Interview: Greg Gorman

© Christian Jungwirth

© Christian Jungwirth

We are pleased to share this exclusive interview with a photographer, who is considered to be one of the greatest of our time: Greg Gorman. He has made his name known with various fine-art figure studies and stunning photographs of film, music and sports personalities.

Greg, thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions. The year 2015 is well under way and I am sure your schedule is filling up quickly. What have you been up to since the start of the year?

The beginning of the year has been crazy busy which is a really good thing! Seems like a lot more shoots are happening and I have had two really successful Gallery openings – one with Christian Hohmann Fine Art in Palm Desert and a large Museum Show of  ‚A Distinct Vision’ in Taragona, Spain at Tinglado Uno, which was fantastic! Shoots have included a Campaign for an upcoming play, ‘Legends’ starring Hayley&Juliet Mills and Maxwell Caulfield, A shoot with Barry Humphries of Dame Edna fame as her alter ego, Sir Les Paterson and my second advertising campaign within a few monthes with Quincy Jones.

We hear that you will be coming over to Europe very soon? How exciting! What will you be doing here?

© Christian Jungwirth

© Christian Jungwirth

I will be offering another set of specialized workshops specifically for photographers based in Europe. In 2012 Atelier Jungwirth, Graz ran a workshop which was a great success and they have now kindly invited me again. Christian Jungwirth organized one of the best classes I was fortunate enough to teach in Styria-great wine country. We had great locations including a very old castle/extraordinary models and the very best food and wine one could ever imagine.  He knows my tastes and my very critical standards. That is why I agreed to come back and teach for him.  Most of my personal workshops are held at my home in Mendocino, California, where I would also encourage everyone to come.  But for those here in Europe, the three classes I will be teaching offer a very similar glimpse into the program I have designed back in the states.

That sounds amazing! When and where will they be?

There will be 3 workshops in total:

10th–14th June, Southern Styria, Austria
17th–21st June, Provence, France
24th–28th June, Tarragona, Spain

Please note: All workshops are conducted in English!

What will the participants be learning at the workshops?

© Christian Jungwirth

© Christian Jungwirth

My focus in teaching is to instruct people how to see and understand light.  Sounds and seems very simple, but it is NOT!  It takes years of experience through plenty of trial and error situations to be able to hone that craft.  That is one of the reasons that I teach very small classes so that I may be able to instruct everyone on a one to one basis and get them up to speed. Secondly, I work on how to successfully communicate with the talent through gesture, tone and proper communication skills.  This is the major area that I find people need serious help with – communicating succinctly their concepts to the talent in front of the lense!  Often they don’t even have one and that is something I try and help direct with them.  Often they have a difficult time realizing their vision or even finding it! Accomplishing these two critical things during the week, I feel I have started my students on their way to finding their own voice as a photographer.  I will supply all the tools they need – models, locations and the lighting and they just need to step up to the plate.

Lighting. That’s our keyword. Will you be bouncing the sun?

As people that follow my interpretation of light know, I light very simply!  Students are often quite surprised at how I craft the light in my photographs.  I most often work with a single point light source and build from that.  Successful photographs are rarely composed of complicated lighting set-ups, especially in the world of portraiture and figure studies.  Once I have determined my key light for example, I will often add or subtract the required light to balance out my image with the use of additive or subtractive fill.  I accomplish this with the use of my favorite light modifiers, California Sunbounce.  Using a white/silver or black (negative fill), I am able to subtley change the nuances of my images.  For example adding a touch more fill in the shadows, or adding a cross light to enhance the hair.  Often I work with a little kick under the eyes with a Sunmover from Sunbounce.  When the sun is too harsh, I will work with Sunbounce’s Sun Swatter with a 2/3 stop silk diffusion, which allows me to be able to reduce the overall dynamic range of my shot in harsh light. These are just a few of the things we will cover during our week of image making!

© Christian Jungwirth

© Christian Jungwirth

We are thrilled to hear that and we are looking forward to the workshops. Thank you for answering these questions.

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