We spoke to a series of professional photographers to find out how they create the best prints and what inspires their work.
“I love to keep what I originally saw as a printout. I love to show the memory through the picture.”
Torwong Salwala’s reputation in the photographic business is such that he is frequently asked to review the latest cameras and equipment. But to him, “achieving the perfect picture is not only about the camera but how the finished image translates to print.”
We asked Torwong how he got into photography after graduating as a computer engineer. “Since the digital camera had an enormous effect on the photo industry, it made me interested in becoming a photographer.” He is self-taught because when he first started, it was very difficult to find someone who knew how to take digital photographs.
Has engineering helped him create better images? He says, “Knowing about the origin of the photograph and managing every process closely helped me understand how to create the final picture.”
He feels lighting, mood, composition and effects must come together. Each photo may not include everything but “to blend the things we have effectively is like cooking – you can put in all of the ingredients but you must know how much of each ingredient to put in for it to turn out well.”
We moved on to the subject of printing and the fact that Torwong likes to keep what he shoots as a printout. He says, “I love to show the memory through the picture – it’s my motivation. My only concern is to make sure that the print will be as similar to my imagination as possible. Every photographer is different when it comes to how they look at prints and I prefer to see new things rather than the same things.”
When Torwong wants to impress a client, he says he always prints out the image and gives it to them. For him, the printed photo makes an impression and attracts people more than a shot on the screen.
He says, “Printing is important because with each photo, I learn and understand the process even better. Printing definitely helps me improve my work.”
We asked him why he prefers to print with Epson. “I love the quality of the printouts. I think of Epson as the Rolls-Royce of printing. My first Epson printer was the P4000. Now, I use the P607 because it’s so effortless to print, especially on Epson’s signature paper; I can say it fascinates me.”
Torwong’s devotion to photographing the best subjects led him to the north of India in 2004. He recollects that he experienced the height of bad weather but he endeavored in order to capture the shots he wanted.
How does he feel today compared to when he first started? Torwong confesses that when he was a beginner, he took his work too seriously. But now, he lets everything take its natural course which helps him take better photos. “I feel relaxed and I’m not tired when taking photos, unlike in the past”.
Torwong works across many areas – interiors, still life, food, lifestyle, documentary, beauty and cosmetics. He doesn’t confine himself to any particular area, which means he’s able to work comfortably and think continuously. He says, “I can find a new idea and the result will turn out just as well.”
His style has evolved over the years. He says, “I have been taking shots in the studio for many years and that job is quite restrictive when it comes to lighting. Nowadays, most of my jobs use natural light, even my interior photo. It’s become my own style. When the customers want the natural look, they always think of me.”
On his preference for printing his work, Torwong says, “Printing fulfills our idea of what the photograph should look like. If you have a chance to print a quality work by yourself, you will understand why most photographers who’ve tried it once will always fall in love with it.”