Tim Kelly is known for his
simple yet elegant portraits, his technical mastery of his chosen medium,
and for catering to a sophisticated clientele willing and able to afford
the very finest. Now you can add digital expertise to that list.
Kelly follows a simple yet rigorous routine when it comes to making
equipment decisions that will affect his finished work--test,
test, test. He had been shooting with a variety of different equipment
and brands but when Kodak produced the DCS Pro Back for medium format
cameras, it was the match Kelly had been waiting for--uncompromised
quality and portability. At last, the benefits of digital photography
(speed, no material cost, unlimited shooting) were married to the features
that had previously been available in film only (print quality, longevity).
Kelly started with a Hasselblad camera mated to the Kodak back but now
shoots with a Contax 645 system because it offers the benefits of autofocus,
a boon to many of us photographers over 40.
When Kelly started his first business, it included a professional photo
lab. He opened it because he and many other photographers desired a
better product than was available. Always on the cutting edge, he has
been involved in digital photography since CDs cost $15 instead of 30
cents! He has become one of the nation's premiere portrait photographers,
enjoying both an income and lifestyle most would envy. His total reliance
on digital capture and production should provide a resounding vote of
confidence to those waiting to jump on the digital bandwagon.
Is digital there yet? According to Kelly, the answer is definitely yes!
The Digital Workflow
The big question in
all photographers' minds lately is how do I get from digital capture
to finished print. With all that in mind, let's follow the path
that images take in Tim Kelly's studio.
Using the Kodak 645 Pro Back, all images are saved in the "raw"
format. This format allows the most information and data from the files
to be saved and minor and major image correction is possible without
harm to the original file. After the shoot, the raw images are dropped
into a server all at once. All the Mac computers are networked, so that
while JPEG proofs are being created and edited on one computer, they
are being archived to CD on another. The edited JPEG proofs are then
sent to the preview room. The clients view the results almost immediately
on a 32" monitor. Sales presentations are accomplished using iView
software from Roxio. This permits viewing as a slide show, seeing different
images side by side and zooming in on images to see greater detail.
The files that are purchased are sent for retouching as a TIFF file.
His expert staff uses Photoshop and does the retouching using Layers,
saving as a PSD file so Kelly can easily make any changes if needed.
Regardless of the print size purchased, the file is saved as a full-sized
file. This is in case a 5x7 is ordered the first time and perhaps a
16x20 print is reordered at a later date. A dupe file is flattened and
then sent to the printer.
Kelly has an in-house lab that features a Kodak LED II printer. Any
final enhancements are then performed before delivery to the client.
Kelly and company are able to perform all operations from capture to
finishing in house. A new Epson 9600 printer that can handle widths
up to 44" has been added to the workflow. This means that both
color and black and white prints can be printed directly onto canvas
paper instead of making a conventional print and then mounting on canvas.
Fine art papers are used with special inks for printing gallery grade
black and white prints. A bank of HP ink jet printers are available
for greeting cards, art prints, and newsletters. All computers are networked
to aid in a smooth transition from one department to another.
For more information about
Kelly and products to help you improve your photography and business
skills, visit www.timkellyportraits.com.