Meet Eric Fischer, February’s Flickr winner. One of his awesome shots grabbed our attention. Turns out, eye-catching photography is just his style. As we emailed back and forth, I discovered Eric has quite an impressive story. Below is a little bit from the hand of the master himself. Thanks for sharing, Eric.
I studied photography at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. My school years were spent shooting film and printing in the darkroom. While there, I learned the importance of film and paper choice when combined processing and printing techniques. Each of these components had a major impact on the look and feel of the final image. I was fond of alternative printing techniques like platinum and palladium printing on hand coated paper, and custom toning.
In 2004, I was chosen for PDN’s 30 (emerging photographers to watch). The award package I received included a Canon 10D. It was my first “professional” digital camera. The switch to digital introduced some new challenges. Particularly, the need for my digital and film images to be indistinguishable from each other.
The critical element lacking in a digital workflow is grain, so I needed a good solution. Grain in Photoshop was pretty disappointing, from what I remember. My next stop was (the now defunct) Grain Surgery, but it came with it’s own set of issues. The breakthrough moment was when I discovered Exposure in ’06-’07. Been using it ever since!
The product that Exposure has matured into is incredible. I absolutely love all of the starting points–the traditional film presets. Now we can get great vintage processes with the click of a button, and even polaroids, too!
I don’t use the factory presets straight out of the box. My trick is to customize them and make them my own. The factory presets are a great springboard for ideas and inspiration. The beautiful grain, the new light leaks, toning… the possibilities are endless. Even the most subtle effects can have brilliant results.
I consider myself a purist. Meaning I prefer to shoot everything possible in camera, or at least plan what an image is going to look like in advance. I don’t like the idea of throwing filters on an image to make it good, but I do believe that every image should have grain.
The Image chosen was part of a larger session with model and actress Jasmine Sanders. My greatest influence in lighting has always been George Hurrell, and the hair and makeup (by Lizzie Arneson and Ashley Meyers) reminded me of his classic hollywood portraits. I was inspired to apply one of my custom Split Toning and grain blends. It opened up the shadows in an amazing way. I couldn’t be more pleased.