Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Digital Pixel Studios: 'If You Think You've Gone Too Far...You Have!'
When I start to put together a profile on an artist, I begin by looking for that quality about the work that first drew me in. In the case of Travis from Digital Pixel Studios, I really liked the quote on his MM page where he says that his taste is embedded within his images. I always look for the ways in which artists leave their mark within the work and given tasteful is an adjective that more than accurately describes his work this seemed like a good beginning.
When further researching his work however, I became interested in the aerobatic images which greet you when you first arrive on his site. Many of the photographers I profile don't just shoot gorgeous men. In many cases, the male form is but one of a long list of passions they capture. I think though that Travis is one of the first I have featured who have air shows on that list.
As I kid, I remember every fall one of my cousins would pick me up on his motorcycle and take me to our cities air show. I idolized this cousin but he rarely gave me the time of day. He is 11 years older than I am so at 18 he didn't really want to hang out with a 7 year old. But...when it was time for the show he was always there. I think he liked taking someone as excited as he was (and my mom paid his entrance fee when I was in toe). I remember how upset I got when it was cancelled or post phoned due to weather, and it always seemed like rain and fog were drawn to our show. I still remember driving onto the base, the crowds, the history and of course the danger. With the recent crash in Reno, not to mention the death this past weekend of Dan Wheldon, we are reminded with thrills and risk go hand in hand. This past August Travis was shooting the KC air show the day after the death of pilot Bryan Jensen. Despite all the noise from the show and the planes, Travis says the area and the crowd, were silent.
'It requires skill to focus fast, and shutter speed to get the plane to look good, and props spinning.'
Travis says simply that he just loves shooting planes. He also enjoys having variety in his work to keep creativity alive and prevent getting burnt out. The precision and timing required to shoot an aircraft in mid flight calls on a different skill set than those used in a studio shoot. In the case of the plane you really get just one chance to capture a moment where as in studio with a model you can recreate the same moment over and over again until you get the image your after.
If there is a common thread running through each of the subjects Travis shoots it would be they all peak your imagination. Travis says he wants his shots warm and inviting while at the same time leaving room for the imagination. I think this 'leaving' is one of the reasons Travis' images are so clean, tasteful and beautifully restrained.
'I have been self taught on everything, from shooting, to Photoshop to lighting...it really makes me proud of my images. Many models have told me they are not worth shooting or such, and then they see the results and are blown away, and that is where my motivation comes from... hearing things like that make me know I did my job.'
Travis uses the knowledge and skills he has acquired to help others and has begun a Youtube channel with 'how to' videos to give back and share with others. We have all viewed images, especially for some reason of the human body, where the theme, fashion, set up or editing process has gone to far. In one of his videos Travis says that 'If You Think You've Gone Too Far...You Have!' This to me, perfectly describes Travis' images. Not too much, but more than enough.
Digital Pixel Studios:
On Model Mayhem