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David Julian: Traditional Brought to Life

David Julian, Self Portrait David Julian, Self Portrait
© David Julian

David Julian brings digital images to life with use of traditional darkroom techniques.

"I'm not like a dark side person, " says photographer David Julian, "but I am intrigued with the slightly surreal edges of life. Which leads me to a slightly different look on things.'

A former professional butterfly collector, Julian has parlayed a fascination with natural history into a photography career that bridges alternative and traditional techniques. Though he graduated from Pratt Institute of Design in New York and spent eight years as a Brooklyn-based art director for HBO and Time Inc., Julian marks 1995 as the year of his metamorphosis. While doing freelance design for the Discovery Channel, he says, he realized his own personal vision was "way beyond what I could do with a camera.' Five years of experimentation since have lead him to become one of the country's foremost Adobe PhotoShop artists, while creating a body of digital work, viewable at davidjulian.com, that stands alone in its fidelity to traditional photographic techniques. That look has found a warm welcome with corporate clients including Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Ziff-Davis, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Fortune magazine and Wired.

While Julian creates all the photographic component of his photo illustrations, few are so revealing as his own self-portrait, lower left. "I see this tentative hand coming down from the right, holding a frame and inside it twirls a brain,' Julian says. "I've chosen different paths, and I am always questioning which one to follow, which hoop to walk through.'

Randy Woods
Story Author: Randy Woods

Randy Woods, editor of PhotoMedia, has been in the magazine publishing world for more than 20 years, covering such varied topics as photography, insurance, business startups, environmental issues and newspaper publishing. He is also associate editor for iSixSigma magazine and writes a job—search blog for The Seattle Times called “Hire Ground.”

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