About two years ago I found the works of Dennis Ramos and fell in love with the way he brought architecture to life in beautiful tones of black and white. His seascape work was not half bad either. For one reason or another, I stopped ‘following’ him on Instagram and completely forgot about him up until recently. Well, I cannot say completely forgot for his work maintained a certain degree of impression upon my mind. Wanting to find him again, I scoured the wonderful world of Instagram until his architecture work popped up, this time in color. This new series blew me away, leading me to contacting him for this email almost immediately.
Tell us a little about yourself (who you are, where you are based, what you shoot, etc.)
My name is Dennis Ramos and I’m a fine art photographer. I was born in the Philippines and migrated to United States in 1991 where I started to play with my first film camera to document my adventures. Many years later, my passion in photography led me to explore and experiment other forms of photography that eventually evolved into fine art photography.
How did you get into landscape photography?
When I first got my digital SLR in 2008, I first started in portraiture using natural and artificial lighting. As I was learning and exploring, I slowly ventured into architectural and eventually led to seascape and landscape.
Are there any other genres of photography you practice?
I started with portraiture in the past and I still love doing it. I learned a lot doing portraiture that I have applied in my fine art landscape and architectural works.
What is it about landscape photography that you enjoy so much?
I always love to travel whenever I get the chance. It’s always a learning experience to visit places and see the natural landscapes including architectural wonders.
What draws you to a scene which leads to a photograph?
Whenever I am faced with a beautiful scene, I would always have this calm feeling that I know I have to take a photograph.
How do you recommend getting over G.A.S.? (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)
I don't believe having the best gears in photography would produce an award winning photos. Composition is king. No equipment or gadget can create, decide, and identify a great composition. My gears are just right enough that it works well to do my craft. Nowadays with the advancing technologies, I could see that it's so easy to become a gearhead. I would recommend to master the gears they already have and upgrade once they feel they’ve outgrown it.
What makes you choose color or black and white for your photos when editing?
I always love color portraits and landscapes images. However, black and white images has this timeless classic feel to it. Whenever I create my images, I always previsualize it on both color and monochrome.
Tell us about your photography techniques and the post processing of your photos.
My technique or workflow is not much different or unique since all the steps involved in my creation process is rather common. I clean up my image of dust spots and unnecessary elements. I then convert it to B&W using a freeware Google Nik SilverEfex. After conversion, I use selection tools to isolate various elements and apply curves and levels adjustment layers. For the final process I may do further dodge and burn based on my liking.
What is more important: social media presence or in-person interactions?
Both have their own importance in photography and other genres of art. Social media presence brings the works of an artist to general audiences in far reaches of the world. Galleries and exhibitions, on the other hand, would bring selected artists’ works to specific audiences mainly collectors and artists.
If you could only take one more picture, what do you think it would be of? How would you begin to make that decision?
At the present, it would have to be the extreme landscapes of Iceland. Seeing a lot of incredible seascapes and massive waterfalls, it is a perfect place create my images.