Headlamp Digital Rocks It With Tiffen Dfx
Wayne Herrschaft hits every beat with Tiffen’s digital filter suite
Portraying the energy of a rock concert, the soulful rhythms of an artist singing their heart out on stage, or the unique character of a band shooting a music video is often difficult to do through images alone. However Wayne Herrschaft has found the magical formula that captures the raw emotion of these artists in both still and moving media. His critically acclaimed photography and videos bring viewers into the beat of these adrenaline-pumping performances
With the help of Tiffen’s Dfx digital filter suite, Wayne is able to create an extension of the musician by creating an atmosphere that visually represents their lyrical work; striking a cord in all audiences.
We sat down with Wayne to find out more about his workflow with Dfx and how the filters help him achieve that perfect shot.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the industry?
Of course – I am a freelance photographer and videographer and I’ve been in the industry since about 1982. My passion and body of work lies mostly in the live entertainment/music industry – I shoot a lot of live music, from acts at the local pub to full blown stadium tours like U2 , band promos, CD covers, and music campaigns. I’ve shot some of the most influential bands of our time, from the Rolling Stones, to Rob Zombie, and just recently had the honor of shooting Aretha Franklin, a living legend. I’ve also had the pleasure to do studio work for bands like Toxin, BLAMESHIFT, Nicola and Neverafter to name a few, as well as Burlesque performers like Anja Keister. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some extremely talented performers.
I started my current photo/video company, Headlamp Digital, seven or eight years ago when the very first digital DSLR camera hit the market. At Headlamp, I shoot everything from live concerts and burlesque shows, music videos and band promos, to outdoor events and animals.
Sounds like you dabble in a little bit of everything! What’s your favorite part of your work?
Definitely being able to stretch my imagination – taking a client’s ideas and concepts and turning them into reality. With all the digital and visual effects technology we have today… like Dfx… it’s entirely possible to create something out of nothing. A band once came to me wanting the cover of their CD to be the four members on a bicycle built for four. Well, we didn’t have a bicycle built for four – but with a little tweaking in Photoshop, some digital fabricating in LIGHTWAVE 3D and adjusting with Dfx filters, we made it look like we did!
When were you first introduced to Tiffen’s Dfx filters?
A few years back I came across the software in my search for new ways to alter my images. I had seen it demoed at a few conferences and was impressed with its capabilities and multi-functional nature. Being both a photo and video guy, it was great to see that everything I could do with the filters in my still imagery could be transferred over to my moving work as well. I played around with it on and off for a couple years, and was then approached by Tiffen to be a beta tester on the new Dfx version 3.
How is your experience with the new version 3 going?
It’s going very well. This new version is much, much faster as it is now 64-bit– the increased acceleration is a huge plus. I am also enjoying the new layout of the user interface – filters are much easier to locate now, I like that. There are some great new filters and effects that I have been playing around with – texture, color shadow, film stocks… some great new additions.
So, what types of projects have you used Tiffen Dfx filters on?
Primarily on the various band and burlesque promos or campaigns that I shoot – I use them to touch up the majority of my still imagery. I am just now starting to dabble in the video aspect of the filters, but from what I can see, they are going to be a huge asset.
Can we walk through your workflow with Tiffen Dfx filters?
Sure. I always import all my still images into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to begin. It’s here that I do my basic cataloging and corrections. Taking the editing process further, I move over to Photoshop CS5 and run Dfx alongside. Then, depending on what the client wants, I work my magic with various filters and visual effects.
I get a lot of requests to put bands in spots that they can’t actually physically get to. For instance, TOXIN wanted a promo shot to be similar to the famous photograph by Charles C. Ebbets from the 1930’s called “Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper.” So, with the help of filters and Photoshop and a little 3D fabrication, I put the band on top of a beam overlooking New York City.
The fact that these types of filters and visual effects can virtually place anyone anywhere in a photograph or video is amazing… there really is no limit to the imagination anymore. Another example; I have a singer/songwriter who who's upcoming CD artwork required imagery of her in a cavernous cathederal and also some prodigious canyon shots. Unfortunately, being an independent artist, traveling to such exotic locations was monetarily impossible.
So, we went and shot her out in Montauk, NY, with eroded sand cliffs as a background then in post, adjusted the colors and lighting accordingly to produce the illusion of being in a canyon like setting For the cathedral aspect, I used the Dfx Gobo filter to produce shadows on the artist and the Dfx Rays filter to produce light beaming in through the tremendous multi-paned windows of the church for a more dramatic “cathedral” feel. It really came out great.
What types of filters were you using to enhance your imagery prior to finding Tiffen Dfx?
I’ve used software from LucisArt before and also onOne's Perfect Photo Suite for defocusing and masking filters and other tasks. As far as visual effects go though, I have to say that Tiffen’s filters out shine the rest. There really is no comparison to the range and capabilities of filters and effects in the Dfx suite. Nothing has the same selection and quality that Tiffen offers – every time I open it up I find something new.
Do you have a favorite filter that you tend to go back to again and again?
For videos, I really enjoy the Day for Night filter. I recently used it on a heavy metal band’s music video – the twilight appearance that the filter gave to the scene made it look kind of “Blair Witchy” – it came out really cool. That’s a great filter to use if you want something to look like you’re shooting at night.
For my still images, I use the Halo filter quite a bit. It gives the images a real sense of depth and is great for live concert or entertainment stills to give the images a more dramatic feel.
What upcoming projects do you plan to use Tiffen Dfx version 3 on?
I’ll definitely continue to use it on any upcoming band promos and music videos. I also have some burlesque photo shoots that the filters will be great for. Pretty much any of my future projects – shoots or videos – will involve Dfx’s filters at some point or another.
To view more of Wayne Herrschaft’s photography or music videos you can visit: http://www.headlampdigital.com/