Our 4th entry in our 365ers series comes from Froi Rivera, a photographer I have personally been following since he started, his work is truly amazing. I hope you enjoy this interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourselfI am from the Manila, Philippines, a country most known for the boxing champ Manny ''Pacman'' Paquiao. Living in a beautiful archipelago, we can go for a spot for a sunrise shoot in the early morning and drive to the other side of the country for a sunset spot in just a day! Architectural designer as my day job, I presently do commercial photography, shooting events and weddings. It was 2007 when i got interested in photography, i am an art lover all my life. I love to draw and do some paintings on my younger days. Capturing beautiful photograps has been a stress reliever for me eversince I started photography. I also love doing advocacy works through photography, Black Pencil Project http://www.blackpencilproject.org is one of them. Even though i shoot events, I humbly don't consider myself as a profesional, I will always be an enthusiasts of photography, a hobbyist, a lover of the craft.
Do you have any formal photography training?I really don't have any formal training in photography. It was March 2007 when my sister gave me my first digital camera, a canon powershot A520. The first sunrise rise i photographed got me into photography. 6 months later after experimenting the uses of my digicam, i bought a bargained DSLR. From then on i was more serious on the craft.
I googled the web for photography tips, Youtube was so very helpful to me. Reading websites that is helpful in the know hows of photography and joining in photography forums over the internet, http://www.pinoyphotography.org is my favorite forum. I have learned also from my photography friends, we share different tips and techniques, sharing basic knowledge we know as our skills progresses. My biggest mentor Atty. Raymond Fortun, http://raymond42n.multiply.com/, a very successfull lawyer here in our country and now also a famous wedding photographer, gave me the opportunity to shoot with his photography team as a backup shooter on his wedding gigs, which truly helped me a lot developing my creativity and training my eyes to see more than an ordinary eyes could see. What made you want to do the 365 Project?
Before joining 365 Project, I started ''Randomness'' mid October of 2009, a day by day desktop wall paper photos that I send through email to my special one (daily uploaded on my Facebook account). She really is the reason behind this project, she inspires and pushes me to create beautiful photographs. You'll notice most of my photographs are in landscape orientation that is to fit on a desktop screen. I joined 365 Project January this year, a friend, Paolo Sy introduced me this site, and from then on I am continued to create more beautiful photographs day by day, with those overwhelming comments I am recieving everyday and 365'ers that follows my project.
''Randomness'' is more of a personal attachment to me. This is where I express my passion for photography and share it to someone I love. A project that I will continue to share in this wonderfull community, a project that I will be doin' untill i may not have enough strenght to push the shutter on my camera.
What type of camera do you shoot with? Would you recommend it?I still have my Canon Powershot A520 with me, my old and trusty Canon EOS 350D and a Canon 40D. I would recomend any camera, a point and shoot, a prosumer cam, a DSLR or even a camera phone with a decent image quality, brand names doesn't really matters. A camera is only a tool, what makes it different from each other is the ease of use. A camera only records images, it is the man behind the viewfinder who sees and composes great moments to capture.
If you had to choose one lens and one other camera accessory what would they be and why?My favorite lens was a tamron 17-50mm f2.8 which got broken during a wedding gig. Its focal length makes it a very good walk around lens, it is wide enough for landscapes, can focus close to any subject for a close up photos and with its wide apperture it is also good for portraiture and low light situations. And I love shooting landscapes esp doing long exposures, so a tripod is a must for me.
A lot of your work is quite minimalist and contemporary, is that your favoured form of photography?My first love for photography is shooting landscapes, its keeps me more relaxed. Shooting with no pressure at all, waiting for the right sunlight to come, waiting for the rich colors of the skies to come out. All you have to do is ''be there'' minutes before the right light comes through.
I am a fan of minimalism, as an architectural designer i love working on a minimalist projects. Most of my still life photos are shot with a plain black background. I walk around the house with a camera on my neck and an illustration board on my hand, my backdrop, finding subjects for still life photographs. Photography is all about light, a simple subject with a very good light source creates a lot of impact.
How much post-processing do you do on your images?I limit most of my photographs through global adjustments for enhancements. I also do HDR post processing, but only when I'm shooting on a unevenly light landscapes, very bright sky making the subject backlighted.
I also admire many photographers who really goes beyond post processing, making a photograph sureal. We are living in the digital age of photography, there's nothing wrong in processing/editing your photos, you are free to do anything as long as it expresses yourself and your feelings to this art.
Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?When i first bought DSLR it was really to capture my daughter and nieces. As they grow older, I want every moment of their childhood to be captured for them to have something to take out of the box and reminisce about.
What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?Uploading my 1,825th photo!I guess I will still be hunting for subjects, taking good photographs for my personal satisfaction. I would love to create my own distinctive style on my photographs, a trademark on my photos.
What tip would you give to any aspiring 365 photographers?Love the craft, don't make photography just be a fad in you. I see a lot of 365 photographers here uses only a point and shoot cam and they produce photos that are a lot better than mine. 365 Project is not an easy task to do, but it really will develop your photography skills. Take the challenge, and get ready to create photographs that you can display on a gallery day by day.
Where can we see more Froi?Some of my works can be viewed on Facebook. You can add me up on my Facebook account. I posts some of my wedding shoots there. Just simply put a message “365project”. My personal gallery of works from the past to present can be viewed at my multiply site.
And lastly I really want to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful community of the 365 Project. My warmest thanks and appreciation to those 365 photographers who follows and take time to look and comment on my works. I may seldom reply on your comments but I deeply appreciate it.
And to my beautiful "Life", my Little Meera, who inspires me in everything i do, thank you so much for sharing your life with me.
This interview has been part of our '365ers' series, check out more of these interviews below...Week 1: Carl RiceWeek 2: Tiffany EverettWeek 3: Peter Van Allen