Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weird Shapes and Jagged Edges

Got a call mid week last week to put together a story for TIME Magazine...kinda quick turnaround: 4 shots over 3 days, starting tomorrow. Bill Carwin, the photo editor, calls me at 1:30 am his time. We connect the next day and he lays it out:

We have a story here that we want you to instill your voice needs to hold together as a series of your shots. Bad news is it is utterly boring subject matter. We need a visual something to hold it together.

Bill throws out this idea of shooting low rent panorama shots and stitching them together with a photoshop application. I typically hate digging into technical stuff that I've never done before, but for some reason I kind of embraced seemed easy and would fit in to the traditional image making workflow without a big disruption. It seemed like something directly out of flickr, but still I was feeling like it was worth trying. Before we hang up he makes an off handed comment...inferring that if this fails and the story looks boring, someone may lose their job. I don't think he was referring to me.

Sunday night I process the panoramas and they sprawl across the screen: odd shapes, jagged lines, not totally in focus and everything seemed too far away. I like them in a refreshing way, but doubt they'll be used. They have a retro 90's Chip Simons reference, but woven by the technology of today. Mid-morning I get a note from Bill. He successfully sold them on these panoramas...I couldn't have been more surprised. For a moment, just then, I have faith in editorial photography again.