Photography requires passion. Francesco isn’t a pro photographer he just loves photography. I thought it might be interesting for you to read how he sees photography. His advice for turning pro is still very relevant and is something that many of the pro photographers here on RAW have done when they were starting out. So enjoy and I hope you learn something.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Francesco, I’m 30 and I grow up in a town called Stradella, in the north of Italy. Unfortunately my job brought me far from my home, and now I live in the beautiful town of Lerici, in Liguria.
Yep, photography is not my primary occupation, and truth be told I never sold a single pic 🙂
But for me photography is much more than a simple passion..
What made you get into photography?
I can’t say exactly when everything has started. I have to say that I love to understand how the things works, and this was probably the reason I was so curious with the Canon AT-1 of my father. I studied every single manual of photography I found and then I’ve asked him to lend it to me for my holidays..
Love at first sight 🙂
How did you get started?
My job let me travel quite often even if I don’t have many free time for myself.
But I noticed that the time spent on photography could turn me in a totally different mood, despite a really bad day.
It’s really difficult to explain, but when I’m out with my camera I’m able to think to nothing: job, love, life, troubles…everything disappear.
So I got used to spent my free time in this parallel world, and I can’t stop still now.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I’m a Landscaper, and to be more accurate, a Seascaper. In this last period I’m becoming really keen on long exposures, because they represent the parallel world I told you just above.
In a long exposure you don’t freeze just a moment, but an entire period. You can transform your picture in a hourglass, and this is really amazing for me.
There is something beyond what your eyes can see, and I try to reveal it.
What gear are you using?
I use a Canon EOS 7D that I bought around two year ago to replace my old and beloved 400D. I love it! It’s not a full frame but it let me control every shot in each single aspect.
Obviously for the kind of photography that I practice, a tripod is a must! I chose a Manfrotto 190XProb, as it’s really solid and cheap, that I use with 804rc2 3-way head.
Among the other accessories, I can’t renounce to my graduated neutral density filters, to my ND400 filter (9-stop down natural density filter!) and my Canon remote control TC80N3 that I use for my really long exposures and night shots
Whats your favourite lens and why?
The 90% of my shots are made with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. I really think that this is an excellent choice for a landscaper as it’s really sharp.
I love it because using this lens I’m able to embrace the whole world in a single frame
How are you marketing yourself?
Certainly to have a good website helps a lot, but it’s unuseful if no one knows you.
I think that social networks are by now a great tool to get noticed if you don’t have a photographic agent.
In particular I think that Google+ is a paradise for photographers, as you can really emerge if you are talented, and not only if you are already famous in this world.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
Well, I think that my favourite picture is Azzurro, a shot that I made this spring in the beautiful Portovenere after an heavy storm.
It’s a 40 seconds long exposure that I realized with my graduated neutral density filters and a circular polariser. The use of the pola let me reveal the azure tone of the water, but in a magical atmosphere of stillness and peace.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Never stop trying.
For crossing a river, for climbing a rock, for publishing a work, for trying a new technique, never stop trying.
Everything you do, do it with passion and for passion.
Take advantage of internet, and use it to watch the works of other photographers. Try to study their shots and ask to yourself how they realized them. Write to the authors and ask them which filters did they used and why.
Don’t have fear to fail, and don’t discourage after your first attempt: no one is born knowing everything.
But above all, enjoy the sight that nature is offering to you, as this should be your real aim.