'Think. Feel. Create. Capture. Contribute.' Interview with Ram Subramanian of 'Mind & Shutter'

Tell us who you are and what you do...


I'm from India but migrated to New Zealand as a student in 2003 then set about settling down and making New Zealand my home. Eventually, I landed a corporate job and worked up my way to the top which I thoroughly enjoyed and kept me on my toes to push my own boundaries. However, it’s been photography that’s really fueled my passion and purpose.


My work explores the spectacular landscapes and places this planet has to offer. Every time I travel or go out for a walk, I feel immersed in the stories nature has to tell – the way the light changes, the way plants, animals and people operate within the environments. I want to capture those stories. I think it’s an important part of helping us all understand our (very small) place in the universe.


"Sunset at Lake Tarawera" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"



In 2010, I decided to take my interest in photography seriously, to connect with nature and bring that to my photos. Since then, I’ve done several courses, entered competitions and gained awards.


When customers buy my photos, I offer to donate 5% of the order value to a charity of their choice. Images in their homes can give them a visual perspective of the good they have done, and they can connect with a deeper meaning.


I want to take people on that journey and give them a connection to the natural world. My motto: Think. Feel. Create. Capture. Contribute.

"Sunset at Mount Maunganui" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"



How did you become interested in photography?


I had a small point-and-shoot, and a good friend of mine was into street photography. He took me to a Photographic Society members’ meeting where I heard different artists’ perspectives, and I realised that photography is a powerful form of storytelling.


That was where it started. I thought, ‘Oh wow, this is something I would love to do!’

I then used Google to learn everything about photography and its different genres. I tried all facets of photography and eventually found my interest. Some kind feedback from experts in the field gave me the confidence to continue, and finally I gained a certificate in professional photography in 2020.


"Sunset prayers" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"


What are you shooting with?


· Sony Alpha 7RIII - full frame mirror less

· Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 GM lens

· Sony FE 24-105mm f4/5.6 GM lens

· Sony FE 70-200mm f4.5/5.6 G OSS lens

· Remote shutter release for long exposure shots

· Lee filters – Soft and hard grads – 0.3,0.6,0.9

· Lee Big and Little stopper for long exposure compositions

· Kase ND filter kit with Circular Polariser

· Godox TT685 flashhead unit

"Stepwells" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"




‘Sunset at Wharariki Beach’ was featured in NZ Photographer magazine in the Excio Top 10 section. How did it feel to see your work in the magazine?


It was very exciting. It gave me the confidence that my work is being appreciated, and I should take it seriously.

"Sunset at Wharariki Beach" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"



Tell us more about that shot...


It was a wild shoot – for a start, it’s not an easily accessible place. The weather was great, but I didn’t expect the 70km-per-hour winds. My camera kept falling down and images were blurred. I looked behind me and I saw this cave - the perfect place to shelter. I knew I shouldn’t go in there – you have to be cautious of seal families - but when I saw the seals head back into the ocean I grabbed my chance!


I entered the cave and the wind cut off. The arch of the cave looked like a kiwi bird, and the colours started to pop up as the sun set. It was a very special moment, and a special shot I will treasure for the rest of my life.


The two islands you see in the image feature on the world’s most popular desktop screensaver. I had it on my desktop one day and clicked on it to see where it was. I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, this is NZ! I have to see it.’


I went there two days in a row, sunrise and sunset, and both gave me spectacular images.

Aside from Excio, how do you get your work seen by the world?


My images are seen on my website, Instagram and my Facebook page.

"Start of Dawn, Majuli" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"



I also play a professional photographers’ game called Guru Shot. It’s a platform for all photographers to post images under different categories. It’s seen by the whole world – 500 million people click on their favourite images. And over the years I’ve been in the top 10 categories a few times. They run galleries in digital and print, mostly in the EU. I’ve been displayed in Vancouver, Milan, Barcelona, and the UK. They make it like a game, but it’s sincere appreciation of what you do, and shows what other photographers are out there doing. I also got featured in Shutterbug with a top-10 image.


One of my shots has been nominated for unique composition:

"The Boardwalk" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"



I also won the top 2020 award on Viewbug with my top selling photo.

This is the most popular image in NZ – and I represented NZ with FIAP using this image:

"First Light at Venice" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"



What's next for you?


We are moving to Australia and I’m so excited to capture some of that incredible land and people – the oceans, the outback and people still making a living in these hostile areas. Oh, and many of the world’s most dangerous creatures live there, so it’ll be interesting!


"Golden Bay" By Ram Subramanian, "Mind & Shutter"



Where can we find you online?


Excio: https://excio.gallery/ram

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mindandshutter Website: https://www.mindandshutter.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mindandshutter





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