Meet Henry Fernando
By: Nix Wadden
An accomplished Ottawa-based photographer and photo workshop host, Henry loves to share a contemplative approach to his art. While indulging his passion for travel to exotic locales, his images delve deeply into the cultural richness and vitality that surround him. Addressing at the Canadian Camera Conference 2017 his theme of Contemplative Photography: The Essense of Seeing, he probes the potential for imaginative image-making in every day scenes and situations.
Winner of prestigious national and international awards, the former biochemist and IT manager has produced an impressively varied body of work well represented on his attractive website www.henryfernando.com
Henry’s series of acclaimed workshops on Introduction to Contemplative Photography includes a two-day event following CCC 2017 on Saturday and Sunday, July 3-4, at Algonquin College, 1385 Woodroffe Avenue
We had the opportunity to put Henry through one of our rapid fire interviews He was a good sport about it and took the time to answer a few of our questions:
CCC2017: Where did you grow up and what is your fondest memory of that place?
I grew up in Manila, Philippines during the 50’s and 60’s. Even though it was a large city, it was not as densely populated as it is now. The pace of life seems slower then and I spent endless hours just hanging out with my friends in our neighborhood.
CCC2017: How did you get started in this field, and what do you think has made you successful throughout your career?
I always have a camera in my hand during my teen years and while my children were growing up. But, it was only when they were grown up and on their own that I started getting serious about my photography. I needed a creative outlet and photography felt like a natural outlet for me.
CCC2017: Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your work?
Michael Woods introduced me to contemplative photography, so he’s probably my biggest influence starting out. But, as my vision and approach changed, many photographers (masters and current) influenced me in different ways.
CCC2017: What it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
I work on projects and series and the overarching message is to see things as they are. I photograph using a contemplative approach, but I also work on my images to convey a mood or feeling that I want the viewers to connect to.
CCC2017: What has been your biggest challenge?
To be creative.
CCC2017: What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Always look for the light.
CCC2017: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I was trained in Biochemistry and started my career working in a lab.
Then we asked Henry a few fun questions, just to get to know him a bit better:
One person, dead or alive you would love to have coffee with?: Photography wise – Yousuf Karsh.
Star Wars, Star Trek, or a good documentary: Star Wars & Star Trek
Three words that describe you?: Introverted, family-oriented and grateful.
Your biggest pet peeve?: People who drive slow on the passing lane.
One thing you can’t live without?: Family
Coffee or Tea?: Coffee
Beer, wine, or fancy cocktail?: Coke Zero
Favorite down time activity?: Reading
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?: Summer
Organized or chaotic?: Organized
Morning person or a night owl?: Night owl
Last book you read?: The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
Kittens or Puppies?: Puppies
Planner or Spontaneous?: A little of both
Number one your bucket list?: Travel (anywhere and everywhere)
Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram?: Facebook
Canon or Nikon or Other?: Nikon & Sony
Photoshop or Lightroom?: Both
And just one last question:
CCC2017: Is there any advice you would offer young photographers just breaking into the industry?
I’ll quote Magnum Photographer, Bruce Gilden. His advice is “Photograph who you are!”