JRP: Photographer Edgard Berendsen has an instructive and creative collection of work on his website. This instalment of JRP Blog we are going to shed light on his talent and philosophies. Thanks Edgard for sharing a moment with us.
Edgard Berendsen: Thank you. I’m really honored to see you are interested in my work.
JRP: Where do you call home Edgard?
Edgard Berendsen: Santiago de Chile right now, an interesting, big and polluted city here in South America. In March I’m moving to Berlin looking for fresh and cold air for rolling my dice, but I think Chile will always be home for me.
JRP: How did you get started in photography? Is there any formal training in your background?
Edgard Berendsen: That was five years ago when I received my first point and shoot as a birthday gift. I had just a few personal photographs on my records, but it was somewhat familiar to me starting to click buttons. I come from a technology and scientific background since I studied Engineering for years. Making pictures as a profession was unthinkable at that time. I learned photography by reading books and Internet forums. I soon realized it was a much more grateful job for me.
JRP: What equipment would I find in your camera room for a typical shoot?
Edgard Berendsen: A Canon 5D mark II, a 35mm and a 135mm, a flash strobe and the modifier of choice. I’ve realized I can do almost anything with these two lenses, OK that’s not true, but I try to think this way.
You will never find an umbrella (except for a parabolic one) in my camera room. I’m always building DIY light modifiers like ring flashes, soft boxes, hot lights sources, projections systems, reflectors, beauty dishes, etc. That gives me a much better understanding of light quality than buying the “real” thing.
JRP: What is it about fashion / glamour photography that grabs your interest?
Edgard Berendsen: The most interesting part of a fashion / glamour photograph is the arrangement of elements making you stop and ask yourself about what happened at this instant. As with films and television, there is an intrinsic subconscious feeling about what we are seeing is real. Having the opportunity to play with this feeling attracts me towards fashion photography.
JRP: Please describe your digital workflow and the software you use.
Edgard Berendsen: RAW files into Adobe Camera Raw and a lot of Photoshop editing. I never use plug-ins and I try to do it all by myself or by using some homemade actions. Typically I correct some imperfections, liquify, contrast mask, shadows and highlights and dodge and burn, but I spend some serious time doing custom work on each picture.
JRP: How do you handle image printing?
Edgard Berendsen: I should admit I almost never print but I’m trying to change this behavior. I believe a digital disaster is more probable than an uncontrolled fire in my case, so in I will send my photographs to an online book store soon.
JRP: In addition to lighting what is the most critical aspect of image capture?
Edgard Berendsen: The message … it’s over light, composition, technique or any other aspect in a picture.
JRP: Do you see any new directions being taken in fashion photography?
Edgard Berendsen: Yes, a much less plastic and more organic editing in post. Some magazines have to realize readers have much better eyes for fake skin smoothing than they think. On-camera flash seems to be in vogue this season, and I think it’s OK if it helps to tell the story.
JRP: Over the years what has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Edgard Berendsen: Spend as much time as you can looking at photographs every day. I try to learn as much as I can simply looking at others pictures and asking myself what I like about what I’m seeing, what particularly seduces me about a certain photograph.
JRP: What advice would you like to pass on?
Edgard Berendsen: Use a light meter!!!
JRP: Thank you Edgard for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been really a pleasure talking with you. We wish you continued success.
Edgard Berendsen: Thank you James.
JRP: To view more of Edgard Berendsen’s photography please follow this link: http://www.ebm.cl/