FO2 Stage | 048 | Varun Mehra

I have always been into traveling but photography was never something I have planned for myself. One thing that has been constant in my life is my love for stars. When I bought my first good camera phone which has manual settings to it, I decided to click astrophotos through it. That’s when I started learning the basics of photography. After spending a year clicking through my phone, I decided to buy a DSLR which I still use as my gear.

My life turned around when I had to choose commerce instead of science. I had to give up on many of my dreams because of that, but through photography, a part of it is still alive. Photography makes me learn a lot about Astro and the technicalities of astrophotography which makes me feel closer to it. I started my journey with astrophotography and I was very accustomed to its technical aspects and after that, I moved on to landscapes and bought my first wide-angle lens. Now I’m trying Aerial photography as well.
I believe that photography has a lot to do with practice, it is the key to improve photography. I started by learning a few things on youtube and Instagram, initially, I took inspiration from other pictures and tried to recreate them, and over time I found my own creative space and my compositions.
Whenever you plan for an Astro shoot, it is very important to learn about the weather and the pollution in that location. There is also a specific season when you can see the milky way in our country and that is around April to August. One of the most important aspects of astrophotography is to have mastery of manual focus because it is dark and autofocus will certainly fail your efforts. There are many things which you learn along your way, earlier I used to make a lot of mistakes but that has made me grow in this field.

Astrophotography needs a lot of patience and peace. Due to this, I like to travel solo. It gives me the freedom to work long hours 
clicking pictures and stargaze as much as I can. It might seem a little selfish but it makes me happy and content. Aerial photography also comes with its challenges, you need to get your drone registered with the govt. and take permission before shoots. It is a little hassle but it shows a new perspective to see that place, which makes all the efforts worth it.

You need to get out of your comfort zone to work in this field. My love for travel took me from where I was to here. Currently, I am working full-time in a different field and I have still not thought about photography as a full-time career. I think it will take some more time for me to figure that out. I was not passionate about photography before but now it is something I look forward to a lot and spend most of my spare time on.

- Varun Mehra

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Interviewer: Aman 

Written by: Harshita Sharma

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