His photography is also affected by his knowledge of what it's like to
be studied through a lens. "My job is to be on camera, so I know that
when you're standing there, the lens it's going to see every flaw,
every insecurity you have. When I step behind the camera, I'm very empathetic
two boys sharing a hug after an ice cream at Universal Studios in
Orlando. This picture hangs in our house and hopefully reminds them
they will always have each other." (EOS 30D, 35mm f/1.4; f/1.4
at 1/800 sec.)
Ava destroying another of the world's beautiful offerings!"
(EOS-1D Mark III, 70-200mm f/2.8L; f/5 at 1/800 sec.)
Technology has definitely had an effect on his work. "I'm able
to go for the full range of the digital experience, all the possibilities. The
goal of my photography involves all the elements--taking the pictures and
then using Photoshop to add to them or subtract from them. I like to be able
to use Photoshop as a tool of the process, to adjust and change things. I really
enjoy digital--it gives me a chance to be stimulated in many areas--shooting,
lighting, processing effects. You can grow more with digital."
But as technology giveth, it also taketh away: "The darkroom was an oasis,"
Mark says, "a way to get away from everything and just work on what I
niece, Morgan, has this amazingly thick hair that I wanted to emphasize.
I didn't want too many shadows, so I had her face into the
later afternoon sun." (EOS-1D Mark III, 70-200mm f/2.8L; f/8
at 1/250 sec.)
Mark considers himself "a hobbyist, an enthusiast," but he knows
he has a few big advantages over the average avid shooter. "I'm
constantly looking around. If I go to a movie set, I seek out the stills photographers
to see what they're shooting, what lenses they use. I pick their brains:
`What's the ISO in here? What speed are you shooting at?'
I'm after information from all the photographers I see. I work with some
of the best lighting guys, so I have a resource of people for information on
color temperature, equipment, using gels, and figuring distance. We have experts
in Photoshop at the studio, too, and I'm always in there asking, `How
does this work? How do you flatten the image when layering without losing control
of this or that?' I have built-in consultants."
But all that merely surrounds the central issue. Ultimately it seems to be
the individual nature of photography that's especially satisfying to him.
In front of the camera he's directed; behind it, he's in control,
making the decisions. "My photography," Mark says, "is an
avenue for me to express my work individually."
Which might be the real beauty part of the story.