Welcome to another episode of Photographer Spotlight. This time I’d like to introduce Enrico Fossati to you, who shows magnificent & astonishing landscape images. Step inside the world of Enrico Fossati and learn all his tips and tricks!
1) Tell us about yourself, where are you from? How, when and why did you get into photography?
I was born the 21st September 1979 at Novi Ligure in Piemonte in Italy. My Journey in the world of landscape photography has very deep and strong roots; since I was a child I was fascinated by the grand landscapes and from the paintings of them. I remember when I was 6 years old to have wanted at all costs a poster of the Bavarian castle of Neuschwanstein to hang in my bedroom since that time so many years have passed and my passion for landscapes has grown with me. During the years of the school I fell for Tolkien writings and in the related art, this passion has given me the chance to know and appreciate many great painters like John Howe, Allan Lee Ted Nasmith and thanks to them I have discovered the great romantic painters of the past like Turner Oheme, Friedrich and later the painters of the Hudson River School like Bierstadt, Cole, and Church. Those great masters are a great inspiration. In 2009 I bought my first DSLR and I started to capture pictures of the area surrounding my home learning the basics of photography as a self-taught, then I started to take pictures on the Alps where I totally fell in love with the alpine landscapes.
2) How much time do you spend on photography on average?
Not much as I want, for personal shooting, around 4 weeks a year then 4/5 weeks for workshops or business trips.
3) Which gear do you mainly use / What is typically in your camera bag?
I have always with me my D800 now, I am waiting for a D850 LOL a super wide 14-24, a medium zoom 24-70 and a Tele lens 80-400 or 70-200.
Tripod Gitzo GT3542XLS + FLM Ballhead 48F polarizer ND filters by Lucroit, remote control, spare batteries, tons of memory cards, an umbrella, waterproof equipment (Goretex coat and rain cover for backpack) a warm layer, cap, gloves some snacks, trekking poles head light spare light, wipes and spay for cleanup lenses.
4) How do you prepare for an image?
I am used to working a lot on my images, I am very picky and selective, it is possible that after one week trip I select one or two pictures to be published. I spend a lot of time processing them at my pc, improving and fine tuning all the details.
5) Do you have guiding principles that you follow when you’re taking pictures?
For me composition is essential, If the composition doesn’t satisfy me I avoid to publish the picture. I prefer a shot with poor light but a great composition instead of a crazy light with a bad one. Besides the classical rules of composition, sometimes is enough watching inside the viewfinder to feel that the comp is correct and is working great. After some years is not necessary to have a schema about composition because is in your mind. Sometimes I spend more time when I decide to make a composite mixing various parts of an image.
6) How important is post-processing for you? Can you tell us what kind of postprocessing you typically do?
Processing for me is essential, in this the era of digital photography processing is a way to distinguish your work to give a special look to your works and makes them unique. Creativity in the era of digital photography is essential to be successful. I work with Photoshop since many years with luminosity masks and various plugins. The base shot beside the skills in photoshop must be a good one and here the composition plays a big role then. Usually, I grade my pictures customizing the colors I improve the lights with burning and dodging tools and I use various tools for emphasizing the mood and the quality of light. I published some tutorials where I explain my techniques step by step and are available to be purchased on my website.
7) What’s the favorite photo you took and why?
Is very hard to say what is the best one, surely this year the most exciting experience was a morning in the Asturian forests with my buddy Arturo Solis. We have found incredible foggy conditions. The atmosphere was perfect, the colors were magical and the shape of the ancient trees reminded me a lot of some paintings that I truly love. The title of the picture is “Wandering in the Fog”.
8) What’s the most challenging part of being a nature/landscape photographer
This depending on what do you mean for challenging surely one of the biggest challenges today is to find customers due to the huge offer on the market. Actually, there are countless photographers offering a wide range of services like workshops, prints, online instruction etc. and the medium level is quite high compared to the past so now is much more complicated establish a strong business. This huge offer has reduced the prices reducing the profit from those activities and the global market with the microstock photography has totally killed the profit from selling pictures to magazines and big companies.
9) Do you have general advice and tips for other photographers?
Is always hard give tips to new photographers, my recommendation is to improve the quality as much as possible studying the composition with care shoot the locations with any conditions like rain fog or snow to produce less common images try to search new locations or point of view. Rarely is possible be successful copying the work of other artists.
10) Who or what inspires you to do what you do and why?
This is a question that involves many of my interests, surely one of my greatest sources of inspiration are the movies, I love to watch movies especially fantasy and historical but only a few of them are released per year know I love to watch them many times. I have forgotten how many times I have watched masterpieces like Gladiator, Braveheart or Lord of the Rings, but sometimes Also less famous movies are a good source of inspiration just for a Particular scene or for a location. I love to visit locations That have Been Used as filming location, I remember my visit to Wales to explore the famous Fresh Water West beach or Naspoint where Has Been filmed movies like Robin Hood from Ridley Scott, Harry Potter or Snow White and the Huntsman. It was thrilling!
Always related to the world of the cinema I love to watch the special contents on the making of is nice to see how the great directors have been exploited locations, I was totally amazed by the work of Ridley Scott for the Kingdom of Heaven in Spain. Totally awesome! I collect artbooks of the movies inside where I can find sketches and conceptual design of many of the locations, is very helpful for understanding the power of composition.
Another source of inspiration are painters and artist, Surely my “visual Bible” are the works of John Howe, His work is amazing, and I grew with his paintings. John before becoming one the greatest conceptual designer of the world thanks to his job related to Lord of the Rings it was a freelance painter and his works Has Been Used for many fantasy books and games, so every time I see one that painting is just like an awakening of my most sweet memories of early youth. Besides John That is particularly linked to my past I love the paintings of many famous painters from the past like William Turner, John Constable, Alber Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, Caspar David Friedrich, Karl Schinkel Their works it was simply astonishing, I can spend hours in watching all the details of Their masterpieces. All photographer landscapers or not I think they should spend a little of time watching the work of the masters of painting for understanding the framing, how to use the colors and light. It is very important and it was very helpful for me.
There are also many photographers who I love and I am fascinated by their works like Adamus, Noriega, Gore, Plisson, Guichard, Dyar Van Breughel and many others.
My works are sometimes also inspired by music, I listen to almost everything, but I love when I work on my photos to listen to movie scores, classical music, ambient music but also extreme music like black metal. The music influences my work a lot.
11) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Many things 😃 Surely the technical approach now is more different.
12) What are your future photography goals?
My future goals are to grow as professional improving my business and continuing to shoot new and unique pictures, researching in the field the essence of my feelings visions and dreams.
13) Is there anything else you want to say?
Take a look at my website for workshops, actually, I have planned two amazing tours one in the French Alps with Erin Babnik and one in Hautes Savoy with Gianluca Podestà . Two unbleivable trips in hearth of the alpine arch far from the classical photo tours! www.enricofossati.it . To all the new photographers: Never give up! Sorry for my grammar errors! LOL
Find Enrico Fossati on the Web: