One Hour Photo featuring Daniel Gregory
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to One Hour Photo with John Greengo. I'm John, and we got another good episode for you today. Alright, what we're gonna be doing, as always, is we're gonna be taking a look at some of the questions you submitted, and I'm gonna be answering five of those questions about photography, gear, and everything else. We're gonna be, then, introducing Daniel Gregory, who's gonna be my guest today. Gonna talk to him about fine art photography. We got a bunch of his photos to look at. So, we're gonna have a good chat with that, and then he's gonna stick around, so that we can review your photos, that you've submitted through the CreativeLive website, and we got a real good collection of photos this week. So, we're gonna have a good time checkin' those out, and seein' what we like, and maybe what we can improve, or who knows, make a little bit better. Alright, our first question for today, lemme read this. "I wanna get serious about taking close up flower pictures. "W...
hat kind of camera should I buy "to get good bokeh and detailed/creative shots? "Will only post online, not print. "Want light weight. "I'm a big hiker." Okay, I can understand that. That sounds like a good option here. So, I'm thinking, that you're gonna need a lens, that focuses up pretty close, which is something that you're gonna typically find, on interchangeable lens cameras. And you're gonna probably need to get something other than the standard kit lens, that comes with a lotta cameras. Some cameras do come with some pretty good close-up capability. But, if you wanna get very creative, sometimes, you wanna get very, very close up, so you wanna look to get a macro lens, that can go one to two, or one to one life size. Now, if you're only posting online, you probably don't need to get the biggest, fanciest thing out there. So, a full-frame camera will definitely work, but it's gonna cost you more money. You can get an APS-C size sensor, which is what a lotta the kind of mainline Canon and Nikon cameras are. They both make full-frame, of course, as well. But, I think you can also get away with a micro 4/3rd system, which means Panasonic and Olympus. Now, any of the cameras are gonna be good enough for doing these types of shots. It's just a matter of how much money you wanna spend, and what sort of extra features that you might want to have. And so, the key thing here, is getting that macro lens. And so, if you wanted to keep things really small, let me give you a couple of options. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, yes, I do have that memorized, is a great, really small camera. And I am currently not remembering all the Olympus macro lenses, that are currently available. But, you can get Olympus, or the Panasonic macro lenses, that'll work on that camera, and that would be a very small package. Another good system, that I think is very small, would be the Fuji X-T20, and they have a 60 millimeter macro lens. They may have some more macros coming out in the future. But, that would be a really good, small system, that's not gonna be too heavy, probably a pound and a half, in weight, if you're not bringing any other lenses with it. Alright. Ally, thank you very much for that question. Next up, from Michael Brown Hamby. "I'm trying to break the habit of auto focus, "but my images keep coming out blurry. "Is there any thing I can do "to help improve the sharpness of my shots "without the aid of auto focus or post production?" Okay. So, thank you, or I say, that was Michelle. I'm sorry, may have said that wrong a moment ago. So, Michelle, you're not the only one, that has struggled with this. There has been a change, in the way SLRs are made, and the focusing screens that are used in them. And back in the days, of manual focus, the screens were of a different style and nature, that were easier to manually focus. And now, cameras are actually more difficult to manually focus, because they needed to make adjustments for 'em, to make 'em easier to auto focus. And so, they've had to change the type of screens that are in the camera. There are a few cameras still out in the market. When I say few, I might mean one or two, that you can actually change the focusing screen out of the camera, and put in a special screen, that makes it easier to manual focus. Now, there still are some manual focus cameras out there, notably Leica, which has, what I would argue, the best manual focus system, which is a range finder system, and you basically look for vertical lines, and you get 'em to line up, and it's very easy to do that. With your modern digital camera, a lotta times, you're having to put the camera into live view, and magnify the image, so that you can see it sharply, in focus. I have found this easy to do, when I'm on a tripod, and very difficult to do, when you're handheld, because the camera is constantly moving around. And so, it is very, very hard to do. And so, there are some other... Features, that you can turn on, that are available in some, but not all cameras. Namely, focus peeking, which is gonna show you a highlighted area, shimmering in a particular color. It might be red, or yellow, or blue, or something like that, and it shows you where you are focusing. It's not as accurate as, say, the Leica cameras, but it's not bad. And so, try a couple of those things. If you are doing it from a tripod, it's gonna be a lot, lot easier. If you are doing it handheld, it is really tough, if you're shooting with shallow depth of field, and I do recommend auto focus, in most of those situations. Next up, from Tom Bailey, "Are there any good cameras that will take video and stills "at the same time?" Well, obviously, there's lots of great cameras, that do one, or the other. But, doing both, at the same time? Now, that is a particularly challenging task. And the way that most companies do this, is they shoot video, and they allow you to pull one frame, from the video. Now, a few years ago, HD resolution, which was 1920 by 1080, was the most that we were getting. Now, there's a lotta cameras that are shooting 4K. A lotta Sonys and Panasonics are gonna be, probably, the best one. Sony and Panasonic, they do a lotta video cameras, and still cameras. And Canon does as well, but they haven't been throwing those features in a lotta their cameras, for some reason. And so, if you really wanted to take great video, and stills at the same time, I think Panasonic may be the best way to go. If you're looking for a full frame camera, you can pull the stills from a Sony, and do pretty good, because it's shooting 4K, and it's often time shooting on the full-frame of the sensor. Depends on the exact model that you're looking. But, it's a very challenging thing to do, and I kind of thought that this was the future of still photography, but I'm pretty sure that that is not the case, because when you shoot video, you are limited by what shutter speeds you can choose, and a number of other factors as well. It also gets to be very cumbersome, if you just shoot ten seconds of video, at 30 frames a second, and then need to go search through, and download, all 300 of those individual frames. But, if you do wanna do that, I would say, look at Panasonic and Sony. They got the best systems going right now. Next up, from Kristy Hart, "I'm currently using a Nikon D3200, and love it, "but feat that it may be limiting the quality of my work. "Does the Nikon 3610 adjust to both DX and FX lenses? "Is Canon better than Nikon?" Okay, you got a lotta questions in here, some pretty hot button topics in here. First off, the D3200 is kind of an entry-level camera, from Nikon. It's a perfectly acceptable camera. There's lots of cameras, that are more expensive, have more features, a lot of other fancier stuff, but the quality of images that you can get there from that, probably surpasses any pro camera, from ten years ago. And so, you can get great quality photos, with that camera, end of story. Now, there are higher-end cameras, that can do even better these days. The Nikon D610 does adjust, to both DX and FX lenses. DX are the crop-frame lenses, and FX are the full-frame lenses. Then, when you put a DX lens on the 610, you're not gonna get the full image area. The 610, I believe, is, I think it's 24 megapixels. When you put a DX lens on there, you're gonna get somewhere around 16 megapixels. And so, you're actually gonna be worse off, than you would be on the D3200, 'cause it's got all its pixels, packed right into the area, that it needs to be? But, you could use it as a transition camera, using your DX lenses, working in FX lenses, as your budget will allow. Is Canon better than Nikon? That's a hot question. In general, I think it's easy to say, it's a bad question, in the sense that they're both very good camera companies, and what I have seen, being in the business for 30 years, is Nikon was better than Canon, in most things, and then Canon was better than Nikon, and then Nikon was better than Canon, and Canon's better than Nikon, and then Nikon's better than Canon, and that's just for one individual model level. If you go up a step, or down a step, it could be doing the exact reverse, and so, you'll see everybody going nuts on the Internet, when one company introduces their latest, greatest product, and oh, they're the best company, and then, all of a sudden, somebody else does something, oh, now they're the best company. And so, you got a lotta people, who are viewing the grass is a little bit greener on the other side. I would be happy, with either Nikon, or Canon. They're very, very good. And, there are some other brands out there, that are also doing well. Sony's coming along really strong, Fuji is out there, and as well as a few other companies, that are doing very good. But, Canon and Nikon have been competing for a long time, and it's a neck and neck battle with them. And so, no true favorite here. "John, I need your advice. "I take animal portraits, mainly show dogs "and I'm known for my portraits. "I wanna get better with the action shots. "What are they keys to getting my camera set up properly?" And that's from Annette McDonald. Okay, so if you're doing portraits of dogs, they're hopefully not moving around too much, and if you wanna get into action, the first thing you're gonna need to do, is get your camera's auto focus system changed, from the single shot, to the continuous mode. And the second thing you're gonna need to do, is probably not just use the center focusing point, or an individual focusing point. You're gonna wanna look for a group of points. Now, it's gonna depend on how big the dog is, the framing, what other distractions there may be, but I typically like nine focusing points. So, it's kind of a patch, right there in the middle, and maybe I move to the left, or to the right, depending on what the dog is doing. And that's what I try to keep, right on the dog's face, as its moving around. If it's a very small dog, or if it's moving erratically, maybe you need to have a little bit larger area. If it's one of the dogs, doing the agility test, where they're running through fences and things, you don't wanna choose all the points, because they might catch onto some of the apparatus, and other things, that are out there, in front, coming between you and the dog. And so, that's why I'm saying, you don't want the smallest one, 'cause it's hard to keep it on target. You don't want the largest, 'cause it's gonna pick up other stuff. So, you want a medium-sized target. And it depends on which camera you have, as to what that medium-sized target is gonna be. But, those two things, the continuous focusing, medium-sized target, and lots of practice. This is really difficult stuff to do, but the cameras have made it a lot easier, than back in the days, of manual focus, which is when I learned to do this. And it was very, very hard. Now, you're able to get a lotta shots. The other one little thing, turn on your motor drive. A lotta cameras will have a continuous motor drive, three, five, seven, ten frames a second. And you're gonna wanna shoot a short burst of images, when you think the action is at its best. And so, if they're gonna go over a jump, for instance, right as they're getting near the jump, you shoot a burst, for maybe one or two seconds. You don't wanna shoot too long. Those are just images you're gonna have to go through and delete later on. And so, that's the basics of action photography with the animals. So, thank you, Annette, for that question, and thanks, all of you, for sending in your questions. It is time to bring on my guest, Daniel Gregory. Come on, Daniel. Glad to have you here.
Thanks, looking forward to it.
Grab a chair, and let's pull up, and have a chat. So Daniel, you are a fine art photographer, and an educator.
And every once in a while, I'm sure you meet somebody, who doesn't know photography. And when you tell 'em, I'm a fine art photographer, and they go, what, how do you explain what you do?
So, it's interesting, 'cause even in the industry, I bump into people who are like, oh, it's a fine art photographer. Then, they ask me, so what's your real day job? So... The... It's not, I don't do weddings, I don't do a lotta commercial work. And so, my work is really honed in on a lot of... Kinda personal projects, that then manifest themselves. And ultimately, the goal for me, is gallery work, corporate collection museum, and photo book, 'cause that's kinda my... World I kinda look for, in that regard.
Alright. Yeah, I know, when I went to school, 'cause I knew I liked photography, and I had two options. I had photojournalism, and fine art photography. Those are like the two official education paths! And the fine art was just like, I don't think I'm ready for that one yet. And so, I guess, the two parts I'm interested in is, how do you market and sell your work? And let's go with that one first.
So... In that world, of the fine art, I didn't have a sub-niche. And so, my kind of love and passion is in historical processes. So, platinum printing, cyanotype, wet plate... Van Dyke. So, the things are basically the early day, earliest days of photography. It's my interest. And so, my niche is to merge, basically, digital technology into that space. And that kinda gives me some of my marketing, because there's not a lotta people doing platinum printing. There's not a lotta people doing cyanotypes to that scale. And so, that little niche helps me in the marketing piece. But, a lotta my marketing is photo review, so going and having my work looked at, Photofest, Photo Plus Expo New York, galleries show up, and submit work there, and then you can submit work to galleries. So, a lot of it's research. I gotta find the right audience for my works. I have to go research galleries, and museums, and curators, and collectors. And what do they collect, what are their interests, and then try to match my work to them. So, it's a lot of just boots on the ground... Work like every photographer does, for their niche. Yeah, making my connections.
So, I guess the other half of it is, and it seems to me, that fine art can be almost any subject that you can come up with. What do you like to do, your fine art photography, of?
So, my earliest work was landscape. So, out of the Ansel, Edward, Death 64 kinda genre. And then, over the years, I've kinda always bled into that natural world element, as a strong, dominant theme in my work. And then, I am enamored with street photography, for my study of street photography. And I'd love the notion of, what I might think the greatest power of photography is, its understanding of time, and the manipulation of time. And street work, to me, really is the essence of that, 'cause it's a fleeting moment of something, where line, form, and elements have to come together, and then action has to unfold. Why don't we look at Maiselle talking about the importance of gesture, or Carte Bersansa decisive moment. In street work, there's just a rawness to it, and so I'm inching my way into street photography, 'cause it's one of those things that, on the surface, seems very easy. And it's one of the, probably hardest things, I've ever photographed. (both laughing)
Well, as you mentioned, all these different types and styles of photography, the little gear brain, in my head, yeah, the little section in my brain, that's dedicated to gear, starts going, okay, well you need this for that, and this for that. So, it sounds like you work with a large range of gear.
I am actually not, I was, interestingly enough before I started photography full-time as a career, I was a gear junkie. And I am no longer a gear junkie.
And so, I'm actually, I have... I have a medium format camera, film camera. I have two large format cameras, but they're not the same. One's four by five, one's eight by ten. I have a digital camera, and then I have a backup body for that. 'Cause, I do some commercial editorial work, at times, I need a backup body, and then that's it. I don't have, I don't collect gear, so when I shoot the street, I shoot the same DSL-R on the street, as I do, if I was gonna do an editorial piece, or if I was gonna do a nature scape, and if I would film, I'm shootin' the exact same camera. So, I don't collect a lot of gear. I found, that it was... Easy for me, to blame the gear, for my inability to create the work, when the reality was--
Yeah, we saw a question like that. How much is the gear, and--
And the gear is weighted not in my world. The gear is pretty minimal, in that regard. It really is about vision. And I'm fortunate, I got to work with, a number of years ago, with William Albert Allard, who's one of National Geographic's top photographers, and... I was out, and we were sitting at a bar, actually, and I was asking Bill, when you go out, 'cause Bill carries two cameras, a 35 millimeter lens, and a 75 millimeter lens, and I'm like, well what if you wanna get that shot over there, and it's... He's like, why are you even lookin' at that? He's like, I have 35 millimeter. The world is 35 millimeter. Why are you even lookin' at anything other than that? And it dawned on me, if I train myself to see... Through my camera, what the world is, and that was just a groundbreaking shift for me. I actually don't need 1,000 lenses and all that gear. I need to train myself, to see a 35 millimeter world, or an 85 millimeter world. That was a huge shift for me.
That's a good lesson for everybody, I think. The bag, I was told by one of my mentors is, I was like, I need a new camera bag, and he goes, what's the good one to get? I go, that one's nice, but they make this other model that's a little bigger. He goes, however big it is, you'll fill it. He says, there's another room for another lens. I can stick one in there. And so, thinking back, over the arc of your career... Where was it, when it started to get to where we're now? So, walk us through your photographic progression.
Yeah. So, I have loved photography, from the time I was a kid. So, I had the Kodak 110, I had the Disc camera, and then I mowed lawns for a summer, and I got to buy my first 35 millimeter camera. And I shot, all the way through high school, and into college, and then... If I had, the only, I won't say it's a regret, but the only wish I had done differently, is I had stuck to photography at that time. But, I bowed to the pressure of get a real job, get a real degree, and then spent 20 years in the high tech industry, and I worked for a number of companies, and startups, and cool work, amazing work, but I had this constant nagging, that something was missing in my life.
So, were you photographing on the side?
No, I had actually put the cameras away, and then I had decided oh, I'm gonna go back to photography. And at that point, I'm in the high-tech industry, I'm making a lotta money, things are great. And so, I just went out, and bought a bunch of camera gear, and I'm like, great, I'm back to photography, and... I was like, I don't know what to do, and this isn't the kind of the transition to digital, and I was like, I'm gonna do film, because I sit all day in front of a computer. But, I had been a Photoshop technician for Adobe, and so I knew Photoshop. And so, I was in this weird little space, and I decided, well I'm goin' all-in on film. And so, I was shooting... 35 millimeter, and then I went and bought an eight by ten view camera.
And then, a four by five view camera, worked my way back down--
You worked your way back down? You went to the furthest extreme!
Like, what's the heaviest thing I can carry? (chuckles) And then, the most expensive thing I could shoot?
And for people, who don't know what an eight by ten camera even looks like, you can, of course, Google it, but how big is it?
It's about that big.
When you carry it around, how big is the case, the package?
So, when I carry everything, it's about, somewhere between 45 and 65 pounds of backpack weight, by the time I do the lenses, the film holders, water, all the normal things you would carry.
And how many images can you shoot, at a time, when you do that?
I carry six plates. So, a plate is a frame. So, I carry six frames with me, out from the car, and I wander out, and then I come back, and then I have to change the film. So, I have 20 film holders, but I can only carry about three to four at a time, and Edward Weston has a great quote, "Nothing in the world is worth photographing "is more than 500 yards from the car." (both laughing) So yeah, when you're--
I haven't heard that one before. That's pretty good. Okay, so you got into large format.
So yeah, large format, and then... And then that time, I was still working, and still had a day job. I teach at the Photographic Center Northwest, here in Seattle, I was taking classes there, and just got more and more interested in photography, and then made the decision, that oh, I wanna do photography full-time. And then, that took me another, probably seven years, before I could make that--
Wow, 'cause that, that moment right there, is a lotta moment, that a lotta people can, I think, relate to, where they may have a full-time job, and they're thinking, alright, I think I wanna do this, and then how long between there, and actually, okay, I'm doing okay. I'm not just struggling, basically meeting ends.
And the piece that I recognized, and I have my partner-in-life, Lori, is a writer, and an author, and she went through a similar transition. And she told me, you're gonna recognize the point. She's like, I'm not gonna tell you what it is, but you're gonna recognize the point, and... And it's funny, 'cause I give people the same coaching now, which is, when you think you're giving things up, you're not ready to make the transition. Because, I was always like, well if I quit my job, how am I gonna pay for my camera gear, or how am I gonna pay the mortgage, and I'm gonna have to give up travel, and I'm gonna have to give up going out to eat all the time, and I'm thinkin' of all this stuff. And then, all of a sudden, one day, it was like, wait a minute, I'm getting to do all of this. So, that transition, from give up, to what was there, and then, and it's not been easy. I mean, running a business is not easy, and the things that came up, and I was fortunate that I paid attention in all my jobs, so I knew a little accounting, I knew enough, to find an accountant, and find a lawyer, and all sorts of that. But, it was running a business, was not small, and not easy. And there's days, where it's not easy, and it's not what I thought it was, like oh, I'll just go take photographs everyday, and that'll be great, and it's like no, actually, the photography, in some ways, is the least part of the work. 'Cause, I've gotta put boots on the ground, I've gotta go spend time, I gotta do all that, work that every other business does. And so, for me, because my love is in photography, that was the other thing I realized, was that everything, that was in service of my visual, creative act, was in service of my photography. So, when I talked to a gallery, that was photography. If I went and met with a book publisher, it was all in service of the visual, creative act. That was a big shift for me as well, was I didn't have to always be shooting, to in fact, be a photographer.
Right. Well, one of the questions I've asked a number of other guests on the show, is, what percent of your time is spend photographing?
Well, over the course of a year, it's probably...
In your work-related hours.
Probably, the actual shooting itself, is probably 20 percent.
20 percent, that's actually pretty high.
It's pretty good.
And the only reason it's that high, is the things I do, require... Like, if I'm doing wet plate work, I might have to shoot multiple times, to get what I want.
Well, it sounds like it's a slower process.
It is slow.
And so, rather than going out, to some corporate business meeting, banging out the shots in ten minutes, and then...
Yeah, no, there's nothing like just the development of a platinum print, for example, is 20 minutes of time, and wash baths. So, to get to the point of one print being done, is... An hour, hour and a half of exposure, development, washing, and that doesn't include the time of actually taking the photographs. So, just to get the prints right, is a slow process.
It's a lotta work on that. So, when you were, you quit your job, and you're trying to make this photography thing work out, what was a key thing, that happened, or you realized, or a change of direction, or something, that finally got you to where you are now? (Daniel chuckling) Is there anything particular?
Yeah. I was a senior-level manager at a company, and we eventually got to where we were like this, with some management, and they let me know one day, that I don't work there anymore. So, I got laid off, and it was in the decision, I came home, and... My... Partner, Lori's like, oh... This is great. You finally get to do what you wanted to do. And I had mentioned, on social media, and some of my mentors called up, and they're like, oh, so it sounds like that step... You don't really have that excuse anymore. And so, that piece was the push I needed. So, people were like, oh, are you bitter you got laid off? And I'm like, no, 'cause I'm not sure...
It probably hurt at the time.
Oh, it stung, really, at the time, yeah.
It sounds like we've walked in some of the same shoes, because I got laid off from a job as well, and I'm like, oh no, this is terrible! And then, it kinda forced me out, and struggle around, and if you... If you get lucky, or you follow the right places, you'll end up in the right direction.
Yeah. And so yeah, it was just listening to that voice, that was like, don't go get the other job. And so, I told myself, I'll give myself a couple years for this, and... So then, I called every photo mentor I have, and I'm like okay, I'm in. What do I do? And everyone of 'em, down the line, was like, put multiple irons in the fire. Put multiple irons in the fire, because you'll make money on a little bit of this, and you're gonna make a little money off that, and you'll make a little with that, and you're trying to figure out what you actually wanna be, how your business is going to evolve. And so, don't turn down work. And I'm like, well, I'm not doing a wedding. And they're like, fine, that's your bucket. And so, yeah, so I've done, where I was a fine art photographer. I do headshots now, I've done corporate stuff, I do some architectural work for firms. I've done different things. And what's cool, is it's, one of the things one of my clients has said, is they like my approach, because I don't approach things as a commercial photographer would. I come in with a fine art eye, which I didn't really ever think about. So, I come in, and I'm like, oh, this is a weird, funky angle, and I can do this, and kinda... And they're like, well, that's cool for their brand. And so, I don't work for everybody. But, for certain clients, I work pretty well as a partnership, because I just come from a different approach. If I'm not interested in the room shot, I'm like, oh, that's a cool little detail over here, and I can get the room, but I also wanna get, that plug is interesting, and the color on that wall, as a streak, is interesting, and it just gives them a different look. So, I find it starts to blend together. But, I've got about eight little irons, and I just poke them all, as I walk around the circle.
Well, that's kinda nice. I know there's probably a lotta people, who dream. I consider photography as the second most popular desired career. First, would be rock star, I think. Pretty much everyone, (Daniel laughing) it's like, do you wanna be the next Mick Jagger? I'll do that, I'll do that. But, I don't know, usually, sometimes younger, but usually, by the time somebody turns 40 or 50, it's like, I just wanna be a photographer, 'cause you get to pursue your own interests. But, beyond just having an interest in photography, beyond being talented in photography, you need to find what aspect of photography you're talented at, 'cause are you good at running a business? Are you good at talking to people?
And the... I think that, for me, was part of one of the other lessons, is, I could not, I would look at people's images, and I'm like, I don't understand how that person makes a living as a photographer, 'cause their photography is not that good, and... But then, I realized, what actually matters more, if you're gonna make a living, as a photographer, is you're good at business. You're good at making contacts, you stay up with your contacts, you stay on top of your accounting, you go back to your contacts. They don't come and get you. You go, and remind them that you're still there.
And that relationship building was huge, and I have an associate, who runs a PR firm, and he told me, he's like, everyday, you have lunch with somebody different, everyday, you call them. Every email you send, he's like, that's your business. You're in the business of serving people, and helping them meet their need. And so, as long as you remember that you're in the service of others, he goes, it doesn't matter if it's photography, doesn't matter if it's PR, accounting, legal. As long as you remember that, you'll be fine. And that has really stuck with me. So yeah, my business, and people ask me how I make a livin' as a photographer, but I'm in a relationship business. That's ultimately what I'm in, is trying to build relationships.
Now, are you a one-man band, or do you have employees, or assistants.
No, I'm a one-man band. My wife, Lori, and I have a company, called Silly Dog Studios, and so she's a writer. So, she's under that creative umbrella, and we do workshops, and creativity workshops, and things like that. And then, I have about three different assistants I work with. So, when I do need an assistant, I call them up, and they show up, and they're happy to carry heavy things for me. And they're all incredibly gifted photographers. And so, it's great to have them around, 'cause they're collaborative. And so, for me, it's always, I wanna be in a collaborative, creative environment. So, the more people in the room, who collaborate, the more they share, the more ideas they have, the better, 'cause I don't really care about the credit for anything. I just want somethin' really cool, to come out for the client, or for myself.
Oh, good. Excellent. Alright, well let's take a look at some of your images, and maybe you can help guide us through some of the questions on this. And so... Street photography.
Now, I'm noticing very high contrast here. Is this film, development? Is this combination of it?
Yeah. So, this is an image, that was originally conceived of, when I was thinking about printing it in platinum. So, it was actually a digital capture of color, converted to monochrome, and then processed to look as close to my film stock as possible. So, I have a number of things I do, in Photoshop, to attempt to simulate my film, 'cause my... Know we all have a little ego thing that we play with. One of my ego things, is I have film photography friends, who are a little snobby, about film. But, I love being able to lay down two images side by side, and have people not know which is the digital, and the film. So, I work really hard, to get my stuff to process the same. The other thing, that does, from a stylistic standpoint, for me, is that keeps the style consistent. So, it's not like I have a digital body of work, and a film body of work. So, this was processed. It was also high-contrast, 'cause it was... I remember the scene being really high contrast, so it's a night shot. The lights had come on. Almost all of the ambient light had disappeared, so it was all artificial light. And it was just, these were really bright streetlights, up there, at the top, or lights above the restaurant. And the thing, that caught my eye, was the girl with the dog.
And so, I was like, okay, so there's the girl with the dog. And as long as she doesn't move, and then I wanted a little bit, a sense of chaos around her. So, I just dragged that shutter down, to about a 15th of a second.
And so, that was able, I was able to handhold that, get her still, and have that little bit of blur in there.
That's beautiful. I mean, it's nice framing, your eye goes right to her, 'cause she is the sharpest thing in the frame. So, what are your thoughts on using a digital camera, shooting in color, probably raw, and then converting it to black and white? Does that do a pretty good job for you?
It does. And there is a... There's a lot of information in there. And the key, for black and white, is you've gotta start to see tone, not color. And the beauty of the raw file is, in the analog world, I have to put filters in front of the camera, to get that film to respond, to build contrast. But, in the digital world, because it's capturing all that color, uniformly, I can impost, it's like oh, God, if I had a red filter here, I would've pushed the contrast this way. If I had used a blue filter, would've gotten this. So, having that color information actually gives me some additional control, after the fact. And for the street work, it's really nice, because sometimes, I don't have that time, and that flash of instance, to make that change.
Now, are you using an SLR, or a mirrorless for this?
Okay, was asking, because on the mirrorless cameras, you can now turn the EVF into a black and white. And so, you get to view the world in black and white, and I have done that a little bit, but I haven't done it a lot. And so, I don't know if that would help me, in shooting black and white, 'cause then you get... The problem with an SLR, is you see the world in color, and then you have to do that mental thing, which good photographers are good at doing.
And I'm fortunate, well, I'm fortunate in that rigor, 'cause I came outta the film world, so I didn't have a choice. I had just learned to see that way. But, for a lotta my students now, when I'm workin' on my digital black and white classes, or whatever, I encourage them to put their JPEGs into monochromatic, so the raw file's still got the color information, but they're seeing that thumbnail in black and white. If their camera will let them see 'em, mirrorless will let them see black and white, anything, to help them start to see, oh my gosh, that green apple, and that red apple are the same color, tell in black and white. Or, that tone is the same. How do I separate those? How do I push and pull those, is really key to ultimately getting us, to get to the story we want in the photograph.
Right. And just, for somebody who might be kinda new out there, let me just explain that one little thing. When you shoot raw, in your camera, you're gonna get all the color, all the information from the tones, when you shoot. But, you can put your camera in black and white, and raw. It'll show you black and white, either on the back of your camera, your LCD, after you shot the image, or Live View, if it's a mirrorless camera. So, you can shoot, see black and white, bring it home, what happens, I use Lightroom, and it is black and white, when it brings up the preview, and then when the full image loads, it's color. And then, I gotta go change it back to black and white, and then start adjusting it, to make it look right, for that. Excellent. Alright, so let's move on to the next image here. And I'm thinkin' this is four by five, or eight by ten.
This is eight by ten.
Oh, I nailed it! (laughs)
Yep! And this is actually a platinum. There's a couple in the series, this is a platinum palladium print. And this is one of my absolute favorite bodies of work, that this comes out of, and it was a from a body of work, called Immersion. And one of the things I recognized, in the history of photography, was a lot of landscape photography was what I considered observational of the environment. So, it was pretty pictures of the environment. And what I wanted to try to do, was just start to put us in the environment, to have a more connection. And then, also, a dominant theme in my work, is the metaphor that nature uses, 'cause I believe nature, she uses us a muse, as much as we use her. And so, she's always playing with things. And to me, when I saw this wheat field, this was rolling waves. And so, it's just waves, and waves are coming in, and crashing, and then pushing up on the beach. So, I just wanted a slight bit of movement, and then that long run of the beach, then back to the hills, in the distance. And it was, from the beginning, it was for a platinum palladium series. And so, I had that thought in mind, but it was really, the wheat's probably three and a half, four feet off the ground, and I am skimmed. The camera is almost into the wheat field, and then I was able to use the movements, to get my ten camera control perspective, and play in that.
Right, so you could get that depth of field, from the foreground, to the background. And for those, that haven't had the opportunity to use a four by five camera, from the time you, I assume, were driving by, saw this, how long did it take you to photograph it?
It was about 35 minutes. By the time I got out--
And you know what you're doin'! (laughs)
Yeah. Got the camera set up, made a decision about the place of the tripod, camera, 'cause I had both with me, camera, then the lens, then to get all the movements, and then I had to wait for the light, and the clouds to shift. So, it was a very patient piece. And the world's upside down and backwards, on a new camera, which is the other piece. So, what's great, is it becomes very abstract. The abstraction of light, color, and flow.
Composition works very well upside down.
Absolutely, yeah. I wish I... I don't know if they'll ever do it, but every time a new camera comes out, from anyone of the camera manufacturers, I go to the feature request, and I want to invert, I wanna go to invert it, upside down, in the view finder. And so, 'cause I think it's a groundbreaking change, in how people photograph, when that abstraction happens.
Knowing the camera as well, I don't think any, I've never seen that on a camera. Trying to think on how you, it's an interesting question, 'cause it's just so technically easy. It's just a reverse image, flip image.
Yeah, if anything, just, we gotta flip it, like a Hasselblad did. I'd be fine with that, too! (laughs)
Alright. So, more street photography. Color this time.
Color, yeah. So, this is in a... A bar, down in New Orleans, called The Spotted Cat. And... I... This one, it was interesting, 'cause the women on the left make the photograph, that gesture of movement, that comes back, but it was the quality of light, comin' off the phone.
I was gonna say, if this picture was taken 20 or 30 years ago, it's like, oh I see you, you stashed a flashlight in her arm, right there! There's now this natural illumination on faces, as they are engulfed in the phones.
Yeah, and in a nightclub, the lights are so... Colors are obtuse, and saturated, and ever-changing, but that glow of that blue screen is just, you can see it, in the darkness. And I just think they had a really interesting gesture, where she's actually looking at his screen, but yet hers is what's illuminating the scene. I thought it was an interesting element. And so, they're lost in a world of technology, and then the two women to the left are lost in a conversation, without the technology, and I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition of who's doing what, in what moment?
Right, right. Now, this one's in color. Talk about choosing color, or black and white, for images. What are you looking at, or how do you make that determination?
So, for me, that decision's usually made at the time of the shot. I get a sense of a feeling, of the quality of color. Color is incredibly important to me, and any of my students, who have ever taken my color class, know I'm hardcore about color, in terms of its fidelity, and its use, and how it aids composition, and our sense of understanding, and theory behind color. And so, for me, when I see that color is important to the story, the color has to stay. When light forming shadow, texture become more important and dominant, then it probably drifts in the black and white. I'm not one of those people, I don't have a bad color photograph, and I'm like, oh, let's see how it looks in black and white. I don't do that. It's either, color is informative to the story, or it's not. And if it's not, then it can go into black and white.
Okay, that's good thoughts there.
Same club. And this one, I... It's the shadow on the wall, makes it any, in this history of New Orleans, that's any sort of heavyset trumpet player.
And so... He's actually a little bit out of focus. I focused, to hit the shadow. And I had seen that shadow movement happen, three or four times. I was like, oh, I gotta get that shadow. And then, I was like, well if I just did the shadow, you lose the context of the environment. And so, I really wanted to have those in there. And the piece I was really watchin' for, is on that wooden board, with the signatures on it, that trumpet's shadow is just comin' up on one of the tiniest bit of separation, 'cause it just started to come into that space.
So you can really that, yeah. No, I have to admit, that I first looked at this photograph, and the human eye naturally goes to a lighter area, and so it's not going to the shadow. And so, it's like, ooh, it's a little outta focus, and then the shadow is this happy surprise, like, oh, look at this up there, a little element here, that I first missed.
And I debated long and hard about how much that outta focus was there, and I've been workin' on my own piece, with photographers, 'cause I've noticed, that there is a distinction between something being blurry, for composition, and something being outta focus. And photographers talk about, they're like, oh, I don't like that it's outta focus, but then like, oh, it's blurry, and that's kinda cool! And this one, to me, fell in the, the blur is not an outta focus, I didn't know what I was doing with the camera element. And so, with the piece being bad, I went back and forth about, was it too much outta focus, and... But yeah, incredibly low light. There's not much light in the place. And it was not, there was not gonna be, oh, let's go to F8, and let's get 'em both. I had to pick one of the two, and I thought the shadow was more important.
Excellent. Well, that's good, that's good. Alright, so minimalism here. And so, I came up with a title for this one.
Next to Nothing.
Oh, that's nice!
So, tell us about this.
So... I don't know if you can see it on the screen, but the subtle nuance of color in the sky here is, for me, pretty mesmerizing. There is pinks, and blues, and some yellows. There's a tint of magenta in there. And then, displayed on the horizon... With the island off there, in the ocean, I was enamored with the color in the sky, and then how there was this merging of sky and ocean, and how there was just this little bit of element sticking out of there. And so, it created, just in my own concept, a really strong story of our understanding of the ever-changing natural world. And I have a body of work, that is slowly developing, which is... Along those lines of us being nature's muse, and... How she finds forms of us in there. And so, this, to me... Has a representation of... Somebody sleeping, with the blankets being folded over, and there's an arm sticking out, or something like that. So, it's reminiscent of something being hidden, and emerging in our world, that nature has somehow captured. But, the print for this is all about getting those very subtle tunnel structures there.
Yeah, this has to be a tough one to print.
It's really tough.
And you can calibrate your monitors at home, by that description of color!
'Cause, the interesting thing about color, is we're initially drawn to high saturation, first. And so, if I put two images up, people always, oh, the higher saturation image is better. But, overtime, we drift to the enjoyment of a more sophisticated, muted palette. And so, this is one that, almost like a Rothko painting, is kinda my other, not that I'm a Rothko painter, but in that sense of, when you look at a Rothko painting, you're like, oh, it's blue and orange. And then, if you stand in front of it, for two, three, four minutes, you're like holy cow, there's 10,000 hues and tones of blue and orange. This has a same way, when I get printed right, and you look at it, you're like, the longer you look at it, the more color you see.
Changes your palette.
Absolutely. So, this is a platinum, palladium platinum print, off of a digital image. And so, one of the things, like I said, my love the blending of the two. So, this is a... Shot. And then, I create a digital negative out of that, which is basically take a digital file, we tone map, what platinum palladium can do, in Photoshop. We do a petty weird, wonky curve.
How do you get, from the digital, to the analog process? Do you print it out?
Yeah, so it prints on overhead transparency.
And then, we apply a curve, that basically says, the percentage of ink, of 95 percent platinum ink, gets mapped to... 22 RGB value, low monosity value, in Photoshop. So, we apply this kinda weird curve.
And we get the image to come out. We print it out on Epson printer, or on a Kana printer. It just prints on a weird transparency, and then it goes through the platinum palladium process.
And this one is from, this is my, sense of irony, this is from my series, Metal on Metal. So, with the whole image is, old, rusted out metal, printed on the platinum palladium, which are two of the noble metals on the periodic chart, so that's a little play on words, that... I'm for that. The brush marks, around the edge, people ask about as well, so that little dark piece. So, one of the things about platinum palladium, and... One of the reasons I'm drawn to it, from a fine art standpoint. So, this is a digital file, one of the people, things people argue about, in digital, is that there's a infinite reproducibility to it, and it's always the same, which has been the hallmarks of photography. But, from a collector's standpoint, find our collectors, and collectors of art like things that are unique. So, this strides that line, between I can always recreate that image, to be almost identical, but those brush strokes are done, that paper's coded by hand, that's how the emotion gets put onto the paper. So, we mix the chemistry, and we paint it onto the paper, and then the negative goes onto that, and then it gets exposed to UV light, and that's what ultimately creates the image, but the brush strokes, each time are unique. And so, it'll always, I could never, yeah, I could never recreate that exact image again.
Nice. Well, it's good to have that uniqueness. And so, part of the same process here?
Same process. This is a platinum print. There's no palladium in this one, eight by ten negative. This is again, this was carryin' a very heavy camera into the woods, and finding some ferns, and I really just loved how delicate it felt. And so, it was one of those things, like I just, nothing had walked in there, and nothing had disturbed it. And so, I was able to kinda get my camera right at the edge of the trail, and photograph kinda down and onto it. I really just wanted everything to kinda compress into some mid-tones and not have really high contrast, and there's a few pure blacks in there. But, for the most part, the black that you see in there, is an artificial construction of our brains, with desire to create contrast.
And so, there's detail in pretty much every one of those little dark spots, there's actual detail.
And so, do you have physical prints of this? How large?
So, for this process, the print is the size of the negative, because it's a contact print. So, this print is actually eight by ten.
Eight by ten. So, that's one of the reasons you're using a eight by ten camera, so you can get eight by ten, perfect prints.
Yeah, exactly. And that was the beauty of the digital negative, because a digital negative, I can print 16 by 20, I can print 20 by 24, and then I could make a 20, it would be expensive as all get out, but I could make a 20 by 24 platinum print, and that allowed me, that's what really opened the door up, because I had small format images, that I wanted to do this way, and I wanted something bigger than one inch by two inch.
And so, getting to the digital negative really opened that opportunity.
Excellent, excellent. Alright. And more of the same processing. More metal, Metal on Metal?
Metal on Metal, yep. And so, this is from one of the World War, it's one of the forts here, in Washington, and was used to protect the Sound Channel, and that's a tight anchor they would put on one of the big, ten-inch guns. And they would loop a chain through there, and that would hold the gun in place, when it fired, evidently. And so, but the texture on the wall is just absolutely wonderful. And compositionally, I wanted to play with that top line on the horizontal rule of third. And then that sweeping kinda curve diagonal, and it was that juxtaposition of the negative space, for those two lines intersected, on the edge tension, is what had had the placement of the ring, being in that lower left corner.
Right. Now, what type of print is this on? Palladium, or--
This is a palladium print.
And so, this one is similar to the one we saw earlier, and this is on... Meditative state. And again, quality of color here. And this one, I've printed in... Aluminum, in two different variations. I printed it on about six different papers, wanting to find that perfect color.
'Cause it really is, that the interpretation of the color here, and the gradation, and this is basically, the waves come in, and it's receded back. So, in the actual print, you can see the... Undercurrent of the sand, underneath. You can just, hence, the sand detail. So, it's finding where that balance is.
I love any photo that shows really good gradation of color, your eye moves from one color to the next, in that nice, smooth tone, and that we have on the foreground there, I think is lovely. Really nice.
So, this is one of my favorite street shots. When it's printed big, there's actually a little bit of smoke comin' out of his nose. Yeah, and in street work, I'm not a person, who always goes up, and asks to photograph, because I do think that then causes a shift. So, sometimes, I'll ask if I can photograph somebody, and sometimes I don't. But, this guy is standin' there, so I just held my camera up, and he gave me a look, just like yeah, that's okay, and I take about two frames, three frames, and he gave me this, and he's like, you're done. And so, this was in that frame sense. And I have three shots, one without the blue on the left, and I left that blue in, because it's a juxtaposition of the color against the orange.
And so, that got left in there. But yeah, this is a great, it was a great moment between he and I, that little bit of smoke comin' out, and I just found it really...
And obviously, very good use of color. This is not one that, I'm guessing, you even tried to look at, in black and white. (chuckles)
That color really sells it there, especially with that little blue out to the side. Well, excellent, excellent work. Thank you very much. And with our remaining time, would you like to look at some of our students' work? Alright, so what I'm gonna do, is... Talk about your classes, for just a moment here, before we get outta keynote. You got a couple classes here, at CreativeLive. Describe these real quickly, if you would.
Yes, these were... So, the Introduction to Black & White Film is a really fun class. They let me actually bring in my dark room, basically, and I got to develop film live. So, we cover the zone system, and really understanding of how black and white film work, seen in black and white, how you meter, how you select a film, and actually how you process it, so you can process it at home. And then, because a lotta people are digital these days, we talk about how to scan film, and then actually how to print, digitally. And then, the last part of the class is just a bunch of advanced, I call them advanced topics, but it's filters, how to find an analog dark room, how to just do a bunch of different things with film, how film actually gets measured, how do we know all those different things. And then, the large format class is, I start at the very beginning, of what's a large format camera, and we go through all of the gear, and selection of gear, how to use the large format camera, and then we do an in-studio portrait shoot, and then we go out into the field, and we actually do a landscape shot.
And all the different components with that.
Sounds like a good class, for anyone who is wanting to get into the retro world.
Yeah, yeah, they're both great with that.
So, let's go ahead, and bring up our Lightroom catalog. And this first one is from Andrea. And boy, I'm trying to think of what country this is. So, this is obviously in Paris. I have not been there myself. Have you been there?
I have not.
So, I've not had a chance to photograph it. And so, I think the first thing that you've done right, is you've chosen a good time of day, to photograph this. That blue hour, which is totally not an hour. It's like ten minutes, where the blue is at its peak, is a really good time. And see, you gotta get yourself in the right position. What do you think?
I... I really like, the color is absolutely wonderful, and that juxtaposition of the blue and the yellow, I think, really works for the contrast. I also love the... The reflection that comes along the front edge.
Yeah, that little sheen on the water. Nice. What would you say, to improve? What would you have done, after you have shot this picture?
I would've probably opened my shadows up, just a little more, to get a little more detail back in, behind the... Behind the water that's coming out. And then, I'd might have brightened that water, that's shooting up, just a tiny bit, because it's an interesting organic element, against the manmade natural structure, but they're similar enough, to me, that they have that juxtaposition between a natural occurring, and that the brightness, the luminosity value, came up there just a tiny bit, I would make that relationship a little bit stronger.
What about you?
I'm thinkin', the area, over in the right, the brighter blue, is kind of a lesser area, and I'm thinking, either I need to move left, to get the pyramid to block a little bit of it or move the camera to the left, and get more building in there. So, I would just play around with the composition. I think they're there, right at the right time of day. 'Cause, you know, with the light levels, have gotten the right light levels there. And so, it's just a little bit of playing around with the composition.
Yeah. And the orientation, to my right's, got more cyan in the sky, versus the left, and that tells you, from the sunset, to west, that that cyan is holding off another two minutes there. She probably would've had that blue across the whole sky as well.
Right, right. Good point, good point. Alright, well thank you, Andrea, for that. Next up, we have Ben Thompson. And I'm gonna say, this looks like, kind of, heavy processing on this. That sky doesn't look natural. But then, right now, in Seattle, we have these forests fires, and this is kinda what the sky looks like right now! What are your thoughts?
I love the... The person sitting there, looking out over the ocean, kinda lost in their thoughts. But, it feels a little over-sharpened to me. And so, what's happening with that, is my eye is trying to grab about three or four different areas, at the same time, and I'm losing that contemplative nature of a person in front of the ocean. And so, I think, if it wasn't quite as sharp, I would figure out what was going on, and then I would be able to come back into the story element there.
Okay. Now, one of the things that I don't know, is did he tell this guy to sit there, or is this guy just sitting on the beach? Because, if it was his friend, I would say, sit up a little bit higher, so that we can get more of a profile, rather than a slightly broken image there. I like the triangle through his arm. That's kinda nice, but having him a little bit more higher up might be a little bit better. Good timing with the wave. I like that curtain of... Splash.
Of mist there. I think that is good. And this sky, it looks strange.
It looks a little bit on the strange side. Alright. Thank you, Ben. Do you do much nighttime photography?
I do. I do a lotta nighttime. It's one of my absolute favorite times to photograph.
And so... It's got the basics down. It's properly exposed, for the most part, it's in focus. I'm lookin' for somethin', I would like somethin' extra, like if there was water, which I'm pretty sure, maybe seen some more of that water.
Yeah, I think that... The reflection of the city, back in that water, even if it was broken waves, 'cause it was a little windy or something, you had, I think, an interesting element there. One of the things is... Even with the cityscape or a landscape, I still want some element of a story there. Like, what is my eye, what is my interest there? What am I captivated by? And so, that's the part for me. I feel like I just need a little, a little more help, in figuring out what is my compelling reason? Because yeah, I think from a straight up exposure, technical standpoint, that's nailed. And so, now, it's just a matter of figuring out what is the signature element, that you wanna find? And for me, I always tell myself, every time I'm out photographing, I am gonna photograph that. So, I'm gonna get that, I'm gonna nail that, and then, what's the next thing? If I'm gonna now, give myself a little more freedom, when I focus in, and make an abstraction, or would I play with the reflection only? 'Cause, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna have to get that out. I gotta get that city shot. I'm only gonna be here once. And then, what is the next thing that would come out? And so, to me, I wanna see the next five or six shots, after this one, on the contact sheet, of what was the experimentation afterwards, 'cause it's, technically, really well done, I think.
Yeah, I think it's really good, to hone in on your first idea, just do it as clean as you can, and then start just playin' with it, and find where those creative juices take you on that. It would be interesting, to see this, with the blue sky, from Paris.
And so, that adds a little element. And so, if you can be out there, during those blue hours, that's a good time.
Or, if you're gettin' a great cloud deck, you get this really creepy, 'cause your correcting of the lights, you get that glow, and sometimes it ends up a weird purple-orange...
Yes, with the strange city lights that they have. I gotta tell ya, this is one of my favorite images, that I have reviewed. I love patterns. It's kind of an easy gimme. And I don't know where this is. It feels like an Inuit village, up in Alaska.
(chuckling) That's what I'm sayin', like the middle of the arctic circle.
What are your thoughts?
I love the juxtaposition, the white on white, and the little pits that have come about, and the texture in the snow, I think, is really great. I would've, I think, tried to maybe play a little bit like, not all, and try to make sure all the crosses get separated a little bit. There's a little collapse. And what that does, is it's just flattening out the image, and that's got such great separation, where they are distinct, but where they just touch and overlap a little bit. I think just, in this case, a... Eight-inch shift, to the right, would've separated all the crosses.
Right. 'Cause, there's the third cross, from the left, which is really intersecting there. And so, when I see an environment like this, I love this, because now, it's up to my freedom, of moving left and right, up and down, to figure out where the magic spot is. And I don't know, that they nailed it. I'm not gonna say that you didn't, because I wasn't there, and I don't know how things line up, and change, as you move left and right.
Yeah, and there was a huge wall right there you couldn't actually move.
Yeah. But definitely, this is the type of area, where you need to scout it out, before you, don't be rushing, to take your first photo. You need to walk back and forth, and around. Be careful about footprints on the snow, 'cause you can't back that up. And so, you maybe start shooting from the distance, left and right, and figuring out where those things are. But, I think the lighting, the pattern, even the sky is quite nice in there.
And the color-wise, I love the warmth of this light coming in, and then the coolness of the snow, and the shadow is still well-preserved, and it looks like it's pretty well color-corrected in that regard. And so, I think it's really nice, to have that one cool balance.
Yeah. Very good job there. You shoulda put your name on there, 'cause then you coulda got credit for this.
Good job, 35.
Yeah! (chuckles) And so, this is comin' in, from Dayna Kent. And this is feeling like Washington, but I have a feeling, this could be almost any place. And we've got some really nice colors going on in here.
And... Got some good cloud action, too. That's always good, when you got cloud action for these nature shots. What do you think about this front hay bale being exactly the same height as the horizon?
That's my only, I think, thing that sticks out for me, is I wouldn't, that, again, like the one we just saw, has caused a compression in the frame. So now, my foreground and background horizon'll collapse, because they're on top of each other.
Yeah. You can't tell where their separation is.
Yeah, and if that had been just up or down, a tiny bit, where that line, the back horizon line had been on its own, I think would've really taken it to the next level, 'cause overall, it's nicely done, where there's not, it doesn't feel like it's artificially bright. The quality of light, the time of day, is well-respected. The juxtaposition, the greens, and the magentas is beautiful. But yeah, that, that would be my one thing I'd wanna do, is just move that horizon line--
A little up and down, checking that tripod!
And that's so accurate, it makes... It feels like it was done on purpose.
That's what I'm kinda wondering.
But, at the same time, I have photographs like that, where I was so excited, with the clouds and everything it was doing, that it just, I look through, and everything's right where it needs to be, and... It's just... (John laughing)
Alright, well thank you, Daniel, for that. Next up, Fernando Gabriel-Vega. And I'm not sure where this is, but it looks like some sort of museum, or major installation. Looks like a very cool place to shoot. That's got some interesting elements here. This is hard to shoot, really clean, 'cause there's gonna be city and stuff in the background. Any thoughts on how to deal with that?
So... I think... I see three things jump out at me. I've got the three balls in the front, then there's the three planters, that have the single trees in the back. So, that's a slight repetition of pattern. And then, there's the shape of the building, which has got that triangle pointed down. But, for me, the subject of this was those three balls, that are in the front, because that's the foreground element, that's the first thing I gotta work through. And so, I would probably work on my composition of those three, and that reflection in that reflection pool, and get that positioned, how I wanted, first, and then figure out how to build the relationship between how those lined up, to the spaceship-looking building in the background, because I would want to play the roundness, of the balls in the front, against the dome, or the building in the back, probably, and then use the lines as a compositional element, to play the squares against the circles. But, I would wanna try to separate those front a little bit more, and play with those three balls up there. But, this is one, where some of the, one with the crosses... I could also see being panned pretty easily, and being yelled at, for being in the waiting pool. (both laughing) And, where can you be on the edge, and where can you not, and so... But, that would be the piece I would wanna play with, is to try to really get a distinct foreground, a distinct mid-ground, a distinct background all relate to one another, but allow me to experience them as separate pieces. And right now, I feel like the two balls on the right, and the point of that building coming down, they're in a weird intersection. And so, I'm struggling with that little spot, and then that also hits, almost, on a rule of third junction point, so my high's kinda gonna gravitate towards there, and try to figure that piece out. Rule of separation there, I think, would really--
This is a really hard visual puzzle, and I gotta tell you, my mind is just going completely different right now, and I'm just thinking that there's gotta be some just fantastic abstracts coming down here, just with the color, and the texture of the water, and I obviously can't play around with position and stuff. But, down in here, there's gonna be some interesting things, and obviously, I'm not doing it justice right now, but the color, and the texture of that water, it's a completely different shot. It's not the same shot, better, something like that, but I think that water, that pool of water, has some really interesting elements in there.
That's really nice.
And so, you're on your way. So, very good. Thank you, Fernando. Next up, Franklyn Roman. And so, we haven't done too much portrait photography in here, but I think it's a very nice use of black and white, and lighting on this.
Yeah, beautiful tones. Yeah, her skin tones look great.
How would you print this?
I would... Brighten it, about a... Probably not quite a quarter of a stop, that'll separate some mid-tones a little bit more. And then, I would... Wanna probably print that on... Print it on exhibition fiber, probably on Epson paper. It's got a really beautiful, deep D-Max. The new Legacy papers do as well. It would also look beautiful on Hahnemuhle's photo rag. The photo rag holds the tonality, structure of black and white really well. And the one thing I would probably do, is bring a gradient across that top left, and I would just darken those highlights back there. Even though they're kicked outta focus, I'm on her, and then I'm up, in that upper left corner. And now, I start to get to the edge of the frame, I can start to get outta the frame. So, it would just darken that upper left corner a tiny bit. But yeah, and then to brighten the whole image, about a quarter of a stop, and then yeah. The photo rag paper would be beautiful.
Good, thank you very much for that. Well, I think we're gonna have to cut it short here.
Thanks a lot, for being a part of this. It's always great getting everyone's opinion on different ideas for photos. Thanks a lot everybody, for tuning into One Hour Photo, and we'll be having another episode. Every month, we're just gonna keep adding to the collection, so thanks a lot for tuning in. And check us out, next time around.