Marco Grassi, a self-taught photographer from Italy, is focused on landscape and travel photography. After travelling to New Zealand, and spending a year backpacking in and around the scenic wonders of the country, nature had an extremely positive effect on him which urged him to capture those great landscapes. This was the time when he bought his first camera and immersed into photography. According to Marco, the first time he held his camera, he knew that he had finally found a vehicle to travel the world and experience everything that it had to offer. In no time, Marco achieved his goal of expanding his itinerary to a round-the-world trip. He has now been traveling around the world since September 2015, shooting through Faroe Island, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand and USA. To get a glimpse of his global expeditions you can visit his website www.marcograssiphotography. com or www.facebook.com/ marcograssiphotography. You can also find him on instagram @marcograssiphotography.
As told to Unnati Sagar
Being a self-trained photographer, what are the various challenges that you initially faced during the process of self-training?What according to you are the pros and cons of selftraining?
At the beginning I knew nothing about photography and this has been the hardest challenge which I had to face during my self-training. I was starting from zero and I was making many errors. Criticizing my work, and always trying to push myself harder each time helped me in improving my photography a lot. A pro of selftraining is that, in this way you create your own style and you really don’t feel the need to be influenced by other photographers much. On the other side, everything requires more time and effort because you don’t have a path to follow but need to create one of your own instead.
Who or what, for you, have been the major influences that persuaded you to become a professional photographer?
I would definitely say New Zealand. I’ve lived there for an entire year while working and travelling around the country and across its breathtaking sceneries. At that time I couldn’t afford a camera, but being so close to nature and wilderness moved something in me and made me realise that it was time for me to start capturing those spectacular views.
Amongst the different countries/ locations that you’ve travelled to, which one has so far been the most challenging to photograph? What were the difficulties that you faced?
What I like about photography is that every location presents different challenges. If you’re able to face them and solve them, chances are high that you will bring something good back home. If I had to choose a country, I’d say China as it is really hard to travel around not knowing Mandarin and even harder to reach a rural location without knowing how to explain where it is. Despite this, I travelled around this beautiful country for almost three months.
What according to you are the most important factors to be considered while planning a trip to an unknown location?
Timing is the most important factor in landscape photography. To obtain a specific shot, you might have to consider the season, position of the sun, tidal forecasts, blossom season etc. depending on the picture you’re after. The more time you spend acknowledging these things and mind mapping it, the higher the chances of your shot being outstanding.
Being a landscape and travel photographer, you need to tour across various countries which can be a little heavy on the pocket. How does one go about planning a budgeted trip, especially when one has just begun his/her career?
Here’s the truth: every journey costs you money no matter where you choose to go. That’s why, before this longterm trip around the world, I worked hard with the only purpose— to save as much as possible instead of spending my earnings in unnecessary things. Another thing that may help at the beginning is to travel to relatively cheaper countries or to rediscover the beauty of your own country first. For sure, you must try to keep your expenses very low to be able to travel far and long.
Does travel inspire photography or is it photography that motivates you to travel? Which of the two propels you to keep moving forward?
It’s photography that inspires me to travel. It’s interesting to see how at the beginning I first chose a place and then thought about the photo opportunities in and around that place, and how now I think about the pictures I want to take, pick up the location and research which is the right time of the year to get the shot I want.
What are your views on image editing, especially considering that you’re a landscape and a travel photographer?
I’m a fan of doing everything I can right in-camera. That’s why I define myself a ‘light’ guy, because I like to work on the field and achieve the picture there. At the computer, when I’m colour-correcting an image, I just do some small tuning on the highlights, contrast, shadows etc. to bring back the colour and make the whole scene appear as it actually was in reality.
Why do you think is has become so crucial for a photographer to showcase his work across different social media platforms?
Studies reveal that every social network has a particular and a specific kind of audience, who prefers one social media instead of another one for many different reasons which can also be trivial such as layout and design colours. For this reason I believe that being on more platforms, always related to your subject (photography in my case), helps photographers to reach out to a bigger audience. It does require a good amount of time and a lot of work, but it repays back in terms of feedbacs and truly opens a door to a lot of possibilities and opportunities. |SP