David Jeffery’s eye for photography comes naturally. Having grown up in a creative, artistic environment (his father was a painter, his mother a musician) he was naturally drawn to the arts. Jeffery’s creative outlet is photography and the artistic ethos he absorbed growing up shows in his award-winning work.
“When I grew up and we went on a trip my dad always talked about the colors of the landscape, and that affected the way I see and think,” says Jeffery. “People say my images are painterly, because people are used to seeing pictures with clipped shadows and highlights. But artists paint what they see and the eye takes in a lot more than the camera.”
Jeffery’s photography was recently decorated with three Kodak awards, three Courts of Honor and a LexJet Sunset Award at the recent PPA Northeast District photo competition and Photo Northeast.
The Sunset Award winner is entitled The Artisan’s Workbench. The piece is representative of Jeffery’s ability to translate the true nature of the scene into a photographic image. Shot in HDR with a Canon 5D Mark II, the trick is not so much in the high dynamic range, but in how Jeffery builds the image during capture. He places the camera on a tripod to ensure perfect alignment and takes three exposures – two stops down for the shadows, at the correct exposure for mid-tones, and two stops up for highlights.
Then, the three exposures are blended in Photomatix HDR software and with a little work in Nik Color Efex Pro the masterpiece is complete. The subject of the photo, Steve Cohen, is a retired woodshop teacher in Woodstock, N.Y. (where Jeffery is based).
“By taking multiple exposures, it looks more painterly. And, I try to be very gentle on the HDR controls to render the scene accurately; HDR has gotten a bad name from people going crazy with the controls,” explains Jeffery.
Jeffery adds that he likes to print his painterly landscapes on LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas. It’s the perfect medium for rendering his style writ large on canvas, enhancing the enjoyment of the viewer.