Interview: John Randazzo from Long Island, NY shows that Hard Work Pays Off

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I follow John Randazzo on Instagram for quite a while and I am in awe every time he posts a new photo on his feed. I love nature and landscape photography and I am always looking to connect with fellow photographers who are passionate and have the skills to capture amazing images.

With this in mind, I wanted to showcase John’s work because I really like the way he sees and captures the world. I am happy he accepted my invitation for an interview at johnmakphotography.com. I hope you enjoy this interview and John’s photography. It is indeed one of a kind!

Tell us a few things about you and where you’re from.

I’m mainly a Long Island / New York City based photographer. During the past 30+ years, I have worked as an HVAC engineer while pursuing my passion in the arts…  including music, painting, drawing, viticulture, enology, kombucha brewing, and photography.

How did you start photography?

I used to play around in my cousin’s darkroom as a kid and I remember being amazed when the image started to appear under the developer. Later I started painting and drawing so when I got into photography I already had an understanding of composition and light. I started taking Photography serious in 2014 when I purchased my first DSLR and slowly it grew into an obsession.

What type of photography do you like the most?

I like Landscape photography, Macro, and shooting Portraits.

What kind of gear do you use for your photography?

  • Cameras: Nikon D810 with vertical grip and a D7100
  • Lenses: Nikkor 35mm F2D, Nikkor 20mm 3,5AI, Tokina 100mm 2.8 Macro, Tamron 15-30 2.8, Tamron 70-200 2.8 G2, Nikon 60mm 2.8D Macro
  • Tripods:  Manfrotto, Moman Tabletop tripod (goes with me everywhere)
  • Flashes: Godox AD600 Godox AD200 with Triggers and various softboxes and umbrellas.
  • Camera bags: 5.11 Tactical Bail out bag. (style 56026) and Manfrotto Backpack

What do you love most about your camera?

I love the Dynamic Range and how it feels in my hand.

What’s your favorite lens and why?

My favorite lens is the Nikkor 35mm F2D and spends the most time on my camera. It’s small and light and sharp as a tack and the focal length is close to what our eyes see. It’s a great focal length to use for street shooting if ever the opportunity presents itself.

Do you edit your photos? What software do you use?

Yes, I edit all my work and use Lightroom and Photoshop. (its funny years ago we used a “dark room” now I use something called “light room”)

Among your works, which is your favorite one and why?

“Sicilian Sunrise” I was vacationing in Sicily and I was photographing from high up on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean somewhere near Taormina. I can still feel the warm sun and smell the sweetly fragrant scent of the Oleander being carried by the gentle morning breeze on this lovely August morning. Photos become a sort of diary that transports you back to that moment when you clicked the shutter.

Whose work has influenced you the most?

Mostly the old masters I love studying how Rembrandt used the light on his subjects. How JMW Turner used color and light on his landscapes, as well as many of the French impressionists. I love the quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson “Your first 10,000 photos are your worst”.

What is the one thing a beginner should know when they start their journey in photography?

Show up at your sight early and scout out your composition, spend time until you find a composition you’re happy with, The light and sky change very fast especially during the winter months, you want to be ready. Just keep shooting, with a digital camera it doesn’t cost you much to click away and experiment.

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