A technologist and software developer by trade, Dave Therrien has two creative outlets: music and photography. He finds similarities between recording his own songs and photographing landscapes, seascapes, and architecture: both require the energy, tools, and creative mind to transform something raw into a more beautiful form.
Shapes and Shadows
As Frame Destination’s resident ambassador, I, Artie the Panda, have a deep appreciation for nature and art. I was drawn to Dave’s work for the way he conveys shapes, textures, and light. In the photograph we feature here, “Winter Ending,” you can see his eye for detail and his patience for capturing the exact right moment.
Dave’s technology talent is not limited to his day job. He uses Adobe Lightroom Classic for post-processing his photographs, and a Canon Pixma Pro-10 printer. His frames — always metal — come from us. "Frame Destination has been the most consistently high-quality website for frames, glass, mounting hardware, etc.,” says Dave, who is based in New Hampshire. “They are the only place I recommend to my photographer friends for frames. The shipping packaging is bomb-proof and I've never had any breakage in shipment.”
See More of Dave’s Work
The website Pictorem features eight galleries of Dave’s best work, with an abundance of gorgeous landscapes, seascapes, and architecture, but also unique perspectives like closeups of a zebra and a World War II bomber. Keep reading to discover Dave’s penchant for podcasts and serendipitous moments.
Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Dave Therrien…
1. What is your background; how did you get started?
I've been interested in photography my entire life. But my interest in creating fine-art photography really began in 2013 with the gift of a Canon DSLR. I captured images of landscapes, seascapes, architecture, urban street scenes — anything that caught my fascination with light, shadow, shape, and lines. I switched to a smaller, more lightweight Fujifilm mirrorless camera in 2015 and loved the portability. Through the recommendation of a friend, I purchased a Canon Pixma Pro-10 printer and started to print my own images. From there, I learned to mat and frame my images. I began showing and selling them at local coffee shops. From there, I became a juried member of the New Hampshire Art Association in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A few months later, my work was juried into the League of NH Craftsmen organization. Today, I focus on selling my work through the New Hampshire Art Association and nine League galleries.
2. How important is it for a photographer to "connect" with their subject?
As a fine-art photographer, I mostly focus on capturing images of scenes/objects that exhibit a unique visual field-of-view, with interesting lines/shapes, or interplay of light/shadow. I “connect" mostly with landscape/seascape subjects as well as historic/modern architectural scenes. Conversely, while I love viewing all genres of photography, I have little interest in capturing wildlife, portrait, event, or street photography. Every photographer I know has a strong emotional connection to the subjects they capture, and they study and work on those focused subjects over the years to further enhance image quality.
3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
I think the best photography-related career advice that I ever got was to purchase a high-quality photo printer. This opened so many doors that allowed me to share and sell my images. There is an incomparable thrill with knowing that someone purchased one of my prints and it's now decorating their home or office space. It connected with them in some way. In terms of formative experiences, I am an avid photography podcast listener. There are about nine photo-related podcasts that continue to inspire me to improve in all elements of capturing images and preparing them to be displayed and sold at galleries.
4. In what ways does your work reflect your personality?
I've been shooting more seriously since 2013. I am not interested in capturing my own images of iconic locations in Iceland or the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower. To me, that's boring. I like to roam in wooded areas as well as urban environments with no planned destination. To unexpectedly come across a simple object in a vast landscape is exciting. To visit a location that I've been to a dozen times before and, because of the light or the change of season, find something that moves me in a new way is exciting. I think this serendipity about what I see through my camera while roaming is what people see in my images.
5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
Creative blocks are not something I have a problem with, and here’s why. As I mentioned, I listen to podcasts related to photography (The Candid Frame, Behind the Shot TV, Lens Work, The Digital Story, Photography Radio, The Picturing Success Podcast, The B&H Photography Podcast, Fujilove Podcast, Picture Methods.) These are always inspiring to me. It's where I learn about the latest camera and post-processing technology. It's where I am introduced to great photographers of the past and present. There is one current photographer whose work inspires me greatly. Her name is Olga Karlovac. Her sense of embracing blur, black and white, and grain is refreshing in a time where most photographers fight against those qualities in an image. Every time my camera autofocuses on a subject, I am re-invigorated to shoot more!
6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
More of a process than a tool, I don’t rush through environments and snap the obvious photos that most people capture. I limit myself to capturing dozens of images within a constrained geographic area in order to capture as many macro-to-micro views of that environment as possible. I enjoy capturing the fine details as well as the grand/majestic views of landscape and architectural environments.
7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
As a single focus, I am working on emulating the style of Olga Karlovac. It's a counter-intuitive way of shooting and processing images. I have taken some baby steps in that direction, bringing blur and grain into my black-and-white images. But really, I am typically going in 10 directions with photography and it depends on when I can take the time to get out and shoot. If I'm with family members, I'm making high-quality memorable portraits of them. If I'm traveling on business to a new city, I will roam around the area on foot at multiple times of the day — 4AM, 10PM, midday — just observing a new area and finding detail that most people in that area have long ignored. In short, my Fujifilm camera is always with me and I try to take any moment where the light is right to capture an image.
8. What "fad" gadget do you most regret purchasing?
There is a little product called the Platypod that one can use to set a camera on the ground as a low tripod. It was tedious to use with little thumbscrews. Too time-consuming.
All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.
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Last Updated May 20, 2021