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Eddie Tapp

Shoot Flat, Process Contrast

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Eddie Tapp is one of the world’s top digital photography experts and a Photoshop guru. In this video he describes his development from starting in photography after graduating from high school in 1969 to his current position as the holder of many of the highest awards that the profession has to offer.

Living in Atlanta, Georgia, Eddie began, as many fledgling photographers do, with weddings and portraiture, progressing on to fashion, jewellery, autos, furniture, and food: the full gamut of subjects. At the same time he worked as a drummer in many of the local bands and even played at the grand opening of Disneyland in Atlanta. Meeting a music producer at this time opened the door to a lot of exciting work, making the PR photos for most of the recording artists who came to Atlanta. The 70’s were a time, he recalls, of wild parties and unlimited budgets in the music industry!

But Eddie wanted to move on and up a level as a photographer. He wrote down two goals:

1) Do well financially creating commercial advertising,

2) Move to Florida and become a beach bum.

He aimed for goal number one first. Not only did he reach it, he surpassed it. Hence goal number two, the fall-back option, was never even attmpted.

He studied fashion photography at college and began doing commercial advertising work. At that time, about thirty years ago, the customers were mostly big fashion stores, with the work being published in spreads in Sunday newspapers. Now his style has changed. There is more emphasis on portrait aspects in fashion and in exploring new ideas. This can be seen in the examples shown in the video.

Most of Eddie’s time is now spent in education, giving seminars and workshops to his peers worldwide. His credo is to “shoot flat and process contrast”, an approach he dubs ‘organic imaging’. By flat he means shooting ‘raw’, then doing all the fine-tuning on the computer, in his case with Photoshop. His seminars cover digital workflow, creative enhancement techniques and colour management.