Pliable – Andrzej Dragan Inspired

Hello people!

Well, once again another week has gone by so it’s time to provide another visual photographic treat for your viewing pleasure!

I often spend time reading around the subject of photography, and have recently been researching the commercial aspect of the genre. Whilst swotting away, a recurring theme I keep coming across is the need for originality, in particular if a budding photographer is to be commercially successful.

The need for originality seems to also be the bug bare of many individuals on photography forums. Whilst researching a particular photographic style, I often see questions asked such as “How is this effect achieved? Or “What post processing will get this look?…and in nearly all cases you get individuals who respond with, “Stop trying to rip off such and such a photographer” or “Why don’t you come up with your own style…”

Well, I’ll be the first to admit that whilst not trying to “rip” off the work of others, I do find the technique of various famous photographers intriguing, and I love the challenge in trying to decipher what it is they do to achieve their photographic look.

The inspiration for the shot below is the work of Andzrej Dragan, who I think is a fantastic photographer. Whilst not wanting to copy his work verbatim I did want to try and unpick his post processing methods and apply them to my own photo.

To this extent I spent almost a fortnight working on this week’s shot, and found myself “alt tabbing” between Photoshop and Andzrej’s website, assessing the skin tones, sharpness and detail of his photos, in an effort to recreate the effects on my work.

It was during the early stages of week 2 that the realisation dawned on me that regardless of the depth of analysis of Mr Dragan’s work; I would not be able to recreate the look with my own photos.

The basis for this conclusion is pretty simple – my original photo is not Andrzej Dragan’s. The subject, location, props, and lighting, amongst other things are unique to Andzrej’s photos as they are to my photos. To this extent the variables which influence how an image looks are so broad that in my eyes it makes redundant the ability to mimic directly the work of others. Don’t get me wrong, you can get pretty close but there will be something in a photo that makes it inherently different and unique.

Regardless of my own view on things, it is still important that draw inspiration from the work of others, and whether it be the use of flash or Photoshop, you should try and incorporate the techniques employed like Andzrej and other great photographers as in doing so you will slowly develop your own unique style!

Returning to the shot above, this is taken of my best mate Karl, who graciously decided to model for me, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank him and his incredibly stretchy face for taking the time to sit for me!

It was my intention to use a simple flash setup on him, but as I had a monstrous hang over from the night before I just couldn’t be bothered, instead winging it on the natural light! As seems to be standard for my portrait work, a great deal of time was spent in post processing, with teh resulting PSD file having almost 40 layers.

If anyone has any questions on the above shot, then please feel free to drop me an email or comment and I’ll try best to respond!

Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me for this week!

Happy snapping!

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~ by imagespike on November 3, 2008.

2 Responses to “Pliable – Andrzej Dragan Inspired”

  1. Good work! Thank you very much!
    I always wanted to write in my blog something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?
    Of course, I will add backlink?

    Regards, Your Reader

  2. Hi Timur,

    Please feel free to link to the post. I intend to create a dedicated “Links” page on my blog and will quite happily create a return link to your site.

    Kind regards,

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