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Inspiration

Landscape Photographer Credits Photography to Help Him Beat Depression

By Hanssie on May 4th 2015

Breathe

Breathe

Austrailian landscape photographer William Patino talks of his struggles with depression a few years ago in his post on Bored Panda. He writes, “There was an emptiness deep inside that suddenly reared its head, and I found myself in a doctor’s office being diagnosed with depression. Life had lost its color and light. Nothing no longer appealed to me. I was in a dark, scary place and didn’t even really know why.

On a vacation to Europe with his wife, William took an interest in using the DSLR they had brought with them. Having read the instruction manual on the flight from Australia, he used some of what he learned on that trip. After the trip, he put the camera away. A while later, William became inspired from landscape photos he saw on Instagram. He took the forgotten DSLR out and photographed a sunrise and “fell in love with landscape photography.”

I really became obsessed with it all and the way it made me look at the world differently. It came into my life at a time when I needed it most and I think that’s why I really became obsessed with it. I would read books, online articles and learn from my mistakes. I just loved being out in nature, my days became much more fulfilled.

Wollongong Lighthouse

Wollongong Lighthouse

Wollongong Seascape

Wollongong Seascape

Wollongong Sunset

Wollongong Sunset

This year, William transitioned to photography full time, teaching workshops and amassing numerous awards and an impressive client list which includes Apple and Samsung. William was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his photography journey.

What is your greatest accomplishment in photography?

Without a doubt, it is being able to provide for my family and live off something that I love.

Describe your dream photo assignment.

In February 2014, I traveled to Yellowknife in Canada, on a campaign with the CTC and photographed the Northern lights. That was pretty special. It was winter time there, and I was out shooting in -42 degrees C at 1am. Something I won’t ever forget. There are so many places in the world I would love to photograph. I am just passionate about good light and scenery that testifies of something greater than ourselves. 

Athabasca Falls, Jasper

Athabasca Falls, Jasper

Lone Tree

Lone Tree

Tell us about your gear

Currently, I shoot completely mirrorless. For bodies, I use the Sony A7R and Samsung NX1 with a range of different lenses. My go-to lenses are the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 and Samyang 14mm f/2.8, and I use Vanguard tripods.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I would just like to encourage people to take some time each day to go outside and be with nature. In this hi-tech age we live in, I think it is important for us to try and have some down time, to switch off away from screens and computers. I love having my camera with me, but the best moments are when I have my hands free and my mind empty, just to sit and reflect.

As for photography, one of the best things I did was stop comparing myself to others. A while I ago, I stopped looking so much at social media and other photographers’ work and tried to be influenced by my own thoughts and experiences. Your best work will come when you create from the heart.

[REWIND: LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS | A BEGINNER’S GUIDE]

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake

Seacliff Bridge

Seacliff Bridge

wollongong-storm

wollongong-storm

Yosemite

Yosemite

Where can our readers find you and your work?

Like most people, you can find my work everywhere. On a daily basis, I post to Instagram on @william_patino and Google+. My main collection of work can be found on my website www.williampatino.com 

CREDITS: Photographs by William Patino are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Tosh Cuellar

    Photography is so powerful, thanks for sharing the story and stunning images

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  2. robert garfinkle

    I agree with @ J D –

    Having the desire when I was younger to get a camera, as I passed those “I wish I had a camera moments,” pales in comparison to be in the here and now with one – where I was only confined to my imagination back then, committing scenery / nature, precious moments and the like, to memory – which is where it really counts I suppose… Yet having a camera in hand now, is a form of expression, that solely, uniquely, in each picture is a refection of my inner self.

    photography to me, is a release, an adventure, a journey…

    photography is not just a proof that I was there, it is my proof that I made a connection with the subject – be it people, place, or thing.

    photography puts me out there… lessening the fear…

    I find freedom in photography.

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  3. J D

    Photography has always been there for me. Some people turn to drugs, some people turn to booze. Me, when I am having a bad day/week/month and the world feels like its weighs a little too much, I grab my camera and drive. Some some my favorite images have been taken on those random drives. It doesn’t take away everything and its not an instant fix to all problems, but it is a positive and healthy way for me to deal with what life throws my way.

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  4. Scott Trombley

    Thank you Hanssie for sharing William’s work and the article. Maybe more information on here than needed but I too recently have come into a dark, scary place trying to figure things out and deal with baggage and confusion from recent events. I also feel like I can understand a bit of what he means by his life becoming more fulfilled from photography. While I could be classified as a hobbyist at best currently, I hope that I can someday get to the level of photography that William and a lot of others on here are at. I know that I will continue to grow and do better along the way.

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    • Hanssie

      Hi Scott,

      I’m sorry you’re going through some struggles now. Unfortunately, William didn’t go into too much detail, though he mentions it a bit more in the Bored Panda article. He did say it wasn’t instantaneous. Having also been through the valleys of life in the past, I know that it takes lots of time, soul searching and change in both myself and my environment (my career, my friend and support base and even what I ate) before emerging from the scary place. Photography definitely helped me process some of the emotions within and also helped me direct my energy into something positive instead of dwelling in life’s crap.

      Hang in there, my friend and if I can be of any help, please don’t hesitate to email me.

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  5. Ed Rhodes

    wow, great photos!

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  6. robert garfinkle

    Whether or not I shoot well – photography for me has been nothing short of an endorphin release. I would go as far to say it definitely fills a hole I did not know I had…

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    • robert garfinkle

      Head down to the synaptic aquarium and swim with the endorphins!

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    • Austin Swenson

      I think getting the shot you would like to get is definitely an endorphin booster…

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    • Austin Swenson

      I feel like this definitely has some merit to it. I do put in the time to learn photography because it’s interesting to me, but I also feel great satisfaction and excitement when I get a shot I set out to take, and especially when I can take it and make it even better in post.

      Photography can either be a social or a private thing, but I think it has power to help with depression because it gets you out the house and trying to do something, even if that’s the only reason you get out. I have been there too, and although photography wasn’t what helped me get back into my life, I am glad that it worked for someone.

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