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Hard Driving Digital Man



DIGITAL FEATURE

Text by Missy Harris • Images by Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch is a force of nature, with stubborn determination, and intense enthusiasm driving him onward in the face of any and all obstacles.

But if it weren't for his leap into the digital realm, his dreams might have found another outlet.

With the business-saving loan in hand, Boston-based Lynch set up an entire digital workflow, starting with MegaVision digital backs to fit his Mamiya, Pentax, and Sinar cameras, two Dell PCs and two Mac G4s, ViewSonic flat screen monitors, a Polaroid 120 scanner, an Epson 1200 printer, and CD burners.

Digital Liberation

Going digital not only helped Lynch become more efficient and proficient as a photographer, but it also freed up time to do the things he does best-shoot and illustrate.

"When I get an idea or think about something I want to photograph, I simply walk over to the still life camera, the MegaVision T2, and set it up. If it's something very small, I macro it, photograph it, and send it to the hard drive, and copy it to a zip, and walk it over to the other G4, which is dedicated to the MegaVision S2. I take a photo of a model or something upright in front of a green screen, put that in the hard drive, then strip it out and start cutting and pasting in Photoshop.

"It's fun to get a call and somebody says, 'You basically can do almost anything, right?' And I say, 'Well, if we can get it into the studio, I can pretty much photograph it, or even take it on location.'"

Eyes Wide Open

Lynch is basically a location shooter. He's been on his own for 17 years now, traveling all over the world, doing corporate, biotech, and even personal shoots, which have peaked his interest in new places. He's been to Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and spent a couple of weeks in the rainforest in Belize.

"The Belize trip was for Princeton University," remembers Lynch. "I went with an eco-tourism group of students, photographing them for 12 days in the rainforest. It was truly amazing. It's fun to be on the road with a camera, with my eyes wide open."

He got his traveling bug while assisting some of the greats, like Clint Clemens and Erik Simmons. He worked for Clemens for a couple of years and the two would travel nonstop, shooting for big car companies, like Ford and Alfa Romeo, and other international clients. These days, Lynch's national and international clientele includes Hallmark, Dell, Samsung, Motorola, Stop & Shop, and Coca-Cola.

"They flew in, we shot for the day, and they flew out. It was wonderful. Those ads ran across the country in high schools as posters. It was a huge job for me."
Lynch relies almost completely on his digital setup. "We used film for 40 years, and it worked beautifully. But now, when someone says, 'I've got something to shoot. How can we get it on top of the Eiffel Tower?' I say, 'no problem.' Now that's exciting."

Climbing Mt. Photoshop

It's Photoshop that helps him maintain that control. "I've been studying Photoshop for about five years, using it almost every day, and I'm just understanding it now. That's how complex the program is. It's like Mount Everest. There are 14 base camps on Everest and you go one at a time. That's the way to look at Photoshop."

For two years now, Lynch has shared his Photoshop expertise at the North Shore Community College near Boston. At press time, he was off to teach courses in advanced Photoshop, Photoshop basics, as well as the business of photography.

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