest country of ASEAN, the country gets only 10,000 visitors every year. A complete adventure to travel to, he was surprised to visit villages where he was the first tourist they had ever seen!

Last but not the least, San Marino. A country surrounded by Italy, it is the only country in the world where there are more people than vehicles. The pristine city views are straight out of a renaissance movie set.

Now, on to his 5 must-haves for travelling and staying outdoors.

In India, he prefers to travel only on his motorbike as it makes any place accessible. Second would be, a sturdy and multi-purpose backpack. Not to forget, offline maps, he suggests an application called maps.me! A sleeping bag, if one is into camping outside.  Finally, a will to be flexible and adapt to situations is a must! The ability to accept different cultures, mindsets, people and the ability to get along with them makes the journey much more fulfilling.

 

The traveller loves meeting the locals on his expeditions. He does admit places, monuments and nature are great for photographs but one can only learn about the place through the eyes and the mouths of a local.

Abhilash prefers to listen to the natives and explore the not so ordinary sites, he remembers his earlier days of chasing the touristy spots, unlike today.

 

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Andorra, Europe

Brahmaputra, Guwahati

Cairo, Egypt

Istanbul, Turkey

Seria, Brunei

Varanasi, India

 

Surendran has covered all states except Mizoram, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh. Outside India, his travelling has been in circuits as he usually travels for longer durations. ‘I started with the Banana pancake trail of South East Asia, which covers countries like Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Then there is the Indonesia island circuit, taking you through the islands of Java and Borneo’, he adds. In Europe, time was mostly spent doing the Baltic trail (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) or the Balkans stretch (Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, etc).

 

 

One life lesson he has learnt through travelling – ‘That the world is not what you read about in a magazine or newspaper. I am not going to lie, I had many of my biases shattered in different places that I have visited around the world. These biases were formed by media, or opinions of friends, over the years, and only when I visited the place did I know how wrong my understanding was’.

For example, he says before visiting North East India, he perceived the tribes to be orthodox and not set in present times. But once he actually arrived, he was greeted with friendliness and generosity! A much more modern mindset than the rest of India, he says the entire country can learn a thing or two.

Also, media often portrays the Islamic countries around the world as orthodox and conventional. Whilst travelling to Bangladesh, Brunei and the Middle-East, the traveller made a note to wear decent clothes hiding his tattoos as not to offend anyone. He was blown away instantly by attending the craziest house party in Dhaka! The youth did have fun but unfortunately, the media portrays most of the countries in a much different light than usual which shouldn’t stop one from exploring and travelling all the countries out there!

Words by Harpreet
Images by ©Abhilash Surendran

 

Follow Abhilash:  Instagram | Website | Facebook

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

6 January 2018

One of a kind scooter rider on a mission to explore the unimaginable

Narender Kumar Gautam is a primary school teacher in Delhi with a passion to take his Bajaj Bravo 2 Strokes Scooter to rides unimaginable. A scooter gifted by his father which is now 17 years old, Delhi is his home.

 

Narender Kumar Gautam

 

Narender first got hooked on taking his scooter on rides when he came across a travelogue on a travel forum where 2-3 guys were riding scooters in the remote and rugged valley of Spiti in Himachal Pradesh with a Mahindra Scorpio as their back up vehicle. ‘I was very thrilled to see scooters in the tough terrain of Spiti. That scooter travelogue encouraged and inspired me to travel on my two wheels’, he says. Within five minutes of reading the travelogue, Gautum decided to ride his Bajaj to the high mountains and use it for long-term touring. Since then, he has never looked back!

 

The scooter rider prefers to travel solo but also travels in groups sometimes. Narender Kumar Gautam shares his 3 most memorable scooter rides, starting with his very first ride when he scaled 18,953 feet altitude on a mountain pass – Marsimik La in Ladakh in June 2016. No scooter had ever reached such heights, he says. Riding his scooter to this high pass was his long pending dream which he realized in June of 2016.  Marsimik La pass, located very near to the border of China, it is only 42 km away from Pangong Lake in Ladakh. A very steep road, totally broken and unmarked, he finally reached the pass, alone. ‘Fast cold winds were blowing and it was goosebumps moment for me. I offered my prayers in a small temple at the pass and thanked God for this’, he reminisces. It is also his best memory so far!

 

The second ride was in September of 2014 when he crossed the treacherous and remote Umba La Pass which connects Drass to Suru valley bypassing Kargil. A very remote area, very few people have been there he mentions.

 

Last but not the least, the third memorable ride was when he rode his scooter along the China border via Chushul. He reached Hanle from Pangong Lake in Ladakh, a very thrilling ride experience. The road was sandy and there were no milestone or signboards. ‘I was riding between the Indian and Chinese army bunkers as told by locals’, says Narender.

 

The rider makes a brief plan in his head in advance before he commences his travels. Generally, he includes new places on earth and brings forth places for other riders so they can explore as well.

 

5 must-visit destinations according to him are- Mustang Valley in  Nepal, Ladakh, Mana Pass in Uttrakhand, Nepal-Lahsa Friendship Highway in Tibet and Karakoram Highway in Pakistan.

 

Not to forget, his 5 must haves on a journey of exploring this wonderful planet, number one would be passion! Knowledge about routes and places, sound knowledge of the vehicle, to be aware of basic amenities and hardships on the road and to carry spare essentials.

 

Scooters are disappearing very fast and there are difficulties in finding spare parts in case of a breakdown admits the rider. ‘Its a very grave concern for a scooterist’, he says when it comes to the difficulty faced when touring on a scooter in India. Also, the best part is that scootering makes one a unique rider among majority bikers. There is a level of respect one receives from people when one travels on a scooter. Such appreciation is the best reward for a scooterist according to Narender.

 

Baralacha Pass, Himachal Pradesh

Malling Nako, Spiti Valley

Fotu La Pass, Ladakh

Mustang valley, Nepal

Maganetic Hill, Ladakh

Key, Spiti Valley

Leh-Manali Highway, Ladakh

Photos by Narender Kumar Gautam

 

Narender has also ridden to Sach Pass and Ladakh via Pangi Valley, both dangerous roads to be on. What makes him get away with that on a scooter? He says, he rides sensibly and prepares his scooter well. ‘My scooter broke down in Pangi valley but I managed to get it repaired and continue my ride and complete it’, he adds. Sach Pass and Pangi are treacherous roads, no doubt, but a very safe and slow ride will surely overcome the tough terrain he believes.

 

The one of a kind scooter rider shall never run out of stories, one such interesting excerpt from his rides is when he was travelling solo to Suru and Zanskar Valley in Ladakh. The bad weather and snowfall did not go hand in hand with his scooter’s performance. Suddenly, he saw a pack of three wolves staring at him. The cold weather and fright shivers made him sweat. Alone for 50-60 km, there was no one. He stayed put and after a few moments later, the wolves went away. He breathed a sigh of relief!

 

One lesson the rider has learnt from his years of touring on the scooter is ‘Patience’! Narender Kumar also adds, his rides happen to give him a sense of content and peace.

 

Words by Harpreet

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – Download Free.

 

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Interviews | Photography

4 January 2018

Interview with Photographer: Jassi Oberai

Meet Jassi Oberai, a pharmacist living his dream life by capturing the beauty of nature and everything that comes his way. 

Jassi Oberai

 

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

Photos by ©Jassi Oberai

 

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.

 

Follow Jassi: Instagram | Facebook | Website

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

1 January 2018

A local weekend traveller on a mission to explore Himachal. | Traveller of the Week: Neha Ralli

Neha Ralli is a weekend traveller and a hobby photographer. She was born and brought up in Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) and loves star gazing, talking about extra-terrestrial lives and its possibilities. She likes to write poetry when she is in the right mood.

Neha feels that curiosity to see something new, meet new people and know more about fellow human beings and this wonderful creation called Earth is what led her to choose this path. She says, “My first trip was my school trip to a place called ‘Dyar’ in Kullu. We trekked a little and reached this beautiful place surrounded by Deodar Trees’, she was awestruck. At the young age, she had no words to describe what she felt. Now when she thinks of it, it makes her calm and happy.

Neha Ralli

 

She likes to travel with her family and friends but believes that solo travelling is also a unique experience. However, mostly she prefers company while travelling. Being a working woman, Neha manages to take out time for her hobbies as she works in Himachal Pradesh itself. Time had become an issue while she was working in Chandigarh and this prompted her to shift back and live close to nature for mental peace and to be closer to her family.

She loves to go on spontaneous trips and rarely plans her trips as she feels that spontaneous trips have always been the best for her. Currently located in Himachal, she is trying to see it extensively. The idea of not being well versed in her own land has bothered her for a long time and therefore she usually travels in Himachal itself. According to her, a person should visit these 5 places for a unique experience, Kareri Lake (Dharamshala), Kaisdhar (Kullu),  Lahaul, Bhrigu Lake (Kullu) and  Prashar Rishi (Mandi).

Ralli also lists down 5 essentials for travelling and staying outdoors:

  1. One should be acclimated to the high altitudes
  2. Weather on mountains changes drastically, so one should always keep warmers and raincoats in the bag pack in case there’s a plan to camp.
  3. It’s very dry on the mountaintop and therefore one must keep moisturizer or Chap Stick as skin gets dry in the extreme weather conditions.
  4. Keep a swiss knife for multipurpose use and a lighter to start a bonfire.
  5. Always wear sunscreen to avoid skin burn. Try and keep the bag as light as possible. Do not take things you will not use on your trek. Always remember “Keep it Light”.

In addition to this, she talks about things that one should not do when in outdoors:

  1. One should always carry a litter bag along and not throw wrappers and bottles on mountains.
  2. Noise or use of loudspeakers while camping should be avoided because it attracts wild animals and disturbs the environment.
  3. One should not do anything that hurts the sentiments of the locals.
  4. It is important to put out the fire before you leave or sleep.

 

According to her, the best thing about trekking is that one can forget all the worldly chaos which has been left behind. One keeps climbing because there’s simply more to see in life. The curiosity to see what’s next after a turn, the feeling of knowing that the mind is finally at halt of random thoughts bothering you is something that drives her. She aims to visit various places in Himachal and learn everything she can about the divine land know as Himachal Pradesh.

 

Dharamshala

Palampur

Pong Dam, Kangra

Tattapani, Shimla

Triund, Dharamshala

Gulaba, Manali

Kasol

Triund, Dharamshala

 

Travelling has taught her that humans are quite vulnerable. “We keep fighting on trivial things and issues. We keep grudges against each other. We keep focusing on things that make us less human. We won’t get many chances to live. So why not make the most of it. I got my second chance, and I’m living it in the best way possible,” she said. Sharing a personal experience, she said, “Once I reached on top of a mountain and saw the vast city land, so small and nonexistent human life. No noise, not even birds chirping. At that time, I realized that the issues we all are fighting for, why are they even there? We are all humans in the end. We all have to die one day. I am sure we can all get along if we keep in mind that we all have to live together like a big family in our home called Earth.”

Words by Laveena Behl
Images by ©Neha Ralli

 

Follow Neha:  Instagram

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Interviews

21 December 2017

Interview with Artist: Sikander

Meet Sikander, whose journey of an artist began whilst being fascinated by Sikh gurus painted on calendars.

Sikander

 

Inspiro India: How did you get started? What first got you into Painting? Tell us a bit about yourself.

– Since my childhood when I was 5-6 years of age, I knew that I would become an artist. I have always wanted to become a painting artist. I was always fascinated by the calendars of Sikh gurus painted or printed on them. I tried copying them and started following the path of art. This way my journey of art began.

 

Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of Visual Art? And the challenges you faced as an artist?

– Visual art is an art which attracts one’s vision and one that an artist creates. That creation of art gives happiness not only to the artist but also to the viewer. It was very hard to describe what art actually is. Generally, people think that an artist paints the walls & hoardings only. But making them realise the efforts and hard work that an artist puts in to make a masterpiece was my biggest challenge and secondly, when you go through the struggle, financially you face a lot of difficulties which I think is very important part of one’s life.

 

 

Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain your work process of Paintings?

– Being a watercolour artist I cannot live without my art kit which includes brushes, paint, sheets. They are a must. As an artist I am very fond of travelling and capturing the beauty of this world. Whenever I travel, I click, get ideas and convert them into paintings. I like to paint outdoor and live too.

 

Inspiro India: Is studying Art in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

– Of course, I recommend studying in Arts college. I, myself have graduated from the Government College of Art, Chandigarh. So whatever I have achieved until today, my college has equally contributed. You get to learn so much from your teachers, seniors and fellow mates. This way your circle widens and you get quite good chance to improve yourself.

 

Inspiro India: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?

– My biggest influence in the way of my journey as an artist. The famous artist Sobha Singh. I was so inspired by his art style and the masterpieces he has created.

 

Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child?

– I have always wanted to become an artist.

 

Inspiro India: How would you describe your approach to paint?

– Painting is a meditation in itself. One cannot describe the beauty of art in few or more words. It is beyond description. It is a satisfaction which one can only feel and cannot express in words. One must be thankful if he or she is an artist.

 

Inspiro India: How would you define beauty in less than 140 characters?

– Beauty in my words is anything that exists in nature. Whether it is the mountains, sky, water, humans, animals, birds or trees, I enjoy everything present in nature. God is the biggest artist. The beautiful creations of nature have so much to see and enjoy that describing it is beyond words. As an artist I love to paint everything in nature like landscapes, portraits etc.

 

Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides your work?

– Besides painting I am a gadget freak. I love buying latest gadgets. This is my passion since I started earning. I always keep myself updated with the new gadgets in town.

Paintings by ©Sikander

 

Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? Some creative tips you’d like to share?

– As an artist, I would love to share my experiences with other creative heads, one must be honest with the type of work he or she does. Apart from the commercial approach, I think one must enjoy and feel proud of whatever you paint. Feeling satisfied with your work is the biggest earning.

 

Follow Sikander: Instagram | Website

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine
By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Inspiration | Photography

17 December 2017

Photographer Spotlight: Kadir Khan | iiOverseas

The immense love and support from you ‘Creative Heads’ has been surreal over the past few years. Inspiro India wishes to grow with the growing creative community.
We’re continuously working to bring great content to anyone and everyone following us on various platforms.

The end of the year calls for a new fortnightly ‘Overseas Feature’ representing ‘Creative Heads’ from all over the globe.
Inspiro India brings to you the first ‘iiOverseas‘ from our very own neighbouring country, Pakistan.

 

Kadir Khan has always considered himself to be an artist, he used to draw and doodle on his notebook and still does to this date. When he was 16, he finally picked up a camera and realised how it made perfect sense to him. ‘I needed a quick way to create content and distort viewer perception in order to design artistic illusions. I had no clue what I was doing but I think that’s what made it so appealing’, says the photographer.

 

Kadir Khan // Photo by Usamah Hussain

 

A free soul, Kadir loves Portrait, Food and Fashion Photography. He believes the fancy things marketed to photographers are all tools that may or may not be necessary to execute a certain idea. Technology shouldn’t let anyone define one’s way of working neither is accepting a photography style that important. He tries to portray the free soul he reckons himself to be through his alluring images.

 

‘I’m learning every day something new and I’m quite content with what I do’, he says, more than content with the images he creates. If not photography, Khan would’ve probably become a musician, another aspect which appeals to him other than photography.

 

Kadir loves to work on ‘Portraits’. He uses a Canon Mark III or Canon Mark IV along with various prime lenses for photography. He makes use of Lightroom and Photoshop for post-processing the images.

 

He also computes his day to be slow, spent in creating art. Inspiration was derived from his fellow photographers who have taught him a lot, one of them being Usman Malkani.

 

To achieve captivating results in photography, the photographer suggests to practice and experiment a lot. Kadir Khan’s artistic spirit suggests the readers to always follow instinct and stay focused!

 

Images by ©Kadir Khan

Follow Kadir: Instagram 

 

“Inspiro India will be featuring bloggers every week irrespective of what they blog. To get featured on Inspiro India simply use ‘#iiblogger’ on Instagram ”

 

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

 

 

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine

 

By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

11 December 2017

Traveller of the Week: Tanya Khanijow

Tanya Khanijow started travelling and learning photography in 2016, she started off by expressing herself through her content on social media one frame at a time.

A traveller, blogger, vlogger and content creator, she loves to travel and find her self in different places every now and then. ‘What really drives me and encourages me to keep going is a never-ending need to explore and see the world’, says Tanya.

Tanya Khanijow

 

Tanya has always liked travelling from early childhood from the time her dad got posted to a new location, courtesy Indian Army.

Through the Indian Army, she has had the opportunity to stay at some of the most pristine locations in India. ‘I’ve changed as many as nine schools. And to be honest, I loved it. It provided me with a new perspective on a place, and people when I was as young as 3-4 years. I learned early on in life, the value of travelling and change’, she says.

 

During her college days, Tanya would find herself making plans on the spur of the moment to travel to different places. She would save her monthly allowance and hustle to travel. She has travelled in local trains, public buses, rickety mountain vehicles,  the list is endless.

 

Tanya has always loved the natural environment more than the comfort and education imbibed in a classroom. With that started her tryst with travel.

Not a full-time traveller yet, she spent 2017 working as well as travelling, intending to travel full time from next year.

Also a spontaneous traveller, she doesn’t plan the destination or things to do in advance. If she sees there is free time available on her calendar, she takes seconds to decide the best place for the time and plans economically by booking cheap flight tickets, she then skims through blogs and web resources for a brief basic idea of the culture, geography and differentiating factors of the place.

5 must-visit locations according to Tanya would be, Alappuzha in Kerala. The backwaters of Kerala are beyond beautiful and one must experience village life and a little by the water lanes. ‘Try living with locals and riding on a slow-paced boat instead of a motorboat. And don’t opt for a houseboat. Houseboats are large and can only traverse in broad canals. You’ll miss out on the village life experience’, stresses the travel junkie! Her next pick would be ‘The Himalayas’, right from North to West to the East, the entire stretch of the Himalayas is beautiful and unique, she personally feels, people who have not experienced it have missed out on something so far. Right from Uttrakhand to Valley of Flowers, Roopkund Trek, treks like Kareri lake, Bhrigu lake, Parashar lake in Himachal and recently the eastern side of Himalayas in Sikkim, it has always left her awe-inspired. Next is the white salt desert of Runn of Kutch – ‘One word, WOW! It’s beautiful, unlike anything. Especially the sight of a full moon during the night against the white sand’, she says.

 

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

enroute Udiapur

Pondicherry

Alleppey, Kerala

Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Bhrigu Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Udaipur, Rajasthan

Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh

 

Khanijow travels with a lot of camera equipment and instils everyone to have a dedicated space or compartment for everything whilst travelling. Sunscreen, mosquito repellent, paper soap, sanitizer and tissue paper are must-haves.

Battery pack, tripod, selfie stick – very useful commodities for travelling solo, especially if one is worried about running out of battery without a source of power for hours.

 

A big fan of chasing after sunrises and sunsets, she really enjoys waking up early and catching the morning action. It goes without saying, she loves travel photography and also her new found love for making videos.

 

A pretty impressive figure, 18 states have been covered by Khanijow along with a few international trips to countries such as China, USA, London, Aruba and Bhutan.

 

‘I think every lesson that I’ve learnt while travelling has been life-changing. But if I’ve to pinpoint one if you travel, you will change your life forever, for good’, is one life lesson she has learnt whilst travelling.

Words by Harpreet
Images by ©Tanya Khanijow

 

Follow Tanya:  Instagram | Youtube

Check out latest edition of Inspiro India magazine – here

Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine