Indie Spotlight: Bill Stank

Each Monday, we’ll highlight one indie photographer whose body of work deserves special recognition. Please enjoy their photography here, and make it a point to enjoy the rest of their work on their website.

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This week’s Indie Spotlight shines on Bill Stank of Easton, Pennsylvania in the United States. Easton is one of three cities that form the Lehigh Valley metropolitan area.

Bill can not categorize his style to just one, as it varies.  He enjoys several styles: black and white, black and white with single key color, long exposure, HDR and multiple exposure. He is a scientist of photography, always experimenting with different styles. He credits research and experimentation for his skills .

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Kit:

Bill mostly uses a Nikon D90 that he owns. He has also been renting other Nikon models for special events or to just experiment. Most recently, it was the Nikon D800.  He discovered it has incredible resolution and relatively low noise even at 6400 iso.

It is hard for Bill to choose his favorite lens, but he just bought a used Nikon 70-300 lens that is great for candid shots. It gives him the opportunity to get a completely natural look or emotion from his subject. He can shoot from a distance and not make his subject uncomfortable, as cameras aimed in people’s faces tend to do.

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Workflow:

His light sources are also part of his experimentation. He uses natural light, speed lights, strobes or a combination of them all. He shoots in RAW and Fine JPEG.  All Bill’s photos are uploaded into Adobe Camera Raw, where his initial editing begins. If deemed necessary or he is working on something more involved, he will then move editing into Adobe Photoshop CS4. Bill often uses layer masks for blending multiple exposures together. For simple and quick edits, he uses Picassa.

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Tips, Tricks and Techniques:

He has always been a believer in “putting in the time.” He says getting better at something has no secret formula. Researching and analyzing the work of other photographers, watching tutorials and experimenting has brought Bill thus far. Those methods will continue to teach him new techniques and help him develop more of his own.

Bill also advises the users of larger model cameras, such as the Nikon D800, to use a hand grip. An all day shoot with a large camera can take quite the toll on your hand.

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Lessons Learned:

During some special events,  Bill accidently pushed the trigger on his camera while moving around or setting up a shot. Usually, these shots are of the floor or ceiling. One time, there was a really great shot of someone from an interesting point of view. Since that time, he has developed a technique where he randomly shoots away without looking through the view finder.  He has appropriately termed this technique  as “just hope for the best.” The pictures are no good most times, but once in a while he gets a gem.

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Inspiration:

His inspiration is constantly changing. Currently, Bill gathers inspiration from Steve McCurry and Ben Gossens. Bill likes how McCurry is always able to capture true candid emotions in a genuine image. Gossens’ inventive surrealist photography inspires Bill to start his own experimenting of the same.

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What’s Next:

Recently, Bill was looking at infrared photography. He would love to play around with it, feeling the effects could be haunting and unusual.

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Links:

You can keep up with Bill on Facebook.

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Wendy is an editor and cover artist for an up and coming Lehigh Valley E-publishing company. She has a background in Graphic Design, drawing and amateur photography. She can find something to photograph just walking down the street. Landscapes, animals, architecture and her 1-year-old are her favorite subjects.

 

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