R2: The many dimensions of Ryan Roessler
Combine the artistic talents of a sculptor,
painter and photographer and what do you get?
The multidimensional images of Ryan Roessler.
A self-described "conceptual photographer/illustrator,"
Roessler draws on his formal training as a sculptor
and painter to create images that feature an intriguing
interplay of composition, illustration and photography.
Technology also plays an important role in Roessler's
work, and one of his favorite digital resources is the
SprintScan 4000, Polaroid's most advanced 35mm
digital film scanner.
The SprintScan 4000:
Photographic quialty. Digital convenience.
Roessler, who divides his time between Chicago and
New York, numbers Citigroup, Starbucks, Absolut,
McDonald's and Kohler among his clients. In addition,
he has produced a wide body of editorial work for
publications such as Bon Appetit, Chicago magazine,
Digital Imaging and American Way, and was the subject
of a Photo District News cover article. Roessler has
also had one-man shows on both coasts, including one
at the National Arts Club in New York.
The SprintScan 4000 figures prominently in much of
Roessler's work - and in his creative process.
It lets him quickly turn 35mm slides and film into
4000 dpi digital images, giving him the advantage
of true photographic quality with the convenience
of a digital image.
"Right now, the quality of professional-grade digital
cameras still can't measure up to film," notes Roessler.
"Nothing I'm able to use has as much visual information
as a piece of film."
Roessler, who has been working with digital images for
years, has another reason for choosing to begin his
much of his digital work with a scanned image.
"At this time, I still find it preferable to
have film as a starting point, and as a point
of reference," he says. "There are still so many
variations in digital equipment standards that colors
can come and go. A film image gives my clients
something that they and the printer can refer back to
in order to make sure that final colors are true to my
original. It makes everyone a lot happier."
"Starry Night" revisited
Roessler's SprintScan 4000 often plays an essential
role in creating final images such as the one shown
here. Inspired by Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and
originally created as a copromotional poster with
Consolidated Paper and Universal Lithography,
Roessler's "Starry Starry Night" appeared on the
cover of the November/December 2000 edition of
To create the image, Roessler shot two 35mm
transparencies - one of a model wearing blue body
paint and a painted image of a comet, and one of a
canvas background. He then scanned the
transparencies with his SprintScan 4000 and used
Adobe® Photoshop® to blend the two images,
extend the comet, and add the stars and moon.
In addition to helping Roessler create final art, the
SprintScan 4000 enables him to collaborate remotely
with clients. "Clients often come to me with a basic
idea and ask me to sketch some concepts for them,"
he explains. "I fax the sketches, the client picks a
concept, and then I begin to assemble the
composition. Along the way, I'll take some 35mm
slides, scan them with the SprintScan 4000, and
then e-mail the images to the clients so that they
can see what I'm up to."
Roessler illustrates with a recent project for Private Clubs magazine.
"I received a call from an art director who wanted a
cover shot that combined the worlds of art and wine,"
says Roessler. "I created a 3-D collage using flowers,
painted wine bottles, books, sculpture, a picture
frame and a painting. I began assembling the collage
and shot some 35mm slides that I processed,
scanned and e-mailed to the client. I did this when
the collage was about a quarter done, halfway done,
and completed. At each stage, the client had the
opportunity to provide feedback."
Roessler enjoys the flexibility to collaborate
remotely with clients at various stages of a project.
"I do more and more of this type of work each year,"
he notes. "I enjoy working this way, and clients
appreciate it, too. The process allows me to work
with art directors around the country from anywhere
in the country. People have more work to do today
and less time to do it, so art directors value the
ability to collaborate with me on a concept from
start to finish without ever having to leave their desk."
Whether he's producing final art or sharing views of
a work in progress, Roessler knows that he can depend
on the SprintScan 4000 to help communicate his vision.
"I've always been happy with Polaroid products over the
years, and the SprintScan 4000 is no exception. It always
provides true color and a true representation of my original
-all in a sharp, clear 4000 dpi image," he says. "In addition,
the SprintScan 4000 is easy to use and works well with
Photoshop. It's certainly lived up to what I had heard
about it from some photographer friends of mine by
producing accurate, high-quality scans."
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