Oliva Bryant- March 30, 2021
For the next installment of this blog series, I chatted with Chadron State College Digital Graphic Designer Daniel Binkard. Daniel is a member of the College Relations office and works behind the scenes at CSC. Keep reading to learn more about Daniel’s work and where he finds creative inspiration.
Daniel handles a variety of tasks, including overseeing the programming, engineering, and personnel of CSC Live. CSC Live provides online streaming of campus events such as athletic competitions, commencement activities, theatre productions, and music recitals. Daniel teaches and oversees student workers who help with CSC Live broadcasts and pre-recorded videos, which are free to view.
Photography and videography are other aspects of Daniel’s daily work. He takes photographs of the campus, as well as Chadron State students and employees for promotional materials. Daniel is in charge of video productions and many of his videos can be found on the CSC website and YouTube channel. CSC students may see Daniel in classrooms filming and taking photos for upcoming advertising campaigns. Audio production and copy writing are included in Daniel’s realm of expertise.
One large project Daniel is working on currently with Director of College Relations Alex Helmbrecht is the Higher Learning Commission Assurance Review that is crucial for Chadron State’s educational accreditation. Daniel is also preparing to broadcast graduation and Ivy Day on CSC Live, as well, so to say he is busy would be an understatement.
When Daniel is working, he draws creative inspiration from a variety of sources. A few photographers who have inspired him include Andreas Feininger, Birna Rørslett, David Muench, and Charles Cramer. Feininger was a German-American photographer known for his black-and-white Manhattan photos and writings on photographic technique. Rørslett is a professional nature photographer from Norway. Muench is an American landscape and nature photographer who has been working for more than 50 years in the photography community. Cramer is a life-long musician, photographer, and print maker.
Daniel also seeks creative insights from big names in the film industry including David Lean, Michael Mann, Stanley Kubrick, and Saul Bass. Lean, an English film director, is best known for his films, “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” American film director, Mann, is best known for his films, “Heat,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” and “The Insider.” Often credited as one of the best filmmakers in history, American film director, producer, screenwriter, and photographer, Kubrick is known for his work in “Paths of Glory,” “A Clockwork Orange,” and “Full Metal Jacket.” Oscar-winning American film director and graphic designer, Bass, is another one of Daniel’s creative influences. He is best known in the film industry for his creative approach to film poster and title design.
Daniel also follows trends and advancements in photography which have helped him gain creative insights. He strays away from what he calls “unthinking use” of presets in his work. He notes that technological advancements in photography have allowed for new creative possibilities. For example, the shift from chemical film photography to digital photography has simplified the photography process. Learning about exposure, developing photos, and special effects have become much easier. Computational photography has also helped to solve problems and create new possibilities, while also allowing older photos to be revisited and restored.
After having a fun and educational interview with Daniel, I headed back to the office with a few questions for myself. Where do I draw creative inspiration from? Who do I look up to? What are my daily responsibilities? I have no doubt that I will be able to answer further into my education or career, but these are important questions that Daniel has now made me consider.
Thank you, Daniel for chatting with me about your work, creative philosophy, and life. I appreciate the work you do, the creative approach you bring to the office, and for making me think about what my own creative philosophy is and what influences me in my work and academics. I always take something away from our conversations and never fail to learn something new.