Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Jill Greenberg - The Look Of Greenberg
Dubbed 'The Manipulator,' photographer Jill Greenberg won't let technology dictate her distinctive style
Standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, the latest edition of Los Angeles Magazine caught my eye. A very confident beagle donned the cover, the pure breed's tongue stretching upward and winding around the top rim of its black nose. There was a clean pop to the image with slight highlights falling around the sides of the dog's face and ears. Besides the technical aspects presented through the use of lighting and digital manipulation, there was an emotion, a distinctive personality that the photographer had managed to capture. “I know that style,” I thought. “That's Jill Greenberg.”
Known as “The Manipulator,” Greenberg admits she wasn't completely committed to any style until 1999, 10 years after she had moved to Manhattan to pursue her career. Having once considered a path in illustration, Greenberg started working with Photoshop from 1.0, and thus began years of playing with the software to develop the techniques that she uses in her work today.
Greenberg's older images, especially those published in Paper Magazine in the early to mid-'90s, were ahead of their time. They incorporated heavy saturation and what looked like time-consuming selections and merging methods of different images, a clear indication that there was extensive effort invested into developing her skills.
Look, Something Shiny
The look of her work has definitely evolved since then, but philosophically speaking, the forwardness of her style hasn't. Her recent images have been referred to as...shiny, a description that she accepts and refers to when deciphering between that particular style and her portrait work, in which a large portion is shot utilizing natural light.