I became drawn into the beauty of GD’s images, particularly through my attraction for his successful use of various body decorated makeup themes, which recur in his works.
Through this decorative pallet and GD’s creative eye such wide-ranging variety of look and mood are crafted that we the viewer are often left wondering, How can this be, … is this the same girl?
GD started in photography when he was a still a kid.
” … first camera was a Kodak Instamatic with one of those flash cubes on top.
Just felt natural to me. Edward Steichen was the first photographer that really impacted my thought process. He and Edward Curtis both had the ability to light and shoot their subjects to bring out the personality within the person.
Lighting is so important to establish a mood in any image.
Composition and content will attract the untrained eye but light will lock an image into your memory.
Light is still the essence of any good photograph.
I’m not a total gear junkie.
I am a concept/idea junkie.
However, I think great gear with bad concepts equals bad work.
I shoot Hasselblad and Nikon these days.
Was a Leica shooter for years and years.
I just can’t get away from sensor space. Large sensors, large negatives, to me, bring out pieces of an image that just aren’t possible with 35mm.
35mm is fantastic for quick editorial type work. Movement work as well.
But 50 Mega Pixel sensors and 4″ x 5″ negatives are where it is at for me.
Give me space. Give me lots of sensor and grain space, and I am happy.
Obviously, there are some great 35mm shooters. I just happen to love that extra space of large format.
Whenever I meet a photographer that talks about his gear first it always worries me.
The gear can’t do anything to help you be creative or visually inspired. What it can do is get you the shots that lessor gear can’t get. But that is more a rationalization than a fact.
I am a believer that images, impactful images, are a result of the creative brain and not the equipment.
The equipment allows you to take the picture but it certainly can’t do it by itself.
Imagination and inspiration can come from so many different directions. I will typically talk to clients, models, art directors, etc and try to get a feel for what/who they are. What are they trying to sell and who are they trying to sell it to?
The photographer is creator of the shot.
The gear is just a tool to get that shot.
I do however believe that any shot, all else being equal, will be better with better gear.
I just don’t think better gear can ever make a bad shot good.
I love watching the faces of models light up when they buy into a project.
I know I have done my job when my vision becomes their vision.
But, I am also always surprised and excited when someone else energizes an idea.
I don’t know how many times a model or observer has enhanced an idea with a simple addition of a prop, piece of jewelry, clothing, etc.
Collaboration, open collaboration, or the lack thereof, is one of the great mistakes any photographer can make.
Images have to bring in the viewer.
There has to be a connection at the pixel level from the image to the viewer.
Colors, angles, composition, even black and white vs color can make a huge difference … many people have made simple, yet extraordinary, suggestions that have helped move an image from a shot to a piece of art.
Open communication breeds better work than demanding does.
Bottom line, I love what I do.
Photography is my resource to do that.”
To see more from GD, click here.
Images © GD Whalen