DPP Home Profiles Lionel Deluy - Hi Energy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lionel Deluy - Hi Energy!

Lionel Deluy's signature style comes from a mixture of furious action on the set and creative work in Photoshop

Deluy recounts a story about a recent shoot for the cover of The Book LA—Hugh Hefner at the Mansion. After having one hour to prepare three different lighting setups, Hefner came downstairs, pajamas and all, and told Deluy he had 10 minutes to photograph him.

Recalls Deluy, “So we had the three different sets all ready to go, and I took him from one setup, and I shoot, shoot, shoot! Then to the next lighting setup, and click, click, click! And then I hurried him over to the third setup and finished all of it within six minutes. So then I turned to Hugh and said, ‘Okay, now you have four minutes to relax!'”

Deluy laughs, “I know some photographers take a lot of time to set up one picture and then they keep shooting to make sure they have the shot. I just can't do it that way.”

Going Digital

Deluy has been a digital shooter for a number of years. He dove in with a Canon “prosumer” 2-megapixel camera almost eight years ago. “I was like, oh, my God—instant gratification,” he says. Soon after, he invested in a laptop computer and an Olympus E-10.

Says Deluy, “I used to shoot for Flaunt magazine a lot with the E-10, and I even did the cover of Atomic with that camera. There was pixilation and a lot of clean-up needed to be done sometimes, but when I got it, it was like another life, like coming from the Stone Age to the future, you know?”

But becoming an all-digital photographer in an industry that just seven years ago was still dedicated to film wasn't easy. When he used film, Deluy shot with a Pentax 6x7 and a Hasselblad and turned in final prints to art directors.

“And then I just suddenly jumped directly from using film to the 4-megapixel camera,” he says. “For me, it was so much like going from being a photographer to being an artist because afterwards, in Photoshop, you can create so much. It's more like painting now.”

This quick transition wasn't always smooth, however. Recalls Deluy, “It was a nightmare at times. Everyone was asking for the negatives or the prints, and I got into so many arguments over it. People were just so closed off to receiving a file on CD. Even though they were going to end up scanning the negative or print, handing over a digital file was like I was crazy, and I lost jobs because of it.”

Would Deluy ever shoot film again? “Yes, if I was offered a lot of money or if it was an interesting project, but why? The quality of digital is better, faster and cleaner. It just doesn't make any sense for me to shoot film.”

While the Olympus E-10 changed his photographic world, Deluy decided to test every new digital camera he could as they came to the market.

“I think my dream camera is the [Canon EOS] 1Ds Mark II,” he says. “I have tried a lot of other cameras and this one is perfect.” Deluy owns two EOS-1Ds Mark IIs, and he's eager to see its successor when that comes out.


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