Layer Slayer Dave Hill Peels the Onion at Valio Con

More than a few of you can kiss your productivity goodbye for the next hour. From a tech/creative conference last summer comes this long-form video of a presentation by LA-based photographer Dave Hill.

It's a straight video grab from the conference room, so there is no contrast in the images. But still, great stuff. In the full-length vid after the jump, Dave talks about bootstrapping, five-finger optical discounts at prop shops, hand drawing curly beards on dudes in Photoshop and even his very first composite portrait.

Okay, so first off: I always wondered what his Adventure Girl series was for. I assumed he was shooting stills for an upcoming TV series or something. Nope. it was created whole cloth and bootstrapped by Dave -- a personal project.

There a ton of good stuff in here on his creative workflow, general and specifics. It's easy to think he's just sitting around throwing lots of money and resources at these projects. But mostly, it's creativity and stone soup.

The presentation was part of Valio Con, which focuses on web design and development. Many thanks to them for putting the vids online. You can see several more of the other 2011 speakers here. And if you are local to San Diego, they are doing another one in June.

Also, as a workaround for the the flat imagery in the video, you might want to open up Dave's final images from the series in a separate browser window.

(Thanks for the tip, Jon!)


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Blogger Wayne said...

I loved these images for ages and never realised how much of my country (Ireland) was used for the sky and landscapes. Cool!

January 05, 2012 1:00 PM  
Blogger Doug Howell said...

OMG! What an amazingly talented guy! Really enjoyed the whole hour long presentation and his very unassuming way of letting us have a peek into his world... very inspiring!

January 05, 2012 1:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I can see the video, nor in this page or in you tube it says "This video is unlisted" ;-(

January 05, 2012 2:18 PM  
Blogger Kevin Halliburton said...

Doing Photoshop composites well is a TOUGH business for anyone but what sets Dave Hill apart from the also-rans is his ability to use surreal, multi-layered imaging to tell a surreal and compelling multi-layered story. All of the threads I've read on the "Dave Hill" look miss the most important part of his entire workflow, coming up with a great story worth illustrating in the first place. This is the first time I've seen his approach to that process which IMHO makes this the most valuable Dave Hill BTS video ever produced. Thanks for sharing!

January 05, 2012 3:05 PM  
Blogger Lyle said...

Video is not available here either, David.

January 06, 2012 10:38 AM  
Blogger n/a said...

Ah wonderful to just hear about the limits other people go to to get their shots right. Often as a freelancer no one ever tells you if it's worth putting your energy into something or not and hearing successful pro's talking about things like what to do when a dry patch comes up or how much attention you need to put into the production side of things is just fascinating and encouraging. The technical side of photography is always well served but the other stuff about how to what peoples lives are actually like as pro photographers is hardly ever talked about and is a huge factor.. I love his frank honesty and lack of industry pretentiousness about everything.

January 06, 2012 1:58 PM  
Blogger Jason Ryman Photography said...

Free continuing education trumps productivity in my book any day!

January 06, 2012 3:11 PM  
Blogger DouglasHansen said...

I love the images...

I understand that he is working on a personal project and out of his own pocket... but he is essentially stealing from prop houses and set makers when he just takes a photo without actually renting anything. Also... ripping a very expensive rented costume and then simply sewing it up and not saying anything... kinda shady.

January 25, 2012 11:11 PM  
Blogger Canton said...

Really love Dave's deconstruction of his layers as aftereffects animation:

January 26, 2012 11:28 AM  

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