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An Interview with the Award winning Street Photographer Patrick Dreuning from Netherlands

RK : Please Say something about you.

Patrick : Hi I’m Patrick, Before I’ve started photography I was active in the graffiti scene. I’ve noticed I was more interested in taking the pictures of the energy and the moment than in creating a mural for myself. This is where I developed my interest for street photography. In 2017 I have graduated from the Fotovakschool in Venlo where I was taught to be open minded to every situation and try to push myself further. I believe that every person and every place has his own unique story to tell, and it’s up to me to show you this in the most honest way. I love the raw reality of street photography and I appreciate the beauty of spontaneity and the in-between moments every single picture has. The streets have a lot to offer.

RK : What are your favorite genres of Photography?

Patrick : My absolute favorite genres are street photography, documentary and concert photography, but I also like the occasionally architecture photography.

RK : What was the first camera that you had used?

Patrick : My first camera was a Nikon D3100, this is the camera I bought when I got interested in photography in general.

RK : What camera & equipment do you use now?

Patrick : I mainly use my Fujifilm X-pro2 and a Nikon D600, but I also have a Fujifilm X100s

RK : What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?

Patrick : I use street photography to clear my mind I find it very relaxing to just wander around and watch what is currently happening. The passengers that are passing by not knowing I photograph them in a setting most people take for granted. I always try to find the beauty in every street I see. That’s what I most love about being a street photographer, you’ll see scenes other people would never pay attention to.

RK : What first drew you to street photography—and how did you discover it?

Patrick : My teacher at the Fotovakschool pushed me to discover the things I liked to photograph. Before my studies I was focusing on everything at once, when my teacher pointed out to me that I had to focus to a certain subject I immediately was drawn to the streets because of my other two passions, skateboarding and graffiti. thats how I slowly rolled into street photography.

RK : How does Black and White vs Color play into your work? Do you find them to be totally separate beasts—or complementary?

Patrick : I have different fases, sometimes I photograph in black and white for a few months until I find some interesting colors that are to good to be in black and white and than i’ll find myself photographing in color for a while.

RK : What makes the good picture stand out from the average?

Patrick : Ofcourse the classical terms like perspective and composition, but most of all your own vision, that is what makes you stand out from the crowd.

RK : Whose work has influenced you most?

Patrick : I find my inspiration in daily life I try not to look to much to other photographers so I maintain my own style and not “copycatting” others. But if I have to choose someone I really admire the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier.

RK : Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

Patrick : Thats difficult I have a lot of favorites but this one is very special (Patrick-Dreuning-Harbor1)

I took this shot in Rotterdam there was a huge international boat called: The Holland America line, it was a great atmosphere because people where saying goodbye to their loved ones, there was music and people where singing. It’s a shot of one of the windows in the boat but because of the composition I chose it looks a bit surreal.

RK : What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Patrick : That it is so much fun, if I knew I would have started much earlier!

RK : If you were told that you could only keep one camera and lens combination, what would it be?

Patrick : A Fujifilm x-Pro2 with a 35mm lens.

RK : In general, it is increasingly common to use smartphones to take photos. And there are also those who consider their smartphones very seriously as photographic gear. What do you think about it? Do you use (or have you tried to use) a smartphone for your photos?

Patrick : I find it not very useful for myself because I would love to be able to print it on a large format and with my camera I know I’ll be just fine. I think the camera you have with you is the best camera no matter if its a dslr or a phone.

RK : In recent years, Street Photography has boomed, what do you think it’s due to? And what evolution has there been?

Patrick : It sure is, ever since social media became so big you see a huge grow in people who step up their photography game, not just street photography but photography in general became more accessible for everyone.

RK : In a street picture, do you think the contrasts of light are important to tell a story or are just an aesthetic fact?

Patrick : In fact the light is what makes your photo. If your light ain’t good your photo isn’t! Personally I think the light in my photo’s is an important aspect if not the most important of them all.

RK : What is one question nobody has ever asked you—that you wish they asked you?

Patrick : Thats a hard one, maybe this question is..

RK : Do you have any tips for photographers to help them grow artistically?

Patrick : What works for me is I plan a day out every week and then I’ll go shoot for at least 3 hours straight. Also I move to different city’s time to time so that I won’t become to familiar with the surroundings I already know. In my opinion that’s makes you less sharp and you start to “not see” scenes. So keep moving!

RK : Have you ever been to India and anything you know about Indian Art & Culture?

Patrick : No I haven’t yet, but it sure is on top of my to do list for many years already. I love to go and have a photography trip in India and try to capture the rich colors and the Indian culture. I do look up photo projects that has been done in India, I find it a very fascinating country because it’s so different than what i’m used to.

RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.

Patrick : Don’t let nothing hold you back, not even the weather, even in the rain you can make that one perfect picture. Find beauty in everyday things. Stay focused. And keep your gear dry!


Follow Patrick Dreuning on Instagram

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