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Where the Wild Things Are

One Photographer Travels to Africa

Part 3 of 4

By Lorraine A. DarConte

Bruce Dorn works in highly competitive markets such as Hollywood, New York, and Paris. Both he and Maura Dutra—wife and business partner, own and operate iDC Photography in Prescott, AZ. The duo earned a number of awards for their photographic work. Dorn’s background includes stints as a fashion and advertising photographer and some twenty years working within the Director’s Guild of America. Recently, Dorn spent time in Africa conducting photo video safari workshops.

"I did three different back-to-back safari trips in Tanzania this summer," states Dorn. "I was able to travel there a couple times a year the last three to four years; Botswana and Tanzania being my favorite destinations." After working in the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle arenas, Dorn was ready to turn his camera back to nature, a subject he finds more interesting.

The majority of images Dorn shoots in Africa are made into fine art prints for sale. "I make digital paintings with Corel Corporation’s Painter program quite a bit because that’s the area of greatest interest for me right now. Recently, I did a painting of two bull giraffes having a territorial dispute that I’m pleased with. They swing their heads at each other like polo mallets; it looks like they’re necking, but in fact they’re trying to knock each other down. I created an interesting image, which I’d like to print close to life size, but my main problem is width," says Dorn.

Dorn uses a Canon U.S.A., Inc. imagePROGRAF iPF9100 60-inch printer, which, he notes, allows him to print images that are five feet wide and virtually any length. "But the bull giraffes in the painting are 21 feet tall," says Dorn. "I can certainly get the height, but getting the width of these two creatures in the frame is going to keep me from going life size. I’m working on something shorter than that, which will still be intense." Dorn plans to use the bull giraffe image, among others, as part of iDC’s touring show.

Dorn enjoys using the Canon imagePROGRAF for a number of reasons. "The printer is fast, vivid, and trouble free. In the past, the dry climate of AZ raised clogging concerns. But the printhead technology in this printer prevents it from clogging. We use to spend a lot of time and money blowing pigment through pigment orifices trying to keep printers from clogging toward the end of a print run. We’d be printing a 40x60-inch print and in the last couple of inches it would lay down a stripe of nothing. It was painful," notes Dorn. Thanks to the imagePROGRAF iPF9100’s dual printhead system with 30,720 print nozzles, if it clogs, the printer can reassign another nozzle and continue without any gaps in the coverage.

Besides working on his African images, Dorn is also deeply interested in dance photography. "I don’t have any rhythm or capacity to move my body in a stylish manner," he laughs. "But I enjoy watching beautiful bodies in motion—ballet, flamenco, whatever kind of dance I can find. I’m hoping to make some connections in the Native American community so I can get a little bit of an insider’s look at some of the tribal dancers."

Dorn’s dance photography should be just as interesting to view as his African animal shots. His innovative use of capturing a subject and then manipulating it tastefully in Corel Painter is one for the ages.

Visit to learn more about Dorn’s work.

In the last part of our series on large format photography, we speak with David Saffir—who photographs everything—and prints using a variety of Hewlett-Packard printers.

Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, American Cowgirl.
Click here to read Part 2 of this exclusive online series, Bold and Offbeat.

Dec2008, Digital Output

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