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Posts Tagged ‘Dirk Fletcher’

Breaking into a new industry is a daunting task for anyone… however, in Photography, passion, drive and few tips can help get you there. Dirk Fletcher, Digital Photography Department Chair at the Harrington College of Design, shares some insight and advise…

Building your Portfolio
“In order to be a successful professional photographer, you need to get your hands on the most diverse body of up-to-date professional photo equipment. The wider variety of equipment a student can experience while in school, the better they will be prepared for the diverse, and changing commercial photography marketplace. This will be an asset whether you enter the market as a photographer’s assistant or begin shooting right out of school,” Dirk explains.

Building your Expertise
In addition to a strong and unique portfolio that demonstrates your experience handling various types of equipment, it is also important that you build up some expertise in a few other areas. “In the past, the photographer would shoot the film and the lab would handle it from there. Now the photographer is responsible for the entire process,” Fletcher says.

Building your Future Business
In addition to developing your portfolio and building your expertise, it’s also important to develop the business skills necessary to run a successful (and profitable!) career. “Take as many business classes as your school offers. If the school you are looking at does not offer business classes, keep looking,” says Fletcher. “If you look at successful photographers today, you will find the individuals that are active in networking both in and outside of the industry.”

As Fletcher explains, “First and foremost, your product is your images. Many talented photographers struggle with this because they are passionate about the work and that is where they place all their focus.” Talent and passion are important, but a solid understanding of business and how to market and promote your work is essential for becoming known in the industry and launching your career in Photography.
 
 
About Dirk Fletcher:
With more than sixteen years experience in corporate industrial photography, Dirk Fletcher is the Department Chair of the Digital Photography department at Harrington College of Design. Fletcher graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in California, in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial/Illustration Photography. Fletcher’s work has been published in national newspapers and magazines, annual reports, and advertisements. To balance his high-tech days, he enjoys shooting with “old school” tools and techniques. His favorite camera is a custom-made, super-wide-angle pinhole camera that allows for a sweeping panoramic feel. Fletcher’s personal work—which is influenced by industrial greats Winston Link and Andreas Feininger—records skyscrapers, bridges, airplanes, railroads and bridges, as well as his wife and two young sons.

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Shown in Gallery 1101 at Southern Illinois University from April 5th – May 7th 2010,  Dirk Fletcher’s series “Images of Apathy” is a series that displays a rare insight into Chicago metro riders on their way to and from their busy schedules in the city. Using a 1000mm Maksutav Tele-Objectiv, Dirk took his photography through two inches of tinted glass to catch the fleeting glimpses of Chicago’s busy commuters. 

 

“The more time I spend with these images, the more pervasive the thread linking the work appears. An awkward or uncomfortable blend of apathy and posturing permeates the work. Initially, I was amused by the striking similarities between the diverse populations that kept appearing outside my window. Soon after the project began I became saddened while studying the images as a body of work by the complete lack of expression that is so prevalent. Oddly enough, I’ve made a conscious effort to smile while commuting, hoping it will pay itself forward,” Dirk said.

To see the complete body of work, visit www.dirkfletcher.com.

Photo courtesy Dirk Fletcher

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This feature is continued from yesterday.

The Challenge:
1 photographer with 1 assistant to shoot 140 Korean War Memorials in 47 states within budget from the beginning of April 2010 to mid-June 2010. Dependent on how the timing works, Joel may then be offered an additional contract to photograph the Canadian locations as well.

As Dirk Fletcher, one of Joel’s Photography instructors from the Harrington College of Design said, “The cool thing about this project is the mission: global awareness, which is one of the CEC’s main objectives. The client is literally on the other side of the world, and this alum from Indiana will be here taking photos that could be cherished by Korean families as a memorial and honor to their heritage. A project like this is going to help inform a nation.”

Dirk Fletcher will be the US Producer for the project, responsible for coordinating the photography of all of the US locations and for the review of all of the photos before their ultimate submission to Sungrak.

I’ll keep you updated as Joel moves throughout the country on this exciting project – if you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out!

About Dirk Fletcher:
With more than sixteen years experience in corporate industrial photography, Dirk Fletcher is the Department Chair of the Digital Photography department at Harrington College of Design. Fletcher graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in California, in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial/Illustration Photography and is currently pursuing a Masters in Digital Filmmaking at Governors State University. After moving to Chicago ten years ago he established a freelance business and served as staff photographer at the Museum of Science and Industry, until he was asked to launch Harrington’s new commercial digital photography program in 2004.

Fletcher’s work has been published in national newspapers and magazines, annual reports, and advertisements. To balance his high-tech days, he enjoys shooting with “old school” tools and techniques. His favorite camera is a custom-made, super-wide-angle pinhole camera that allows for a sweeping panoramic feel. Fletcher’s personal work—which is influenced by industrial greats Winston Link and Andreas Feininger—records skyscrapers, bridges, airplanes, railroads and bridges, as well as his wife and two young sons.

Photo courtesy Dirk Fletcher

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Check out Dirk Fletcher’s trailer for a 16-minute documentary film “The Digital Dilemma” which discusses the challenges with society using digital cameras to document family events. The days of finding a box of old pictures in grandma’s attic are coming to an end… http://vimeo.com/7807932
Dirk’s film was entered into the Washington DC Independent Film Festival, which showcases independent films from around the world. He’s a finalist – wish him luck!

Photo courtesy Morgue

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Already being skeptical (and working somewhere where this is water cooler chat) I have been clipping these article and tossing them into my abyss of material that has peaked my interest and I will never be able to find if I really need-it drawer. After running across another article earlier this week I went for a drawer dive and of course came up dry, but here is the common thread running through all of these articles:- I bought hard drives so I can back everything up electronically instead of on paper, thus saving the forests.

 
– My studio manager (or wife as it was in one particular article) bought software and redesigned the paper flow used for billing and tracking jobs that enabled us to be paperless, again saving the forests.
– We switched all the light bulbs in the kitchen area, office and bathrooms to efficient fluorescent fixtures and in some cases LED fixtures, reducing the amount of electric purchased from local non-renewable electric providers*.
– We turn off lights and power packs when we aren’t shooting to prolong bulb life and reduce heat production thus saving on air conditioning usage.
– We use Keno-Flos and LED fixtures whenever possible on shoots to lower heat production thus saving on air conditioning usage.
Now here is where I may get in trouble with the green police but doesn’t this sound a lot like dad when you were growing up? Here, try this:

“Close the door; I’m not paying to heat all of Chicago…”

“If you not in your room then why are the lights on???”

I saw An Inconvenient Truth and it scared me as much as the next person. I’m not the knocking the green/sustainable movement one bit; we’ve done enough damage to the planet.

What really gets me and what I’m most impressed by is the marketing savvy of these studios owners who are able to leverage this fear to the environmentally concerned in exchange for real green! I’m more so impressed they were able to get some coveted industry ink and in one case a cover story for swapping out light bulbs and PDF-ing their bills – now that’s something to write about!

Lastly, in the wide shots and the behind the scenes footage of An Inconvenient Truth you can count several dozen huge Fresnel’s, not a single Keno-Flo can be found. We know for a fact that that a 1k Mole Richardson or Arri Fresnel releases 1.4 pounds of carbon dioxide per hour into the atmosphere….
Thanks for reading!
Dirk Fletcher is the Department Chairman of Digital Photography at Harrington College of Design and the Educational Coordinator of the Chicago Chapter of the ASMP. He can be contacted through dirkfletcher.com.

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Today and tomorrow, enjoy a special feature by Instructor and Digital Photography Department Chair, Dirk Fletcher:

Putting the GREEN in RGB?
Just a few years ago when a photographer went ‘green’ it meant he started shooting Velvia instead of Ektachrome. Now, not only is ‘going green’ chic, in and everything that goes with that, it is turning into a marketable point for some.
Working at a school known for interior design with over a thousand interior design students and a rock star faculty, what better place to do research? So I started poking around to see what I could find, and yes, there is a lot to this whole green thing. It’s much more robust than the 80’s version when all we wanted to do is ‘save the planet’. Now we seem to have a real plan or actual road map that we can plug into the nav system on the family Prius.

A Leed Certified ‘sustainable’ building will not only have less of an impact on the environment once operational, but the construction techniques and materials are far easier on the environment as well. One could easily employ Leed standards when building a new studio but how many of us are building new studios nowadays? As an industry periodical addict, I began noticing articles about photographers and filmmakers touting their conversion to a modern ‘green’ studio. After I successfully suppressed the urge to insert a cheap green-screen joke at this juncture of the article, an interesting question arose; can a studio be converted to a more eco-friendly environment or is it all hype?

Keep reading Dirk’s article tomorrow…

Photo by Ian Britton FreeFoto.com

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Just had a tip off from Harrington Digital Photography instructor, Dirk Fletcher!

“Canon has again changed the environment and tool box of the still photographer. Below is a link to a blog with the back story about why this camera is so remarkable. Unfortunately, the video that the author made to highlight the camera’s ability had to be taken down. Fortunately, the video may be going back up sometime soon. The Canon 1D MKIV is due out late November or December depending on who you believe.”

http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2009/10/19/lights-out-camera-action/

Another link you can check out for detailed specifications of the camera is Amazon.com by clicking here

Check it out photography students and photography aficionados! And check back in – I’ll be highlighting one of Dirk’s Digital Photography student field trips next week…

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