A Viewfinder Darkly

Photography tips and tutorials

Chase Jarvis – Hasselblad Master

December 17 2007

by Phil Northeast

Seattle based advertising photographer Chase Jarvis’s images breathe a compelling freshness to sports and lifestyle photography, mostly inspired by painters. Jarvis has transformed his love of adventure and sports into a photographic career specializing in this area.

Underwater shot of a diver

The diver entering the water © Chase Jarvis

The young Jarvis often featured as subject in school sports for family and local newspapers. When his grandfather died, Jarvis inherited his camera equipment and started the move to the other side of the lens. The love of sports stayed with him influencing his creative directions.

Jarvis is now 35, and has worked as a professional since 1996 and is proud of being 100% self-taught. After leaving college, Jarvis spent a year backpacking around Europe developing his photographic skills with his grandfather’s 35mm camera. The practical experience of shooting hundreds of rolls of film of people and places he encountered proved to be his photographic apprenticeship.

Returning to the USA, Jarvis settled in Steamboat, Colorado, to pursue his love of skiing while earning a living working as waiter and ski technician. Jarvis continued to photograph the world around him, especially the outdoor sports in the area.

Jarvis moved back to Seattle in 1996 to study for a Masters in Philosophy. He began submitting images to magazines and found he was earning enough money selling them to make photography a viable career.

Jarvis’s experience in sports photography helped him shooting real athletes in real situations rather than in a studio environment. His big break came, through a deal with outdoor sports retail giant, REI. Jarvis then left university to concentrate on his new career in advertising and corporate photography.

A distinct style runs through  all of Jarvis’s  work. The phrase he uses to describe this link is ‘stylised authenticity’. “By this I mean that I am creating highly considered images in which every element is carefully controlled and resonates with a true authenticity. Even in my most quirky images, I try to make the image ring true in order for viewers to believe what they are seeing.”

Jumpimg for joy

Action shot © Chase Jarvis

Ironically, Chase mostly gets his inspiration from painters and says, “In particular I’m inspired by the line, style, boldness, color and understanding of art and commerce of modern American/POP culture painters like Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Lichtenstein and Jim Dine.”

Jarvis advice to aspiring photographers is to remain positive and follow their dreams, saying, “Just pick a subject you like and go for it.” Although his experience as an outdoor sports enthusiast and a photographer helped him to bring the best of both worlds to his work, Jarvis believes perseverance is the key to his continued success.

Jarvis recently won the Merit Award for Action Photography in the Advertising Photographers of America (APA) National Photography competition, the second year in a row that he has claimed a place in this esteemed contest. Earlier in 2007 Jarvis won Best Personal Work in the 2007 PDN Magazine Photo Annual, his third category win in four years in arguably the core photo industry’s most recognized award publication

Today Chase shoots with a Hasselblad H3D platform, having recently upgraded from an H2D. He says, “The H3D is an incredible machine, which allows me to capture wonderful images. In order to achieve successful results I require the highest quality digital capture, which my Hasselblad equipment provides. I have been impressed by the way it enhances my work, makes my job easier, and is durable enough to cope with any demands I make on it.”

originally published at suite101.com


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