We’re back with another exciting edition of #POTD and our winner this week is Andrew Frasz. As always, ViewBug is going to hook him up with a website to share his content and MeFoto is giving him one of their amazing travel tripods. We know he’s definitely going to be putting the tripod to good use because a large part of his talent lies in capturing breathtaking landscapes and beautiful architecture. We managed to catch up with this busy and highly mobile photographer to talk to him about his fantastic work.
Resource: Let’s start from the beginning. Where are you from, when did you first pick up a camera and why does photography appeal to you?
I grew up outside of Cleveland, OH. My first camera was my dad’s old broken Ricoh from the 70s that we got fixed for my 16th birthday. I love the process of making pictures. I often feel like photography is the most complete form of personal accomplishment because it involves planning, interpreting, adventure, surprise, problem solving, social interaction, and, hopefully, a fulfilling reward.
Resource: You have taken some really vivid photos of landscapes. What techniques do you use to immerse the viewer in the scene?
I think it is really important for the viewer to be able to travel through the spaces I have captured. I was taught early in my career that one’s eye would always be drawn to the brightest part of an image. Therefore, it’s almost always helpful to have the furthest point or the main focus of the image to be the brightest. I also spend a lot of time thinking about composition and finding a balance within my images. And of course, finding a sense of drama within a scene gets the viewer interested in the first place.
Resource: There is also a mix of architecture and the occasional presence of a human subject. How do you attempt to combine these elements when composing a photo?
I’m a big fan of architecture and design. I like to explore the way the world interacts with different spaces and how different people solved different problems they were posed. It’s the interaction between people and their environments that tends to take center stage for me. I actually feel like it’s my eye for architecture that informs my eye for nature. I don’t actually think I approach my architecturally driven images any differently than my landscapes.
Resource: Where are some of your favorite locations in the world to shoot?
I really enjoyed exploring Istanbul. It’s such a modern, cosmopolitan city in many ways yet there are countless layers of history to peel back. As a photographer, it was a great opportunity to create some timeless images with a modern perspective.
Resource: In some of your pictures, there is an almost gothic sense of decay. Why is it important for you to show both light and dark elements in your work?
As an artist, I’ve always tried to portray the soul or essence of my experiences when I go exploring. There are a lot of beautiful places in the world that deserve equally beautiful pictures. However, some amazing places just are not bright and cheery postcards waiting to happen. I think there is a lot of beauty to be found in the way that time catches up with everything. I don’t feel like my darker images are despondent or depressed in anyway. They just showcase a different perspective.
Resource: What advice would you give to people who are interested in photography but perhaps don’t know where to start?
I think that the old adage that the best camera is the one that you have with you is so true. Too many people get bogged down thinking they need the most expensive equipment to make good photographs, which just isn’t true. A camera is just a tool; it’s your own skills that you should be developing. Just keep shooting. I also always tell people; if you’re going to invest in something, buy good glass. Nowadays, your camera will be outdated in six months but your lenses will be good for years to come. Oh, and get a good set of sticks!
Resource: You clearly have a mastery over your social networking. What kind of opportunities and challenges does working with social media present to you?
Thank you! Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you should treat it like its not worth your while. I think social media presents an artist with a lot of opportunities to self promote with out the huge monetary expense common to traditional forms of marketing. However, I think you still have to be very professional and conscious of what you show the world. Most social media outlets offers the world a chance to feel like they are getting to know you personally which can be quite enticing. However, you have to be careful that you are not cheapening your brand or diluting the product you are actually trying to sell.
Resource: Congratulations on winning our contest! What do you make of your new prizes, such as the MeFoto RoadTrip Tripod, and how do you expect them to impact your career?
I’m particularly excited to get to know my new tripod better. I currently own one of the tallest tripods on the market that I use for a lot my commercial work. It’s great for plunging into a river or hanging off a balcony but it’s just way too much to go carrying around on most of my travels. With the MeFoto tripod, I don’t have to worry about it weighing me down or taking up precious space. I am a huge advocate of packing light and going further. This will allow me to do just that.