We've been following SmugMug Films' ongoing behind-the-lens series and have found the clips to be an interesting look at people who follow their passions in photography. The latest installment features Joel Grimes. He's been a commercial advertising photographer for more than 30 years and is most known for his composite portraits. Grimes considers himself more than a photographer - an artist and illusionist, creating images that are larger than life.
We recently spoke with Grimes to learn more about his work and process. Here's what he said.
How did you get started in photography?
My first introduction to photography was as a freshman in high school. But it really wasn’t until my freshman year in college that it started to take root as a passion and as a way of expressing myself as an artist.
What are you trying to express through your images?
Well, I am to the core an artist that happens to use a camera and retouching tools like Photoshop. In the end, what tools I use are not as important as fulfilling my vision as an artist. I love people and I am drawn to making them look larger than life and making them look like a supermodel or superhero.
|Kerron Clement - Olympic Gold Medalist by Joel Grimes|
You say your work has a 'touch of reality and a touch of fantasy', why did you start to use composites and the HDR look in your images?
Back in the mid 80's I started taking battery powered strobes with modifiers out into the field and shooting portraits. Back then this was considered really stepping outside of the box. My approach was primarily thinking in two layers or levels. The subject, which was lit by the strobe, and the background exposure, which was controlled by the shutter speed. If you look at those images, they almost look like a composite. I did this approach for 25 plus years. With the advancement of digital and Photoshop, it was a natural progression for me to move into compositing my images and shooting the two parts separately.
Talk about your process in creating an image - on location and then in post processing. How do you 'build' an image?
I wish I could tell you that I am so brilliant that I have it all mapped out ahead of time. But the truth is I am a bit of wing-it kind of person. I generally let the creative process just come together as I am working. However, I have a very specific look that I am repeating over and over again. With time, the refining of the look comes and people start to take notice.
|Jill by Joel Grimes|
Any tips for readers who want to create composite images or improve their photography?
The single greatest thing you could do is to build a body of work that brands you as an artist. But most of us are not willing to take the risk in sticking with a look long enough to let that brand take root. We bounce around from idea to idea, from technique to technique. If you are aggressive, it takes around 3-5 years to really brand yourself in the marketplace. And a brand has around a 7-10 year life. So what does that say? That to be competitive in the marketplace and have a 30-40 year career, you need to be constantly working your butt off. There is no room for slackers at the top. I have a quote that I say all the time, 'Hard work will outperform talent any day of the week'.
Check out the latest video above and subscribe to the SmugMug Films YouTube channel and get first access to each new episode. SmugMug plans to release a new clip once a month.
Apr 19, 2017
Apr 22, 2017
Apr 21, 2017
Apr 14, 2017
|Waffles with fruits by Coolinarka|
from Food photography (desserts)
|Vestrahorn Frozen Reflection by Will B Milner|
from Ice cold
As summer really gets going over here in the Northern hemisphere, the team at Imaging Resource has put together a list of the best cameras for backpacking.
The Ukrainian Parliament banned statues of Lenin in 2015. Two years later, the monuments no longer adorn public buildings or stand watch over town squares, but they're still there.
If you had to choose one camera to bring along for the ultimate West coast road trip, what would it be? DPR's Sam Spencer choose the X100F. Read more
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more