Good retouching is much more than cleaning dust spots and dead pixels, and it's not about creating a false sense of reality. It's understanding the way light and shadow interact with textures and surfaces. It's knowing how to work with angles of reflection and refraction. And it's about communication with the photographer, the editor, and most importantly, with the viewer.
D.E.Todd Projects works hard to create long-standing relationships with clients in need of professsional retouching, with experience handling subjects as diverse as architectural interiors, fashion, portraiture, and product shots. The results can be seen in books, magazines, and advertisements both printed and online.
I am er a camera
Combining the aesthetic of analog mechanics with a digital workflow, this project originated from a lesson that I taught in an Advanced Digital Studio class in the MFA: Photography, Video & Related Media department at the School of Visual Arts.
Through the use of Photoshop a small band of selective focus is created, mimicking the optical effect of tilting a traditional tilt-shift lens on a large format camera. As a result the image fools the eye into reading visually as a detailed miniature. This is caused by our natural association of a shallow depth of field with the macro-photography of tiny objects.
Download Digital Tilt-Shift Instructions (coming soon)
Our state of being exists in an age of disbelief, enabling a negative perspective constructed from a simultaneous loss of truth and wonder. We are adolescents at a magic act unable to let ourselves get lost in the enjoyment of the performance, yet not adept enough to discern the methods of illusion because of our narcissistic point of view.
There was a period of a couple years in which I couldn’t visit MoMA alone. I was powerless against my own remorse for the masters who toiled with the act of creation only to be snapped up by the digital gaze of tourists claiming a firsthand encounter. I’d walk through the galleries on the verge of catastrophic meltdown, observing those who I believed couldn’t possibly understand what they were truly witnessing. I had become the inverse of the adolescent at the magic act. I knew all of the tricks, but craved the feeling of wonder.
Ironically, my series This was not faked in Photoshop, which was created with the intent to reaffirm the magic of traditional techniques, while highlighting the use of perspective and light, was canceled from its scheduled publication in a popular magazine because the paper it was to be printed on could not physically support the amount of ink necessary to reproduce the quality of the images. Instead, the project was rerouted to the magazine’s digital domain, and, to my knowledge, has not yet surfaced.
It's strange to think that reality has become special, and that the authentic is somehow unique.
After years of devoting myself to the study and practice of photography, I came to realize that it didn’t mean the same thing any more. Photography had changed, as well as my relationship with it. It was time to start over with the camera as my phoenix. In the spring of 2009, while at a critical juncture of my personal artistic development, I blew up all of my cameras with electrically detonated explosives, capturing the action in high definition slow-motion video. At a time when artists, critics, and curators are asking, “is photography dead?” I hope to push the viewer to join me in attempting to look both forward and backward to better understand just what is photography today.
“Even as he keeps pace with photography’s ever-evolving technology, his persistent interest in its past and his boundless curiosity over its artistic applications speak’s to society’s own fascination with this versatile medium.”
David Evan Todd is a light and time based media artist using a variety of photographic and digital production tools to explore our complex relationship with imagery today. David's work has been honored with a number of awards, published in books and magazines, and included in gallery shows throughout the U.S. and internationally. He enjoys visiting as a guest artist and speaking with audiences of all ages.
D.E.Todd Projects provides an array of creative imaging solutions including traditional and alternative photography, digital manipulation, and graphics for both print and digital needs. Clients include international institutes, nonprofit foundations, private corporations, and individuals.