When the Deloitte Review assignment to photograph Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff landed, we knew up front that access to Dan would be a challenge. Like most people whose resume includes titles such as Deputy mayor of NYC, and former CEO and Director of Bloomberg LP, Dan’s time is highly managed. Not surprisingly, we were granted 30 minutes with Doctoroff at his Sidewalk Labs office in the glistening new 10 Hudson Yards high rise located in Chelsea.
Sidelwalk labs is reimagining how technology can impact the way we live in cities. It was critical to me that we found a way to portray Dan as a visionary, boldly paving the way to a new future in city living. The real challenge for us was how do we connect Dan to the city while being confined in an office, a situation made worse by the fact that the partially finished building’s windows were recently installed and streaked with dirt and grime. The solution – clamp on 3 stops of ND, crank open the aperture and let a shallow depth of field blur the widows for a background plate, then massage in a dreamy sky from my recent honeymoon in Tanzania.
I have a love – hate relationship with composite photography. The amount of tools available to photographers in our digital era, enable us to realize our creative vision with unprecedented freedom. It’s an exciting time to be a photographer! That said, all these tools are just that – a means to an end, so its important for me to ask some pertty basic questions upfront when deciding if a composite workflow is appropriate for any given project; can I achieve my creative vision in camera? What unique challenges will shooting composite present, and do those challenges outweigh the benefits?
This series was a lot of fun to work on and had some pretty unique hurdles to jump along the way.
Location scouting in the digital era.
I always prefer to shoot background plates first. In this case having a stand-in helped immensely as a reference when shooting the athletes.
We photographed Audi Cycling Team rider Sam Waples in the studio on a free standing rolling trainer. That rig allowed Sam to actually ride on the trainer. It was a critical piece of the puzzle that gave the final composite the authenticity that is always a struggle to maintain in a composite workflow.
We used specialized software developed for automotive photographers to create realistic motion blurs.
I had a great time working with and leaning about the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team (SCHRT) during the processes of shooting this series. This elite team is made up almost entirely of volunteers, who donate their time and expertise to provide a critically needed service to this region. Aside from their primary mission to providing rescue/medical assistance to injured and inaccessible persons, they respond to a variety of emergency situations including a search for a lost child, a missing Alzheimer’s patient, a mass casualty event such as a bridge collapse, or even fighting fires.
Because of recent federal funding cuts, this service is in jeopardy of shutting down. Learn more about what you can do to help HERE.
Its never easy pulling a concept like this together that has so many moving pieces. It is however an exciting moment when the image moves out the catalog of images knocking around in my mind and takes on a life of it’s own.
The real challenge with this picture was to match individual’s elevations and feet placement to the rocky terrain. We used a “family reunion” of apple boxes, wedges, and green cloth to create the form we needed.