The mysterious and dream-like
mood found in Jeff Alu's photography portfolio is unlike any
other, which we have reviewed here at Profotos. Strong graphic
lines, along with incredible texture and stark contrast are three
of the most common elements found within Jeff's images.
Our staff was stunned to learn of the technique Jeff uses
to create his beautiful images. Using a Kodak DC-280 digital
camera, Jeff shoots all of his images in color and then converts
them into black and white in Photoshop. All of his image manipulation
is accomplished within the virtual darkroom of Photoshop. Jeff's
masterful understanding of this program goes a long way in assisting
him to produce some of the most striking fine art, black and
white images our staff has ever reviewed on Profotos.
Several of the images within Jeff's portfolio are strikingly
similar to those found within some of the all-time great photographer's
portfolios. His incredible use of contrast, lighting and texture
give his images a very strong feeling of three dimensionality.
The three dimensional aspect of Jeff's images is a strong element,
which adds to the overall quality of several of his images.
Our staff enjoyed every moment we had, while reviewing the
work in this talented artist's portfolio. We invite you to browse
through Jeff's portfolio and immerse yourself within his surreal
world of digital imaging. Keep in mind that all of the images
within Jeff's portfolio are digital, from the moment they are
captured, to the final result after much burning and dodging.
Wow! This digital portfolio rivals those of many traditional
imaging masters!,I'm a 3D Artist/Animator who has begun taking black and white photography in an attempt to get back to the basics of light and shadow. Many of my 3D clients demand high-impact, colorful graphics, which have their place to be sure. But it can often become overwhelming, and the act of doing black and white photography clears my mind a little.
My photos tend to be graphic in nature, and I try to look for strong leading lines. Some have described by photos as "3D", which I suppose comes from doing so much 3D work. I do allow myself to alter the images in Photoshop, using dodging and burning. I've found this to be such a great technique for isolating subjects or bringing out emotions. I didn't dodge and burn at first, but now I do it on every image.
I had my fill of darkroom work when I was working at JPL/Palomar Observatory. We would venture up to Palomar each month for six nights and take pictures of the sky using the 18" Schmidt camera. We used hypered 4415 film, usually processed about 100 films a night. We took pairs of films of different areas of the sky with a 40 minute separation. We would then take a pair of films and look at them under a stereo microscope, trying to detect near-earth asteroids and comets. It was fun work, but also hard work, and I learned to really hate dark rooms in the process.
My actual shooting technique is for the most part point-and-shoot, no tripod. The act of photography for me has come out of my love for hiking through the deserts on very hot, days. I drive out to locations in my jeep, and then usually hike in the rest of the way. I'm not one to wait in one spot for very long, I'm much happier taking pictures while I'm on the move. Since I've started doing photography, I'm seeing the desert in a new way, and this in turn gives me new ideas about photography.
I'm usually more interested in finding new areas to photograph, rather than taking pictures in more popular areas. I think this state of mind dates back to the Palomar days, searching for comets, the thrill of the hunt. But in this case I'm hunting for new areas, new meanings, new questions. I feel very satisfied when I find a subject such as "Fork", because I know that I had to work for it. I was searching for "something", and I found something. Three hours from home, in the middle of nowhere, I found something. It always reminds me how much more there is to see, and how little I've seen.
I use a Kodak DC-280 Digital Camera, and circular polarizing filter. I take all of my pictures in color, and convert them to black and white in Photoshop. I generally convert to black and white via the channel mixer, because it helps to cut down on the graininess of the sky. Next, I dodge and burn, playing with different contrasts and levels. After dodging and burning, I always add some unsharp mask, usually with a large radius, and a small amount. This helps to accentuate certain features in the image and increases the overall impact. Next, I add another layer of unsharp mask, this time with a very small radius and a larger amount. This adds a more traditional sharpening to the image. Currently I'm printing using a Canon BJC-8200 (1200x1200) printer.
Please feel free to view the rest of my portfolio at: