We are excited to be featuring VIEWBUG member diegolapetina. "I was born in Brazil, a place full of colors, life, and music. Growing up in a beach town I quite often caught myself sitting at the shoreline, contemplating all the colors of beautiful sunsets. Brazil was an amazing place to grow up. There, I learned about the human connection by interacting with people from all walks of life. I always enjoyed photography, and I got my first point-and-shot camera back in 2004 and we became an inseparable duo. I was always snapping pictures of people, cars, signs, sunsets; pretty much anything that would catch my attention for more than 10 seconds. I always liked to register the colors of different places, the culture in the different cities, and the faces of different people. Now, after almost 10 years of photography, I have decided to show my images to the world. All that I really want is to show people all the beauties of this world from my perspective. I hope you enjoy it.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, how do you describe your photography style?
Hello all, my name is Diego Lapetina. I specialize in Land, Sea, and Cityscape photography. My goal as a photographer is to capture and share the natural beauty that surrounds us.

2. In one sentence what has photography done for you in your life?
Having an academic background, the pace of life and tensions can run high, but photography has taught me how to slow down, reflect on what’s actually important, and find peace at the moment.

3. When did you start taking photos and what inspired you to get started?
I started taking snapshots in 2004 and decided to start doing photography more seriously after moving to Canada in 2010. Living close to the Canadian Rockies was a constant source of amazement and inspiration.

4. What has been your favorite shoot and why?
Paraphrasing Imogen Cunningham, my favorite shoot is the one I’m planning for tomorrow (or whenever this crazy pandemic blows over). Photography is a constant exercise in finding beauty in the places we least expect, it has the amazing power to make me fall in love with the world on a daily basis.

5. Do you remember a difficult photo shoot session? What happened?
Definitely my trip to Montana back in 2014. This trip was my very first photography expedition, which was extremely exciting for a bright-eyed budding photographer. My first mistake was a very optimistic itinerary. I tried to pack too many locations into little time, and this ended up creating a constant state of anxiety. The second problem was my unrealistic expectation of bright sunshine and beautiful sunsets. This trip to Montana showed me that landscape photographers should always expect the unexpected. My 5 days in Montana were dominated by cloudy skies and rainy afternoons. It was beyond frustrating to not be able to follow the plans. This adventure taught me the greatest lesson that all landscape photographers will eventually learn – we have to work and adapt to nature and not the other way around. Luckily, I quickly realized that my planning needed some changes and as a result, I ended up capturing one of my favorite images.

6. What do you carry in your camera bag?
My camera bag has reduced in size considerably over the years. Nowadays, I carry: Canon 5Ds, 4 lenses (Canon EF 16-35L; Canon EF 70-300L, Canon 100mm Macro, and Sigma 50mm Art), CF cards, Sensor Cleaner, Rocket Blower, Cables, Batteries and Charges; headlamp and gloves; Gitzo Tripod (Traveler Series 2).

7. Do you have a favorite location and time of the day to shoot?
I live close to the beach and it’s awesome to be able to capture a stunning seascape during a colorful sunset. However, I have a strong connection with the mountains, and the Rockies are definitely my favorite artistic subjects.

8. Can you share three tips with your fellow photographers?

1. Get low and dirty: I use my ultra-wide lens (16-35mm) around 90% of the time. Composing images using low angles is imperative to successfully create strong photographs while using this type of lens. I’m always sitting or kneeling on the ground while scoping for composition, and as a consequence, my pants are always dirty.

2. Less is more: A good image should be clear without too many extraneous elements. Filtering out the elements that will detract from the main message can be extremely challenging in landscape photography, especially when we are exploring those breathtaking locations. So, always remember that Less is more.

3. Don’t be a follower: Looking for inspiration and connecting with other fellow photographers is an essential step towards artistic growth. I’m always browsing through Viewbug to find inspiration and photographers with similar artistic styles. However, I strongly believe that’s important to not fall victim to herd mentality. I see so many talented photographers adopting the latest editing style just to get more followers or likes on social media. I believe you should stay true to yourself and not deprive us of your view and gift.

9. Please share one of your favorite photos with us with a short tutorial:

I took this image at Patricia Lake, located at Jasper National Park – Alberta/Canada. This image was capture at night. Jasper is known as one of the best spots for Dark Skies Observation, so this spot is free of any source of light pollution. I used my Canon 6D coupled with Samyang 14mm f/2.8. I had my camera attached to my Gitzo tripod and a remote shutter release to avoid any source of vibration. Nature and its constant changing flow were my inspiration behind this image. Capturing the Northern Lights is a privilege, but watching those magnificent lights dancing in front of you in your favorite location is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The post-processing was quite straightforward. I did some color balance adjustments, Sharpening, and Noise Reduction in Lightroom.

10. Please share some thoughts on your Viewbug experience as a photographer!
I have been consistently using ViewBug since August of 2012. I find it to be an amazing platform to get inspiration, learn new techniques, and connect with other like-minded photographers. But, the most fun aspect of this platform is the photography contests. I am yet to win one, but I have been a top 10 finalist a couple of times and it’s awesome to have your hard work recognized in such a specialized platform.

11. What is your favorite photo and why?
My favorite image is constantly changing as I progress through my photography journey. But to answer the question, this is my favorite capture for now. I really like the image’s flow; the colorful flowers in the foreground lead our eyes towards the Scripps Pier and wraps up with the beautiful moving clouds.

12. What photo was the most difficult to shoot from the ones in your ViewBug profile and why?
This was one of the most difficult images I have captured up-to-date. The light piercing through the trees was constantly changing, the mist was rapidly evaporating, and the clouds were constantly covering the sun. All these changing factors made it really hard to compose and expose the image. The light in this scene lasted for about 3-5 minutes and I was fortunate to capture this frame despite all the adversities.

See more inspiring photos, check out diegolapetina's profile.