French ViewBug community member slydeshaies has been a finalist in various contests and runner-up in the Wonderful Weddings Photo Contest. We asked him to share some insights below, please enjoy!

1. I love photography because it’s a stop time in our world where time is so important. When time goes so fast, this is my way to stop the speed of modern life, to take time to appreciate so many beautiful things in the world. I try to be an observer in the street and observe how people react to events or how they behave in their own life.

“Une photographie, c'est un fragment de temps qui ne reviendra pas” ("A photograph is a fragment of time that will not return".) is my favorite photo’s quote, and it’s from Martine Franck, a Belgian photographer. She was the last wife of Henri Cartier-Bresson.

2. My camera lets me: Create, to see life differently, to forget everything in my own life. My camera allows me to be more attentive to the small details of a scene in front of me. My camera allows me to blend into the crowd as if I was invisible as if I had a superpower.

3. I find inspiration when: From the beginning of the Golden Hour to the middle of the night if it’s possible. For me shooting is vital and primordial, it’s in my DNA. I find my inspiration in so many things, landscape, cityscape, street photography, lowlight photography, iPhoneography (Instagram, it’s another way to photograph things in light), and finally Pareidolia photography (when you see faces in objects everywhere).

4. One of the photos I am most proud of is because:

Thanks to this photo, I won my first prize with an Italian photography website. It was a real recognition of my work, and now I can tell you a secret about this picture: it’s a self-portrait. I’m very proud of this picture because, at this point in my life, I had no job, I’ve done a lot of experiments and practiced a lot at night, I developed a taste for low-light photography, and today this is one of my best weapons.

5. My favorite place to shoot is:

The Street, because here in Europe you can go for a weekend everywhere in less than 4 hours by car, train or plane. For me, Berlin, London, and Amsterdam are the best places for street photography. Their various types of environments made those cities a marvelous playground for street photographers.

6. One of my favorite photos on ViewBug is:

The Scala Divina. This picture was my first sale. ViewBug has selected this photography to be a finalist for the contest "Galleries and Museum". I have a black and white version of this picture, which won a small contest recently. My first job was "Artist and illustrator for publicity", and my second job was Graphic Designer and Art director assistant for 20 years. I worked with many talented photographers in Canada, but this picture was the first where I realized that I could do something good. This point of view was so many times taken by so many gifted photographers, and it’s still a surprise for me that someone still loves my version.

7. These are 3 quick tips I’d like to share with fellow photographers:

Patience, Rule of third with the basics of composition, and a tripod!

Patience: Take your time but do it fast, stay alert for any changes, make sure to spot the scene before shooting, and come back later be sure to be at a good place, at a good moment with good preparation.
Rule of thirds: The only rule that must be taught early, and when you know it very well, it will be the time for you to break it.

8. One photo that was difficult to shoot was Irish Wave:

Ireland, in the southwest of County Wexford, just before the lighthouse Hook Head peninsula. A fisherman too adventurer on the rocks was afraid of his life. This photo is the third in a burst of five. In the last picture, the man is completely soaked and shaken somewhat, he decided to retrace one’s steps to go towards a less risky place. I think that it’s this photo of the sequence that represented the huge power of the waves, the potential danger of this natural force is real. I had my goal, and if the wave had dropped, I would have done anything for him. I am happy that finally he only took a good saltwater shower. Taken with a Sony Alpha 700 and 18-200 TV. 1/150 F6.3 at ISO800, 150mm, and no tripod.

Follow slydeshaies on ViewBug and check out his Instagram page.