Hello Mr.Vinay, would you like to tell us about yourself?
Vinay- I’m Vinay Kumar Menon, 30 years old from Pune City. Been clicking action sports for quite some time now. Been a little serious about this for around 6 years. Other than capturing alternative sports I’m a mountain biker and represent India in International events. Deputy Editor for ‘Freerider Mtn Bike Magazine’ and part brain at ‘Psynyde’ Bicycles.
How has your journey as an adventure photographer been till now ?
Vinay- At the moment adventure sports in India is small compared to mainstream sports. But is growing rapidly thanks to the crazy dedicated athletes, journalists and brands. My journey as a photographer has been pretty slow as I havnt attended any film school and have learnt form trial and error. And that takes time! Lately, there’s been a surge in brands wanting innovative styles in sports photography/filming so projects are increasing.
How come you landed up in this photography genre ?
Vinay- Being an athlete myself since childhood I saw images of pro mountain bikers, motocross racers, BMX legends in magazines and on TV. Action moments from these sports always excited me. And I guess a way to share that excitement with everyone is through showcasing beautiful images.
What things you like about Adventure Photography than rest of the genres ?
Vinay- The rush involved in adventure sports is something I can relate to as I’m hunting for the next rush myself! Seeing another adventurer doing his/her desired sport gets me stoked up. And I’m virtually doing that sport with that individual through my camera sensor!
Where all do you visit for capturing these amazing photographs?
Vinay- Pune being my hometown I spend a lot of time in and around Pune itself. If a certain sport is done better at a certain location, I visit that spot for optimal punch! Some of the locations that pop up in my mind are Uttarakhand mountains, Nepal’s Mustang region, B.C province of Canada, Leh-Ladakh region.
What camera equipment do you carry with you mostly ?
Vinay- As of now it is the Canon 7D w/10-22, 50mm, 28-80, a telephoto. GoPro HD2, a lightweight not so fancy Tripod. Few SD and CF cards and extra batteries.
What type of filters and accessories do you use in the field?
Vinay- UV filters, PL filters, a Video Mic sometimes.
Any accessory in your kit you would like to highly recommend for the beginners ?
Vinay- Wide Angle and faster telephoto lenses may be a good thing to have if you are considering action sports. A good tripod would also be useful!
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Vinay- There may be a few anti Photoshop people out there, but I think Photoshop helps in enhancing your images. Completely relying on Photoshop to make your captures good is also not a good thing! Action sports is such that light, colors, shadows may not always be the way a photo wants it to be. An athlete is going to be in his/her zone and the photographer has to make do with the available setup! Sometimes only post processing can save the shot!
Lastly, what tips and tricks you would like to share with the amateur photographers in this genre ?
Techniques used in the field while photographing.
Vinay- Understand the sport you wish to shoot. I prefer natural lighting rather than flashes. So I try to find the best angle to show the action with suitable natural light.
a. Post-processing Techniques:
Vinay- Shooting in RAW will help in post. Systematic file storage is important. Its your personal style with colors, brightness and sharpness so use it as needed.
b. Do’s and Don’ts for the beginners:
Vinay- Charge all batteries before a shoot, empty memory cards before shoot, don’t need a very high end camera to get a remarkable shot! I’ve got international magazine pages with photos shot using a GoPro! Don’t be afraid to experiment with gear and post processing methods.
Vinay Menon link: