nick Brandt , Feb 23, 2006; 12:00 a.m.
A friend told me about this thread. Reading through it, I felt compelled to address some of the questions and many innacuracies!
Firstly, 90% of my photos are taken from the safety of a vehicle. Only the chimps and one special herd of giraffes are photographed on foot. Neither I nor anyone else could ever get this close to wild animals any other way. Forget about safety - most of the animals would run away (and a few would attack).
Secondly, the depth of field issue. I'll say it categorically - NONE of the depth of field thing is done in Photoshop - it is all done in camera. You could not get those focal planes shifting in focus in the same plane in the way that they do in Photoshop and expect it to look like this. Don Satalic is soooo wrong. Oh, and I don't use soft focus lenses. Don't even know what they are. The longest lens I own and use is a 200mm. Great lens. Tried the 300 once and hated it. Too conventional. So yes, I am close, but safe.
All anyone really needs to know is that I work in a very very impractical way - very manually - and lose a crazy number of potentially great shots with all the faffing around I do. But I do it because occasionally something great comes out of such impractical methods. My friend Rocky Schenck taught me not to reveal my trade secrets some time ago. As for my EX-SF dealer's comments, I don't know where that came from.
Grading - I nearly always use a heavy ND grad for the sky, and often a red filter, to get the sky dark. But there is significant grading done in Photoshop - the vignetting is invariably photoshop - I'm a sucker for it.
Okay, so if anyone is still reading this thread, there you go.
PS What is a 'bokeh'?