Monday, 22 August 2011

Joel Grimes – Portraits with a difference

As part of the Assignment 1 feedback my tutor suggested a couple of photographers to investigate – one being Joel Grimes. By happy coincidence Joel’s work had featured in Photo Professional magazine only a couple of weeks earlier so I was already a bit familiar with his signature style. In addition he has a very modern if rather complex and slow-to-load website and a well populated photostream on Flickr: Flickr: Joel Grimes Photography's Photostream

His current signature style is very striking – using a three light set up (one overhead, two side lights) to light his subjects who he then drops into an HDR treated background. The magazine interview suggests that this was a relatively recent change to his style, which was previously based on a one light slightly off-set set-up to produce a gradient wrap around the subject. There are examples of both on Flickr – the single light set-up is in the older material and produces a very classical look. (photos not reproduced here because of request on Flickr)

I have a preference for the more classical look of his older shots – the HDR look seems a bit overdone to me, but it is undoubtedly a success for him.

The website also features a couple of portfolios called ‘Everyday Life’ and ‘Desert life’ which are more conventional – Desert Life in particular is reminiscent of Ansel Adams in the tonality of the shots included.

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