I'm a 3D Artist/Animator who has begun taking black and white photography in
an attempt to get back to the basics of light and shadow. Many of my
clients demand high-impact, colorful graphics, which have their place to be
sure. But it can often become overwhelming, and the act of doing black and white photography clears my mind a little.
I had my fill of dark room work when I was working at JPL/Palomar Observatory. We would venture up to Palomar each month for six nights and
take pictures of the sky using the 18" Schmidt camera. We used hypered 4415
film, usually processed about 100 films a night. We took pairs of films of different areas of the sky with a 40 minute separation. We would then take a pair of films and look at them under a stereo microscope, trying to detect near-earth asteroids and comets. It was fun work, but also hard work, and I learned to really hate dark rooms in the process.
My photos tend to be graphic in nature, and I try to look for strong leading lines. Some have described by photos as "3D", which I suppose comes from doing so much 3D work. I do allow myself to alter the images in Photoshop, using dodging and burning. I've found this to be such a great technique for isolating subjects or bringing out emotions. I didn't dodge and burn at first, but now I do it on every image.
My actual shooting technique is for the most part point and click. The act of photography for me has come out of my love for hiking through the deserts on very hot days. I drive out to locations in my jeep, and then usually hike in the rest of the way. I'm not one to wait in one spot for very long, I'm much happier taking pictures while I'm on the move. Since I've started doing photography, I'm seeing the desert in a new way, and this in turn gives me new ideas about photography.
I'm usually more interested in finding new areas to photograph, rather than
taking pictures in more popular areas. I think this state of mind ates
back to the Palomar days, searching for comets, the thrill of the hunt. But in this case I'm hunting for new areas, new meanings, new questions. I feel very satisfied when I find a subject, because I know that I had to work for it. I was searching for "something", and I found something. Three hours from home, in the middle of nowhere, I found something. It always reminds me how much more there is to see, and how little I've seen.
Equipment Info: I'm using Kodak DC-280 and Minolta DImage F300 Cameras, and
circular polarizing filter. At this time I don't use a tripod. I take all
of my pictures in color, and convert them to black and white in Photoshop.
I generally convert to black and white via the channel mixer, because it
helps to cut down on the graininess of the sky. Next, I dodge and burn,
playing with different contrasts and levels. After dodging and burning, I
always add some unsharp mask, usually with a large radius, and a small
amount. This helps to accentuate certain features in the image and
increases the overall impact. Next, I add another layer of unsharp mask,
this time with a very small radius and a larger amount. This adds a more
traditional sharpening to the image.
2004 (July), Studio 343, Solo Exhibition, San Pedro, CA
2003 The Perfect Exposure Gallery, Aesthetics 2003, Los Angeles
2001 Colville Place Gallery, IOI Showcase Exhibition, London
2001 Millard Sheets Gallery, 2001 New Photography Exhibition, Los Angeles
2001 The City Gallery, Pixelpoint 2001, Slovenia
2001 Galeria D'Art Zero, "Art in Summer", Barcelona, Spain
Design Graphics 87 (Australia)
Submersia 2002 (Spain)
Digital Photo (UK)
PC Photo (Hong Kong)
Digital Landscape Photography
High Country News
Digital Photographer (UK)
Walter Clevenger and the Dairy Kings (CD Cover)
Foto Art Magazine
Museum of Computer Art
Ground Glass Gallery
Photo Trip USA
Field and Forest