Digital imaging is revolutionizing commercial photography
by Janet Hawkins
A stylish ceramic woman in bright Kelly green watches silently from across the room as Bob Foran adjusts the light illuminating the still life heís about to shoot. Her soft green profile contrasts sharply with the whitewashed walls and the black and white checked floor of Bobís studio.
"The walls are white because they reflect light so well," Bob says. "Color changes it. Light is everything in photography. Itís the creative control over light that really makes a photographer."
Experience has made him an expert
Bob is a commercial and advertising photographer who specializes in studio still life. Six years ago, he made the decision before most in his field to change from conventional film-based to digital photography. Itís a decision heís never regretted.
"Thereís so much more control with digital imaging," says Bob. "Special effects of light adjustments that we used to make with colored filters can now be done more precisely with imaging equipment."
Digital imaging is the future of commercial photography, he believes. And itís also changing the field of publishing.
"I can provide a complete, finished image for my clients on the spot. I can take cracks or imperfections out of a prototype product, add different backgrounds, convert the file to CMYK (an acronym for the four colors used in printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and burn the image to CD all while the client waits," Bob explains.
"And the time savings are unbelievable. You skip developing the film or taking pre-shot Polaroids, going back and forth with contact sheets, and scanning the photo in-house or at a service bureau for publishing when you use digital imaging," Bob says.
New technology means new opportunity
Digital technology is creating new job opportunities in commercial photography.
As more professionals convert to digital imaging, the demand for skilled specialists grows. Bob sees the day when heíll be setting up a shot and his assistant will be making technical changes to the last one on a computer screen.
Technology is also introducing him to new clients around the world. Through his Web site, Bob can work with anyone, anywhere and not leave home.
Some things you just know
Bob knew early on that photography would be his lifeís work. "As long as I can remember, Iíve loved photography," he says. "I had my own darkroom when I was 13. By the time I was 18, I knew for sure that it would be my career. My problem is that I love both worlds, the creative one and the digital imaging. Though studio photography is the most lucrative, itís hard to make a living in. You have to really love it." Note: to view Bob Foranís work, go to www.bobforanphoto.com.