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
For many photographers, the transition to shooting digital has been difficult. Veronsky makes it sound utterly natural—it's all about improving the image. He doesn't see his computer through rose-colored glasses, however. No matter how comfortable a photographer is shooting digitally, he or she still must deal with a variety of clients—each with their own comfort level and working style.
“Sometimes, shooting digital is a little bit more of a pain because everybody wants to see each picture,” says Veronsky. “They look at it and say, Well, I don't like that picture; I want you to erase it right away. Or they may say, Look at those pictures; you have it—and we've only shot 10 pictures. Whereas if I shoot film, they look at a Polaroid and say, Well, that looks pretty good. But that's not the finished product so they have to use their imaginations as to what I'm getting on the camera, which they'll never see until I process the film. So it gives me the opportunity to shoot even more. I can just shoot and shoot and tell them when I think I've got it, instead of someone looking over my shoulder at a computer screen and saying, Okay, you've got that; you don't need to shoot anymore.
“The work that I'd give to the lab to do, I'm doing myself now on the computer,” continues Veronsky. “I'll give a disk with low-res images to some clients; some I've been trying to wean into digital by printing contact sheets so they can treat it as if it was a C-41 job where they would get contacts and order a print from me.”
Other clients are completely ready for digital, however, and that just makes Veronsky's life all the better. He can concentrate on shooting, rather than worry about selling his client on a new process or product.
Adds Veronsky, “I have a client for whom everything I'm doing is JPEGs, so there's no processing of RAW files—which is so easy! They bring their laptop to the location and we drop the picture right in to see if it fits, and then we move on to the next scene.”
Obviously, efficiency is key when you're running a business. That's why so many photographers struggle to balance doing what's best for the image versus the business. Veronsky makes no bones about using technology to streamline the workflow, but he doesn't feel that this makes any compromise on quality.
“I'm not really an old-school kind of person, where I have to do things a certain way, the way they did it years ago,” he says. “I have some friends who are resisting going into digital because...I don't know why. Because it's new and it's not film? They really don't have any excuses that are good to me.”
Says Veronsky, “I'm not too sentimental about my gradually leaving film. I think it's really about the image and what's going to make your life easier and, in turn, make you more creative. If things are too easy, you're not pushing yourself to be better.”
Mamiya RZ67 cameras (with a prism finder “because it drives me crazy to look at things backward,” says Veronsky)
Several lenses (favorite: 65mm)
Canon EOS-1Ds (frequent rental)
Phase One back (frequent rental)
Broncolor Flashman strobes
Ring flash light
Epson Stylus Photo 1280 printer
To see more of Frank Veronsky's photography, visit www.frankveronsky.com.
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