Capturing the Rhythms of Classical India
~ by Amar Ramesh
PUBLISH DATE: Nov. 4, 2020
In 2010, Amar Ramesh gave up his IT job and picked up the camera. Since then, he has never looked back. He first clicked pictures of temples in India and gradually found his calling in wedding photography. He believes that photography is the perfect way to capture the beauty of the universe and by doing so, one can create a lasting impact in this world. Following this mantra, he has worked on multiple projects like Stones and Stories & Discover Tamil Nadu. This time too, he chose to capture a less explored subject- classical dance forms of India. To capture the intricate details of the ancient dance forms, he chose the Alpha 7R IV camera and the G-Master lenses.
In this article, he opens up with us about his experience of using the Sony Alpha 7R IV camera, how it dissolved all his fears and allowed him to create stunning shots.
Looking at Indian classical dance forms
Amar believes that the art, dance and music of India form a special part of our cultural landscape. Out of these, the classical dance forms are more than a thousand years old. Each dance form reflects both art and divinity. There is so much to be observed, contemplated and take inspiration from in these dance forms.
The challenges ahead
Be it Kathakali, Bharatnatyam or Mohiniyattam, in each of these dance forms the dancer moves around with grace, intricate facial expressions, and elegant hand and leg movements. To make sure that all the photographs capture these details with utmost clarity, it was important for Amar to be equipped with a camera that offered him full creative freedom, high image quality and perfect focus.
Increased Eye AutoFocus
Amar says, “The conditions and the flow of photography differ from dance form to dance form. That is where a camera like Sony Alpha 7R IV comes in very handy. While shooting the dance forms, it was easy to move along in sync with the dancer. Thanks to eye autofocus that helped me lock and follow through the subject during all the movements.”
Improved dynamic range
Talking about the dynamic range, he says, “The Sony Alpha 7R IV’s advanced detail reproduction technology and 15-stop-dynamic range meant excellent performance in challenging light conditions. Additionally, the 4D focus allowed me to focus (on) and freeze fast movements.”
Describing the megapixel resolution of the camera, he says, “No matter what the condition was, the camera allowed me to throw light on the art and the artist. Sony Alpha 7R IV’s 61-megapixel resolution was a boon for me as it let me experiment with the compositions even after cropping. I am still amazed that it can retain so much sharpness.”
Redesigned controls for comfortable operation
When it comes to the form and new controls, Amar says, “A new multi-selector lets you shift point of focus quickly and intuitively to avoid missing moving subjects. The surface texture is changed to enhance button response for easier and more confident operation, a perfect response to pro users' requests. In addition, the AF-ON button is enlarged and optimised for easier access, with an adjusted click feel and location. And the new Exposure Compensation Dial Lock Button locks or unlocks alternately at each press, and prevents accidental turning when set to lock position. These improvements enhance your concentration on shutter release to capture the moment instantly.”
Various Touch operations offer full freedom
“The Touch Focus is my favourite feature. It enables one to simply touch the monitor screen to specify a desired subject near frame edges to get it in focus. The Touchpad focus point control allows you to drag the focus frame to any point with a fingertip while using the viewfinder.” says Amar.
G Master lenses offer outstanding performance
Recalling the lenses he used, Amar shares that he used the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master lens, Sony Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G- Master lens, Sony FE 85mm f/1.4, and Sony FE 70-200 mm F2.8 G Master lens. Expressing his love for the Sony FE 16-35 mm f/2.8 G-Master lens, he says, “this lens delivers consistently superb resolution from corner to corner, with stunning background bokeh when required. The compact and lightweight design makes it manageable for active shooting.” About the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G- Master lens, he calls it surprisingly small and lightweight. It offers fast, precise Autofocus and tracking. About the Sony FE 85 mm f/1.4 GM, he says, “This lens features a compact, lightweight design for mobility, with high-performance optics and a large F1.4 maximum aperture that deliver outstanding image quality. It is an excellent second lens for both full-frame and APS-C camera users. It has versatile features such as customisable hold focus button, a wide and responsive focus ring and is dust and moisture resistant.” Appreciating the Sony 70-200 mm F2.8 G Master lens, he says that it produces smooth and dreamy background bokeh. He further adds, “This lens helps you to achieve sharp and clear image. A constant F2.8 aperture across the entire 70-200mm range means you can zoom and reframe as necessary without having to think about changing exposure settings. Every aspect of G Master series lenses offer unparalleled imaging performance along with outstanding speed, efficiency and reliability.”
Flawless picture quality
Talking about his post-photography experience, Amar elaborates that when he finally edited and printed the images, the impeccable details made him feel like the pictures came to life. He added that one could feel the life, the energy, and the art form.
Amar concluded that it was because of the Sony Alpha 7RIV camera along with the G-Master lenses that he was able to freeze every movement in time.
A good camera is like a key. It unlocks the door to creative imagination and enhances the shooting experience of a photographer. We wish Amar continues to curate fantastic pictures.
Behind the scenes