Speakers Series – Henry Fernando

Meet Henry Fernando

By: Nix Wadden

Henry Rernando

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!”


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