I am from and currently live in Brisbane, Australia. I travel throughout the year to various locations in the world for travel and photography and have been doing so each year since 2004. I love to capture moments of life, beauty and culture through photography and my goal is to create artwork that gives people an emotional reaction and brings attention to the positive side of humanity.
I suppose the biggest challenge might be approaching strangers and engaging with them, a skill that can open many doors especially in the world of people photography. Doing this was difficult for me at first, but after practicing and doing it over many years I now feel very comfortable meeting people and asking to photograph them when I travel. The key is to be friendly, relaxed, confident, jovial, and to show interest and openness to others.
I don’t really consider myself to be documentary photographer as such, even though some of my work is documentary/photojournalistic in style.
However the majority of my work I consider to be more in the fine art travel photography style, with a goal to capture scenes that are expressed artistically through my own personal style and vision. I do this while faithfully and accurately representing the personality of the subject and their culture and cultural practices.
Someone who can represent the culture and character of a country, and do it in an artistic manner that will engage an audience. If the photos aren’t visually or conceptually compelling, then we’re just looking at travel snapshots that any traveller can take. An interest in a variety of subject matter also helps, so for example capturing the landscape, wildlife, cultural activities, clothing and facial features of a particular ethnicity is important.
2017 will be my fourth year leading photography tours and workshops for Luminous Journeys in South Asia, and we run high quality, small group photo adventures in some of the most photogenic destinations in the world – Myanmar, Vietnam, Bali and India. We work with top local professionals to create original itineraries not only to include inside access to iconic locations, but to go off the beaten path to maximize impact image making opportunities. I love sharing with people how I take my photos and then working together to make powerful and artistic images.
The new India tour in 2018 will be taking place during the Holi festival with the colourful powders and paints thrown into the air to celebrate the new season, and we’ll also adventure through Rajasthan, Varanasi and photograph the Taj Mahal.
People react emotionally to my photos and feel a sense of connection to the subject in each portrait. Hopefully this is conveyed because I treat everyone I photograph respectfully, I try to have fun with them and also I show an interest in them as a person and what they are doing, as my goal is to make the photography an enjoyable experience for all.
When I look at a portrait photograph, I want to be able to understand the emotion that the subject is portraying, and perhaps identify or relate to the person as well. So, a natural and relaxed or a clearly identifiable expression such as joy or contemplation is important, and when we look at the portrait we want to be transported into their world and personal space. Conversely, if the subject looks uncomfortable and awkward, we can always sense this and the viewer probably won’t connect or engage with this photo as well. So, for intimate portraits it’s important to be respectful, friendly and polite with your subject to create a good rapport and a stronger emotional focus in the photograph.
My new book is a fine art coffee table book of photography from Myanmar, featuring 128 pages of portraits, landscape and cultural scenes from the most Buddhist country in the world, formerly known as Burma. The photos were taken over five years of travel to this enchanting and culturally vibrant country. It’s a large, hard cover book that I’m extremely proud of, and it was created by Camerapixo who are experts in design and layout. It is now available at: http://davidlazarphoto.com/shop
Feeling enthusiastic and inspired by the project which will give the drive and excitement needed to create the best work you can!
I would like to return to Africa and travel to some new countries there to meet and photograph the people as well as do some more safaris in East and Southern Africa. I’d like to explore more of South America especially near the Amazon region, and also visiting and photographing Antarctica is something I would definitely like to do one day.
Capturing images of interesting subjects in good light with an engaging composition is a large part of the work, but then I need to enhance the photo in post-production to make it really come to life as I originally saw it in my mind’s eye. I use Lightroom and then mostly Photoshop on my images. I do a lot of controlled brightening and darkening with adjustment layers and layer masks, as well as reducing or boosting colours with a goal to have specific colours featured in the photo. I am always looking for problems to fix in order to achieve an image that looks perfect to me – so this might include cropping, removing small and unimportant distractions (such as a bright spec of light in the background or a dark stick on the ground) and lighting/darkening specific parts of the scene to make the viewer’s eye focus on the intended subject. I think the key to good image processing is to have an idea of what you want your photo to look like from the start, and then you edit the photo accordingly. I do this gradually over a period of time, so I can keep coming back and looking at it with ‘fresh eyes’ to ultimately get the image looking strong and full of life, according to how my mind sees the perfect balance of elements in a photo.
I always enjoy working with Camerapixo – I have been featured in the magazine a number of times, and I really love the design and quality of this magazine. Artur and Anetta are a pleasure to work with – they are very professional, and know how to consistently create a great quality and creatively inspiring product.
Luminous Journeys India Photo Tour: https://www.luminousjourneys.net/rajasthan-photo-tour-holi-taj-mahal
Thank you David for taking the time to do this interview.
We are happy to welcome you on board among other photographers.
Your photography is very valuable in this community and very beneficial for our readers.