Rammohan has been documenting the rise of surfing culture in the country for the past 10 years and hasn’t found a tiny reason to slow down. “I was always fascinated by the ocean and surfing and that’s one of the reasons for me to take up surf photography. I didn’t have anyone to look up to — I learnt it on my own, right from handling the camera and capturing the precise moment on camera,” he begins the conversation.
There are typically three ways to capture surfing photography — from the beach, from a boat and from inside the wave or under it. Talking about the challenges involved, he shares, “Though I started taking pictures from the land for a long time, I realised that the best pictures are shot from inside the wave near the surfer. I started to move to oceans slowly and trained myself and learned how to handle the camera, get the right equipment and so on. It’s not easy as you think — there are a lot of risks involved. You have to be a strong swimmer or else you will be pulled by the current and get hit by a big wave and not be able to focus on your shot. You also have to watch out for reefs because they can hurt your body,” explains the photographer.
Talking about the upcoming photo exhibition, he says, “I am showcasing only the best photographs for this exhibition and most of them have got a great story behind them. And the reason for me to hold an exhibition in the city is Chennaiites’ love for the water sport.”
Surfing has seen a phenomenal growth in popularity with people enthusiastically taking up this water sport as a leisure activity. “I think surfing in India is on the verge of a mini-revolution. There are multiple surf schools across the country and there is a steady rise in the number of surfers. Honestly, Chennai has the best surfers in the country including the talented Sekar Pachai. They have represented India in many international surfing tournaments and have brought laurels to our country,” adds the Bengaluru boy.
An exclusive genre of photography, Rammohan suggests not to consider it as a career option. “Don’t pursue it as a career option like you do with other genres of photography. You need to be passionate about surfing and should have a wide knowledge about oceans and waves. Having said that, surf photography is having many takers now. There is a rise in demand with a lot of international magazines looking for this kind of content.
Having travelled to different countries his experience is wide, but he loves Indian seas more than any other. “I want to focus more on the Indian surfing scene than other countries,” the photographer sums up.