Retouching a nerve: Kelvin Gilbert

Self promotional work to gain clients in the advertising industr

Photographers familiar with the world of advertising will know what an achievement it is to be featured in the international Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide; this special publication goes out to thousands of influential art directors around the globe. Acknowledging the huge advances in CGI within the industry, the publication also recently began to publish a new special, dedicated to the 200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide – and local photographer Kelvin Gilbert now counts himself amongst that number.

A photography school graduate from Palmerston North’s Universal College of Learning, Kelvin has gone on to win accolades locally and internationally for his creatively distinctive imagery, including being named New Zealand’s Illustrative Photographer of the Year 2013. He now adds having two images published in the Lürzer’s Archive‘s 200 Best Digital Artists worldwide 15/16 special to his impressive resume. Kelvin chats to D-Photo about the win:

D-Photo: How did you come to enter 200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide competition?

Kelvin Gilbert: Earlier in the year I was featured in Production Paradise, an online magazine that includes other photographers and post-production artists from all around the world. I was found through this magazine by one of Lürzer’s Archive‘s staff members, who then invited me to submit images for judging.

How did you decide on the images you submitted?

After the feedback received from the past two years at the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers’ Iris Awards, I submitted the select few which did the best in the hopes they would pass the judging criteria.

Can you tell us about the ideas behind the two images chosen for the publication?

The image of the railway station featuring a man with milk spilling from his head [at top] was purely a self-promotion piece to showcase my skill set and creativity for such projects as advertising campaigns. Whereas the piece of the naked woman [below] was an entirely personal project. Depression is an illness that makes the sufferer feel isolated, represented here as the cold hard room. Whilst the sufferer feels isolated, they feel naked, feeling vulnerable to the world around them. Although a dark subject to touch upon, I wanted to depict the overcoming of this illness, represented here as the woman rising in the centre of the room.


How long does it generally take you to create images like these?

The self-promotion piece took around three hours (post-production) to put together with already having a creative vision, the piece was entirely composite work. I shot the background in a New York subway station, the milk and model separately in the studio. Although it didn’t take as long as my personal work, I wanted to work within the constraints of the commercial world.

Whereas the personal projects never have time limits, so I spend a lot of time generating my ideas based on a subject, theme or idea I am passionate about and then take my time finding (or making in Photoshop, in this case) the perfect background to then shoot the subject, match up the lighting and refine.

A lot of important people will now see your work, what are you hoping will come of that?­­

First of all, it’s going to be quite an honour, but most of all I am hoping to increase my exposure in the commercial advertising world.

You’re currently the director of Novo Retouching, when did you start the business and how’s it all going?

Planning started in February of this year, the company officially launched on April 1. Already I have gained local and international clients whose needs range in requirements. I am quite confident that during the next couple of years, with the exposure I am getting now, I will be able to increase the client base.

What’s up next for you?

My partner Amy Fowler (NZIPP Student of the Year 2013, 2014) and I will be growing the business further and expanding into the photographic realms of the commercial industry.

You can see more from Kelvin and partner Amy at the Novo Retouching website

Iris ’14: Fusion, Illustrative, Landscape

Continuing D-Photo‘s online coverage of this year’s Iris Professional Photography Awards, we are proud to present the winning images in the Fusion, Illustrative, and Landscape categories.

Fusion category: Ollie Dale

Auckland photographer Ollie Dale wins the Fusion category for the third year in a row. His unbroken streak since the award was introduced in 2012 has led some to suggest the category simply be renamed the Ollie Dale Award. Check out Ollie’s winning video below.

Gold Distinction award

Read the rest of this entry »

Iris ’13: Illustrative, Landscape, Travel

Continuing D-Photo’s online presentation of this year’s Epson/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards we bring you the winners of the Illustrative, Landscape and Travel categories.

Illustrative category: Kelvin Gilbert

News Paper Face

Illustrative category – Gold Read the rest of this entry »

Iris ’12: Illustrative, Landscape, Photojournalism

Coverage of this year’s Epson/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards continues with D-Photo now bringing you online galleries of the winners in the Illustrative, Landscape and Photojournalism categories – for the rest of our coverage click here.

Illustrative Photographer of the Year 

The second of Richard Wood’s three big wins this year, following his Highest Scoring Print – Colour nod,  the Hawkes Bay photographer also took the top spot in the Illustrative category. Read the rest of this entry »

Iris ’11: Illustrative, Portrait – Classic and Creative

Continuing D-Photo’s online presentation of this year’s Epson/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards here are the winners of the Illustrative, Classic Portrait and Creative Portrait categories.

For an in-depth look at this year’s awards and attached In-Focus conference pick up issue 44 of D-Photo, on sale now.

Already featured in our Iris coverage for her Editorial/Photojournalism win, Jackie Ranken also took out this year’s Illustrative category (spolier: she won the Landscape category too, coming up soon).

A Master of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and dedicated D-Photo contributor, Ranken is also twice winner of Australian Institute Landscape Photographer of the Year and World Press Award.

This year’s Classic Portrait category went to Waihi-based photographer Mike Hill.

He and his wife Andrea run an award-winning photography company from Waihi Beach, which Hills says is as much about making new friendships as business.

“We provide a unique and professional atmosphere, maintaining open and clear communication so each individual’s photographic needs are looked after, while keeping it relaxed and fun for all.”

Another reoccurring name in this year’s award program, Havelock North-based photographer Richard Wood  won the Creative Portrait category as well as the awards’ top prize.

Wood works extensively throughout New Zealand and abroad as a commercial, wedding, fashion and creative photographer with his work featured in magazines as far afield as the US.

He took the time to chat with D-Photo online about his win here and you will also be hearing more from New Zealand’s Professional Photographer of the Year in issue 45 of D-Photo, on sale October 7.