Rising Light is an article series highlighting promising photography students from all over the world. This month we introduce Aman Shakya - Bye-bye IT, Hello B1 and D4!
Aman Shakya's love affair with photography began back in 2012 while going for a degree in Information Technologies at a school in Thailand. He quickly noted he had an eye for form, texture, and composition, and most tellingly - he was getting lots of positive feedback from friends and others who saw his photographs. Photography enabled him to interpret the world around him in a way that greatly appealed to him. Before long it was 'Bye-bye IT'.
Shakya was wise enough to understand if he wanted to shoot full time he had to have a better handle on lighting so he started looking around for a good school. Well-staffed art schools offering degrees in photography are non-existent in his native Nepal and the choices in Thailand weren't much better. While searching for alternative choices the name SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) popped up frequently, and after careful consideration he decided to give it a go.
During his time at SCAD Shakya's had an opportunity to grow well beyond the limitations of the Speedlites he used back in the early days. He’s had ample opportunity to experiment and play – to learn what’s possible and see how close he can come to matching the pictures he sees in his mind’s eye.
The schools extensive library Profoto gear has enabled him to achieve many of the goals he set for himself in terms of the knowledge and experience he was going to be able to draw upon after he graduates.
He's mastered several Profoto product lines including the Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash system, which he prefers using on location (I love the short fast flash duration, the accuracy of the color and exposure times, and ease-of-use out-of-the-box), and Profoto D4 Studio Generators with Profoto Acute/D4 Heads for studio assignments (The power and degree of control is amazing!).
His favorite light modifiers include the Profoto Softbox RFi 1x3’ and Profoto Softbox RFi 1x6', though he also resorts to Profoto Zoom Reflectors when they fit the bill and for portraiture, the Profoto Softlight Reflector White.
In terms of camera choices, Aman personally shoots with a Canon EOS system but has made good use of the school's Hasselblad H4D camera and lens library.
Considering his age and background, Aman Shakya has a very refined eye, an excellent sense of form and composition, and the ability to marry these skills to his photography.
Shakya spends a good amount of time studying the work of other photographers and his greatest influences are Karl Taylor ("He's my lighting guru!) and his all-time favorite - Lois Greenfield, who many - including Aman, consider to be the best when it comes to contemporary dance photography. Hints of the French illustrator Henry Magritte can also be noted when perusing Shakya's work.
His time at SCAD has given him an opportunity to experiment and play – to learn what’s possible and see how close he can come to matching the pictures he sees in his mind’s eye.
The schools Profoto gear has enabled him to achieve many of the goals he set for himself in terms of the knowledge and experience he was going to be able to draw upon after he graduates.
"Lighting is like solving a puzzle – I sees the picture in my head and I use lights to match the emotions, mood, and feel of the images. I greatly respect the role light plays in a photographers work".
Aman's short-term goal is to continue learning and experimenting as much as he can before graduating (Two terms to go!). His long-term goal is to take what he has learned here in the States, head back to Nepal and open a full-service boutique advertising agency that would allow him to offer everything from photography and design for advertising and website applications. This endeavor would also enable him to apply his IT skills, which would make good use of skills he learned before he started taking pictures.
The best part is that when you hear him describe his palms you get the impression he's going to succeed... big time too!
To see more of Aman Shakya’s photography check out the following links.
Aman Shakya's Tool Chest
Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash system
Profoto D4 Studio Generators
Profoto Acute/D4 Heads
Profoto Softbox RFi 1x3’
Profoto Softbox RFi 1x6’
Profoto Zoom Reflectors
Profoto Softlight Reflector White