Interview with Patrick Di Fruscia
#1 Please introduce yourself:
I am an Award Winning Visionary Fine Art Nature & Landscape Photographer. My work has been published and displayed via a multitude of media (books, calendars, magazines, travel guides etc.) and by many prestigious companies such as National Geographic, and Kodak, just to name a few. It has also been displayed in several art galleries around the world.
I have set my goals to always improve my craft. My quest to become a better photographer will never cease. I personally think that the learning curve is endless, and I only have myself to criticize when I feel that I am not living up to my artistic endeavors. Constantly searching for those rare magical moments when the Perfect Light embraces nature in all its glory, you can rest assured – this is only the beginning of a long and dedicated quest to capture the breathtaking beauty of nature.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
I used to be the Marketing Director of a sport supplement company. One day the CEO came to me and asked me to undertake the task of learning photography. He grew tired of paying professional photographers to take pictures of athletes and his whole product line. At first, I thought this was an absurd request but decided to try it anyway. He purchased my first camera, which was the Minolta XTsi, and there I went, trying to learn how to use this great tool. I literally started reading everything I could find about photography and quickly this task became a hobby. I was taking pictures of pretty much everything from lampposts to cars, flowers, and insects – you name it. My hobby really turned into a passion and eventually career. The day I did a road trip across the charming province Quebec, and ended up on top of Mt Ernest Laforce in the Gaspe Peninsula, I knew that this was my calling. That day it hit me like some sort of divine intervention… I wanted to experience, see and feel the beauty of our beautiful planet and photography was the perfect medium to do so. Since then I have set my life-long goal to always perfect my craft. I know that this will be an endless curve and I will only have myself to blame if I don’t live up to my full potential.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
I never took any courses besides some small ones at the beginning teaching me what shutter speed and aperture really was. I then took it upon myself to read everything I could get my hands on and practice as much as I could.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
I can’t really say that I had any particular influence when starting photography. There are hundreds of photographers inspiring me every day. Today, with the Internet, there is so much talent that I can easily get an amazing dose of inspiration.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
I do plan a lot when it comes to the gear I will need for a trip. As for locations to shoot, I will do a quick search on Google Maps and other websites, looking at images taken in that specific location to see if anything is definitely worth shooting, but I love to go somewhere with no itinerary or mental image of a location in mind. I often see many (and I am also guilty of this on some occasions) visiting locations simply to recreate what another photographer did. I have learned that by not spending too much time looking at other people’s work, you are less influenced by it, and your chance of producing original work is far greater. Often a plan itinerary makes you go from points A to B to C but meanwhile you forget to look and appreciate what’s in between. We often try to cover too much territory in a short time rendering our experience a very stressful one.
#6 What fascinates you in places that you shoot?
Everything fascinates me in nature, from the vegetation, to the climate, from the oceans to the highest mountains, from a simple waterfall to the green-coloured moss etc. But I must say that what most fascinates me is always the feeling I get when contemplating nature in all its glory. This is something that I find hard to explain to those that don’t travel much but the closest I can get would be that nature has its way to make you grow spiritually in ways I could never have imagined. On some occasions when witnessing incredible moments when the ‘Perfect Light’ showed up, to embrace the landscape in all its glory, it literally brought tears in my eyes. I truly felt like I was part of some sort of divine intervention.
#7 Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
Very much, at first when I was shooting film, I found it very hard to make the transition from film to digital. I thought that the wow factor of a perfectly exposed slide was completely gone…Over the years I have learned to really appreciate the positive side of digital photography and the incredible power good post-processing has in order to really bring out details in my images that were previously impossible. I have learnt to use all the tools I can get in order to perfect my craft. I often get the question:
‘How much Processing goes into your images?’
These are all real images from real locations. These images have not been created, partly created or generated by a computer. By that I mean I didn’t add clouds, mountains, waterfalls, where there were none of these elements, or add a sunset where there was no sunset. All images have been taken with high quality digital cameras, lenses & filters on location around the world using the techniques I have acquired within the past ten years. Unfortunately, even with today’s technologies, the camera does not see the world as clearly as the human eye does. The dynamic range of today’s professional camera is still not capable of rendering details in both the High and Low Tones of some specific scenes. Due to this limitation, some of the images have been created using several exposures of the same scene (some exposed for the high tones and others exposed for the low tones). These exposures are then combined carefully using a technique called ‘luminosity masking’. This technique provides a dynamic range that is closer to what I witnessed with my own eyes while capturing the scene.
Being at the right place at the right time, having the right tools and knowing how to capture the scene as best as possible to have the opportunity of working with the right RAW file is key here…After I see the post-processing, exactly as applying makeup to a beautiful woman… She already possesses all the quality attributes and features she needs, and the makeup will only accentuate these features in the best possible way. I really love to create a sense of fantasy in my images, both on and off the field using different techniques acquired over the years. To create a vision that makes people dream and get in touch with their inner peace. If my work makes your day a bit brighter and helps you forget about your troubles even if it’s only for the brief moment you look at it, then I have done my job well. 🙂
Some choose to use a true HDR approach, some decide to use the same approach as I do, using luminosity blending and other post-processing, and some prefer to simply capture the scene and leave it untouched. All these are perfectly fine with me and will render incredible results when done right. It is up to the artist or viewer to decide which direction he or she prefers. As an artist, do what you think is right for you and perfect your craft. There is no right or wrong here. We are all here to create in our own way. It’s a question of personal choice and artistic vision. Only YOU can decide what direction to take. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are doing it wrong. You will NEVER please everyone and if you try, I can assure you that you will be miserable and lost. There will always be some that will take a real pleasure of bringing you down, so what really counts here is pleasing yourself. If you do, and do it well with passion, people will see this in your work and appreciate you for who you truly are.
#8 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
You need create images that are emotional and carefully crafted artistically. Aim to create a feeling of inner peace and an awareness of the true beauty that lies everywhere around you. So, in order to really appreciate this great craft, you have to learn to let go, leave all your troubles behind, and make this wonderful experience all about you. Do not – and I repeat do not – enter this world simply to get praises, ribbons, awards etc. You might end up being discouraged and unmotivated by the numerous negative comments people say about your work. You clearly have to learn to take criticism to your advantage and strive to endlessly perfect your craft. In all walks of life, all the greatest masters and successful people have endured a battering of negative unconstructive comments and opinions, but still made it on top because of only one thing: They believed in themselves. We are often worth a lot more than we think. So never despair, believe in yourself. and let nature take its course.
Every time you are outdoors enjoying this great passion, stop for a minute and think that all this beauty you are witnessing is presently there just for you, nobody else in the world sees exactly what you see, feels exactly what you feel and will capture exactly what you will capture. This will make each moment you capture a very special one that you, and others to cherish forever. Let your emotions guide you during this incredible journey.
Nature and Landscape Photography is for everyone, you do not have to climb the highest mountains nor travel to far away exotic places. I am 100% confident that every single person has a multitude of beautiful locations at their proximity and can enjoy this incredible passion to the fullest. The beauty of nature is everywhere. I have taken many images in ordinary locations but the trick here is to open your heart and soul and be able to see the beauty in all places. I recall a time when a photographer from Singapore commented on one of my pictures to tell me how fortunate I was to live in an area so beautiful and they only wished to live in such a place to shoot landscape photography. The picture in question was taken in Ile Perrot, Quebec, a very ordinary location – and when I say ordinary, I mean it; even people that are very familiar with that place do not believe that it was taken there. This just goes to show that by using your imagination you can easily create a work of art from a location most people would classify as nothing special. I remember thinking ‘I sure would rather be in Singapore shooting instead of Ile Perrot’ but quickly realized that like most people (sometimes me included), that person was trying to justify the fact that he wasn’t shooting as much as he would love to with an excuse, thus making him feel better. If this is what you really want to do, and you truly feel the passion inside of you, do not ever use excuses for not being able to pursue your dream. Make it a point to get out there at least once a week. I am fully aware that with work, family and other commitments it is not always easy to find the time, but you have to do what will make you feel alive. We are all born to create in various forms and I strongly believe that a man that cannot perform his passion will quickly feel like a man without a soul. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says it so well when he states, “Do not die with your music still in you” (my favourite quote), meaning do not die without accomplishing your passion or what you were born to do. In our case we have to use the statement. “Do not die with your images still inside of you”. Bring ’em all out for the world to see and leave your footprints for generations to enjoy.
#9 What do you do in your life besides photography?
I love fitness and stay in shape as much as I can, which really helps me stay in shape for all my trips, both physically and mentally. Being out of shape could make what would be a beautiful experience an awful one. Same goes for my state of mind. Everything has to be kept in perfect harmony in order to experience every location to the fullest.
#10 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I am now heading to Iceland for seventeen days, and then from Iceland will go directly spend another sixteen days in the Faroe Islands. I am heading back home for one week and leaving to Newfoundland for another two weeks. Upon my return I will concentrate on producing fine art prints. I have set my goal to open my own fine art gallery in a prime location.
Patrick Di Fruscia Official Website: