Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Frank Veronsky - No Compromises
From CD covers to fashion to whimsy, Frank Veronsky continues to dazzle with his unique approach to image creation
Some photographers are all business; for others, anything goes. From shooting bands for record companies to supermodels for high-profile magazines to celebrities for television networks, commercial portrait specialist Frank Veronsky eagerly utilizes whatever new equipment or techniques will make his images pop. Seeking out colorful subjects and interesting locations, he'd much rather begin with a dynamic image rather than try to fix it in post.
“I'm attracted to color, and I try to take pictures that have a lot of color in them,” says Veronsky. “You don't want to start with something that's dull and then try to make it colorful; you add colorful elements from the beginning.”
Because of scheduling difficulties or location challenges, or simply because of ho-hum ambient lighting, sometimes Veronsky finds himself in front of the computer attempting to get more out of his photographs. A recent publicity shoot reveals how his digital imaging skills can take his photographs from good to spectacular.
“They were shot in color, but I felt there was something lacking color-wise,” explains Veronsky of images of the band Blameshift.
“I thought they would look better in black-and-white. I first converted them to grayscale and back to RGB. I worked mostly with Photoshop's Shadow/Highlight tool and experimented until I got the right look. I then added a sepia filter and some more color correction. All the while I was recording my work in Actions, which allowed me to play the shots back and batch the rest of them so they would all look consistent.”
The batch process is where the businessperson enters. Before he moved into the creative world, Veronsky called New York's Financial District home.
“I graduated with a business degree,” explains Veronsky of his brief career in international trade. “It was good money, but there was something there that didn't appeal to me. There were lots of people who had been in the business for 20 years, and they all had ulcers and were alcoholics.”
After a few years of high finance, Veronsky decided he'd had enough. He wanted to become a photographer, so he looked for any related job he could find. His first gig was as a researcher in a stock agency, and although he wasn't yet shooting for a living, those early experiences would eventually pay dividends.
“It helped me learn about the business end of photography,” Veronsky says. “I learned how to negotiate prices for photography usage; I learned a lot about the photography industry in general from the back end. It was a great experience now that I look at it because a lot of photographers coming out of school were never taught anything about business.”