Friday, June 8, 2007
Douglas Dubler - Inspiration, Execution, Observation
Douglas Dubler is the kind of pro who likes to have complete control over his work. He operates in an environment of tight schedules and highly demanding results.
If there's a single tenet to Douglas Dubler's approach to photography, it's this: If the image doesn't stop viewers in their tracks, the rest of the show doesn't matter. Dubler's reputation for innovative imagery, high-quality work and absolute attention to detail make him very much in demand, and has taken him to the mountaintop in the commercial photography world.
Never one to lag behind a trend, Dubler has been at the forefront of those professionals who have embraced digital technology for their commercial work. As long ago as the late 1990s, when many professionals felt that digital had little to offer, Dubler was diligently learning and using the new cameras and Adobe Photoshop to unlock the potential the technology held.
Today, Dubler is firmly entrenched in digital technology. “I want to be at the state of the art, whatever that is,” he says. He works with Epson and Olympus as they roll out new products, and whether he shoots on film or silicon, he has his mind trained on the capabilities that digital technology offers for producing high-quality, finished work for his clients.
The benefits of digital gear in Dubler's studio are multifold. Like many, he's enamored of the speed that the technology provides as far as turnaround, but at the core of the embrace of digital is Dubler's desire for control.
One of the frustrations that professionals have always encountered was the fact that we completed a job and turned the images over to the client. We didn't really see a job through to the end, and the ensuing loss of control over the image was occasionally a problem. Personal issues of having someone else tinkering with the image aside, a larger concern has been that we've been unable to deliver a complete package that will “wow” the client.
Consider a brief case-study of two photographers: The first has been reluctant to incorporate digital technology into his workflow, while the second has been adapting his studio to include digital. Both photographers land a job to shoot products for a catalog. It's a straightforward gig, calling for clean lighting and relatively simple setups.
The conventional wisdom has been that a digital pro doesn't have an edge over a nondigital pro for work like this. The nondigital pro produces good, clean shots that will need only minor touch-ups and minimal work to get the product colors to match.