Lebanese photographer David Abdallah is no less than an artist when a camera is in his hand. He is very well known in the fashion world and eagerly sought after for his unique talent and creative photography.
David Abdallah’s studios are equipped with more than 15 EIZO ColorEdge monitors for more than 10 years now. In this interview, we explore Abdallah’s passionate views of his profession, beauty and expertise, and photography fundamentals.
What made you decide that you wanted to get into Photography?
I think photography is in my blood. Even though I was studying law in the university, my natural talent for the art of photography as well as my passion for taking photos was leading me away from the field of my study.
What makes something an object for inspiration?
I get inspiration from all things around me. Anything from things I see in my daily life to other artist’s work and photography. I think it’s a lot about looking at the world from a different perspective.
How subjective would you say equipment choice is? (Will what works for one photographer necessarily work for another?)
There is no list of equipment that will be perfect for every photographer and the decisions that each photographer makes will depend upon their preferred subject matter, and the budget they are willing to invest when purchasing their gear.
Do you prefer digital to film when shooting?
Both film and digital cameras have their place in the world of photography and I had the chance to work with both techniques. As the world is leaning toward DSLR’s and as I am a technology-addicted person I shifted to digital. Digital is the future and you can check yourself after each image you take: the perfect way to see your mistakes and correct them right away
Do you prefer studio or location shooting? Why?
It’s actually not important to me whether I shoot inside or outside; what’s essential is to find the right background color and texture for each project.
Does fashion photography necessitate a lot of specialist kit?
What you really need first more than anything else is the knowledge & skill to use the equipment. Once you master the use of your gear, you can excel in any project you are offered. As a general rule in fashion photography, one must make sure that the lighting always accentuates the texture and beauty of the materials. These details will heighten the beauty and quality of an image itself.
What type of equipment do you currently use and what advantages do you get from these products?
For cameras I use either my Leica M240 or my Hasselblad H4X and the IQ180 digital back or Canon bodies. For lighting equipment I currently use all Broncolor lighting equipment. For processing and Color management I use EIZO. The advantages I get from these products I use are simply precision, quality and reliability which are essential keys for success.
How much is color management a part of your workflow?
Color management is not just a part of my workflow; it is an essential and fundamental part of it. For me, it is a must-do process in order to reach the desired result.
Are there specific techniques that are always a part of your workflow?
I will summarize the most important steps I incorporate in order to get the best results. After having my screens calibrated I open my Capture One to adjust the white balance for each photo, then the exposure, the contrast, the framing, then to overall color adjustments. After processing the photos in Capture One I move to Photoshop in order to make selective adjustments according to the need of each photo.
When did you make the switch to using EIZO monitors and why?
If you say color accuracy, you say EIZO. This was the main reason behind using EIZO screens in my studios and as a professional photographer; I couldn’t find an alternative for such high-end monitors at all levels. From the great design, to the simplicity of installation and operation, to the sharpness of the screen and how colors look stunning, and finally to the easiest calibration process, I would definitely recommend EIZO to all photographers, all advertising houses and everyone working with Graphics.
You built trust with EIZO because you can work without worrying about problems.
What effect have EIZO monitors had on your working process?
The monitor is a very important piece of equipment for any photographer who needs to develop, manage, and process photos. Using EIZO monitors have added to my working process an adequate visualization that help me to deliver quality and ensure that my creative ideas aren’t lost on the journey from click to print.
How do you balance manipulation with authenticity in the post-production of your images?
When I manipulate my images I simply don’t think about retouching them but rather by enhancing the shot and strengthening its qualities in order to maintain the reality of the captured moment.
Are there any noteworthy highlights/challenges you have experienced in your career history?
Through my career history I have gained the opportunity to meet and interact with interesting people as well as all types of personalities and I had the chance also to maintain long standing relationships with almost all of them. And this allowed me to move further in my career and build up a reputation that will expand my creative boundaries.
What advice would you give a newcomer who is just beginning their career? (Any Do’s and Don’ts)
The biggest piece of advice is to never give up. You have to be happy and excited about your own work. So if you are making yourself happy, you will make your client happy as well. Follow your heart. Don’t ever think any dream is too big. Practice more. Practice whenever you can and believe in yourself.