Friday, June 8, 2007
Jody Dole - Everything Old Is New Again
Jody Dole strikes a creative balance between using any tool and technique—old and new—to help him get the shot
Adds Dole, “One of the things that frustrates me is that people are willing to accept correcting after the fact versus going into a project with a stronger point of view. It happens every day: ‘Well, we'll fix it in Photoshop.' Therefore, you have, in effect, a less talented visual communicator who's going to use a tech-nology to fix what they couldn't see to begin with. My whole career has been based on seeing it to begin with.”
Dole is using his digital equipment to allow him not only more professional freedom in where and how he shoots, but what he shoots. Now he spends time working on the images that are interesting to him, and without the added costs of film and processing he's able to experiment more. Those experiments ultimately bring in more work.
“I've found over the years that the more work I show in my portfolio that's personal to me, the more work I get,” says Dole. “When I adapted my portfolio to showcase a lot more of the commercial work that I had done over the years, it just became lumped into that competitive crowd. The more commercial work I showed from other clients, it seems the less commercial assignments I got.”
Just Another Pinhole
“There's no rhyme or reason for me to use digital photography unless we're doing something specific that requires it,” Dole says. “When I'm doing splash shots, it's fabulous for obvious reasons. You end up with a great splash on a Polaroid and then you've got to go shoot eight or nine rolls of film and then wonder if you got it. I've worked on [digital] projects where we set up a splash shot at 10 o'clock in the morning and by 10:45 we were finished. With digital capture in the studio, you know when you got it. The point is, though, you have to know what looks good.
“I'm doing portraiture that I've never done before,” he continues. “By tethering either the Phase One or the Nikon camera right to the computer, when you shoot and you can see it right away, you can fine-tune right away. I've found it to be fabulous. And the quality of Nikon's NEF format is extraordinary.”
Digital has never failed Dole's quality test. On a recent job, he shot digitally and with film, and delivered both to the client in a “blind taste test.” The client chose the digital. “The quality that I can get out of the Nikon D1x is, in most cases, better than film,” he says. “So there's very little reason for me to use 35mm film. If I'm going to film, I'm going to medium-format film.”
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