As I mentioned a while ago, I was in Dubai as one of the invited photographers at the Gulf Photo Plus annual training event. On the opening night the invited speaker was Matt Hoyle. One of his recent projects - the 'Icebergs' - was on display and he also did a presentation based around his 'Encounters' series. Icebergs is a collection of images of winter swimmers at Bondi beach and Encounters is a set of portraits of people who claim to have seen aliens, ghosts and other strange phenomena. Both series of photographs were absolutely stunning and, if you aren't familiar with his work, I seriously suggest you head over to his website and check out his portfolio.

What was also really interesting was being able to talk to him about his workflow, and I initially made two assumptions, both of which turned out to be wrong. First, I assumed that his portraits were probably taken with either a medium format digital back or something like a 1Ds mkII, but it turns out that most were taken with a D60; which, given the quality of the prints on display, was a real surprise. Second, I thought that some of them were probably HDR images, but I was wrong again. When I post-process an image I spend between 10 minutes and around four hours working on a shot. One that takes four hours probably has around 15 adjustment layers. Matt's portraits, on the other hand, frequently have around 30 layers and are around 2GB in size, with individual curves for items as small as a person's nose, their eye, cheek bone, and so on.

Anyway, I was mightily impressed, and if you get the chance to see some of his work you should jump at the chance.

As for this shot: it's Matt on the right and one of the Encounters images on his laptop.

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8.30pm on 20/3/07
Canon 5D
EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM
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1/60
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evaluative
800
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C1 Pro
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matt hoyle #1 / 30 March, 2007 [click for previous image: desert light]
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