Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Edit – Friday
9.16.11

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Sunset Magazine

Creative Director: Mia Daminato

Art Director: James McCann

Photo Director: Yvonne Stender

Photo Editor: Susan Smith

Photographer: John Clark

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

Damon Winter – Where Steel Meets The Sky

- - Photographers

We were so taken by Damon Winter’s photo essay in the New York Times Magazine that we recently featured on The Daily Edit (Where Steel Meets The Sky) we decided to ask him a couple questions about it:

Heidi: How long did the project take?
I was given access to their entire work day for 5 days (almost consecutively) in July. They were in the process of beginning construction on the 73rd and 74th floors.

How were you protected to take those shots?
In order to have access to the site I had to go through the OSHA 10 hour safety training which is a general work place safety course. I did that for two days. Then to be up with the steel workers, I had to do another 5 hour fall safety training course where I was qualified to use a harness to be able to tie off while working up there. I always wore protective gear, heavy boots, hard hat, glasses, hearing protection and of course the full body safety harness with a shock absorbing lanyard that I could clip onto the beams to protect me from a fall.

What was the most challenging or difficult aspect of working in that environment besides the height?
It is always tough when you work on stories like this with really restrictive access because you always have minders beside you watching you the whole time. It was hard the first few days because I had Port Authority public relations people watching me and safety enforcers watching me, but over the course of those 5 days they got used to me and figured out that I knew what I was doing and wasn’t a real risk or threat to them or their jobs and they really relaxed and let me go about my work more freely. The floor boss for the ironworkers was another story. His job is to supervise the whole operation up on the derrick floor and he is tough. I didn’t speak to him the whole time, just tried to stay out of his way and attract as little attention as possible. I’m used to building up good working relationships with people I photograph but anytime I talked to an ironworker or they talked to me while they were working I would get yelled at. The smallest misstep, if you were in someone’s way or standing under someone who was working would get you yelled at and at first I was under constant fear of getting thrown off the site.

Beside the view, what was the most impressive thing about being up so high?
Well the view was amazing but it was really watching these guys put together this amazing structure, seeing how every piece just fits together like a puzzle, down to the millimeter, was really the incredible part. They are so nimble and confident when they work. They shimmy up the columns and run across the beams without a second though….I suppose it really is second nature for them. When I was up there it was another story as I watched every footstep and walked slowly and deliberately. The way they move up there is a sight to behold….something that still photos can’t do justice.

Did the iron workers help you at all or were they concerned for you?
I wasn’t really allowed to interact while they were working so I really just tried to be the “fly on the wall”. Of course it wouldn’t work and the guys came and talked to me all the time. They were great with me, really nice and welcoming. Not too many people pay that kind of attention to those guys and they aren’t used to having someone up there with them for that amount of time. Most people come up there for a few hours, never to be seen again. I was there day after day and they appreciated it.

The Daily Edit – Thursday
9.15.11

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Marie Claire

Creative Director: Suzanne Sykes

Design Director: Kristin Fitzpatrick

Photography Director: Caroline Smith

Photographer: Txema Yeste

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

The Daily Edit – Thursday
9.1.11

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Details

Creative Director: Rockwell Harwood

Senior Photo Editor: Ashley Horne

Photographer: Lacey

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

Heidi: How did the idea of the hands come about?
Lacey: I worked closely with Jessica who made the sets with me. She had worked with body painting before and we loved the effect, so geared the shoot towards that.

How was the set actually built?
Just from paper and card. Quite simple but effective.

How much post was involved in this project?
The only shot where we used post was the red hands in the boots, everything else was in camera. We tried to get that for real, as I always try to do, but without cutting the boots it was impossible. So we gave in!

Your work seems to be very surreal, do you study paintings to get your inspiration?
I studied graphic design and typography, so always look to other areas than photography for my inspiration.

The Daily Edit – Wednesday 8.31.11

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Decline

Editor: Mark Jordan

Senior Art Director: Paul Duarte

Digital Prepress Director: Wes Ducan

Photographer: Devon Balet

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

Heidi: Where were you to get the opening shot?

Devon: The article was featured in Decline Magazine from a recent trip to Chatel France. The opening shot was taken from the take off of this dirt step up to step down feature. It was really hard because there wasn’t much room to stand. I had about one square foot and I was right on the edge about 15 feet off the ground. I used the live view feature and held the camera above and behind me slightly. I did have to be a bit  of a jerk to some other photogs that wanted to squeeze in with me, in the end I am glad I did it.

Is it hard to get access for the shots you want?

It can be extremely difficult. Sometimes I wish I had a Go-Go Gadget pack to float in the air and get to where ever I want. At big events like this one you are always battling it out with other photographers to get the angle and a clean view. I am always amused by course marshals yelling at me to be careful. After eight years of doing this professionally, I have yet to be hit by a rider. Key word, yet.

How do you edit for the drop sequence?

I used PS to morph that shot, a pretty simple technique. You open all the individual images in PS as layers, this stacks all the images onto one file. From there you use the Align feature, this evaluates all the images and lines them up perfectly for you. Once the files are all lined up, you simply mask away parts of each layer to leave you with the sequence. This is a super fast way to line up sequences.

How much of a rider to do have to be to do this kind of work?

That is a matter of opinion I would say. Myself, the one thing I do just as much as photograph is ride bikes. I recently shot for a week at the Breck Epic, a six day mountain bike race in Breckenridge Colorado. I pride myself in putting forth extra effort to get far out on course. I found myself putting in anywhere between 5-20 miles with a fully loaded camera bag every day. One of the days I hiked to 12,460 feet to get photos of riders topping out Wheeler Pass. The racers were always surprised to see me, especially twice a day in different locations.

What is the heaviest your gear pack has been while on your bike?

Way to heavy! I have never actually weight it, which I should do. There as been times that my pack has been well over 40lbs. One year shooting the Red Bull Rampage I was assisting Ian Hylands and was carrying my own camera bag and a second for him. Still trying to find a photo of myself with a pack on my back and front. I will regularly go on trail rides with a 25-30lbs pack. I am always blown away by how well I ride with no pack.

The Daily Edit – Tuesday
8.30.11

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Wired

Creative Director: Brandon Kavulla

Deign Director: Leo Jung

Photo Director: Zana Woods

Art Directors: Alice Cho, Bradley R.Hughes, Tim Leong

Photographer: Jonathan Torgovnick

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

 

Interview With Sarah Rozen – Photography Director for Women’s Health

- - Magazines, Photo Editor

Heidi: The content for the health service magazine relies heavily on the art. How do you keep coming up with fresh ideas for the same stories?
Sarah: That’s one of the biggest challenges. We really work as a team on our art and photography. We also look to photographers to come up with creative, fresh ideas when we feel like we’ve hit a wall. But honestly, coming up with fresh ideas is one of the highlights of the job.

Are you part of the early editorial process?
Yes, I’m usually at the early planning meetings, along with my design director, Theresa Griggs, and we’ll shout and scream when we think the visuals are going to be amazing.

How much outdoor shooting do you do in L.A. during the winter, since you are on the East Coast?
We shoot a lot of our fitness features in L.A. or Florida during the winter months.

I saw that James White shot the cover for Men’s Health and your cover. How much crossover is there between the titles? Do you collaborate much?
Brenda Milis, the Men’s Health photo director, and I always enjoy working together. It’s fun to collaborate on a project for both magazines. Last year, we did joint covers with stars from the Twilight movies. We had Ashley Greene on our cover, and Men’s Health had Kellan Lutz. And each magazine used both stars for their fashion stories—Greene starred in the Women’s Health story, while Lutz starred in Men’s Health’s.

Are you looking for beauty photographers as well as fitness ones?
Yes, I love beauty photography. For example, I’m a huge fan of Donna Trope, who has shot for the magazine a few times. I like for our beauty photography to have a little humor or be a bit cheeky and not just be straight beauty, if it works for the story.

 

What resources do you use to find new talent besides e-mail and mail promos?
I look at ad campaigns, look books, Le Book creative, and portfolio reviews at schools. I love the way New York magazine found Danny Kim at a portfolio review. And just think about how many more talented people are out there! Also, I try to go to the current photo shows at the museums and galleries to get inspiration.

How much stock are you running?
I would say we run about 30 percent stock.

How often do you open e-mail promos, or is that relegated to other staff?
I always look at promos. But my staff is great about telling me when they see or meet someone they like.

If I want to shoot for you, what’s the best way to get your attention?
The best way is to e-mail me a few favorite shots and a link to an easy-to-navigate website. I’d much prefer an e-mail over a cold call.

The Daily Edit – Tuesday
8.23.11

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Complex

Art Director: Brent Rollins

Photo Director: Greg Garry

Photographer: Kareem Black

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

We asked Kareem Black about the shoot on Twitter.

@photoeditor: Did u do the blue tape in post or was that on the set?
@kareemblack: The blue tape in the images in the story existed, We sketched out all the shots before hand and knew where print was going to be placed on each page and photographed each layout accordingly @ComplexMag referred to this as an “interactive”

That was my next question: did you follow tight comps since the type and images worked so well together.
Yes, everything was laboriously sketched out before hand and we knew where everything was supposed to end up on each page. #fun

it looked great. How about the cover, same deal there?
everything else on the cover “with @azizansari ” etc all were painted on the wall of the studio.

For the inside shot of him in the air, can he jump that high or did you have a trampoline?
Surprisingly @azizansari is actually that athletic. No trampoline or ambulance was needed. well the jumping was actually @azizansari ‘s Idea so he was really into it. We got maybe 30 good leaps out of him! it was fun! The jumping was a total ad lib on Aziz’s part and it totally worked for concept and layout!!

The Daily Edit – Friday 8.19.11

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Esquire

Design Director: David Curcurito

Photo Director: Michael Norseng

Photographer: Perou

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted.

Heidi: How did the idea to interpret the dreams come about? did it come from the magazine?

Perou: David Curcurito (creative director at Esquire) suggested to me that I might discuss my ideas for the shoot with Ryan, as Ryan also had some ideas for the shoot.

Where you given the story first and then did you and Ryan talked?

Sometimes I’m asked to email over some rough sketches or discuss with someone’s PR what I have in mind, but it’s unusual for me to have a two way conversation with someone before I photograph them for a magazine. There was more pre-production discussion before this shoot than any other I’ve done but that was great because I think all the best portraits of people are collaborations. I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to describe eloquently enough what I wanted to do, as I’m better with pictures than words. I called Ryan on his cell. he was in LA and I was in London.

I said ‘I hear you’ve got some ideas.’ ‘I’ve got one idea’ , he said, ‘…I keep having this recurring dream where everyone around me is a skeleton’

How would you describe Ryan’s dreams?

Ryan’s dream wasn’t too complicated, but Ryan’s own interpretation of his dream as a direction for the photos was quite complex and developed as we were discussing it. I was keen not to do something with real skeletons because as an icon (most) people can’t take them seriously. So we moved on from Ryan surrounded by real skeletons in various scenarios to Ryan with a woman representing the skeletons of his dreams: something like a Styx from greek mythology coming out of the shadows. I think part of what works in this is that me and Ryan had very different approaches to the shoot: he was very keen on doing a complete story with a beginning, middle and end: fully researched and scripted in advance. I knew we had to do a clean cover and then had 4 or 5 images inside the magazine, at most and Esquire aren’t really into full-on, photo-illustrations with tons of post-production. I wanted to do some iconic pictures of a movie star based loosely around an idea he had. I personally think the best ideas are often the simplest. I remember saying to Ryan, think of me like an improvise director: I’ll get the cast together and the location and we’ll freestyle around our idea: that’s how I work. If we try and script everything exactly, we’ll lose out on some magic and any spontaneous moments that happen.

Which is your favorite image?

My favorite picture from the shoot is the closer shot of Ryan nuzzling into Veronica’s neck. As well as shooting the stills for the cover feature of the magazine, I also shoot video for the moving covers on the ipad edition of Esquire. The idea for two Ryan’s on the ipad cover was all his and I think it works really well: a really simple, effective idea.

What was the most interesting thing that happened on the shoot?

It was a hard day at the office. Mainly because everything had to be discussed in so much detail before each shot, before the shoot and during the shoot: the motivation had to be right: it had to make sense. My day was made much easier by the lovely Veronica throwing cheeky winks my way. I thought it was amusing that Veronica wasn’t really into the last shot of the day when she had to repeatedly kiss Ryan.

What kind of direction where you giving to the subjects on set?

Veronica, the model was Brazilian and I had been under the impression that she didn’t speak much English. I was being my usual flirtatious with the ladies self, maybe more so than usual. It wasn’t till the end of the shoot that I realized she been understanding more than I’d assumed.

How long did that set take to build and where in NY did you shoot?

we shot on location in warehouse studio called ‘the 1896’ there was no real set building as such: just a bit of proppage.

Who did the body painting? and how long did that take?

Genius Will Lemon did the body painting. I have a vague recollection that it took him and his two assistants about 8hrs. Veronica stood the whole time: she was great.