A PSRI Photographic Artist with Award Winning Local Photos
When you have a chance to chat with PSRI member Kevin Bernard about all things photographic, he is happy to share his approach to making pictures. Keven has been a member of PSRI for the past 3 years. During that time, he has demonstrated real skill and proficiency as a photographic artist moving from B to A to AA.
Kevin has been snapping pictures since he was a 16-year-old school boy. Early in his photographic journey Kevin was drawn to the works of Ansel Adams trying to emulate his style and replicate some of his techniques in post processing. This was back when film was developed with chemicals in a traditional darkroom and where exposure, dodging and burning were mostly mechanical processes rather than the computer sliders of our digital darkrooms. Focusing on Adams’s “Zone System” Kevin moved to a 4×5 format camera to more fully explore the nuances of Adam’s work with larger negatives. For those interested in finding out more about the Zone System and Adam’s work the three volume: The Ansel Adams Photography Series, The Camera, The Negative and The Print are an excellent source for the serious photographer. They are available in hardcover and paperback from Amazon and perhaps your local library.
Moving from film to digital has required Kevin to adjust his shooting style and look for more contemporary role models. For that Kevin has turned to the work of well know Rhode Island photographer Richard Benjamin: http://www.richardbenjamin.com/ A review of Kevin’s portfolio certainly shows subtle parallels.
Kevin has managed to create a very impressive body of photographic work as a local enthusiast. For those aspiring photographers who are not fortunate enough to be able to travel to exotic photographic destinations it is certainly inspirational to realize that potentially great photographs are all around us.
Kevin is a local photographer not just in location but in where he shoots. Being a small business owner does not give Kevin the ability to travel very far from home. As a result he has been forced, or fortunate enough, to shoot the majority of his work locally. Some of his favorite locations are Providence, Bristol, Pawtuxet Cove and Rodger Williams Park. While his focus has been landscapes and Nature, particularly birds, more recently he has been shooting the Newport Polo Circuit http://www.nptpolo.com/ as one of their official photographers, which gives him unrestricted access to subjects. He just needs to make sure he doesn’t get too close to the action!
A review of Kevin’s work at http://www.kevinmbernard.com/ quickly shows his meticulous attention to detail. Shooting primarily landscape, nature and sports he is fully digital now and shoots with Canon a 5D and 7D. For nature and sports a 100-400mm zoom and a 500mm F4 prime are his go-to lenses. For landscape, it is usually a 21mm prime. Kevin attempts to capture his subjects with a natural feeling. When you look at his images you get the impression you are seeing what he saw, not a “manufactured” view of the subject. There are no fancy gadgets or clever gizmos employed. Kevin uses composition skills along with aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity to yield images that remind you of photographs done back in the film era. No one magic camera setting here, just persistent pursuit of better photographs.
Kevin uses Lightroom© exclusively to manage his portfolio and workflow producing his stunning photographs. His careful approach to photographing carries over to post processing. Describing his approach to post processing as “small incremental changes” rather than a global adjustment approach, Kevin will spend a lot of time “tweaking” an image to achieve the result he is seeking. His past study of Adams’s work and his studious attention to Richard Benjamin’s photographs provides him with a proven approach to creating the best possible image results. Often he will return to an image multiple times over several days to review and adjust his images. The results are images to be proud of. It doesn’t come easily however; Kevin invests a lot of time in learning the ins and outs of Lightroom©. Something he will tell you there is no substitute for.