It was a real pleasure to me to put Larry Deng in the spotlights through this interview. Larry expresses so well the essence op photography whith this quote: “When I take photos, I aim to be as respectful as possible to the original composition, trying to capture the subject of my photograph in its most natural setting. However, once I begin post-processing, I am able to add my own artistic expression and I pour my emotion into the piece.”
Enjoy reading more about this artist and the personality behind his work.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Larry.
I am a photographer based in Toronto. I really love nature, different landscapes, observing the beauty that our Earth can offer. Photography is my hobby and it is the way I show the beauty of this world from my perspective.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography? Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
Ever since my first day of photography to this very day, I learn from other photographers and about their unique styles. I study their techniques, their artistic eye in different settings such as urban, wildlife, and landscape environments. The most important lesson is to remain humble and always be learning, this I truly believe will allow me develop further.
What first attracted you to photography?
It was a family trip in 2014 believe it or not. My sister was a member of a photography club in China and she explained to me a few techniques. I was amazed by the chance to capture nature in an instant snapshot and being able to share it with others.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
When I capture photos, I aim to be as respectful as possible to the original composition, trying to capture the subject of my photograph in its most natural setting. However, once I begin post-processing, I am able to add my own artistic expression and I pour my emotion into the piece.
You have your very own style but your work is very diversified. Can you explain why this is?
It took me a few years to find my groove and develop my own style after learning as much as I can from other great photographers. A lot of the underlying rules and patterns that apply to one type of photography can be translated to other types. To give an example, I spend a lot of time capturing photos of wildlife. I feel that the skills I learn here translate well to another setting such as one in the city, whether I am taking pictures of the environment or its people. You need to be patient, quick to act, have a precise eye, and if you're lucky, you may have a few seconds to capture that perfect moment.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Everybody loves a well-told story because stories are the best way to evoke emotion. They can make us excited, laugh, cry, or feel empathy for someone else. Perhaps the best thing about stories is relatively simple: stories about other people help us to better understand ourselves. This is the reason why visual storytelling has such an important role in photography.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
I don't seek to distinguish myself as more than an observer. Photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. Just as a painting is out of nothing, photography is taken out of circumstances. It has little to do with the things you see and has lots to do with the way you see them.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
If it's possible, I will try to get some inspiration from other photographer's work at that particular location online. In order to create something aligned with my own style or vision, it will take forming a deeper knowledge and connection to the location and/or subject that I shoot.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I use Nikon D810 and D7100 with lenses of 14-24, 70-200 and 300 mm.
What software do you use to process your images?
For image processing I use PCcc 2018 and Nik collection.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I relied on techniques a lot at the very beginning when I first started out, vital to establishing a strong foundation. Now after years of experience I now rely on my instincts when shooting or editing.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
To set yourself apart from an amateur photographer, it is important to understand composition and photography in a structural sense, which is why learning the rule of thirds is crucial. To get started in photography, just keep practising. Take lots of photos, I have several hard drives full of my photos that aren't good enough. You're not going to take the perfect shot right away. Be open to constructive feedback and remain humble. Look for photographer communities where you live and join one!
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
My favourite photographer is Marc Adamus , especially his landscape shots. I love his creative mind, his post-processing in his photos are so vivid and he has incredible mastery over light and how it affects everything it touches.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
There isn't any specific photo, but I do enjoy the work of Sol Marades, Jian Wang, and Carmine Chiriacò. I also browse the photographs uploaded to the 1X community, many talent individuals there!
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I still have a lot to learn, I have only begun my journey as a photographer and I wish to keep improving as much as possible.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
I have no favourite photograph so far. I might find one that I like greatly but might come back to it in a few months, finding flaws where I did not see them before. I believe the next one I take can and will be better as I continue to grow.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1x, as a home base for your work?
I love to share my passion on 1x, it allows me to share my perspective to a new audience. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of it and I love seeing the work of all the talent photographers on this site. I would like to give special thanks to Yvette for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences through this interview. Keep on the great work my friends.