Rising Light is a monthly article series highlighting promising photography students from all over the world. In this third article we meet Trupal Pandya, student at FIT in New York, who swapped Business Studies for a life behind the camera.
Trupal Pandya has been to places many of us only dream of traveling to. Originally his intention was to become a Business Major, but after three years of business school he shifted direction to pursue his goals in photography. That was eight years ago. Currently a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NYC, Trupal has developed a bold shooting style that reflects the work of photographers he respects including Richard Avedon, Ron Amato, one of his instructors at FIT, and Steve McCurry – a person who he deeply respects both personally and professionally, and for whom he had the good fortune of serving as an intern.
Trupal Pandya’s subjects are predominantly people facing the horrors of political conflicts and climate change – people who are being forced to leave their homes. In pursuing his efforts he has traveled across his homeland India as well as Africa and Ecuador.
Trupal finds the art of photography rewarding, and he has used the technical training and educational values afforded him at FIT to increasingly refine his technique. He has an excellent eye and has used his time at school wisely to improve his technical skills, particularly in lighting – a skill he finds paramount for the type of portrait work he shoots.
Trupal discovered the value of consistent lighting early. The locations, conditions, and time constraints he shoots under require a disciplined approach in lighting his subjects. He shoots most all of his work with a Nikon D800E with either a 50mm/f1.4 or 24-70/f2.8 Nikkor lens.
The lighting system consists of two Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flashes. Depending on the image he typically use a Profoto Softbox RFi 3′ Octa and a Profoto Softbox RFi 3×4′ – with or without grids based on the nature of the picture.
After dealing with the shortcomings of ambient light, he quickly adapted to using controlled light to maximize the impact in his images.
“I often have to work fast, sometimes with only a minute or less in which I can take my picture and I can’t depend on natural lighting, which can change while I’m working”
His Profoto system guarantees consistency and continuity throughout his work, regardless of the time, place, or weather conditions.
His biggest challenge right now is raising the funds required to continue his ongoing projects. He is depending on exhibitions, assignment work, and picture sales to pursue his goals. As for the future, Trupal Pandya would like to shoot for National Geographic. A box of donuts says his wish will someday come true.
Photographer: Trupal Pandya
School: Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC
Profoto gear of choice: Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash
Visit his website: www.trupalpandya.com