Dinesh Boaz creates a dynamic juxtaposition between the natural landscape and our involvement in it. Dinesh explores the world beneath him via helicopters to achieve a ‘top’ down view. As he states, “By honing-in on the specific details of the earth below, I can highlight the remoteness and stillness in water, sand and rugged space-like terrain, while connecting back to our existence with human form and the life within.” Emphasizing lines, colors, shapes and an overall pattern, Boaz’s ideas are showcased in the diversity and depth of his images from across the world. Dinesh was born in Chennai, India, graduated with his B.A. from Rutgers University. His work was has been quickly recognized with prestige awards, magazine reviews and numerous exhibits across the United States. When he is not behind the camera, Dinesh is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Future First Studio, a division of NYC and LA based Direct Agents, a digital advertising agency.
Dinesh Boaz has built a strong reputation for making stunning aerial images of some of the most beautiful locations in the world. We catch up with him after he took FUJIFILM X-S10 back to where it all began: the skies over New York City.
By using helicopters to explore landscapes from the air, Dinesh Boaz is able to frame a unique perspective on our world that the vast majority of us would otherwise never experience. While this is a big reason he does what he does, for Dinesh, there is much more to it. Despite being suspended high above the ground, he believes the experience helps him develop an even stronger connection with the place he is making images of.
“There’s a million photos on Instagram of every place I’ve been to,” says Dinesh, “but I’m looking to try to tell that story from my own lens and my own view, and I think there’s something special about seeing it from the air.
“So many different elements of the natural world fall into play when making photographs, such as the light, the wind, the rain, and when you go up, they become multiplied because they all have an effect on whether it’s safe to fly,” he continues. “So, I really like that I’m working with the elements constantly and I appreciate that connection with a place a camera can give me.”
For this latest project over New York City, the connection he felt through the camera was emphasized by the emotional connection he already had with the area, especially during such difficult times.
“My first shoot in a helicopter was over New York City and then I created a bunch of work in the city that kind of developed my style and became what I was known for. So, when I was given X-S10, I was like, I’ve got to go over New York!
“There’s also a story here, because it’s this beautiful place that’s getting beat up this year and there’s been all this sadness. I thought why not get up in the air and go capture how amazing it is?”
Dinesh used X-S10, paired with FUJINON XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR and XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR lenses. When combined with the Velvia Film Simulation mode, it made a great setup for the conditions he was faced with.
“When getting a helicopter, you want less things to think about, so in a camera I want fast focus, I want good depth of color, and I want good features in terms of basic camera functions,” he says.
Low-light performance was also high on the list. With a lot of Dinesh’s work taking place at sunset or over cities after dark, he needs a camera that can react well to different conditions, both in terms of light and movement.
He tells us that X-S10 and its five-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) handled such conditions really well. “In a lot of cases, I have the pilot circle and then try to get directly over a location, so there’s a lot of movement to deal with, but X-S10 was very stable in those conditions,” he explains. “I was able to get the shutter speeds down pretty low, to the point where I didn’t feel like I had to compensate too much to try and keep the images crisp.
“I was using AF-C and Wide/Tracking mode and really had no issues, everything stayed super stable and sharp.”
It was in such lower-light conditions that the Velvia Film Simulation really came into play for Dinesh. “There’s an image where the sun’s hitting the East River and Velvia has definitely played a part in giving it this tone that I probably can’t create on my own. So, I think there’s something special that happens with that simulation,” he reveals, “it gives me beautiful color and beautiful contrast, straight out of camera.”
For his everyday work, Dinesh uses FUJIFILM GFX 100, the larger format powerhouse. These are big shoes to fill, but while Dinesh recognizes GFX 100 is a very different camera, he tells us that with X-S10 in his hand, he wasn’t left wanting for anything. “Ergonomically, the camera was easy to use up in the air when making quick changes and quick decisions. Coming from the GFX system, it was an easy transition – I didn’t have to really think about it.”
He goes on to highlight the capabilities of the 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. “Working with Velvia, I was getting the color I’m used to on GFX 100. X-S10 was spot-on in terms of color and quality, too” says Dinesh.
After spending time with X-S10, Dinesh is sure he will use it again in the future as a second camera, alongside his larger format setup. From the image quality, size, and versatility of the camera, right through to the ergonomics and fully articulating vari-angle LCD touchscreen, he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
“I think it’s a beautiful camera. It’s easy to use, it’s fast and it’s lightweight. You don’t realize how powerful it is until you really start shooting,” he says. “I see myself traveling with X-S10 alongside GFX 100.
“It’s a great camera for anyone, from professionals to people who are just getting serious about their photography and want to take it up to that next stage. I can’t wait to see how my images look, both online and in print.”
Find out more about Dinesh’s creative process in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video on his project over New York City!