Magazine Article


Kirkland & Canon

Photographers like Douglas Kirkland simply don't come down the pike that often. The image-maker extraordinaire has led an illustrious life photographing life. His camera has taken him all over the world, and now his name is also known throughout much of it - synonymous with passionate photography, a keen eye and a reverence for imagery. His lens has also memorably captured the stars of the stars - Taylor and Burton, Hepburn (Audrey and Katharine), Judy Garland, John Wayne, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Tom Cruise, Sophia Loren, Leonardo Decaprio, and the list goes on ad infinitum. And, oh yes, let's not forget that shot he took back in the day of Marilyn Monroe draped in nothing but a sheet. That one grabbed a little bit of attention, too.

A photographer most of his life, Kirkland, who earned his keep as an international photojournalist in the 60s and 70s with Look, and later, Life magazines, contends that it's all been done with great passion and enjoyment. Now it just happens to be done digitally, rather than on film.

After amassing a huge following with magazines, film studios, agencies, exhibitions and books, Douglas made his digital move over a decade ago. "I did a book called Icons," he recalls, "I digitized a lot of the people whom I'd photographed through the years. Everyone from Schwartzenegger to Elizabeth Taylor and others were in that book, which came out in 1993." (It was then that he began using Photoshop, a program he sees as critical to the digital photography equation.)

A participant in nearly every "A Day in the Life" shoot, Kirkland's devotion to digital resulted in the first all-digital "A Day in the Life of Africa" shoot. "Digital was clearly the way to go," he states. Indeed; when Douglas travels to Europe to teach photography, he no longer even packs a film camera. "People have asked me over the past ten years 'Will digital ever match film?'. I feel the Canon 10D is at the point of exceeding anything I can do with 35 mm film," he contends.

And what Douglas Kirkland can do with a camera, be it digital or film, is pretty awesome. Although one could go on and on touting the spectacular work of this eminent and gracious icon, Kirkland, conversely, can't seem to say enough good things about his camera of choice - the Canon 10D. Here, he generously shares with DI readers his impressions of the camera, its features and benefits, and some priceless tips on maximizing your results. Listen up, because, again, photographers like Douglas Kirkland simply don't come down the pike very often.

"I have nothing but good things to say about it. It works for me, better than anything I've used in my entire career."

"The 10D really has brought digital to a place that I never really imagined it would be. The quality and possibilities are almost endless."

"It's a very simple camera to use. It's very light and easy on the hand."

"No one else touches Canon for the quality of the 10D and the price. The amazing thing is it delivers all this fire power and possibilities at a shockingly low price. I couldn't believe it, because the D60 was running $2600 and this comes in at $1500, almost half, and yet big improvements have been made and it's been solid as a rock."

"I feel that the results are more similar to what the human eye would see than what we've seen through the past with film. You can work in just about any kind of light, (at any time of day or night) and the results parallel that light or darkness. That's because the camera made the compensation to bring the result very close to the human eye without a lot of manipulation. It's a very friendly camera."

"The noise is so reduced that it starts to exceed what we've been able to do with film in the past."

"For me, the 10D is the most advanced form, its price, its quality, its definition. I use the 10D if I'm making pictures that will be used up to 2x3 feet in size, 24x36 inches in size. I know that file size will be very good for that."
"The quality of the camera has exceeded what we ever expected. I used the D30, and when the D60 came out we thought we couldn't do better. Now, with the D10 coming out with less noise than the D60 and the same resolution, as an 18 mg file, it's just amazing."

"It has a big buffer, so you're never waiting for the camera to catch up with you. You can keep shooting and not have to give any consideration to that."

"With the auto white balance and the capability that the meter has and, of course, the auto focus, it's really a thinking camera."

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