Home : Interviews Photography : Danny Fontaine
How did you started with photography? What fascinate you most about photography?
I began to become interested in photography whilst doing my BA in Fine Art. I began as a painter but things weren;t working out and so I took a trip to NY for 2 weeks and ended up taking thousands of black and white photographs. This kept my interest going for a while but I felt like I wanted to do something more experimental and (if possible) original. Night photography gave me the opportunity to crossover painting, photography, acting, and even filmmaking. The fact that one still image can capture a split second, or it can capture an unlimited period of time is an incredible thing.
What is your philosophy about Photography? Does that changed your life?
My philosophy is just to have fun with the medium. I try not to get hung-up on techniques and 'rules.' If I stopped enjoying photography, then I would simply stop taking photographs. This hasn't changed my life, but it is the way I think about all aspects of life.
Do you exclusively use any image-editing program? What is your opinion about photo retouching?
Photo retouching has a definite place in photography - especially in fashion, and it can really enhance an image. It can also be used to create amazing and surreal effects. However, I would never retouch a night image. This would defeat the purpose of capturing the surreal world in the first place. Most of our images are taken on slide film and when viewed in a slide projector look identical to the scanned images on the website.
How much you rely on equipments? What kind of equipment you use?
When shooting at night equipment is relied on heavily, and not just photographic equipment, but torches and other light sources used for 'painting with light.' Without these there wouldn't be much point in taking the trip. I have used many cameras over the years. I began with a Yashica FX-D before moving on to a Canon EOS film camera, and also a mamiya 6x6 and a large format camera. I know use a Canon EOS 20D.
What is the most attractive aspect of night photography according to you?
There are 2 aspects that attract me to night photography. Firstly it is the ability to create a whole new world, a world that over time has actually been there in front of the camera, yet could never be viewed in real life like the camera has captured it.
The second is the enjoyment and excitement of exploring new territories at night.
Do you feel you need to have certain special qualities to become Night Photographer?
Not at all. A vivid imagination is helps. A fear of the dark doesn't help..!
What would be your advice for the newcomers in this field?
You can spend your whole life reading books and websites about techniques, but if you want results from night photography then just get out there and experiment. Make mistakes - they can often be better than what you've originally planned! Just go out and do it.