Mattapoisett photographer imparts wisdom, advice at library lecture

Jan 30, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Mattapoisett-based photographer Richard Van Inwegen puts a lot of thought into his artwork.

He analyzes star charts, researches the location of the moon and consults with experts and guides — all before the first click of the shutter.

“The key — and I'm going to repeat this multiple times — is to research and plan before you go [to take photographs] and while you're there,” said Van Inwegen.

And his research includes finding the most interesting places to shoot. Van Inwegen’s photography has taken him around the world to places like Iceland, Alaska, Australia and New Zealand.

His subjects include wildlife, landscapes and historic architecture.

On Sunday, Jan. 29, Van Inwegen gave a talk at the Mattapoisett Public Library where he explained the difference between “traveling for photos and taking photos while traveling.”

Traveling for photos, explained Van Inwegen, involves his usual copious research and pounds of camera equipment. On the other hand, taking photos while traveling is a much lighter endeavor that can still yield amazing results.

But once he has taken a photo, the work isn’t over, explained Van Inwegen. He uploads his photos to digital editing software and adjusts them until he is happy with the final product.

“The computer and the camera are like your eye and brain working together,” he said.

Sometimes he blends together multiple photos to create a panorama larger than he could capture in one shot, other times he takes differently exposed portions of separate shots and stitches them together into a composite image.

Regardless of where he goes, what he shoots or who he interacts with, Van Inwegen knows that he’s doing this all for himself.

“The reality is, shooting is my crutch for enjoying life,” said Van Inwegen. “It's for me to experience and see things differently, to go out and meet interesting people. As a secondary, I get some interesting shots along the way.”

Van Inwegen’s photographs of the Tri-Town and the world at large are on display at the Mattapoisett Public Library until Tuesday, Feb. 14.