Monday, October 8, 2007
Gary Land - In the Right Place
Working with people who are short on time and don't necessarily love a photo session, Gary Land gets the shot fast, then spends the time placing his subject in the perfect 'background'
According to Land, 99.9% of his work is done digitally. The remaining few jobs shot on film aren't of his own accord; he's a full-fledged believer in the benefits of digital capture.
“I love film, but it's a pain in the ass,” he says, “because you've got to shoot the film, you've got to change the film, you've got to process it, you've got to scan it. It's just a pain. And it doesn't look as good in the end. It really doesn't.”
Could Land make his look if he was shooting film? “This look with film? Not really. Not if I want it to look as good. I could, but it wouldn't pop as much because film breaks up. You can't interpolate film. Pixels are getting better. They're making this stuff so good. I could take a 5 MB file and turn it into a 50 MB file and I can print it and it would look good. I got into a fight with a printer company rep the other day. I'm like, ‘I've printed this stuff. I print all my files at 150 dpi.' He said, ‘You're crazy!' I said, ‘I'm not crazy. I'm telling you there's no difference. And I do these tests all the time.' I can print one of my files at 150 and print the same image at 300, and it's the same exact look. Take a magnifying glass and it's the same. 150 is awesome. My book was printed at 150 because the ink and the printers are so good. When I print higher, I feel like it just ends up being overkill and I lose it in my blacks. If I have a 300 dpi file, all that black ink is thrown out there, I can't even see anything. That's a little secret, I think. I like printing at 150 dpi because to me it just looks much better.”
Land obviously has done fine without following anyone else's rules—from how he prints to how he shoots to his chosen career path. Whether or not he has it all figured out, he seems happy now to be supporting his photographic habit year-round—and to finally have the chance to go surfing again.
To see more of Gary Land's photography, visit www.garylandphotography.com.