7.15.11 Friday's Fab Photographer: Randy Van Duinen

Lobby of the Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Today's Friday's Fab Photographer is Randy Van Duinen. I've known the dude for a few years and, for sure, he is one of the best architectural photographers (and HDR photographers) out there. He's also a heck of a nice guy.

These are the two reasons why I invited Randy to lead off my Friday's Fab Photographer series.

Take it away, Randy!

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First of all I would like to thank Rick for inviting me to write this article on his blog. I've worked with Rick at Photoshop World and have photographed with him at Dinosaur World and find it a wonderful experience every time.

I'm an architectural photographer in St. Petersburg, Florida and I cannot imagine doing anything but photography and feel blessed that I am able to do it everyday. I didn't start out this way though, in high school I thought I wanted to be an architect until I picked up a camera in my senior year and could not put it down. As I explored photography I discovered that most of the images I took were of architecture, realizing this relationship, I have merged my two passions together.

Union Restaurant & Lounge inside Aria Resort, Las Vegas, NV
When I'm photographing architecture for clients there are many components that have to come together to create an image that will communicate both my clients and my own visual sensibilities. The architect has an idea and vision for their project and it is my job, as a photographer, to capture that vision. I collaborate with the architect, client and my assistants to capture the building in the best light to achieve the greatest impact. This is accomplished by either bringing in strobes and/or tungsten lighting to enhance what's already there, or deciding the best time of day to capture the building in the best light.

When I made the switch from film to digital it was one of the happiest days of my life. It allowed me to explore architectural photography in a whole new light; I was more mobile, faster and able to post process images like I never was able to before. Then Adobe came out with Photoshop CS 2 with HDR processing. HDR photography allowed me to photograph architecture, both interior and exterior spaces the way I envision the spaces should look.

Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa, FL
My art photography has been expanded as a result of HDR and how I see what is in front of the camera. When I used to shoot 4x5 film I had to pre-visualize the shot before I would setup 30 pounds of camera equipment. With HDR photography and before I even click the shutter, I pre-visualize how I want the photo to look and how I am going to work on that image in post processing. Many photographers today shoot hundred of images and hope for a great shot, instead of composing a great photograph. This is one of the things that digital photography has changed and not for the better.

Dale Chihuly Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL
My advice to any photographer, beginner or advanced is to get up from your computer, grab your camera and take the time to compose a great photograph. Take the time to look at your subject from many angles, high, low or close up. Ask yourself what does this photo means to me and will it convey that message to my viewers.

When you take the time to do this you will see yourself develop as a photographer and an artist.

You can reach me at:

www.rvdphotography.com my architectural site.

www.studiophotoshop.com my blog.

www.vanduinenphotography.com my art site.

randy@rvdphotography.com e-mail

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Thank you Randy. You're the man now dog!

Explore the light,