Each week we will profile a member of our #SFGuide community on Instagram who we feel best portrays the everlasting beauty of San Francisco. Capturing the moment, in the perfect setting, from the best point of view, with the most inspiring mood is what these artists do best.
Tag your photos with #SFGuide for a chance to be featured.
Name: Kavi Sharma
Place of Birth: Suva, Fiji
Where do you currently reside: Redwood City, CA
Something you’d like viewers to know about you: I have a passion for science — particularly Astronomy — and I own my favorite Hip Hop albums on vinyl.
Fort Funston is a location I hold very dear. When I was 16 I had just started driving and I wasn’t familiar at all with San Francisco. I happened to turn into the Fort Funston parking lot and was immediately greeted by the breathtaking view. I drove up there almost every weekend with my girlfriend, and when I purchased my first DSLR, that was the only place I felt I needed to go.
When and why did you take up photography?
I began shooting photography 5 years ago as a hobby during the weekends. I mainly focused on the automotive industry but the more experience I gained, the more I wanted to challenge myself with new locations, subjects, and purpose. I slowly began to fall in love with the art and process.
What do you love about photography?
Photography at its core makes it so easy for everyone to capture and create art. That’s what drew me into the field in the first place. You have an endless amount of creative control throughout the whole process and that’s something I truly love and appreciate about photography.
How do you decide what to shoot?
Before I start taking photos I always have an emotion or feeling that I’d like to convey, through my work, for that day. Once I have that, I begin searching for colors and subjects that I believe would best display the message I want to share.
What’s your favorite part about going out to shoot?
I absolutely love the adventure. It could be a journey up Mt. Tam or just a walk down Market [Street]. There’s always something new to shoot and a different experience every time.
Which location did you have the most difficulty getting to, and how did you do it?
Getting to the Drawbridge Ghost Town was probably one of my riskiest adventures a few years back. It wasn’t a planned trip, so I definitely wasn’t dressed for the occasion. I traversed through the tall grass and kept sinking in knee-high mud, all the while keeping my ears open for any oncoming trains in the blistering heat. It was a little further than I expected, but by the time I got there, it was worth the trouble.
What is your dream shot? (Where, what time of day, what’s in it / the subject?)
I never had one particular scene I would list as my dream shot, but I did know it would have to be in Japan. I planned my trip to Japan for 5 years and finally boarded the plane in July of 2016. My favorite photo I shot was while on the train from Kyoto to Arashiyama around 3PM. I was able to capture a very sincere photo of a passenger, who became the subject, looking out the side window as the train moved ahead. It was a photo I can look back at and be proud of. I don’t know what my dream shot will be of next, but I can tell you it will have to be in South East Asia.
What is your favorite app to use for photo editing on the go, and what are your top 3 favorite filters?
If I’m on the go and I don’t have my laptop handy, I use Photoshop Express on my phone. The app has enough adjustments for a quick edit. I normally don’t use filters but there are some that I really enjoy including Vivid, Dappled, and Silvered. For Instagram I like Ludwig, Valencia, and Hefe.
How does Instagram and the #SFGuide community inspire you?
I have to say, Instagram and the #SFGuide community are always keeping me on my toes. I can always count on finding a stunning image on @49MilesSF from a new and refreshing point of view. There is so much talent here in the Bay Area that it might seem overwhelming, but that’s where my inspiration comes from. Growing up in Northern California, we have such a huge diversity of people, art, and culture that shape our own perspective. I can see how this translates into the beautiful works of other artists. It’s this very community that motivates me to hone my skills so I can properly represent this thriving collective of creative souls.
What are your favorite San Francisco-based Instagram accounts to follow?
I’ve been following @garrettroth for a while and his work is some of my favorite. I particularly enjoy his portraits because the lightening is superb. He ties in the expression of the model flawlessly with the setting, creating exquisite photographs. @dillonsaw has an incredibly creative gallery. Seeing the amount of detail he crafts his composites was really eye opening to me. I have a deep appreciation for the way he combines reality with surrealism. @resh510 is always an exciting account to follow. I’ve seen the work he’s done in numerous cities and I’m always at a loss for words. The way he brings out colors and shadows give his work a unique intensity and powerful presentation. Needless to say, all three of these photographers are amazing artists.
I currently use a Nikon D3300. I’d love to upgrade to a Nikon D810.
What are your favorite settings in your idea shot?
Shutter Speed: 6 seconds
White Balance: 3400K
Focus (Manual / Auto): Manual
Image Format (RAW / JPEG): RAW
What advice would you give to new or rising photographers that you wish you had received when you first started?
No matter how frustrating things might get, just keep taking photos. Photography is a balance between spontaneity and patience. There are times when your best photo will be least expected and your worst photo was planned for weeks. Mastering this balance requires time and experience, and the only way to gain more experience is to keep shooting.
What do you love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area?
Short and simple, no where in the world offers the amount of diversity the San Francisco Bay Area delivers. We are an ecosystem that embraces exciting and innovative ideas. We cultivate bright minds as well as loving souls. Simply, I love living here because San Francisco has so much love to give. That’s something you can’t find anywhere else.