Student in Focus: Ava Sinha, Photographer

Graphic courtesy of Ava Sinha (’20)

Photography is more than just experimenting with portrait mode on the iPhone X. Ava Sinha (‘20) is an aspiring vet and wildlife photographer who captures the great outdoors through her developing social media platform.

Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Ava Sinha relocated to Palm Springs, CA at the age of two. Ava has been traveling the world and photographing nature’s wonders ever since receiving a camera from Santa in 2015.

Her passion for photography flourished during her 2017 summer getaway to Africa. Ava took hundreds of photos while touring the Kenyan savannah by car and foot. Ava said, “My favorite spots were the Maasai Mara and the Ngorongoro Crater. During the safari, my family and I got to see lions, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, antelopes, and even a rhino, which is super rare.”

Her Instagram photography account (@avasinhaphotography) has 2,364 followers as of February 9th, 2018. “I built my Instagram page by using a lot of hashtags related to the subject of my photo, liking a lot of wildlife pictures, and following a lot of other photographers’ accounts and hoping they would follow me back.”

Ava has been building her Instagram account for a few months. “I started following a bunch of photography accounts like National Geographic, which led to me thinking it would be cool if I could share my photos with a bunch of other people too. I created my photography account in November of 2017.”

On January 31, 2018, hundreds of thousands of photographers across the globe woke up before the crack of dawn to capture the rare Super Blue Blood Moon. Ava was one of them. She elaborated, “Waking up early to see the moon wasn’t too bad. I was actually really excited because eclipses like this only happen every so often. I even got permission from Dean Lantz to get the alarms turned off at four in the morning so dorm residents could get a better view. The only downside was that my mom kept texting me from Palm Springs to take more pictures because it was constantly changing, so I was up from 4:30 am to 11:30 pm.”

Ava credits her work in yearbook during her second season of afternoon activities for teaching her how to capture action shots of sports like soccer and water polo. “Yearbook taught me how to master the sports setting on digital cameras for action-packed pictures. I also had to do a lot of moving the camera to where the object is, which will hopefully help me with my photography outside of school.”

Ava’s photos always go through an editing process. She said, “I want to keep the photos natural, so the most I really do is lighten or darken them through an auto setting on an app called “Lightroom.” Then, I use another app called “My Watermark” to give my photos a professional looking copyright signature with my full name.”

“Photography is actually really simple once you master the basics: angle, focus, zoom, click. First, find the right angle by usually aligning your subject with the sun. Then, adjust your focus. On smaller lenses, I like to use autofocus, but for bigger lenses, I prefer manual focus. Finally, zoom whatever distance seems necessary, then snap the picture. Keep clicking because the more options, the better.” Ava’s words of wisdom will hopefully inspire young photographers to experience the same joy she feels every time she holds a camera.

Ava loves capturing wildlife photography of animals in their natural habitat. “I haven’t yet taken an official photography class, but am definitely thinking about taking one over the summer. I hope to return to Africa sometime before I graduate high school and take more pictures. I really want to go to South Africa to see the rhinos of Johannesburg and experience Victoria Falls. I also want to go back to Alaska and see some bears.”

Did you know that Ava’s older brother, Abhi Sinha (‘08), also enjoys taking photos of animals? His photo account for their family dog, @bobafett.gsd, has an impressive 12.4k followers.”

Besides photography, Ava spends her time at Webb playing JV tennis, contributing to the school yearbook, and managing boys’ tennis. Her ceaseless passion for photography, animals, and the media have all intertwined through her growing Instagram account.

So what are you waiting for? Tap the blue follow button to receive updates from all of Ava’s exotic travel adventures.