Interview with Armaan A.
Get to know Armaan, whose image took second place in our annual Student Photo Contest! Find out the story behind the shot, what inspires Armaan, and his plans to pursue photography in the future.
Tell us a little more of the story behind this shot. How did you come upon this scene? How long were you working on it? What were you thinking about as you were setting it up, etc.?
Over summer break, my family and I took a trip to Japan. Our first stop was Tokyo. One hidden gem is the Tskiji fish market. It is gigantic! In fact it is the largest in the world. When walking around the inner market with our translator/guide, I began to meet some of the various vendors. One memorable experience was meeting Haruma (the man pictured in the photo – the “Eel Skinner”). He told me that he has been skinning eels for over 25 years in the same exact booth. I took his photo before I met him in an effort to make the photo as candid as possible. This photo was one in a series of shots. I used manual focus to make this image and tried to capture the moment where Haruma’s face showed the most Intensity. (If you want to see me talk about this picture, please check out my TEDx Talk Here )
What kind of camera did you use to take the shot? Exposure?
This photo was shot with a Sony NEX 6, with a 16-70 f4.0. It was shot at f.4, 1/160 sec, ISO 640, at 26 mm.
How did you become interested in photography and what do you enjoy most about it?
I became interested in photography when my parents bought me a Fuji digital camera when I was 7 years old.
My father has a lifetime subscription to National Geographic. I couldn’t wait to see the pictures each month.
I most enjoy meeting my subjects that I photograph.
What has been your most memorable “aha” moment in photography, in which things just clicked (no pun intended)?
My father taught me about aperture; shutter speed; and ISO when I was seven. At that point – I wanted to know all the mechanics of a camera
How does photography impact the way you see the world?
Photography makes me see the world though a very critical eye. Everywhere I go, I subconsciously notice the finest details of my surroundings.
Do you have any mentors (in photography or otherwise) and what have you learned from them?
One of my mentors is Erika Larsen who taught me at the National Geographic Photography Camp in Yellowstone last summer. She taught me photography beyond the technical aspects.
How do you think photography and exploration relate to one another?
For my favorite style of photography (street photography and photojournalism), one of the main aspects is simply trying to find a moment to capture. In order to find that moment, one must leave there comfort zone and explore!
What has been your greatest adventure so far in life?
My greatest adventure thus far – was my recent trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with my high school classmates during our January Immersion month. Three weeks with good friends (and without parents) and beautiful scenery and animals – priceless!
What inspires you?
The people who I photograph inspire me. This is why I chose to photograph Haruma. I found it fascinating how someone is so hardworking and laser focused on perfecting their craft.
Where do you hope to be 5 and 10 years from now?
I’m a sophomore in high school – so in 5 years I’ll be in college. My dream is school is NYU.
In 10 years, I want to be a professional photographer. My dream job, ever since I was 7 years old, was to become a National Geographic Photographer!