Here are a list of questions sent to me. Please keep in mind that it may take several weeks or months for your question to appear here or it may never if I feel that the question as already been answered on this page. Please bare with me I am really doing my best. Hoping this will answer many of your question or simply give you more of an insight on the wonderful world of Landscape Photography.
Tell us something about Patrick De Fruscia and what he was before coming into Photography and how he ended up with Landscape photography:
As a teenager I worked in a music store. At the age of 17 I started working in bars and nightclub. I then met a guy who got me in the fitness industry and started working also as a graphic/web designer for a sport supplement company in Montreal and later on became the Marketing Manager for that same company. During that time I also kept my job as a bartender and did this part time for close to 15 years. One day the owner of the supplement company came to me and ask me to undertake the task of learning photography. He grew tired of paying professionals photographers to take pictures of athletes and shots of 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 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 lamppost to cars, flowers, insects..you name it. My hobby really turned into a passion the time I did a road trip across the charming province and Quebec and ended up on top of Mt Ernest Laforce in the Gaspe peninsula. I knew then that this was my calling. That day it hit my like some sort of divine intervention… I wanted to experience, see & fell the beauty of our beautiful planet and photography was the perfect medium to do so. Since then I have set my lifelong 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.
Everyone has seen that your work is filled with rich and vibrant scenes which adds impact to the emotional value of the image, but what according to you is your particular style of photography – what according to you is the most important before you trip the shutter/present an image to your viewer ?
The #1 goal is first and always to immerse myself in my surroundings. If possible I get on location beforehand and make sure I can really feel the energy and beauty each location has to offer. I personally think that only then, will I be able to evoke true feelings out of my craft. Feelings that will literally transport the viewer to the exact spot I was standing when capturing all my pieces.
What is “Nature is my Kingdom” all about especially the story behind ?
Well this is pretty easy, whenever I am in Nature living out my passion I feel like a King. This feeling is so intense that it is very hard to describe with mere words. I am pretty sure that if you ask any nature lover they will say the same thing. One day as I was waiting for the magic light to happen, “Nature is my Kingdom” popped into my head and then decided to stick by it and made it my new slogan.
Having spoken about that, tell us something about Timecatcher and how it all started and what are the plans for Timecatcher in the months/years to come ?
Again I wanted to share the beauty of our beautiful planet with the world but I had one big problem, I wasn’t a millionaire and couldn’t travel around the world constantly. Funding was a big issue. I then came up with the idea and formed a team of landscape photographers that had the same vision and passion as me. We could all travel and share our art with the world. Timecatcher went live the 17July 2006..The day of my birthday
Presently Timecatcher is pretty much dead. Each of the members are very busy with personal projects and doing the best we can to make a great living out of it. For those who are unfamiliar with the Timecatcher Team I highly suggest you to view the work of each team members. These are all extremely talented photographers that literally raised the bar of excellence in the industry. Adam Burton, Ian Cameron, Jay Patel, Adam Gibbs, Darwin Wigget & Marc Adamus. I am keeping the name TimeCatcher.com for now and always have in the back of my mind to revamp the project. Maybe one day it will happen. Who knows?
You have travelled across many countries as a part of your work and how do you relate the challenges and relative wilderness factors and shooting conditions when in such places ?
Each place is very different from one another. You learn to deal with various shooting conditions over time but obstacles will always be present and personally I think it adds a lot to the experience. One thing I really have to learn is to be more careful. I take too many risks. One image is often not worth the dangers I can be faced with when trying the get the right viewpoint. Better be careful and have the chance to take many more.
Whats your favorite place which you have shot or have planned to shoot ?
I do not have a favourite place..each place has so much to offer that when faced with that question I always answer…it will be the next Location I will be traveling to. J
Landscape photography involves getting up early in morning and staying back late in evening or camping in remote & dangerous locations to get that dream image. In such circumstances how does your family respond/encourage/support you ?
My Girlfriend and family are always nervous whenever I travel to foreign countries or location but they have quickly learned that this truly the only thing that really makes me happy. Like I said, I like taking risks and on several occasions I had my girlfriend with me on trips but this averred to be a big challenge for several factors. When getting to remote location, if something bad happens and I am by myself, well I will deal with the consequences but could never forgive myself if something does happen and my girlfriend is with me. I now decided to travel alone most of the time apart from when I visit vacations resorts or go on little road trips.
Tell us about some of the best moments when you were out in the field
I have so many I cannot named one…it would be impossible…every moment in the field is a pure blessing.
What is Pat’s favorite Landscape image in his portfolio right now and what is the story behind the image
Again this is exactly like asking me which is my favourite location, I do not have one…My favorite shot will be the next one that will show up in my portfolio, you get so familiar with you work that the newest ones are always more appealing to me
How much has the newer technology and advancement in post processing helped you in creating your imagery.
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?
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 computer. By that I mean, I didn’t add clouds, mountains, waterfalls, where they were none of these elements, or added a sunset where they were 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 10 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 latitude 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 posses all the quality attributes & features she needs, 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.. 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 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 & 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.
You recently published a compilation of your video work called “Looking for Purpose” – tell us something more about it and if you have plans of building it up video portfolio further.
I started this just for fun in order to record the places I visited. My First experience was recording my US Southwest road trip with my girlfriend. My skills as a videographer weren’t that good but really enjoyed making this video none the less. The only problem was, every time the light was very nice or dramatic, I completely forgot to record it on video, My focus was always on photography. I have now switched my way of thinking and always make sure I spend some time recording my travels. Looking for purpose was a starting point for me, I had an idea of what I wanted to do but wasn’t exactly sure how it would turn out..I can honestly say that I am happy with the result given my lack of experience in that field. I can definitely see that a lot can be done better but this just makes make more anxious on creating another one.
The other side of Patrick is a very philosophical guy (?), he is a person known to post inspirational/motivational quotes – tell us something about these external forces which drives you ?
At one point in my life I was going through some pretty rough times. Hitting rock bottom really helped me, It made me see life in a way I had never seen before. One day, it dawned on me…Life as to be more than that. There has to be a reason why I am here and it certainly not to be miserable over all the things that are happening to me that I have absolutely no control over.. I then decided to go on a quest to find out more about purpose. I took the exact same approach as when I started photography. I started reading everything I could find on the subject and became obsessed with the matter.
Trying to understand why most people, live their lives being unhappy with their situation, thinking they cannot do anything about it and there is no way out. Why do people blame everyone for the things that are going on in their lives? Why does most people live with excuses in order to justify the reason why they are not where they really want to be. I find it really sad that people prefer staying in their so-called comfort zone than making a move to a better life doing what they were born to do. Fear is our biggest enemy and most fears are simply exaggerated thoughts blown out of proportions. All that because this is the way we were brought up, being told what to do, what to like, what not to like, how to look, how to behave, what’s right and what’s wrong, and worst of all by people that never even followed their purpose and wished they had lived differently.
This is now a big part of my life and I have to admit I have not mastered the subject yet. I know that by posting all these positive/inspirational quotes, I am helping some of my followers make a change for a better life. I often receive very touching message by followers and you have no idea how these make me feel. I have had tears roll down my face reading some of their emotional statements. Knowing that I can make a positive impact on someone else’s life means the world to me. At the end it is all about, How much better have you made your life and the lives of the people around you.
What sort of ground work and preparation do you do before you head down to any of your shoot (apart from being a fitness freak) ?
Besides making sure I have all the appropriate gear and clothing according to the location I will be visiting. Not that much. I like to fond out the key spots but prefer to have no itinerary. I like to “go with the flow “ and get inspired by the location rather than images from other photographers.
3 most important pieces of advice you would like to give budding Landscape photographers ?
1- If that’s what you really want to do, do not pay attention to haters or dream bashers and do what you have to do to make it happen. Believe in yourself, everyday take a step in that direction however small it may seem while always keeping your goal in mind. Act as if you are already the photographer you want to become J
2-Get your hands on all the knowledge you can get (books, internet, workshops, seminars etc) and practice, practice, practice, both on the field and with post processing.
3- Do it for you, not to get praises but for the feeling it procures. Do not try to copy but be inspired. Enjoy every moment even the rainy days..beauty lies everywhere.
Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
Never took any courses beside 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.
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 everyday. Today, with the Internet, there is so much talent that everyday I can easily get an amazing dose of inspiration.
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 map 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 was also guilty of that on some occasion) 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 make you go from point 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.
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 colored 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 occasion 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. Truly felt like I was part of some sort of Divine Intervention.
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 battery 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 cherish forever. Let your emotions guide you thru this incredible journey.
Nature & Landscape Photography is for everyone, you do not have to climb the highest mountains nor traveled 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 facts 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 that you truly feel the passion inside of you do not ever use excuses why you are not 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 favorite 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 photography still inside of you” Bring’em all out for the world to see and leave your footprints for generations to enjoy.
What do you do in your life besides photography? (hobby, other job, etc…)
I love fitness and stay in shape as much as I can, this 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 with my state of mind. Everything as to be kept in perfect harmony in order to experience every location to the fullest.
Q: Hi Patrick,
First i want to say that your photos are amazing!!!!very very beautiful!im a photographer too,well just started year ago. im using actually same equipment as youi ve got a question about nd grad filters.till now i was using natural density B+W but read a lot about nd grad filters,so i have ordered lee nd grad 0.3 and 0.6 they just arrived today,but i find them very light.i mean do you find 0.3 usefull?i love effect\”misty water\” so im thinking to swap 0.3 for 0.9?
Monika Baster – Jersey UK
A: Hi Monika
Thank you so much for your great comment about my work. This really means a lot to me and I appreciate this a lot. To answer your question I hardly use the 0.3 filter unless it is upside-down to attenuate a bright foreground like sand or reflection on water. I would really suggest you to get the 0.6 – and 0.9 hard and soft. These are the ones I use 90% of the time.
Live with Passion
I have to ask you a question, and I know a lot of photographers as good as you aren’t too keen at revealing any details of their work or their equipment, but I have to ask: how did you create such beautiful images? I know the camera isn’t a big deal but what sort of lenses do you use? Post Processing? Nikon, Canon? The colors of your images are so amazing and deep I look at my photos and wonder if I’m editing mine right. The photo of the dock at the Mayan Riviera is an example. It looks like a long exposure night shot, but the colors are so richly detailed and the depth of field is so deep I feel like I’m standing there when I look at it.
A: Hi Michael
Thank you for contacting me. You can presently see my whole list of equipment HERE . There is no secrets, Good camera, good lenses, proper filters and most of all, time of day and location. The shot you are referring to entitled “From Now On” was taken early morning before sunrise. Then in post processing adjustments were made in the levels, contrast, saturation and sharpness. Sharpness always has to be performed at the end regarding of your output and size. Web and print need completely different techniques in order to achieve desired results.
Q : I have some questions about you and your camera gear! Next year I want travel to Scotland. I want to know, what you use on travel? Ok, a Canon Eos Mark 5 and I think two lenses and a handful of ND filters. Do you sleep in tents? How much equipment must I have for good landscape pics?
I hope you have time to answer me.
Greats from a great fan, Frank – Germany
A: Hi Frank
I always carry all my gear unless I am on a backpacking trip. Then, I will only bring the Canon 5D MK II, Nikkor 14-24 and 70-200L F4 lens plus tripod & and filters of course. 80% of my work is done with these 2 lenses. I usually sleep in cabins, hostels, tents, whatever I can find reallySo with a good camera, one wide angle lens, one zoom lens, a tripod and some ND Filters you should be set to capture many of the beautiful Scottish landscapes.
Q: I love your picture,,it is awesome… i just know about photography and since3 months ago i decided to learn about landscape photography, start traveling etc… about your picture (like : “Ghost Ship”)…is it fresh from your camera without post processing because the tonal is wonderful and the object so sharp… any secret? hehe….. and what gear and supported gear u used to take picture?
Putra – Indonesia
A: Hi Putra
Thank you for your great comment about my work. To answer your question, I always try to come as close as I can get to the final result in camera and then do the final post processing in photoshop afterwards. This will include dodging and burning some areas, adjusting levels, contrast saturation, and sharpness. I will also use Luminosity masking when trying to combine 2 identical shot taken at different exposure in order to render the scene as the human eye would see it. As for my gear, you can view my entire arsenal here http://natureismykingdom.com/my-equipment/ Hope this answers your question my friend.
Q: Hi Patrick!
I’m going to be taking Jay Patels online courses that you’ve highly recommended. I just have a question for you regarding filters. I dont own any at this point. Which one should I start with? ND? for blurring water…..GND for skies? Polarizer? What am I going to get most use out of? PLEASE ADVISE! I’m racking my brain trying to decide which is most important.
Look forward to more of your work, its always a inspiration!
Brad Tremblay – Canada
A: Hi Brad
You will definitely need a polarizer, This could be enough to get that blurred water effect (which is caused by long exposure on a tripod and works specially well on overcast days) add contrast and saturation to your images. After in order to balance the light I recommend ND Grad Filters. If you budget is limited, I would suggest getting the 3 Stop Soft (0.9) and 2 Stop Hard (0.6). If you can afford the whole series then have a look here http://natureismykingdom.com/my-equipment/ and you will see exactly all the filters that I have. Hoping this will help and that you have enjoyed Jay’s terrific Webinars.
Q: Hello! I must say, you take great photos of the nature, I love the colours! (my english is not so good, so I hope you understand) I like to photograph the nature, landskape and animals. So I wounder.. How do you get the colour to be so sharp in you photos? – Have a nice day! =)
- Lene Kristin Grebstad – Norway
A: Hi Lene Kristin
To answer your question. They are many factors that contributes to the sharpness of my images.
1- A good camera like the Canon 5D MKII and good quality lenses are a must.
2- Then you would need a polarizer in most cases, this will add contrast and saturation to your image.
3- Never underestimate the perfect time of day to take photos which is “The Golden Hour”. This would be the hour before sunset and after sunrise, the first and last hour of sunlight in the day.
4- A steady tripod, this will eliminate blurry images and render your images nice and crisp
5- Final Stage is the post-processing. This is where you would adjust contrast, levels, saturation and sharpness in order to achieve your final desired result
Hope this answers your question
Have a Beautiful Day
Q: Hi, What your opinion about Canon TS-E 17 mm? In your photos with 17-40 you use always 17 mm ??
Paulo Gregorio – Portugal
A: Hi Paulo
I really cannot answer your question because I have never tried it. I am also very interested in that lens because I know it will give me the sharpness I am looking for. The only thing that blocks me from purchasing it is the incompatibility with my filters due to the extruding front glass. I might consider renting it before actually making the big step.
In my photos I often use 17mm but still like the option to zoom out to 20-26 sometimes in order to frame my image exactly like I want it.
Have a Beautiful Day
Q: Hello Patrick !
I am a photography enthusiast From Mumbai, India.. I was blown away & amazed by your work !! Astounding.. Your work reflects how much effort you must have put in creating these beauteous images.. Hats off to your persistence, dedication & love for photography.. Its certainly reflected in your work.. I spent hours together watching, studying the images & understanding the depth of thoughts involved making these masterpieces .. Your work is certainly very inspiring.. I have a few questions 1. What is your work flow? 2. What gear u possess? 3. You have been photographing for how many years? 4. Have you taken any formal training (COURSES etc.)? 5. Is photography your full time career? 6. will you please hire me as your assistant?
Cheers !! thanks a lot..
Abhishek Joshi – Mumbai, India
A: Hi Abhishek
First of all thank you very much for your great comment about my work. This really means a lot to me. Being able to do my passion on a constant basis means everything.
To answer your questions:
1- My workflow is never the same, it all depends on the location, time of year etc
2- Here is the link to my gear: http://natureismykingdom.com/my-equipment/
3- I Bought my first SLR in 2000 But discover my passion for Landscapes and Nature in 2003
4- No formal training whatsoever beside a little course at the beginning to explain what was shutter speed and aperture
5- Photography has finally became my full time career.
6- If ever I have the chance to visit your beautiful country, you can definitely join me
Have a Beautiful Day
I spoke to you last year regarding AS level Photography (i am now in my second year). Since then I have continued to follow your work and it has only got better! It is amazing what you can do with a camera. In particular Beautiful One is fantastic! I was emailing you to seek some advice, I am travelling to Jordan in a couple of weeks and was wondering if you had any tips on shooting in the desert? We\’re going to be spending a lot of time around Petra so it would be great to get photos like Sculpted By Nature and Remains Of Life. Thanks for you time and I look forward to hearing from you!
Dan Foxell – England
A: Hi Dan
Thanks a lot for your nice comments about my work,
Here are my tips for shooting in the Desert:
1- Make sure your protect your camera as much as you can, specially if it is windy. Sand can get everywhere and the last thing you want is a camera full of sand. If you need to change lens use a sealed bag or hide yourself as much as possible from the wind.
2- Again Light is everything, Show up at the Golden hour Sunrise or Sunset. This will create the beautiful golden colors you are looking for.
3-If this is an area that has a lot of traffic, (meaning a lot of people walking in the dunes) make sure to show up at sunrise before all the tourists start leaving footprints everywhere. Usually during the night the wind will erase all these footprints so you should be able to get perfectly intact dunes.
4- Dont forget your tripod, a wide angle lens and a polarizer. You might consider bringing a few ND Grad filters also
Wishing you the best of luck on the incredible trip
Have a Beautiful Day