The New York Times The New York Times Technology May 23, 2002  

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Dan Doerner

By MARK GLASER

ART photographers have long fooled the eye with burning and dodging, effects that make portions of photos lighter or darker during the film development process. But with the advent of digital image editing, the 1990's produced a cottage industry of photo retouchers and compositors who altered photos for artistic or illustrative effect. Among the new crop of digital manipulators was Dan Doerner, 41, who studied photography at the State University of New York at Albany, learned literally to cut and paste images in a darkroom to create collages, and eventually worked with an early version of Adobe Photoshop in 1989 while living in Los Angeles.

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"At the time there was no way to print out those images," he said. "You could only show people what they looked like on the screen." While in Southern California, Mr. Doerner cemented his reputation as a digital manipulator by doing cover designs for Mac Digest and went on to do various covers for Publish and MacWorld magazines after moving to San Francisco, where he now lives. Most of his art comes from the back end of the photographic process, taking photos and creating a collage of unsettling and impossible images a tuba player walking on water, or a floating cube of clouds.

When Mr. Doerner picked up his first digital camera last year, a low-end Olympus D100 (about $250), it brought back the joys of photography. Using the slow-synchronization flash mode, he could shoot pictures at night with the flash illuminating the end of the exposure, for a light-streak effect. After attending the Burning Man arts festival in the Nevada Black Rock Desert, he earned the nickname Digital Dan from the Cyberbuss Camp, a group of latter-day merry pranksters. When the group's silver-painted bus reached Point Arena, Calif., for the town's Independence Day parade in 2001, Mr. Doerner was there to capture collages for his Web site.

One of the most stunning is a night shot of the Cyberbuss itself, in a composite with a man who shot fireworks off his helmet. Mr. Doerner's Photoshop collage of the low-resolution photos shows the possibilities with a point-and-shoot camera and some ingenuity.


Web Site: www.dandoerner.com



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Dan Doerner
ROLLING ALONG Using Photoshop, Dan Doerner, a compositor, blended three pictures taken with his low-end Olympus D100: a bus, shot in slow-synchronization flash mode while moving the camera to the left; a man shooting fireworks from his helmet; and the moon.

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