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