Interview with Peter Busuttil : An Inspiring Travel Photographer
Peter is a Maltese national born on the 31st January, 1955. When he was 4 years old, his family emigrated to Australia where they resided for 10 years. In 1980 he married a primary school teacher and their union produced 2 boys now aged 35 and 30 respectively. The eldest is a pharmacist whilst the younger is a software developer. He used to work with a telecommunications company for 34 years & he retired back in 2009. Peter would like to call his photography a relationship as with all relationships, there are ups and downs.
1. Tell us a little bit about you?
I am a Maltese national born on the 31st January, 1955. When I was 4 years old, we emigrated to Australia where I resided for 10 years until we came back to Malta. My hobbies include reading, swimming, travelling and of course….photography. I must have taken thousands of photos in my lifetime – when I was wooing my wife , photographing my sons growing up, etc – but I had no real foundation in photography; I didn’t really know what I was doing except recording certain events in my life. But it was only in these last 2 years that I took the art on a more serious note. Naturally, it’s still a hobby and will remain so. I don’t see the need to become a professional. I still consider myself the lowest of the low. There are photographers who although are hobbyists, are in my my humble opinion far better than myself.
2. What does photography mean to you?
Photography to me means the freedom of how I want to express myself. At times, photography could be rigorous, physically that is, but entirely satisfactory especially when one sees the end result.
3. Photography is your passion or profession or both?
Photography is a passion. I would like to call it a relationship and as with all relationships, there are ups and downs. Although I’ve been taking snapshots these past 40 years or so, there were long periods when I didn’t even touch a camera, especially in the film days. I had to choose between my young family and the camera.
4. How did you get into travel photography?
First time I travelled, apart from emigrating to Australia, was in 1973 when I went on a 2 week cruise in the Mediterranean. I must have taken around 50 or 60 shots at that time employing a tiny camera that used 110 film. I’ll scan those photos someday in the foreseeable future! Then I started travelling again in 1998, going on a 7 day vacation in Tunisia. And from 2005 onwards I have travelled practically every year.
5. Can you please share the story about the start of your photographic journey?
Since I am in love with landscapes, I try to record what I see faithfully but sometimes I try different effects in post processing, e.g. a dreamy shot or an old-style painting. When I do manage to create these styles, I feel very happy with myself. Thankfully, with technology as it is, it’s virtually possible to create whatever one wishes.
6. How would you describe your photographic vision? What kind of feel do you try and create in your photos?
I am mostly self-taught but I did go for a basic photography course last year. Although I knew a lot about photography, there was always something knew that one may learn. As I like to say, the more one learns, the more one realises that one knew so little.
7. Did you go to school to study photography?
I did attend a basic photography course, but only AFTER teaching myself photography. You see, other times, my world could really be upside down….haha
8. What type of camera and lenses do you use?
Today, I use a Nikon D7200 but I’ve kept my older camera (D3200) as a backup. I mainly use the kit lens supplied with the D3200, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VRII – it’s such a versatile lens. I also have a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle and a zoom lens, Nikon 55-300. A UV filter is always fixed to the kit lens and I also use a polarizer when there is a blue sky with clouds. I also carry 5 or 6 ND filters but I rarely use them.
9. What are the characteristics that a good Travel Photographer needs to have?
A travel photography must be patient, at times quick and have an eye for compositions. Oh….and a camera in hand all the times
10. What is the best compliment do you have ever? Could you please share Happiest Moment in your Photography Life?
The best compliment/s is mostly from my wife. Sometimes, I have 2 different images of the same shot and am at a loss which to keep. I always ask for her opinion and it is usually right. I think my happiest moments were when I used to photograph my sons growing up. And, when I show my tutor a shot, at the very least, he says, “Good”.
11. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think my greatest achievement will hopefully be in a couple of months time when I put up my first exhibition.
12. How important is Photoshop in your final images?
For editing I use Adobe Camera Raw, which Photoshop uses as a plug-in. As for Photoshop itself, I mainly use of to add a couple of layers and my signature. That’s all.
13. Any specific tips you have for newbie photographers?
Newbies are always asking me for tips and I always tell them the same thing, attend a basic course in photography or else do as I did – read as much as you can and then go out and start experimenting. But then again, photography is an art. I think it has to be in one’s genes. But one could always learn, especially from one’s mistakes.
14. Do you have a website also, please tell me about that?
No, I don’t have a website. Maybe I’ll create one someday but not in the foreseeable future.
15. What do you do when you are not clicking any pics?
When not taking pictures, I like to help the wife in her housework, especially cooking. I love to read and go to the cinema. And I love jigsaw puzzles, the more complicated, the better. And since it’s summer here, I go swimming everyday in the late afternoon.
16. So whats next in your list?
At the moment, I have nothing on my list. In a few weeks time, I will have my first grandson, God willing. So it’s going to be baby photography next
17. If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet, where would you build your dream home?
Hmmm….this question is a little difficult. The entire world we live in is gorgeous, God’s gift to us. If only we knew how to take care of it properly. I think I would love to build my dream house in Hawaii. But that’s only me dreaming…haha.
18. Words and suggestions about my website www.indiaataglance.com
At a glance, your website looks awesome.