Lukas Dvorak XIII
Christmas time is always time to browse through photo books. And so I am very much pleased that Czech photographer Lukas Dvorak has just published a book. The specialist for black and white motives has fascinated me for a long time and his works from the past thirteen years are now presented in this printed edition.
No more pain with grain
I recently wrote about the fact that grain in photos has an indefinable effect. Somehow we find a structure in photos to be pleasant. It gives the photo character and feels good. In this article I also described that I somehow don't get really warm with the technical application of grain. That has now changed and I am happy to pass on my knowledge.
Camera RAW Presets
Nowadays there are no more out of cam photos. Such a thing as out of cam doesn't exist. All photos have always passed through some sort of filter. These are algorithms that compile the color information from the camera's image sensor according to certain criteria into a JPG. Or filters that work in the same way and manipulate color values to achieve a certain look. It happens more and more often that my clients tell me to put my look on the pictures.
Body height plays an important role in our society. Smaller people are often not taken seriously. I know that from experience, because I'm pretty small. I can handle it well because I know what I can do and I don't mind that my wife is two inches taller than me.
Square frames in 15x15cm
For Christmas I am offering a special for my art of the month prints. This series of four comes in square passepartouts (each 15x15cm) amd you might want to frame the images. Nowadays, it's not so easy to find decent frames in regular stores downtown, so I decided to provide you with a list of potential candidates for your space.
Kill your darlings
Art is a strange craft. And creativity sometimes behaves like a cat. It has a mind of its own and it is difficult for you to lead it. But I need creativity to get ahead. It's a bit of a vicious circle. What helps me sometimes is to rigorously clean up. And so I did.
What is beauty?
There is always a certain ideal of beauty within a culture. It is a contemporary idea of what is perceived as beautiful. These fashions are always changing and have great regional differences. Perhaps it is worthwhile to start a signature campaign against an ideal of beauty that is currently threatening to assert itself.
Art inspires and other artists fascinate and inspire me. Thinking outside the box is particularly fascinating. I have nothing to do with acrobatics, but when I saw Marion Crampe dancing on the pole, I was deeply impressed. She is a multiple champion in her field and I saw immediately why.
Where can I shoot?
Not much has changed for me in the last 15 years: location search remains the most difficult part of my job. While a fashion shoot can take place practically anywhere, a nude shoot requires a bit of sensitivity. And so I'm constantly looking for suitable locations. These are my criteria.
Fives phases of a shoot
Over the years I have found out that my emotional states switch more or less the same during every photo project that I have. I take my job very seriously. Maybe too serious sometimes. But it's kind of amusing that I go through these five phases with every single shoot.
Why is grain beautiful?
Some photographers are returning to working with old film cameras. It is about returning to slower photography. A film only has 36 frames. You don't want to waste them pointlessly. Photos taken on film have different colors, but you can recognize them mainly by their grain which is a trademark of film compared to the digital. But what actually makes grain beautiful?
The great thing about my job is that visual inspiration can be found everywhere in everyday life. On a walk through nature, in a shopping center, while traveling. And although I focus myself on photography, it is often different art that helps to create connections and encourage new ideas.
Art versus Decoration
I asked myself what is the difference between art and decoration? Does art take precedence over decoration? And is photography even art? The topic is very extensive and I could perhaps write a doctoral thesis on it. Then I would be a PhD in photography. But I neither value titles that much nor does this title exist. Nevertheless, I am still thinking about these questions.
Every year starting in August, I get regular emails from people asking about my new calendar. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about it and of course I have produced another calendar for the coming year. My 2022 calendar has now been published. As always in a limited edition.
I must be daring
I often think about my own work. In doing so, I realize that I'm too good, that I repeat myself too much and that I don't really produce enough new things. It's not that easy to break free of conventions and to dare to try out something completely new.
Corona: 18 months later
I would like to give you a little update on how I am doing during the pandemic and what has changed for me in the past 18 months. At the end of last year I was still very optimistic and my watchword was that 2021 can only be better than 2020. Unfortunately, I was not right.
Who needs drugs?
Even though I am a nude photographer I get inspired by many things around me. There's architecture, nature and of course, also fashion. I love to watch runway shows, okay, not on a daily basis, but every now and then. This one by Iris van Herpen is amazing.
Cinematic Haze and Diffusion
If I were to name a trend in photography, it would be the use of diffusion filters. People just prefer photos that show humans a little softer. And so I decided to have different diffusion filters compete against each other in a short photo walk with gorgeous Natalie.
We lie to ourselves
When you ask someone what is most important to them in a person, the answer usually is honesty and humor. I understand the part with the humor, but honesty is such a thing. Because once we are really honest, we see that we are constantly lying to one another. We even lie to ourselves.
Movies have always had these great colors. Even when I was young and had nothing to do with photography, I already felt that filmmakers were really working hard to deliver particularly beautiful images. Colors that flatter, charm and inspire you. And so I did an experiment to see if I could translate these tricks into a simple workflow when taking photographs in modern Sony cameras.
Image manipulation has always been done. In the past this was done by hand and often still in the dark room. Most photographs — and especially the famous ones — are retouched. Retouching has never been easier than today. Lately artificial intelligence was added to Photoshop and after working with it for a while, I would like to share my conclusion.
Playboy Germany August 2021
Great news: The August issue of Playboy Germany contains a newly shot pictorial by me with Playmate Leni. We produced the series in good old Germany, actually in my hometown Frankfurt, to be exact. During summer, it isn't bad here at all, escpecially because I was able to plan the shoot very well ahead.
Shades of Gray
When you read Shades of Gray you might have thought about the novel immediately, but I am not referring to Fifty Shades of Grey here in any way. I wanted to write about the variations of the color gray which can be interesting when working with black and white art. Here are my thoughts on pleasing gray tones.
What isn't art?
As a kid, my parents took me to every museum and exhibition. Wherever we traveled, they found a museum. This could be my fate as a teacher's child. From today's perspective I am really thankful to them, though. Because, basially from my early ages I thought about art. And about the question: What is art?