Ashay Kshirsagar - Photographer and Founder of TONIC CGI Studio | EIZO
What inspires you?
Inspiration can strike you at any time and place. It is a matter of how you perceive things and events. This in turn depends on our experiences in life. Hence each person has a different way of looking at things and interpreting them. I get inspired by travel, when I visit and experience different cultures.
What advice would you give people just starting their color critical workflow editing process?
Color management is very complicated. But it doesn't have to be as long as you have a reference standard – a calibrated display for example. Then you know that what you see on screen is correct. Everything else should be calibrated to match that and my EIZO monitor with auto calibration makes my life easy. So I can concentrate on being creative rather than trying to be technical to make color work as intended.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
I think initially I was too caught up in trying to get a certain aesthetic in the photos I created, trying to get a certain look. While now I try to create a certain emotional response from the viewer. Photography for me is not about how, what or when something is being captured, but about the sensation it causes to the viewer as a subjective experience.
Where can we see more of your work?
Though Most of my work is in print and in my wooden cupboards, some selected work is available to view on www.ashayk.com. Besides photography, back in 2012 I founded a company named TONIC that aims at producing Photo Realistic Imagery, CGI (3D) & Animation. Starting off with a CG unit has added an extra element to my photography clients, as now we are a one stop solution for all imaging needs. Over the years we have had privilege to work with prominent clients like Maserati, Volkswagen, Tata Motors Ltd., Royal Enfield, Nike, Griffin to name a few… you could view some of our work on http://tonic3d.com/
Does fashion photography necessitate a lot of specialist kits?
What you really need is a good understanding of fashion. You may have the latest and the greatest tools at your disposal, but if you do not understand fashion, it’s of not much use. Having said that, yes, you can create amazing work with the most basic equipment as well in fashion photography.
Among your works which is your favorite? Why?
My favorite work changes every few days. I just returned from visiting Japan. So my current favorite images are these.
I had visited Japan with a preconceived idea of what it would be like. But it was way better than I expected and it was beautiful all around thanks to the cherry blossoms.These two images distill my experience of beautiful, calm, and peaceful Japan.
To what extent is color management important in your photography?
Color management is extremely important in fashion photography as we need to accurately reproduce the full spectrum of colors of the garments as closely as possible and on as many devices and mediums as possible.
What is your current workflow?
Depending on the shoot itself, we use either the Leica S system or the 100 Mega Pixel Phase One XF System. The images are managed on the Apple Mac Pro and converted using Adobe Lightroom or Capture One software. And the EIZO CG247 display is the most important part of our workflow to check the color and tonal range. If this hardware isn't up to the mark, the most expensive and latest photography equipment is useless.
When photographers are searching for new equipment, what would you suggest to them before buying?
I would strongly suggest renting the equipment you want to buy. Use it for a while and see if it feels natural to you. What I mean is both Nikon and Canon are excellent camera systems. But one just feels more natural to your shooting style than the other. So rent the equipment and try it out for a few shoots. Because a quick demo at the showroom will not give a clear idea of the equipment.
When did you choose EIZO, and why?
I started photography in 1999 and was shooting film back in those days. As an early adopter of digital technology, we relied heavily on CRT at the time. When the CRT displays were phased out and LCD technology came to the forefront, we tested several displays from various brands. But EIZO was the only brand that met our expectations and delivered consistent results. Once our eyes are used to seeing such amazing colors and details, it’s difficult to use anything else.
When color is science then how is EIZO adding value? Does the EIZO ColorEdge help make your workflow better? If yes then how?
I know so many photographers struggle with color management. Color is a science in itself. With so many variables involved it is difficult to get consistent color through the entire photography pipeline. EIZO makes this very simple with its advanced technologies like their in-house custom ASIC. With self-calibration built into the CG series, we do not need to worry if the color is accurate or if it has shifted over a period of time as we use a scheduler and the display calibrates itself when not in use. This saves us a lot of time doing checks and ensures consistency.
How is EIZO integrated with CGI & photography?
We have a CG studio which runs parallel to our photography setup. There were issues in the early days because we were using multiple brand displays. Even though they were calibrated, there would be differences in color. Now that ALL our displays are EIZO only, there is 100% consistency in the images we output and that saves a lot of time trying to fix issues with color and tones not matching up from different systems.
How would you describe EIZO to someone?
I would say “Reference Standard”.