Monday, June 11, 2007
Seth Resnick - Great Photographs Are Where You Find Them
Seth Resnick is the consummate professional. His polished and sophisticated images are mostly shot on location, where he works with portable lighting gear and digital cameras.
Solving problems. Seth Resnick's career all comes down to solving problems. The award-winning photographer lives for those opportunities where he can take a situation that poses a challenge and figure out how to make it work with the tools at his disposal. “I like to make something out of nothing,” says Resnick.
With an eye for isolating the critical components of an image, Resnick has proven to be a master of creating extra-ordinary images from ordinary scenes.
The beginning of the digital age in photography marked a major turning point for Resnick. “Digital was a phenomenal step forward,” he says. “With digital, the camera becomes a light table. I used to measure my insecurity by the amount of film I shot. I'd find that I was shooting frame after frame, and when I'd get the images back from the lab, I'd see that they were almost all the same. I wasn't doing anything different; I was just shooting. Or worse than that, I'd have frame after frame of the same shot, only there would be a pole sticking out in the background that I never saw and that I could have fixed just by moving slightly. The same thing happened to me in the darkroom with black-and-white prints. I could spend hours on a print tweaking corners and edges, and later I'd look at all of the dried prints and there was no visible difference in any of them. It was very frustrating. Now, I use the camera's LCD to edit as I go. It's a completely different way of photographing. I can shoot, review, edit and adjust. That gives me a real incentive to shoot all the time.”
Resnick always tries to carry a camera with him for those moments when he walks by a subject or situation that catches his eye. Often, he returns to see if there's a picture, sometimes revisiting a spot several times and experimenting with a variety of compositions. “With digital, the film is free,” he says.
Adds Resnick, who has been totally digital for the last few years, “I don't ever get the ‘I missed it' feeling that I used to get when I shot film. I'll never shoot film again. I have a Canon D30 that I still like to play around with, but when I got the Canon EOS 1D, that made me about 90% digital. When the EOS 1Ds came out, I was 100% digital.”
Resnick is passionate about shooting in RAW only. “RAW is what's needed for ultimate control,” he says. “I want to be able to make my own JPEGs with my own metadata attached rather than the camera's metadata. In the end, it's all about the control. I'm doing a seminar in a few weeks, and we're making up T-shirts that say RAW in big letters. I definitely want to get that point across.”