Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Update

Excerpt from an email I received yesterday from a new photo editor:

"So coming from a photographers standpoint...that's why I value your
attention to detail and the craft. In the month I've been here I've been
amazed at some of the laziness of photographers who've been seduced by
shooting digital. They feel that lighting is no longer necessary and
everything can be fixed in post. While I embrace new technology...the
underlying eye still needs to be there."

Well, AMEN to that. I can't count the number of times I've been told by colleagues that they don't need to light rooms in architectural shoots to achieve that difficult indoor/outdoor lighting balance. Yeah... they say stuff like "I just make one exposure of the ambient interior light, another exposure of the outdoor ambient light for the windows and doors and then just merge them using the HDR or Highlight/Shadow tools in Photoshop..." Alrighty then... and if it looks like crap, so what? Those mid-tone contrast levels get awfully strange looking. While that technique works sometimes on the mainland where window and door views are less important and can be allowed to blow out, here in Hawaii those balanced views of green & blue are most important in most, if not all interior photography assignments. Sure... it's a drag to haul around 4 or 5 cases of lights, dozens of stands, scrims, gels... tedious and time consuming (it cuts into our beach & surf time) to set up 6-10 (sometimes even more) lights per room, gel and diffuse them to control shadows and color balance, test, modify, test and modify some more until that critical and natural looking balance is finally achieved. But in the end, it's worth it to me to make the effort. The final results are better looking, there's no weird digital noise and contrast artifacts left behind to muck up the image and I don't have to spend an hour or more on each image in post to get a passable image. I am a photographer and I "paint with light". I don't have any desire to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary fixing stuff in photoshop. I want to get it as close as possible in camera.

OK... enough of that... and many thanks to that PE (you know who you are) for recognizing and acknowledging the effort and result we put into our work.

Kudos to Maui's own surf and water-sport photographer Erik Aeder. Erik makes the short list of Hawaii go-to guys for outdoor sports images in today's entry over at Rob Haggart's A Photo Editor blog.

The new issue of 35mm Magazine is up and online now. Find it here.

If you're a fan of Celtic Music, be sure to tune in Sunday morning from 8-10am Central Pacific Time to Manao Radio. You can listen in from anywhere in the world with free online live streaming audio as I cover the shift and play Celtic Music both traditional and modern on the Sunday Solstice program, a show I gave birth to nearly five years ago and which remains one of the most popular program offerings at the station still. I had to give up the regular slot a little over a year ago. Hamish Burgess, an amazing resource of all things celtic stepped in and took over, doing an incredible job far beyond anything I could have ever achieved. Hamish is traveling on the mainland & Canada for the next 3 weeks so I will be filling his enormous (if a little stinky) shoes for the next three sunday mornings.

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