How did you get hooked on to kite photography? Did you like to fly kites as a passion?
I have always been a photo enthusiast since my teenage years. I got my first camera when I was a kid, and I’ve grown up with the weekly family slideshow by the fireplace, with hundreds of Kodachrome taken by my father during his 20 years spent in Africa. These slideshows are definitely the base for my love for photography and travels.
I was flying kites for years, and was already aware that kite aerial photo existed since 1888, when it was first experimented with, in Southern France. I first decided to try this technique during a trip in Asia in 1996, since I found the idea of exploring its potential very interesting. I’ve always liked to fly, have liked everything that can fly, and I’ve always been interested in eco-friendly means.
Using a kite powered only by the wind, was a challenge to practice aerial photography. As it requires a lot of handcraft skills (electronic, physics, sewing...), I loved the idea of getting into that. Kite aerial photography reveals new designs on the ground (vegetal, mineral or human built), new perspective on volumes, and fantastic colour palettes combinations.
What were some of the biggest, most unexpected challenges you faced while shooting in India?
I frequently faced obstructions from local administrations, due to some kind of paranoia, some fear of aerial photography. Since people don’t know kite aerial photography, it appears even more strange and suspicious, to the narrow-minded. Kite photography can't be a threat to anything, only a fantastic promotional tool, and it provides tremendous graphics.
Which state/area/region posed the most interesting vignettes and vistas for you?
Almost impossible to answer. Each place/state/area has something to offer in terms of atmosphere, design, colour, light, specific architecture, natural wonders… I can do a fantastic photo on an urban parking lot, or a camel walking on a beach, or slums’ rooftops, or the dome of Taj Mahal. It’s a question of perspective, light, frame composition.
Any reason why areas like the North East, Bengal, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh aren’t in the book? Any plans for a second book, to cover
the rest of the country?
I would have loved to fly my rig in the North East, and everywhere I haven’t been! Maybe a new sponsor will drag me there?
J. Jayalalithaa passes away: Her life in pictures
Photos: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt at an awards show
Photos: Big B, Iulia Vantur at Himesh Reshammiya's album launch
Photos: Aamir Khan with 'Dangal' actresses at fashion show
Spotted: Twinkle Khanna, Shriya Saran at an event in Mumbai