The Daily Edit – The New York Times: Justin Metz


The New York Times Magazine

Photographer: Justin Metz

Heidi: I know you’re a trained illustrator, when did you switch from agency Art Director back to your roots as an artist?
Justin: My early agency days were spent mostly as an artist but as I became more established I started to contribute ideas for pitches and over time my role evolved into more of an art director’s one. As a digital artist specializing in CG I found it freed-up me creatively – anything was possible, both logistically and budgetary. Later I was part of a staff cull at the agency and had to consider my next move which in the end turned out to be an easy decision as all of the advice was to become a freelance artist.

What specific learnings did your agency work transfer to your current work?
Wit and originality. The culture there was incredibly focused on finding new ways of approaching a brief, there was a lot of friendly competition which led to ever more interesting ideas. Working in an agency requires you to think differently and once learned it stays with you forever – it feeds into everything I do now. Editorial work is slightly different in that it needs a faster response – not just to the brief (I often get just a single day for concept and artwork) but from the consumer as it will be fighting to be heard above all the other covers on the newsstand.

What inspires you from the real world?
Everything and nothing, it seems that for me inspiration strikes only when the conditions are right which is often removing myself from the process altogether. There are some things which will often jump start things – browsing through an art book for instance, and reading around the subject can often reveal a phrase which sparks an idea. That first idea, however poor it might be, is the most important one as it usually unlocks the mind.

Where do you look for inspiration since most of your work is conceptual?
I think I subconsciously draw from past experiences and observations, I’m always studying how things look, how they behave and their effect on the environment, and how people respond to it. I think the real world is the best source of inspiration for conceptual work.

Do you have a journal or have any analog processes to sketch ideas?
Yes, I sketch out all ideas very roughly on a pad but I have them all in my head too. Good ideas are hard won and stick around forever up there.

Where do you get your source images from?
The usual stock libraries. If I need to use them the image will be built around them as it’s the only part I can’t fully control and if something isn’t working I’ll build it in CG which means I get to do whatever I want with it.

How do you know when you’ve solved the creative problem, or when the piece is done?
I try to provide at least five ideas on the brief and with one or two I’m usually confident I have something that will work well, more often than not though my preferred concept is not the one that makes it to final. I don’t consider anything I’ve done to be finished, just cut short to meet the deadline.

How do you unwind your mind, or try and relax it in order for new ideas to flow in?
Yes, it’s hard not to be on duty all of the time but I’m lucky – I have a great family which is very successful at diverting my attention. They’re funny and entertaining we spend time away from my work as often as we can.

Did you research Tesla crash images for this cover story and what direction did the magazine share?
I’ve worked with the New York Times Magazine a few times before and they’re a great team to work with so I knew it would be an interesting project. They knew they wanted me to smash up a few different models in different colors. The white one was intended for the cover and for me it was mostly a question of the extent of damage and making the images bold and impactful whilst ensuring they are as accurate as possible – I had to specifically research Tesla crash images as they’re very different ‘under the hood’. I wanted the images to look as if the crash has actually happened in the studio so the undamaged parts should look like a beauty shot.

The Daily Edit – Mark Murrmann: Street Photography and Photozines

Action 2, May 1998 (all band images)

City Slang book dummy (2014)

Rat Crawl (City Slang #1; June 2015)

 

 

Another Wasted Night (City Slang #6; May 2017)


Cig Machine / White Glove Test (City Slang #8 & #9; late 2018)

Human Car (City Slang #11; Nov 2019)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burned Out (Nov 2022)

Photographer: Mark Murrmann

I got a chance to connect with Mark about his passion for street photography and the zines that grew out of that. He was in the front row during the recent boom of photozines and has created an impressive collection of over 25 self-published photozines, a process he calls an “intuitive, spontaneous exercise.” You can see the collection of all his photozine covers images here. By day he’s the photography director of Mother Jones and has been for the past 15 years.

Heidi: Are you printing out images to sequence for your digital projects or do they stay in Lightroom?
Mark: For digital only projects, usually all the work stays in Lightroom. Sometimes for bigger projects I’ll make prints, but it’s rare. For zines though, I first compile a batch of images in Lightroom, then will often print out small rough prints and hang them on a wall. But when I do the layouts, it’s usually a process of dumping photos in a layout, moving things around to see how they fit, so the wall sequence is more of a rough guide than a final edit.

How has your eye or your thoughts around self publishing changed from your first zine to your most recent?
It’s changed significantly. I published my first zine in 1992, a really random zine that kind of focused more on skateboarding. I had no idea what I was doing. It was a cut and paste mess. Over the years I learned by doing, by making mistakes, by seeing other zines. That zine, Sty Zine, started including more photography as my interest in taking pictures (of skateboarding and punk bands) grew. Eventually the photos from Sty Zine branched out into its own zine, ACTION! Photozine. In the 30 years I’ve been doing zines I’ve come to really love certain aspects (the publishing side: designing, printing, physically putting the zines together) and not care for other aspects (marketing and selling them). There are fundamentals that have remained: it has always been something of an intuitive, spontaneous exercise for me, it needs to be fun otherwise; I like playing around with different formats and sizes; I like to keep them cheap if I can. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at making zines, but there’s always room to do better I’ve considered getting more serious about publishing but think it would sap what I love out of it.

Of course, the tsunami of digital photography influences (some would say erodes) how we consume rather than look at photography. How have these social platforms influenced you both good and bad?
One way Instagram has negatively impacted me and my work is that I’m less inclined to share images that don’t “work” on Instagram. They’re either too subtle or they might be a wider shot (or even panoramic) that reads small on the platform. I’m making fewer zines. Before social media to easily share and consume photography, there was more of a necessity to publish as a way to get work off contact sheets (or hard drives), to be seen. The positive side of course is that I’ve reached people beyond my usual cadre of photo friends. It’s a way to get your work seen and a way to publicize printed zines. For me, there’s no better way to enjoy or consume photography than in a book or zine form. The way the images work with or against each other on a page (or sit by themselves on a page), the way they interact with the photo that came before and comes after as you turn the pages. The physical design, the paper, the printing. If done right, it all plays into the body of work you’re presenting. That said, I spend far, far too much time idling away on Instagram. Blah. But I also have too many photobooks and zines! Haha. The more limited impact of what’s in a book or zine leaves more of an impression with me though than the endless stream of images on social media.

When looking back at your early work, are there clues that ground the viewer in a certain decade? (beside clothes and style) You were shooting pretty tight back then to give the feeling of being “pushed up against the stage” at the punk shows. Do these feel timeless when you revisit the set?
I don’t think they feel timeless, though I was kind of going for something like that, especially with my music photography. There’s a definite shift in my work. I still like shooting right up front at shows, but one big difference is I used to use a direct flash and was very loose in my shooting. It was all film, almost all black and white. So, it has a pretty specific look. These days, especially with the high ISOs available on digital cameras, I rarely use a flash and am composing more carefully. When photographing shows, I still try to capture that feeling of being right up front, in the thick of it. But I’m also going to slightly different shows. Not quite as raucous, so the images feel different.

My street photography has a more continuous look and feel I think, though in the past few years I’ve been working with more color and with a slightly tighter lens (50mm). Also, I’ve noticed my street photography has fewer people lately. Part of that is just not being in downtown San Francisco five days a week. That’s had a big impact on my photography.

If you were to give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
It would kind of be what I am still telling myself now: push yourself more; be more focused in what you’re photographing; take more risks; do more. Don’t be afraid to think of yourself as an artist.

 

I know books are expensive, why zines? They both have a tactile quality but what about the zines suits your style of image making?
Good question. A while ago I started editing my street photography for a book. I got as far as making a dummy. It was more or less ready to go – but it just didn’t feel right. I was having a hard time with a few aspects of it. The cost, sure, but more fundamental questions: Why am I making a book? Who cares? What am I trying to say? It felt more like making a book for the sake of making a book and there are already too many books. Also, a book felt like a period, an end to a body of work on which I was still photographing. So, I took a step back, broke down the pile of images I was working from and decided to make a series of zines. I thought of them as editing notebooks in a way. Editing different zines from more or less the same body of work, focused around a different theme. The series was called City Slang and each zine was titled after a song, which provided the theme of the zine. Some were more successful than others, but that’s one thing I liked – I could roll the dice a bit. They were cheaper to make and I could sell them cheap. I made them small (most about 5″ x 4″), which allowed me to always have one on me to give away or sell. The printing wasn’t perfection, but it fit the work, as did the small size and full-bleed spreads. All around, I think the zines fit that body of work better than a book. That said, I’m starting to come around to an idea of a book again for the City Slang work since it feels more finished. We’ll see.

The zines I’m doing now aren’t within that series; they have a different look and feel. Still street photography, but very different from the City Slang work. Flatlands and Flatlands II are color, digest sized, hardly any people in the photos at all. Burned Out is all photos of burnouts, donuts, skidmarks.

Are you part of any photo collective currently?
I am part of a photo group called San Francisco City Photography Club. It’s a loose group of street photographers. Before covid, we were meeting once a month for critiques and to hangout, talk, putting together group shows and group zines. Despite meeting regularly over Zoom during covid, things have gotten pretty quiet with the group.
As far as shows, I should be better about pushing to do shows around zines I put out. That’d make sense – get the work up on walls for people to interact with it in a different way, sell some zines, have fun. Doesn’t even have to be fancy. Just make something more of it. I’m bad about that. That said, I did have a great show in Altadena, California in May at the Alto Beta Gallery. Brad Eberhard who runs the gallery specifically wanted me to show work from my Flatlands zines – color work from West Oakland. It’s a basic thing, but putting together a show makes you think about the work in a much different way than throwing together a zine. It was great. And it was awesome getting to show work outside of the Bay Area. I’d love to do a show with work from my last zine, Burned Out. I just haven’t put the work into making that happen (this is where the advice to my younger self applies to my current self).

What are you most excited about for street photography as a genre?
I have gotten pretty picky about street photography that gets me excited. I like work that is more subtle or ambiguous, more emotional, dark, gritty, makes you question what you’re seeing, lets you get lost in the image or that makes you feel something. That’s broad sounding, but within street photography I think that’s a relatively small niche. I feel like there was a pretty big swell of interest in street photography before covid and I have to admit, I would be happy if it has piqued and dies down a bit.

The Daily Edit – Condé Nast Traveler Spain

 

Condé Nast Traveler: Spain

Photographer: Diego Martínez 
Art Director: Angel Perea

Heidi: How did this project come about?
Diego: I’m a photographer involved in editorial production and advertising, but my passion is the mountains, climbing and mountaineering. For some time, I’ve been introducing this passion to my daily work and getting involved in different expeditions around the world as photographer and videographer. The combination of passion and work has taken me to the Himalayas and Antarctica.

For this project… I always wanted to go to the Dolomites just because it’s one of the best places for enjoying the beauty and nature of the Alps, so I made a plan and started to design my route. Once I was happy with the route, I connected with the editor-in-chief and the project evolved from there.

What was the editing process for selecting the cover image?
I always make a tight edit, not many images, just the ones that inspired me and the ones that fit their editorial vision. The team created this beautiful illustration from my work.

What can you tell us about the collaboration?
As a frequent collaborator in this mag (this is my 3rd cover) I always feel comfortable and happy to be part of this great family.

Heidi: Was this cover stitched then photographed?
Angel: The cover is an illustration, it is not stitched. We decided to do it that way because we didn’t have much time but wanted it to be super realistic based on a photo by Diego Martínez. My art team and I spent a lot of hours and tests until we got it right.

What are you working on now?
I was just in Nepal where I’ve been working in a project for a non profit organization called SOS Himalaya. filming and taking photos in the Makalu Valley.

 

 

The Daily Edit – Kenny Hurtado: National Geographic and Landscapes



Photographer: Kenny Hurtado

Heidi: You started out as a surf photographer, and now you’re on terra firma, what have you brought forward creatively?
Kenny: So, in 2020 I decided to primarily focus on landscape. It’s where I naturally feel the most comfortable as a photographer. Being outside consumed by nature looking at the details and its changing moods is very satisfying for me. I did a big life check-in with the path I was on as a photographer in 2020. I thought, what is most sustainable for me, It’s connecting to nature and spending time outside in the elements. Like how it was in my surf photography days. I enjoy portraits but I haven’t actually made a portrait since 2020, realizing I was only inspired to make portraits for the sake of attracting commissioned work which I enjoy, but I found myself only doing that for a potential outcome rather than enjoying the process. I get so much more out of being outside interacting with nature than I do anything else. Looking at my website now it’s all mostly portrait based stories. I still enjoy that work but it’s exciting to still be exploring other territories and focus on photography. Focusing on landscape in 2020/2021 started to pay off, a life long goal shooting for NatGeo came about in 2021 photographing the Redwoods of California last year, it was my first proper landscape story. It was so damn enjoyable. I’ve photographed landscapes for years but never solely focused on it. Still feels new and exciting to me which is a good thing to have after almost 20 years of on and off shooting. Hence on and OFF cause I took nearly all of 2022 off from photography. Mostly because we packed up and moved to Missouri. It took far longer to get settled in than I thought.

Now that you’re truly part of saving someone’s life, does creating photography feel different?
Absolutely, so, yes I work as an EMT on an ambulance meaning we see a lot of very sick people and unfortunately death. I never thought about how being a first responder would impact photography for me. I always wanted to be an EMT and now that I’m a father I needed something a bit more stable in my life, I can no longer be the dirt bag broke photographer I once was. But also having a license in a field that will always be there is reassuring to me as well, even if I find my way back to full time shooting I know there is something on the other side if need be. So, yeh being exposed to the sick and dying has 100% made my experiences in nature much more enjoyable. I find myself making photographs of things I never would have 5+ years ago like flowing streams and leaves, calendar-esque photography, ha like the ones you might find in your Aunt’s office. Scenes I just shoot for myself without the annoying ego attached.

What have you been photographing recently?  
I moved to Missouri exactly one year ago from West Sonoma County, Ca. Since moving here I hadn’t photographed much until recently. It took some time to get settled in and adjust to a schedule while working full time on an ambulance as an EMT, and chasing around a small child at home. Recently I Fixed up my 4×5 camera. I have been exploring the back woods and streams of the Ozarks, been really enjoying that slow meticulous process especially working in a whole new environment.



Have you been back to India, since that was a trajectory altering experience and how did that experience in India inform you and continue to guide you?
I have not been back to India since my last trip back in 2007. I feel like everyone who goes to India comes away with some kind of life altering experience or at least a new outlook on life. I was quite young when I went to India. Up until that point my world in my young adult life was all wrapped up in surfing, photography and all the comforts of western culture. I had done a decent amount of traveling, fortunate enough to do so, I had experienced lots of different cultures and seen how other people live. India was so far beyond what I had seen before most of my past travels were in 3rd world countries known for their surf destinations, but India was not. We were sent out on an exploration mission to find new waves in uncharted surf territory. We got the chance to spend time in towns nowhere near an ocean and the beach towns were not like beach towns I was used to in central and south america with Acai bowl huts and yoga retreats. This was culture at its purest. We saw thousands of people who truly had nothing, yet we saw smiles and kindness, we felt welcome even in the deepest parts of Southern India. These experiences inspired me to turn my lens from years of looking at the ocean and surfing to what was happening on land. It is obvious I know, India is so culturally vibrant and rich and an easy place to be inspired to make photographs, but for me it was the first time I truly looked at the land and took pictures of landscapes and people that I did not know. Remind you I was on a surf trip for a Surf Magazine, the story was about India’s unexplored waves. I ended up taking far more photographs of India’s culture and landscape than I did of surfing. India opened my eyes up to a new way of making photographs and suddenly I felt bored of simply just being a surfing photographer.
What finally made you say yes, I’ll do this video?
I was very hesitant to do it at first, but Caleob, the director of En Route was very passionate about telling that story. He had read an article Surfing Magazine did on my experiences working as a young surf photographer back in 2010, for some reason it stuck with him. I appreciated his vision and respected his willingness for the project, despite me being very camera shy and not wanting a spotlight.

What did you learn about yourself in front of the camera?
Well, guess I’m not as camera shy as I thought. Enjoyed the collaboration part, actually I didn’t mind being on the other side of the camera. Watching it now almost feels like a different person to me. En Route was filmed in 2 days in February of 2020 just a month shy of the pandemic. A few months after that I found out I was going to be a dad and a year later we were moving to Missouri and I ended up going back to school to get my EMT license. Would of never guessed all of that would happen a year later during the filming. To be honest I never even watched the whole thing from start to finish, I’ve only seen clips. It’s too awkward for me to watch, but it did inspire some ideas for the future.

The Daily Edit – Jeremiah Watt

Paul and Marni Robertson, Moonlight Buttress, Zion National Park, UT
Pat Kingsbury waking from a late night celebratory evening after the team send of Hell Yeah Bitch, 5.13, in Arch Canyon, Bears Ears National Monument, UT
Nick Sullens, and Will Barnes, lat minute prep before heading to the Captain., Yosemite NP.

 

Photographer: Jeremiah Watt

Heidi: Doing sport is a lifestyle, how has that added to your ability to get work, are you training for work or life?
Jeremiah: Photography is a reflection of the photographer and this is particularly apparent in adventure sport. My history immersed in the culture and joy of adventure sport and community is directly reflected in my shooting style and has created many of the client relationships I now hold close. Without my backstory, my photos – both adventure related and beyond – would lack that special sauce that helps them ring true. As for fitness, that varies and changes with age. I no longer think of gin and tonic as a recovery drink and actively work at maintaining fitness. The face of training varies depending on the season but consistent play, complex movement, downtime, and a conscientious diet are always a priority.

What would you tell your younger self about photography?
There’s a difference between taking photos and being a photographer. Be a photographer.

The blend of work, play and family shines bright in your work. Is there a discussion on trips whether this is work and play, or only one of those?
Not really. It’s always centered around an activity, experience, and just being present. The photos are secondary but if everything’s in place the photos are a natural extension of the experience.

How often do you road trip with your family?
I think of a road trip as being on the road for at least a week, so we only do one of those a summer. Typically we try for two international trips – one short, one long – and multiple shorter trips. During the summer and peak climbing season we’re often out for 2 – 3 days multiple times a month playing in the water, hanging in the hills, or climbing.

How has all the road tripping with family informed your work and family life? You’re playing a lot of roles, father, husband and professional.
This is really a chicken and egg type question. My wife and I had this lifestyle long before we had a family and before I picked up a camera I was either working in the outdoor space – ski patrol, occasional climbing guide –  or had a job that allowed maximum time in the outdoor space – bartender, medical flight dispatcher. When I picked up a camera documenting adventure sport and lifestyle was a natural fit and our family is a natural extension of our desire to maintain that lifestyle. In the order of roles, family always comes first and sometimes that means missing the family, to provide for the family, which can be a difficult thing to wrap one’s head around.

Alexander Watt adventure bound in Scotland.
Jennifer Watt, Sayulita, Mexico
Jennifer Watt, Sayulita, Mexico

Jenn Watt adventure bound in Scotland.

Do you ask your family for do overs?
Not really. Here and there I’ll ask for a specific shot or set up a situation that provides what I have in mind. Mostly it’s being aware of time and space and then situating myself to capture a moment organically. That being said, I often park the van, or pitch a tent, to catch first or last light, am very aware of where the sun is (or isn’t), and plan trips that work for spec shoots so it’s not nearly as haphazard as it sounds.

Did you travel much as a kid with your parents? Where does your love of the outdoors come from? 
Turns out this gets complicated…I grew up in a small town in Wyoming, the eldest of six children w/ little money, divorced parents, and a very rigid, religious upbringing on one hand, a liberal, informed, gracious background on the other. Like most folk from small towns in Wyoming, travel wasn’t on the table and traveling out of the state was a big deal. I didn’t see the ocean until my mid-twenties and the only flight I remember as a child was to Iowa to attend my father’s wedding in my early teens. For reference, Alexander played in the Caribbean before he could walk and has seen more at fourteen than I had at 30.

My step dad was Native American and we hunted as a means of putting food on the table. While my step father and I were never close, some of my fondest early memories are of hunting elk on horseback deep in the Wind Rivers and I’m sure those experiences helped build a foundation rooted in outdoor experience. Growing up in the shadow of religion was a fairly solitary endeavor and as a child I spent hours reading adventure and fantasy novels. As I got older playing outside with these stories in mind became a way to escape the chaos and push the boundaries. Later, in my late teens, I turned my back on religion, the family went haywire, and I was up for anything – good or bad – to fill the void created from growing up in a box. I wouldn’t say the times were dark but a promising future wasn’t part of the picture. Fortunately, I bumped into climbing, college, and photography shortly after, and that was the beginning of a new reality. Climbing then was as much a lifestyle as a sport and it offered a new family and path that laid the foundation for the life I live today.

Mohhamed Hussein al-Zarabia – father, host, guide, and center of all things climbing – in Wadi Rum, Jordan.


Phil Jack and Daniel Kiragu, Samburu Country, Kenya
The scene at Maasai Mara, Kenya.

You’ve spent the last few decades in the outdoor space, what projects speak to you the most lately?
While I’m always interested in authentic experience and hope to always work in that field, I’m looking for more conservation and alternative energy stories. Modern media has been consumed with the doom and gloom of the day and I’d like to share stories of hope and renewal. We’re not doomed (yet) and there’s huge potential to create a tomorrow that’s brighter than today, however, an alternative reality won’t happen on it’s own. I’ve developed a talent for creating compelling imagery and I’d love to use that tool to help propel us into the future. There’s huge potential for agriculture to shift global norms on food production and carbon sequestration through regenerative farming – I want to tell this story. Stunning habitats and cultures are on the brink of being lost forever – I’d love to create imagery to save and empower these spaces. Multiple brands are implementing full circle, sustainable business models – I want to promote those brands.
I’m excited for the Klamath to run free and plan on photography that.

 

Sean Brass, Caribbean outliers.
Kyle George, Dan Powell, and Sean Brass, Caribbean outliers.

 

Dan Powell and Kyle George, Caribbean outliers.
Zak Hoyt, SE Alaska

What are you working on now?I’m looking for a few fresh clients that would be a good fit – new work in conservation / alternative energy and/or brands that I can get behind as a human . Hopefully someone’s up to collaborate.

There’s a lot of space out there worth experiencing. Snow’s falling in the hills so the split board is waxed and out. The rock down low is prime and the rivers are flowing. Training is never ending and I’ve a few trips on the horizon that need to be flushed out. A buddy and I began #strokeyourbone as a self inflicted DIY bonefishing excursion nearly a decade ago. It’s become a winter highlight that’s taken us throughout the Caribbean and morphed into a valuable tool for collaboration. This year it looks like the Bahamas and we still have space for fresh brands to jump onboard. We aim for 10 days on location and the photos always stand out as a direct reflection of the good times. There’s a family trip to Fontainebleau this spring. And a Mexico surf trip. Plenty of space for new clients. Life really. Just working on the present.

The Daily Edit – Danielle Khan Da Silva: Patagonia Journal


 



Fall 2022 Patagonia Journal


Photo Director: Heidi Volpe
Photographer: Danielle Khan Da Silva
Writer: Nikki Sanchez

 Heidi: How have you used your talent as a photographer to reframe climate messaging and the grassroots narrative?
Dani: My whole life has changed in the small moments where I am shown the way—often through firsthand experiences, photos, stories, and films. This is why I am a storyteller—to try and share some of the insights and experiences I have been privileged to have with others.

In 2018, for example, I went to stand with the protectors (kia’i) of Mauna Kea with Nikki Sanchez (the writer on the story included in this interview) I was first introduced to the concept of “kapu aloha” and was honored to be immersed in a space where this love-based conduct was being practiced, in combination with regular ceremony and teachings. I had a stark realization of how different things could be. This forever changed me—who I am as a storyteller, as a leader, and as a human. Similarly, with this story for Patagonia about matriarchy and intergenerational knowledge transfer featuring Kayah George of the Tsleil-Waututh nation, I learned so much; from the community’s gentle ways, to their strong and steady approach to fighting battles against monstrous entities, to their songs and connections to the orca whales. This is why I feel it’s so important to tell stories about people and communities that hold knowledge that many of us have become disconnected from through the impacts of colonialism. This knowledge—which each of us has from our own lineages—is what I know in my heart contains the keys to our future.

It’s obvious that we need to “do something” to mitigate climate change and protect natural habitats (our best bet is truly to keep intact what we have as much as possible—we are only beginning to understand the value and complexity of ecosystems and their services), but more importantly we need to address the underlying cause, which is disconnected human behaviour motivated by greed, consumption, capitalism, and other values that are not in alignment with a healthy and abundant planet for all. Further, this conditioned, colonial mindset disregards our innate oneness and interconnectedness to all things, which is a key underlying concept in many Indigenous teachings.

We humans are social learners who also mimic each other, so to address the toxicity that we have become so accustomed to, and to combat social numbing and apathy, we need to see examples of how we can be; see what becomes possible when we reconnect to our reverence for sacredness.

What was your biggest challenge and biggest celebration?
My biggest challenges in this story were a) getting into freezing cold water in a dry suit to document some of the images; and b) trusting that everything would turn out how it needed to. We had challenges with weather and time, and sometimes the process of surrender also feels like a celebration. It’s been really special to me to get to know Kayah more deeply.

How much did your studies, research and various degrees inform your approach to photography?
Quite a bit. I studied conservation biology, psychology, and did an MSc in Environment and Development. I learned a lot about critical thinking, and learned a lot about unlearning. There was something about the way I was being taught, what I was being taught, particularly in my undergraduate degree that I found really unsettling. I found myself questioning a lot more than we were being asked to—Why were the sources so limited? Why were we constantly referencing white conservationists and applauding trophy hunting and amplifying racist views about Indigenous peoples and their knowledge? I always loved Vandana Shiva’s groundbreaking work, for example, but her ideas on eco feminism were literally laughed at by some of my professors. In this way, we become conditioned. So while I sought out knowledge about how to protect the planet (from ourselves), I wasn’t satisfied by what I was learning in school on multiple levels.

I do find myself also applying a lot of my psychology background in my work. Systemic change is what is truly needed for us to make any significant changes, and for systemic change to occur, we need political will. Political will comes from the power of the people and our dollars.

For us to know our political power, I believe it helps to be intrinsically motivated—to cultivate an appreciation for personal and community growth, purpose, curiosity, cooperation, enjoyment, and expression. Intrinsic motivation essentially involves doing something because it’s personally rewarding, versus extrinsic motivation, which involves doing something to earn a reward or avoid punishment. Extrinsic values seem to be more closely related with a capitalist approach where we are constantly given messaging about what to buy or how to change ourselves, to be “winners,” to engage in competition, and to earn perks and benefits in exchange for a behaviour. My studies into psychology have revealed that the more we strengthen extrinsic motivation, the more we weaken intrinsic motivation and vice versa. Most communications today strengthen extrinsic motivation, yet there is a real case to be made for strengthening intrinsic motivation for us to be the change we hope to see.

Shifting the values of the dominant culture is not easy. The dominant culture values consumption, capitalism, exploitation, convenience, comfort, etc which are not aligned with the values needed to support all beings into the future in a healthy way. I see the majority of climate change messaging as being very “distant” to most humans, and very difficult to relate to. To bring it closer to the heart means moving people to recall their own connection with all that is sacred, and to foster a reverence for this beautiful creation we are a part of.

Photography has allowed me to learn so much by being a witness and understanding peoples’ lives and stories.

What behavior change or mindset do you hope to challenge with this work?
I personally see it as my responsibility as a settler in so-called Canada to do whatever I can in exchange for living here as a treaty person, and I urge those situated on unceded land (95% of so-called British Columbia is unceded yet settlers keep taking up residence there, and the coastlines continue getting affected by oil spills/toxicity, noise and light pollution, development, etc.) to think about their obligations as guests.

My hope is threefold:
1) To further the collective healing process (Recently, our MPs voted unanimously to name what has happened in so-called Canada with residential schools a genocide that has affected Indigenous peoples across the nation, and acknowledging the harm is an important step);

2) To ensure the Tsleil-Waututh know they are not alone in their fight to stop the TMX pipeline expansion and other extractive entities from destroying the land and putting the inlet and their kin (human and non-human) at risk from oil spills and other disasters. They need much more support from settlers. This is not just their fight, it’s all of our fight. And what’s at stake canning be replaced.

3) That settler audiences will see these stories and do their part to advocate through their votes and voices. Indigenous people are responsible for protecting 80% of the biodiversity on the earth but make up only 5% of the population. Science is only beginning to catch up to what Indigenous people have already known. They also make up 5% of the population in so-called Canada but make up a disproportionate percentage of prison populations, suicides, children in foster care, and violence against women due to the prevalence of systemic racism and colonized mentalities.

The Daily Edit – 100 Battles: Amy Silverman






100 Battles Magazine

Photography Director: Amy Silverman

Heidi: What was your approach to the photo direction?
Amy: The publishers of this project are Epic (owned by Vox Media) along with a company called Headline. Josh Davis (Epic co-founder) and Jon Steinberg (then creative director at Epic) approached me about photo directing a new business magazine with the idea that it would be large format, print-only, and photo forward. One of the publications that inspired them is Victory Journal. At first I was skeptical. I immediately said the gulf between sports and business is exactly what allows Victory to do what they do. Sports are inherently graphic and business is…not. I said I would do it only if the decisions we made about what stories to include were based on whether or not it would make a good photo story (which, of course, is totally subjective). If they really wanted it to be filled with full page photos, that had to be the first priority and they had to buy in to that. To me, it meant tech and science (not to mention anything or anyone in an office) were, for the most part, off the table. My experience at Wired taught me a lot about photographing folks in labs and photographing tech stories (or…finding conceptual solutions to illustrating tech stories usually!) and I didn’t think that would carry longer, photo-driven stories. We also had to steer away from stories that revolved around founders in the ways that many business magazines tend to do. I knew we would need a lot more than portraits to keep it compelling and, again, these guidelines felt crucial to me in terms of making it successful. They agreed and our Editor, Alana Levinson, was very committed to it as well.

What were you looking for in the imagery?
My thinking around the imagery was, How can we fill pages with really graphic, energetic shots that work well at that scale? The magazine is 11.5” x 16.5”. It’s really big! One of the first stories that was proposed was one about a young woman in Los Angeles who makes piñatas for people like Rihanna and also for a million other things like corporate events and quinceañeras. She is part of a long tradition of piñata makers. Her grandmother and father both did it in LA and she is really trying to find new ways to do it— as an art form and as a business. This felt like a perfect example of what we were looking for and I thought Michelle Groskopf could do a great job of capturing the colors and somewhat messy business of her process. It’s all very handmade. We wanted it to feel fun and irreverent.


When we started out I did think we may have a mix of some more conceptual work or even some illustration but as we assigned the first couple stories, it became clear that going with more documentary or portrait photographers with a very strong style would be the way to go. We really wanted to include stories from all over the world so I started digging for photographers in China, South Africa, Central America, all over really. I looked for people who walk the line between documentary and fine art. A writer pitched a piece about gum makers (chicleros) in the Yucatan and I immediately thought of Juan Brenner who I really admired but had never worked with. His interest in photographing the culture of his native country of Guatemala made it feel like a great match to me and that story is just beautiful- and it really feels like him.

A writer in China pitched a story that takes place in mainland China and we ended up having to work around Covid restrictions. (This was all happening in mid-2021.) Travel restrictions were extremely tight and I couldn’t even send someone from Hong Kong so I did a lot of research and ended up working with photographer Yuyang Liu, based in Shanghai, who did an incredible job. We were really blown away when those images came in. I made it very clear to each photographer that we would run images as full page spreads so they absolutely had to keep it in mind while shooting.

Our budget was not that big so I also looked really intensely for any stories that we could pick up if it made sense. I found a project that Sameer Raichur had done a while back about wedding chariots in India. It is a really beautifully photographed series showing families with their cars and then the cars turned into these elaborate chariots used to carry the bride and groom in wedding processions. This felt like a great opportunity to just run a series of beautiful portraits.

I could really just talk about every story individually because, in the end, I try to always do what I think is right for the story so I knew there would be a lot of variation between them. I decided not to let the idea of an overarching style get in the way of using who I thought was the right photographer for the individual piece. And there were so many opportunities to make great images and have fun with it. I didn’t want to there to be any one-offs that felt completely different from everything else but I felt like there was room for flexibility.

What makes this business magazine different, and how was the business landscape changed?
We wanted to cover the people and the businesses that get left out of mainstream business publications. Our editor, Alana, had no allegiance to traditional business publications. She is someone who really doesn’t back down from being irreverent and questioning everything. She is fearless in that way! We felt like it was the perfect time, coming out of the pandemic, when the world is rethinking the idea of work, to look for some people who are doing it differently. To look at work in general- through pieces like Night Shift about the culture of work in Japan or to find people who are filling needs in creative ways like the company Cloudy Deliveries, in a township outside of Cape Town. That business is sending young people out on bikes to deliver anything that people need- combining social services for young kids who are looking for something to do as well as filling this real need that is not being filled by companies like Amazon who just don’t deliver to places like that. The story Superfly is about a company in Singapore that is extracting biomaterials from black soldier flies- basically using local compost to generate materials that can be used in many different products. So we let in a science story because I really wanted to run a double page spread of fly larvae!! The hope was to celebrate the idea of entrepreneurship by finding disruptors and innovators who aren’t necessarily flashy or in the spotlight.


How often does this come out?
This was our pilot issue. I would so love to make more but right now I’m not sure if there will be an issue #2. Let me know if you want to fund more!

Tell us about the name?
The search for a name was tough. We all brainstormed and threw around ideas for months going through several iterations before settling on 100 Battles. That was one of the few things that needed to get approval from Headline who otherwise gave us a ton of freedom editorially. So it took us a while to land it but 100 Battles is quote from the famous Sun Tzu book, The Art of War“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.” We definitely aren’t pushing the idea of competitors as enemies but think of it more as an acknowledgement of the amount of work entrepreneurs must put in to be successful and the amount of understanding it takes to be able to break the rules.

If you want to hold a copy in your hands, you can find it here: 100battlesmag.com

Other contributors include in order of appearance
Cover: Mary Kang
Kate Peters
Gulshan Khan
Sameer Raichur
Juan Brenner
Amy Lombard
Jesse Rieser

The Daily Edit – Ilanna Barkusky: Color Series and Simply Stronger

 

Ilanna Barkusky: Color Series

 

Heidi: A significant portion of your photo career was steeped in the ski industry, what are you bringing forward from that experience creatively, and what are you leaving behind?                                                                                                                            Ilanna: Skiing was my foundation for a creative career. Over those years, I learned how to conceptualize and pull together the images I wanted to create. I loved shooting for the magazines, and the democratic nature of submitting your best work at the end of the season to photo editors around the world. I always had a plan for the creative images I wanted to capture over the winter. I used to organize night shoots at the local mountains or convince a group to build and ride a Mount Seymour backcountry jump at sunset. I learned the benefits of going the extra mile to create a photo when I saw them published in some of my favorite magazines. That made hiking with photo gear in my backpack or dealing with the elements entirely worth it. When I started broadening my horizons outside of skiing, I left behind having such a specific niche driving my creativity. With that, I gave myself permission to experiment and dive into different genres.

How has this project helped you transition from Canada to California?
This series got a significant amount of traction, which luckily coincided with the transition and growth of moving from Canada to California. Through that, I learned the real importance of personal work, and how it can truly be the catalyst needed to achieve your wildest goals.

What made you choose courts and how do you find them?
I was looking to intersect movement and shadows with shapes and lines. Tracks, as well as tennis and basketball courts, was a perfect fit for the concept I was looking to explore. Finding these locations was straight forward. I would sometimes browse Google Earth, but I also kept an eye out for them in my daily life once the project was underway. One of my favorite locations that I shot for basketball and skateboarding was found out of the corner of my eye while driving on a bridge in my hometown of Vancouver.

Why the drones?
I originally bought a drone because I wanted to be on the cutting edge of something new and exciting within photography. I quickly realized that the overhead, top-down angle of a drone creates these simplistic compositions that I really gravitate towards. Not only is it a unique perspective that many of us do not see on a regular basis, but it also feels like a poetic way to look at the world.

Where and how are you finding the talent?
For the Colour Series, I was mainly asking friends of mine to be a part of the project. Over the years, I’ve been able to work with such incredible athletes and meet wonderful people along the way. I always circle back and ask people I’ve worked with previously to keep shooting together. I really thrive on creative collaboration, and it is one of my favorite aspects of the job.

What sport has replaced the experience and flow of skiing for you, if any?
I think it will be hard for any sport to replace the space that skiing held for me. That aside, in terms of a similar experience, I have always been obsessed with the ocean. I’m looking to spend more time in the water whether it is surfing, paddling, and getting my scuba certification.

What have you been working on lately?
My most recent project was one of the most rewarding so far! I directed and produced a personal project called Simply Stronger with 6 different athletes and an amazing crew. We ended up with a 45s spot and some creative cutdown videos anywhere from the 6-15 second range.

Why the 6 second challenge?
If the idea of something scares me, I try to give it a go at the first available opportunity to demystify it. The idea of condensing storytelling into a 6 second timeframe seemed daunting, but it is also needed in today’s advertising/commercial landscape. We incorporated some motion design into the final cuts, which I think really elevated the final product. I’m looking forward to doing more!

The Daily Edit – Ilanna Barkusky: Color Series and Simply Stronger


Ilanna Barkusky: Color Series

 

Heidi: A significant portion of your photo career was steeped in the ski industry, what are you bringing forward from that experience creatively, and what are you leaving behind?
Ilanna: Skiing was my foundation for a creative career. Over those years, I learned how to conceptualize and pull together the images I wanted to create. I loved shooting for the magazines, and the democratic nature of submitting your best work at the end of the season to photo editors around the world. I always had a plan for the creative images I wanted to capture over the winter. I used to organize night shoots at the local mountains or convince a group to build and ride a Mount Seymour backcountry jump at sunset. I learned the benefits of going the extra mile to create a photo when I saw them published in some of my favorite magazines. That made hiking with photo gear in my backpack or dealing with the elements entirely worth it. When I started broadening my horizons outside of skiing, I left behind having such a specific niche driving my creativity. With that, I gave myself permission to experiment and dive into different genres.

How has this project helped you transition from Canada to California?
This series got a significant amount of traction, which luckily coincided with the transition and growth of moving from Canada to California. Through that, I learned the real importance of personal work, and how it can truly be the catalyst needed to achieve your wildest goals.

What made you choose courts and how do you find them?
I was looking to intersect movement and shadows with shapes and lines. Tracks, as well as tennis and basketball courts, was a perfect fit for the concept I was looking to explore. Finding these locations was straight forward. I would sometimes browse Google Earth, but I also kept an eye out for them in my daily life once the project was underway. One of my favorite locations that I shot for basketball and skateboarding was found out of the corner of my eye while driving on a bridge in my hometown of Vancouver.

Why the drones?
I originally bought a drone because I wanted to be on the cutting edge of something new and exciting within photography. I quickly realized that the overhead, top-down angle of a drone creates these simplistic compositions that I really gravitate towards. Not only is it a unique perspective that many of us do not see on a regular basis, but it also feels like a poetic way to look at the world.

Where and how are you finding the talent?
For the Colour Series, I was mainly asking friends of mine to be a part of the project. Over the years, I’ve been able to work with such incredible athletes and meet wonderful people along the way. I always circle back and ask people I’ve worked with previously to keep shooting together. I really thrive on creative collaboration, and it is one of my favorite aspects of the job.

What sport has replaced the experience and flow of skiing for you, if any?
I think it will be hard for any sport to replace the space that skiing held for me. That aside, in terms of a similar experience, I have always been obsessed with the ocean. I’m looking to spend more time in the water whether it is surfing, paddling, and getting my scuba certification.

What have you been working on lately?
My most recent project was one of the most rewarding so far! I directed and produced a personal project called Simply Stronger with 6 different athletes and an amazing crew. We ended up with a 45s spot and some creative cutdown videos anywhere from the 6-15 second range.  

Why the 6 second challenge?
If the idea of something scares me, I try to give it a go at the first available opportunity to demystify it. The idea of condensing storytelling into a 6 second timeframe seemed daunting, but it is also needed in today’s advertising/commercial landscape. We incorporated some motion design into the final cuts, which I think really elevated the final product. I’m looking forward to doing more!

The Daily Edit – Mind Over Mountain: Jakob Reisinger

Patagonia Journal

Photo Editor: Jakob Reisinger

Heidi: Where did this all-female crew go and for how long?

Jakob: These photos were created on the prestigious Bugaboos to Rogers Pass ski traverse in British Columbia during the Spring of 2021. Our snow ambassadors Leah Evans, Marie-France Roy, and Madeleine Martin-Preney had their eyes and hearts set on this project for many years. When the stars aligned, filmmaker Nick Waggoner, with the help of Tucker Anderson and Alex Geary, tagged along to document it.

Why did you provide the crew with disposable cameras?

Early in the planning they had all expressed safety concerns with a large group over 6 people on such a long traverse in remote mountains with no room for error. More people equate to more possible complications. So, we were not able to send along a dedicated still photographer because moving picture was the priority. Single-use cameras seemed like the way to go because of their reliability, ease of use, no battery charging or electronic fails on a 10-day adventure with harsh weather conditions and varying temperatures.

What aesthetic were you going for with BW film?

I chose BW for an elevated but also simplistic aesthetic. I think it works very well in snow environments and big open spaces, like the glaciers on the traverse, and gives nice contrast. To me BW film does a wonderful job conveying the mood of snow—it’s purity and timelessness. We used cameras with Ilford XP2 film stock because those were the only ones available near Revelstoke, B.C. where Leah lives, and a friend of hers had to pick them up the night before the girls left on their trip. Later I learned that there’s actually a Kodak Tri-X single use camera which I would have preferred. We color corrected the images to match Tri-X a bit.

How did your love of the snow and mountains inform this project?

Skiing is my first love and moving through snowy landscapes will always feel like coming home for me. Snow is a gift from heaven and cannot be cherished enough. Using BW film was my attempt to celebrate winter a bit and replicate a sense of adventures past.  This project basically brought together my two biggest passions and I’m so stoked that Patagonia is a place where these photos can shine. I had to pinch myself a few times while working with these images that I’m getting paid to do this 😊.

Some of Patagonia’s founding photo principals are images on speculation, participatory POV, real people doing real things, and what YC calls an honest shot. What other principals did you call in?

The photography ties into our desire to offer a participatory point of view where the photographer is really part of what is happening rather than being an outside observer. This way the photos feel energetic, engaging, and authentic as opposed to staged and ‘commercial’ because that’s how the moments were. The photos came back so personal, fun, and gritty and it really feels like a trip report from the athletes’ personal perspectives. By removing the pressure of a professional assignment and letting the athletes really just have fun with the cameras added an element of realness. They never had to ‘pose’ for a photo, they just did their thing and went full circle by self-documenting it.

 

 

The Daily Edit – Linda Guerrette


Linda Guerrette

Heidi: How long have you been taking photos and how did your parents inspire you?
Linda: I’ve been taking photos for a long time but professionally for the last 10 years. Both my parents had a very strong work ethic but also knew the value of getting away to ski, fish, camp, ride bikes and adventure. I’m very fortunate to have grown up cherishing experiences as a family and individually.

You started out in the ski industry, how many women photographers/coach were on the scene when you started? 
When I started there were few women coaches and even fewer photographers. Times are changing some but there is certainly a large gap in numbers between the genders. It’s encouraging to see more young girls and women becoming creatives in the action sport world becoming role models for future young girls.

What constitutes a worthy spot to hang out while the participants come through?
I like to create a sense of place so I’ll scope out locations that will fulfill that criteria. I like to have the action come to me based on where I position myself. I will generally position myself where body movement and emotional expression can and will take place. I aim to have the subject shape the image. It’s most rewarding when I feel a connection with an athlete through the lens.

What emotions do you look for?
I look for physical engagement first which typically leads to exhibiting emotions of all kinds. The range is from focus, excitement, joy, satisfaction.

Tell us about your relationship with Queen of Pain, Rebecca Rusch and your connection to women’s cycling.
I met Rebecca through FB after one of her Leadville victories. I posted a few images of her race and she liked what she saw and that was my introduction to her. Over the years I’ve worked with various female cyclists. My main focus at any event is to work on giving coverage to the top women, middle of the pack and the up and comers. Women supporting women is vital to the future growth.

How has your process refined over the years?
I’d like to believe I’ve become more creative and innovative at storytelling. I’m more comfortable connecting with the athletes so we can work on creating images together. Let’s face it with social media as it is marketing of self is very important to the success of athletes as well as myself.  Building networks is something I continue to refine.

What would you tell your younger, creative self?
I would say trust yourself and believe that your passions can become a way of life. It certainly won’t be easy but staying the course will be worth it.

The Daily Edit – Colin Wiseman: Writer and Photographer

According to Gerry Lopez, “Bells are one of the things that Japan does better than anywhere else in the world.” Ringing the bells under heavy snowfall on our first day in Niseko at Hanazono, Hokkaido, Japan.


Colin Wiseman

Heidi: How has being both writer and photographer informed your photography?
Colin: The storytelling aspect of being a writer (and editor/photo editor) helps me approach photography with a deeper vision of the final product. It allows me to see the whole story and create a visual narrative that fills in the gaps between peak moments. Sometimes, in action sports and otherwise, the context in between the main objectives are where the true story lies, and it’s important to keep an eye out for the less obvious images that can be the most honest and impactful. It’s easy to forget that if you aren’t focused on a cohesive narrative.

Did you start out knowing you wanted to do both edit and photo/motion?
Ever since high school, writing and photography have both been interesting to me. They’re complementary pursuits, and I found storytelling through both copy and imagery to be a natural progression. Video came later. For most of my career, I thought I wouldn’t want to try to capture both stills and motion on the same shoot, but for some applications—particularly shoots where motion and moments are predictably repeatable—there can be effective balance without watering down the final product.

What have been the benefits of being a “dually” or multi-talented now that we have a thirst for content in the digital world?
For one, a brand or editorial title can save travel costs by sending a single person to get the whole story through copy, imagery, and potentially video. Second, the ability to understand the story in a holistic way—whether that’s a brand story or an editorial story—can allow me to provide a more cohesive and balanced final product as well. And third, photography serves as a visual notebook in a way—the photos bring me back to the moment and allow for vivid, detailed memories to draw upon while writing.

Big picture, with multiple levels of digital media, the content needs of any entity have grown exponentially. Being able to provide everything from stills to video and accompanying copy can feed the various levels of engagement that are all essential to successful tiered storytelling from print to web to social media. As someone who studied sociology for seven years, seeing the big picture is also fascinating to me, and being able to take a holistic approach to media creation is a fun puzzle to put together.

Were there any drawbacks?
It all takes time, and doing both a photo edit and copywriting on tight deadlines can demand a lot of creative energy. Writing, in particular, requires a spark that is hard to explain, and that happens after the trip, or interview, or engagement with the subject at hand. Sometimes when you sit down to write it flows almost effortlessly, but sometimes it doesn’t—the creative inspiration can arrive at odd hours, or even days or weeks after the fact. Photography generally has its creative moments before and during the shoot, but the back-end editing of my own work is more like hammering nails than playing music, which is the opposite of writing.

You recently finished a stint as a photo editor, did that role shed light on the art of pitching in stories and your photo work?
I recently spent about a year working in the photo and copy departments at Patagonia covering maternity and paternity leave for one of their photo editors and one of their managing editors of copy. Before that, most of my back end work had been as an editor, photo editor and content director for The Snowboarder’s Journal, which is an independent print title with a digital property, focused on a very specific core audience. My time at Patagonia certainly helped me understand the high volume of content required to support a larger brand in the outdoor space with strong and specific messaging, which speaks to a large and diverse audience. It certainly helped me understand how stories fit the brand message more effectively, and gave me a better understanding of how photography and copy flows between larger teams and how overall brand messaging flows into category-specific storytelling. Patagonia has a lot of moving parts and fitting work into the right spaces as a freelancer requires making everyone’s jobs easier through clear communication, clear understanding of the brand, and pitching work that fits into the aforementioned messaging pyramid.

Eric Jackson outside of Valdez, Alaska—the image that won Best Mountain Photo for Red Bull Illume 2021

Congratulations on the RedBull Illume award, why did you submit that image?
Thank you. Winning Best Mountain Photo at Red Bull Illume is a career highlight as someone who shoots action sports. I actually submitted that image to the Raw category, so it was a raw file with zero edits in post. The light, shadow, and immensity of the Alaskan landscape fit well into what I saw as a successful raw image, but it ended up winning the Best Mountain Photo award, to my surprise. It was one of a few peak moments from a week in Alaska where we only got a few cracks at shooting big lines in nice light—after two days up there, wind scoured the range, and effectively shut us down.

Getting a high-level snowboard image in Alaska requires both a lot of planning and a lot of luck, and this one worked in a year where not a lot of people had success up in Alaska, so I thought it might stand out from the crowd. To get that shot, I was perched on a giant glacial ice bulge with massive crevasses just below. it was getting late, and we had to get out of the mountains soon. The wind was starting to below, making navigation difficult. Every year I try to get up to AK to shoot, and some years we walk away with nothing, so any successful image from Alaska is special to me.

Photograph by Agathe Bernard: Interview with her can be read here

Photograph  by Ola J. Chowela : Interview with her can be read here


What have you been working on lately that inspired you?
A lot of my inspiration comes from moments outside of work—evening light on my mountain bike above my house, pedaling alone with time to think. A powder day at the mountain with friends. A hike through big trees in clean air. A good conversation with a deep thinker. Things like that. I’ve been consciously expanding my work beyond the action sports realm in the past few years, and that has been both challenging and rewarding. The unpredictability of shooting with kids, for instance, requires a different approach than setting up a portrait or an action shot with a professional athlete. Working with video is also a fun and engaging pursuit, building a story through a somewhat familiar yet somewhat different medium.

During my time at Patagonia, I was able to work closely with the photo director on two projects in particular that really inspired my creative vision as a producer and editor. One was coverage of the Fairy Creek logging protests on Vancouver Island. I grew up nearby, and old growth logging has long been a controversial issue. To be able to provide a platform for Indigenous people to tell that story in their own words was very meaningful to me. Same goes for Patagonia’s strong messaging following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe V Wade. Having a diverse crew of photographers across the country capturing the protests, and delivering a strong message within 48 hours of the ruling, was both challenging and inspirational. To make space for diverse and often underrepresented folx to tell their own stories is incredibly rewarding. I have a lot to learn in how to navigate those relationships, and I’m inspired to do so.

The Daily Edit – Forest Woodward: Personal work, Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Photographer and writer: Forest Woodward

Heidi: Why did you choose to photograph this only in black and white?
Forest: My entry point into the photographic world was, at a very young age, through the alchemical space of the black and white darkroom. It was a place that shaped the foundation of my vision, and my way of seeing in the world. Over the past two decades I have learned to work in color, and it has served me well for interpreting editorial and commercial assignments in the mode of the times. I have always however, reserved a special place in my practice for black and white, a place that I most often visit when I am working on personal stories. It is a way of seeing and working that helps distill the world around me into essence, light and form.

Was it exclusively shot on film? 
Yes – all of the work was shot on film, a mix of medium format and 35mm.

How did your connection to nature, movement and climate work inform this work?
There’s a lot in that question. My work and interest in the human relationship to nature and our effect on the climate goes way back. As does the process of movement through land as a way of coming into conversation with it. Growing up as a kid roaming game trails in the mountains around our home, and later working in the outdoor industry climbing and running and navigating rivers, movement across land has always connected me to a deep source of intrigue and creative inspiration.

Today so much of the work I encounter in the world comes from a place of talking about nature, about the human effect on climate, about what projections of past and future show us. Those stories are important. But I also think we need more stories that are in conversation with the land, that are informed by a process of immersion, a reappraisal of the importance of emotional and immersive relationship to specific biospheres. Lake Powell is running dry, the West is in a mega drought, Glen Canyon was drowned. These are things that we know – that the data reveal, that science supports, and history has catalogued. These facts are important to consider – they will shape the decisions we make going forward, the policies and actions we take both individually and collectively.

But beyond what can be extrapolated through the analysis of data sets in an air conditioned office in DC, I am interested in what the landscape might offer when it is involved in the conversation in a less abstract manner. This is where the “movement” comes in. The idea of immersing in landscapes and spending long periods of time moving by foot (or in this case by paddle) across the land. It is in this way of moving, watching, listening and interpreting (through words or images or other creative expression) that allows (in my mind) a more nuanced  and emotionally vibrant conversation to emerge around the human relationship to the land.

This was an immersive project, you did the writing as well as creating a body of work, what did you enjoy about that process?
Yeah I really enjoyed that way of working. There are some encounters in a project like this that call for a photograph, others for a words. Rarely do I find a single mode of working is the best for all situations. To have the opportunity to weave words and images together, to let them inform and come into conversation with one another allowed for a more relaxed and honest approach. Neither medium was asked to do more than I could will it to do, but through the relationship created between words and photos I feel at times a third creative form emerges in the space between them.

What did this 130 mile packraft* journey teach you about yourself as a creative?
(*it was a mix of packraft and sea kayak and hiking)
This project in particular was a good reminder to carve out longer periods of time to immerse in a landscape, to return multiple times, and to remain curious. I did a lot of research and reading prior to embarking on this project, and so came into the project with a lot of preconceptions. That was fine, important even, but then the work becomes letting go of those preconceptions in order to see what is actually there. This project reaffirmed my beliefs that the best pictures are not the ones that we set out to make – but rather the ones that find us along the way.

My role as a creative is to be disciplined and in touch with my craft in a way that allows it to be a nearly subconscious endeavor. This requires research combined with a technical and physical proficiency with the tools and in the landscapes being navigated. And then, those foundations being set, it requires a letting go, a release of preconceptions in order to actually be present and tuned to the complexities of that which is being experienced. Experiencing. In the rare instances that this is achieved I think the result is to make work that is honest. To me, that is the highest calling of the creative.

What would you tell your younger creative self?
I think actually I’m going to take some advice from my younger creative self, and give it back to my older creative self today. This is from the interview you and I did a few years back for aPhotoEditor, and it grows more true to me with each passing year:

“Do good work. Be kind to the people around you, and to yourself. Balance your idealism with healthy doses of action. Embrace failure and continually seek opportunities to learn – in whatever form or medium they might take. Question societal definitions of success. Make your own. Surround yourself with good people. And be one, as much as you can. Watch, listen, and when the time is right, act with conviction. Be willing to adapt, to move with the currents, to see from different angles, but don’t ever give up on the unique point of view that makes you you.”

Lake Powell

In the spring and summer of 2021, as Lake Powell plummeted toward its lowest recorded water levels since reaching full pool in 1980, Forest Woodward set out on a long unscripted meander through what was once Glen Canyon. Over two visits, in April and July, he sea kayaked and packrafted some 130 miles of the lake as the Colorado River muscled again through long-buried side canyons. When these images were made, the lake surface was between 3,565 and 3,559 feet, on its way down to this spring’s low of 3,522 feet—dangerously close to the level, at 3,490 feet, when the dam may no longer generate electricity. This April, the Bureau of Reclamation announced a plan to push more water down to the lake from Utah’s Flaming Gorge Dam, 730 miles upstream, while simultaneously slowing releases out of the lake from Glen Canyon Dam. Climate and drought may ultimately have the last word on Lake Powell’s future. Until then, these pictures and notes are Woodward’s attempts to hold on to threads of tangled beauty and the strange markings of a shifting world.

Images and words By Forest Woodward

April 4, 2021

I slept by the river last night. Smoked too many cigarettes. I watched a translucent spider weave a strange dance and woke to the Paria greeting the Colorado, the laughter of kindred currents gurgling downstream. Condors dozing, wings wrapped in clay, dreaming Pleistocene dreams in the cradle of a brown god that never sleeps. Breakfast in Page. Last-minute supply run, sunscreen, mezcal, apples, oats, coffee, jerky.

I have four days and a packraft, and I am fairly open to seeing where the wind and my stubby craft will take me. Emergent design if you will. In 2015, I sea kayaked 90 miles from Hall’s Crossing, on the lake’s western edge, to Glen Canyon Dam, and these two trips will mean I’ve paddled it end to end. A rather arbitrary achievement, and one that takes no account of the most interesting part—that the landscape here is never the same twice, and each canyon holds its own beauty and melancholy.

I walk out to a spot below the dam where someone not too long ago sat amidst the hum of turbines and carved the outline of a buffalo into the rock, along with an inscription that everything that was grasped by man would one day be free again. But now it’s gone.. Erased from the soft stone along with all the other marks of passing. I watch a canoe pick its way up the Colorado towards the base of the dam, slow strokes against deep current. It looks cool down there in the shade of the canyon, where the water moves again.

4.8.21
The body of a dead cow lies decomposing in the mud at the water’s edge when I arrive at Farley Canyon, on the north end of the lake. Even in the dark, I can see evidence of a struggle. I wonder how much this scene resembles what John Farley might have encountered when he ran cattle here back in the 1880s, when the Colorado River flowed free.

Trying to pinpoint the exact confluence of river and lake is a moving target, but Farley Canyon seems as good a launch point as any. Before the reservoir flooded this area, Utah State Route 95 crossed the river here, and I figure I can put in at the mouth of the canyon. In the morning, I push off past the dead cow and a couple fishing for largemouth bass. Swamp Donkey Jill, one introduces herself, and offers me some live bait. “Usually the lake’s coming up a foot a day right now,” she says. “It’s sad to see.” She motions towards the mud rings that stretch some 80 feet up from the water’s edge. It’s hard to imagine that a post office and general store sit somewhere under all this silt.

I paddle for a mile, only to find that this finger of the reservoir is orphaned, cut off from the main body of Powell by the receding water. I pack my boat up and hike across mud flats. I check my GPS. It shows me in the middle of the reservoir, surrounded by water on all sides. I look back down at the cracked mud below my feet and walk on, avoiding bubbling sinkholes and gaping cracks between shifting mud pillars. Eventually I reach water. Water moving swiftly in the form of a river. Still no lake.

Unsure of what lies ahead, I cautiously put in, floating quickly through high banks of silt. After a couple miles, the river widens, rushing shallow and fast across riffles of sand. The movement swirls me into a fitful sort of calm, punctuated by the splash of carp and the awkward flapping of seagulls and pelicans. Bewildered and excited, I paddle on until dark and make camp beneath a large sandstone formation called Castle Butte.

The names we name things are telling of our ambitions.

4.9.21

Nothing is fixed, nothing is quite as it seems. All of the death out here—the cow, the drowned cottonwoods, the fish turned wrong side up—is evidence of that, evidence of how this place is ever so slightly out of balance. It is something felt, that can’t be seen from a plane or a boat. You have to get mired in the mud. Struggle to escape. Clamber up rock after rock covered in sun-bleached quagga mussel shells, razor-encrusted tombstones of the nonnative species that have infested Powell. You have to see the death, smell it, hear the buzz of flies, the stench of stagnation. You must also hear the raven’s laughter and the fighter-jet hum of ducks landing in isolated sink pools, the juvenile heron shitting himself as he cautiously learns to hunt, the trio of otters, the coyote who trots away out across the mud flats, seemingly quite content with the state of things.

4.10.21

I stop for lunch at a nondescript break in the rocks. Nudge a beer can out of the mud with my foot. Wonder who held it last and when. Turning it over in my hands, one side is bleached by sun and water, the other side looks like it could have been set down yesterday. I can barely make out the words “Good Luck” in faded print below a logo of a horseshoe. Good luck to whom, I wonder? To the person who threw it overboard? To the one who finds it? To the waters that covered it? To the drought that revealed it? To Glen Canyon? To Lake Powell? I flip the can end over end. Horseshoe

up, goodluck, horseshoe down, bad luck. Or is it the other way round? I wonder at this place, at the way it holds paradox. Does a thing have to be lost to be loved, destroyed to be appreciated? I toss the beer can into the bow of the boat. Horseshoe up, let’s hope we catch some luck—whatever that is.

4.11.21
I don’t think I possess the language to properly convey the strangeness of paddling through the desert as cliffs of sand calve like glaciers around you, rounding a bend only to be greeted by flocks of pelicans and a stagnant lake.

From my camp at the confluence of river and lake, I survey an old uranium-mining road running along the base of an imposing band of red Wingate cliffs, leading back to where my truck is parked. I expected to be able to paddle back to my launch point, no walking needed. But there’s a metaphor here about best-laid plans. The need to adapt. What happens when our best-laid plans rest on a flawed foundation? What does the West look like without her brimming reservoirs?

Me, I can just pack down the raft, strap it to my pack, and hike back the way I came. If only everything were that easy.

7.8.21
My packraft had proved about as efficient in the wind-chopped lake as a unicycle in quicksand, and for my trip in July, I find an old British sea kayak on Craigslist and head for the old Hite boat ramp, four miles upriver from Farley Canyon.

There is no lake now, just sand and rock and the muddy muscular flow of the Colorado carrying the last winter snowpack out of the high country. The flow carries me quickly through the layers of lakebed, 30-foot mud gendarmes calving like rotten glaciers into the flow. I stay towards the middle of the channel, bobbing over 5-foot standing waves carved from the sandy bottom. Dust devils tower and dive. A coyote carefully leads her pups down to the river to drink, scrambling away to a safe distance when she sees me. Rich green grasses have sprouted across the silt plain, and a rogue herd of cattle pause their meal to watch me pass.

Later, I will sit quietly at the head of the lake and watch as three otters play on the long mud banks below Wingate cliffs. This feeling of quiet and space will change as I move down into the reservoir, closer to the marina traffic and weekend crowds, but here, in this landscape of flux, I feel acutely aware of my human presence.

7.9.21
You try to come to a place properly. To greet the raven at the canyon’s mouth. To whistle with the wren as she sits on the lone branch. To walk slowly. To look about. There is a gravity to some places that is felt, not spoken or measured. You give a prayer of thanks; whatever that means to you.

I find the first feather in Ticaboo Canyon, a raven tail, and place it as an offering by the dark pool. The second feather is covered in mud, hung up in some branches. Raven wing. I place it in the creek to rest. The third feather is unmarred, as if just left, curled upwards, the down of a dark chest, I think. I hesitate. Look around. Reaching for it, I place my thumb and forefinger gently on the quill. As I lift it, I hear the raucous calls of a pair of ravens watching from downcanyon. I do not know what they are saying. I don’t know the difference between a good and bad omen, only that it is an omen.

7.10.21
I wake to the sound of wind-pressed waves and the sun low but already scorching across the shimmer of the lake. Pushing off , I soon encounter a Forest Service research crew hauling in an endangered razorback sucker, monitoring the spawning range of the fish. There’s a surprising amount of animal life out here. I’m curious how when a landscape becomes less desirable for humans, it might in some ways become more desirable for other life forms.

Animals I’ve encountered on Lake Powell:

Ravens (a dozen)

Coyote and kits

Blue heron

Egret

American koot

Schools of stripers

Osprey

Golden eagle

Egret

Cattle

Sparrow

Bat

Swift

Weasel

Carp-eating clams

Razorback sucker

Lizards, 4 species

Otter

Human

7.10.11
Walking up from the water’s edge in the side channels of Moki Canyon is a walk through the many cultures of spring breakers that have come and gone here. Glow sticks. Sunglasses. Beach towels, a boomerang, ice bags, squattie potties. These canyons are sacred to many peoples, but none more so perhaps than the spring breakers—at least that is if we are to judge by the artifacts. I grew up on stories of Glen Canyon, but even if the reservoir were to fully drain, it would still leave us with a silted shifting world, far from the Glen Canyon of waterfalls and hanging gardens known by the ancestral Puebloans. I kick at a half-buried piece of towel, unearthing a red Solo cup.

It’s interesting how unaware of their wake people are. In one narrow stretch of canyon, a beefed-out wakeboarding boat throttles past me, shouting out a request for directions, which I give them with the motion of a hand. They wave a friendly thanks, disappearing around the bend as their 4-foot wake ricochets off the canyon walls and threatens to swamp my little craft. They mean no malice—they’re just unaware of their effect, the reciprocity between them and water and rock and me. Somewhere in there I suppose there’s a lesson. We all drive big boats some days.

7.11.21

I race a houseboat from Forgotten Canyon, where the ancient Defiance House sits just above the bathtub ring, to Moki Point. I don’t think they know we are racing, but still I win, and that feels good. I swim in the lake—well, I fall in, trying to get water, but it’s my first swim after many trips here, and it feels nice. The lake is a place of reciprocity, it seems. I pick an old Coors can out of the mud, and not ten minutes later am gifted a full Dr Pepper (my favorite!) floating in a side channel. Maybe the canyon is more like the giving tree—giving a place to keep water, then giving the water away.

People talk about caring about the earth, but what they’re usually talking about is caring about a select few playgrounds, curated parks where they climb or bike or hunt. Would we believe someone who said they loved us but only ever saw us dressed up for Sunday service? To really care for something, we’ve got to become acquainted with all sides of it—the dark, the ugly, and the painful alongside the beauty and softness. In my mind, if I’m going to say I love nature, I’ve got to go out and into these seemingly desecrated landscapes and see if I can sit within them, with the discomfort.

I struggle the 12 miles from Moki Canyon to Bullfrog Marina in a heavy headwind and stash my boat in a cove. The bustling energy feels harsh as I walk down the baking asphalt to the restaurant overlooking the marina. I slurp up a cold beer and fork down a salad, watching the Stanley Cup Finals as the sun ripples red gold across pockets of orphaned reservoir.

As I’m finishing my third beer and getting ready to head back down to my bivy bag, an older couple from Salt Lake City sidles up to watch the game. We get to talking about the glory days, decades past, when the reservoir sat high and proud on the land. They’re water skiers, and they tell stories of carving cursive lines across glassy expanses of water under deep redrock walls, secret canyons and sprawling bays blossoming up from dry earth. A place of endless possibility.

The water skiers mourn the reservoir of thirty years ago. I mourn the Glen Canyon I never knew. And while I get the feeling our political beliefs might be polar opposite, we sit here over our beers looking out onto a lake that is now miles away from where it once lapped at this deck, and we agree, this is sad. Ugly, beautiful, changing, and sad.

We agree the water is leaving the West, and something must be done. We agree that as long as this water is tied up in money, it will be difficult for people to agree what to do with it.

We agree that it would be better if more people understood the finite nature of the systems that support life in the American West. Water is what allows us to be here. When it runs out, so does our time on this land.

The Daily Edit: Ecru: Pam Lau

Photograph by Gladys Lou (2021)
Photograph by Kat Castro (2021)
Photograph by Mark Gallardo (2021)


Ecru


Founders: Pam Lau and Jimmy Vi

How did you and Jimmy meet and is this your first collaboration?
Pam: Jimmy and I met at a photowalk in 2016. At the time we were part of two different grassroots community arts groups in Toronto. Over the years I watched him quit his job as an art director in advertising, teach himself filmmaking, and transition into a music video and commercial director.

In 2019 we loosely explored starting an agency together and called it Ecru. We ran into the typical problems; we lacked strategy and direction. We were all creative people and we had no business dev, ops, or finance. We were just friends that wanted to work on projects together. One of us, Kerwin, ended up branching off and starting his own creative studio

Jimmy and I decided to pivot Ecru away from creative services and instead focus on mentorship and community building.

Tell us about the name of the program.
Jimmy came up with that one. It was 11:55 p.m. We had just spent something like 10 hours working on the grant application, and we had five minutes to come up with a name before the deadline closed. We started rapid-fire brainstorming options and this one was short and catchy enough.

How did this free program come about?
We applied for a grant through ArtReach; a funder via Toronto Arts Council and the City of Toronto mandated to support high-quality arts-making programming for marginalised youth. It took us three tries; the first two years we were rejected. After each time we sought feedback and reworked the program and in 2021 we received funding to pilot the first cohort of ‘Ideas From I’.

The 2021 grant covered 5-9 participants. We received funds from a private donor and were able to expand to 12 participants and offer mico-grants to put towards development of the concepts they made the treatment decks for in the program. This year we’ve received the next phase of funding from ArtReach and have a partnership with Gallery 44 in Toronto where participants can get access to studio space and gear to shoot their projects in the Fall.

How did your career in photography get started and what are you hoping to build with this program?
I’m self-taught and started taking photos in high school, never thinking that I could turn it into a career. I started freelancing during school because I always had a camera on me, and after graduation, I started working at a trade publication called Marketing magazine (acquired by Strategy magazine) that reported on the Canadian marketing, media, and advertising industry. I got to sit in on CDs deliberating over what creative was award-winning and I started to build my network from the conferences and trade shows that I covered.

It was very lonely in the beginning of my freelance career and I felt like I had nobody in my corner. Jimmy and I talked about the stress and high-pressure we put on ourselves to make it work, when it felt nearly impossible. I’m starting to recognize it now as a lack of internal validation after growing up feeling guilty or divergent for wanting something other than what others expected of me. The words “You can do it” and “I believe in you” are extremely powerful when said earnestly. With this program we want to be that extension of support that our younger selves lacked for the next generation.

How does one get involved?
Follow us on Instagram (@ecru.club), check out the application form, and send it to someone who comes to mind. We’re also looking to bulk up the micro-grant portion and are open to sponsorship and donations from individuals, production houses, agencies and brands that identify with the goals of the program.
application form is here

Where can find out the specifics of the program?
We’re sharing the application form, testimonials from alum, and answering questions this week on Instagram at @ecru.club.

What does the program offer?
As photographers and directors, vision and concept is at the core of what we do. ‘Ideas From I’ teaches the importance of communicating your ideas through imagery and words. Participants learn about referencing and develop a concept by analysing and drawing a personal connection to what media and art they respond to.

We walk them through creating a treatment deck and effectively pitching it, and support them through the groundwork of pre-production by offering the resources for them to bring their idea to life. We support a range of experience because even if you don’t know how to technically execute something yourself, you can find collaborators and bring a team together that can make it happen.

Most of all, we’re doing it in an environment where we want participants to feel seen, heard, respected, and validated.

 

The Daily Edit – GEO Magazine: Storm Chasers by Laure Andrillon

 


Geo Magazine

Photographer: Laure Andrillon
Producer: Nadège Monschau
Photo Editors: Nataly Bideau and Magdalena Herrera 

Heidi: How did this assignment with GEO come about?
Laure: I pitched a story idea about storm chasing to GEO in December and this reporting trip happened in May of 2021, which is the beginning of the chasing season in the Tornado Alley. The magazine was interested in the idea of extreme tourism but also intrigued by the environmental aspect of the story, as storm chasers often contribute to field research around tornadoes and their behaviors. There is a lot of unknown when working on such a story. I couldn’t really tell my editors beforehand where we would go, what kind of landscapes to expect, because there is no set route and we would just follow the weather. Although we all hoped I would get to witness a tornado, nothing was certain. Pretty early on, we decided to make this a first-person story about the experience itself: my editors told me to photograph the waiting as much as the thrills, and to take a lot of notes about smells, varying temperatures, whether the air felt humid or dry, in order for my captions to convey a sensory experience.

Did they introduce you to the meteorologists?
I did some research online and had multiple phone conversations with several meteorologists before I decided to travel with Lanny Dean, a 46 years old storm chaser from Oklahoma. He was experienced (he had already witnessed about 600 tornadoes when I met him), good at explaining the scientific side of his job and importantly, he really was a character. He usually only takes 3-4 guests at a time and likes to get to know them really well, so I thought I would be able to tell his personal story and also understand why his guests were fascinated by storms to the point of dedicating their only annual vacation to chase them.

How long was this assignment?
The tour itself was a week long so my total traveling time from California was around ten days. I initially thought of this as a one-off assignment but it may become part of a long term project about alternative ways to experience the wilderness.

How did you earn their trust?
We drove about 1700 miles together, so it gives you quite a bit of time to chat. There were two storm chasers, Lanny Dean and Tyler Schlitt, their three guests, and me. We would share meals, stretch our legs together at every gas station. We tried to laugh together at our own disappointment when a gigantic supercell turned into nothing before our eyes, or when we failed to see a rare cold-air funnel cloud because it took us to long to get out of the van. When we experienced our first tornado from up close, in McAlester, Oklahoma, it created a deep bond between the other guests and I. It was a dream for them and I was there to see it fulfilled. There was a lot of joy but also an element of fear. It is a very unique experience to share with someone.

How did the project inform your photography moving forward?
This project encouraged me to pay more attention to the quiet moments when I photograph. I knew a lot of talented and fierce photographers had already captured the tornadoes in a way I wouldn’t be able to achieve with no previous chasing experience and with so little time. My editors at GEO wanted me to convey the internal feeling of searching for the tornadoes and to give a glimpse of the other side of storm chasing: it’s not always glamorous!

I know you recently finish the program at ICP, what are your future photo goals?
I just moved back to San Francisco after I graduated from the documentary photography program at the International Center of Photography in New York City. I am hoping to find a balance between doing assignment work and developing long term projects. I am mostly interested in stories about the environment, health and aging, and the exploration of alternative lifestyles. I am currently preparing for two exhibitions in the Fall, at the Encontros da Imagem photo festival in Braga, Portugal, and at the Festival for Ethical Photography in Lodi, Italy. I am very excited to explore different spaces where my projects can live: in magazines, on social media, on gallery walls and in public spaces. It gives me the opportunity to work with a variety of editors that often have very different perspectives on my work, which makes it a very good learning experience.

The Daily Edit – Roe v Wade: Kate Fanning


Roe v Wade: Denver Protest: Patagonia

Photographer: Kate Fanning

Heidi: How would you define your photography style?
Kate: I would describe my style as honest. I’m not interested in perfect or highly manipulated images. There’s no grit there, no story. I want my work to represent and feel like the moment I was in. While I want viewers to see the way I see things, more importantly, I want them to decide how my images make them think or feel.

What moments appealed to your eye?
Opposites. Moments of juxtaposition. Messages written on the backs of signs, while the sign-holders moved forward. Fluorescent flashes of cardboard against heavy, black clouds. Mighty impactful phrases with so few words. A bright, rainbow pride flag, draped across the gloomy, gray facade of our Capitol building – a beacon of hope for equality, while standing in the trenches of inequality.

What moved you the most about this story? 
The American flag flying upside down. It was a gut-punch that I wasn’t expecting. I’m a Daughter of the American Revolution, and I come from a long line of veterans. Respect for our flag and country was instilled in me from a young age. When I wanted to buy Chuck Taylors in the eighth grade with an American flag print, my Mom said, “I won’t let you wear something on your feet that we fought so hard to defend.” I stood at my Father’s and Grandfather’s gravesites, listened 21-gun salutes that dropped me to my knees, and watched as their flags were lifted off their coffins, folded with such meticulous care and finally, handed over. My siblings and I grew up as flag code defenders, and I know what it means to fly it upside down. When I saw those stars waving in the wrong spot, I felt it – we’re in trouble.

What surprised you the most about this project?
Most surprisingly, were the intimate details that women so courageously shared. Stories of their lives scribbled with Sharpies on posters that lined a stormy sky. Skystories, I thought. Stories of loss, stories of rape, stories of religion, politics, grief, and anger. Stories that had nowhere else to go, except for up. I found myself wanting to tell everyone ‘thank you’. Thank you for sharing your trauma, thank you for showing up, thank you for fighting for the least of us, thank you for not quitting…please…don’t quit.

What do you hope for, for those who can become pregnant?
I hope it’s their choice. I hope their family is supported. I hope they get to raise children in a country that values babies AND parents. I hope their kids don’t grow up to fight this same damn fight.

The Daily Edit – TIME: Hugh Kretschmer

TIME

Creative Director: DW Pine
Photographer: Hugh Kretschmer

Heidi: How did the idea for Plastic Waves come about?
Hugh: I had been working on a personal environmental project around water using recycled, repurposed, or rejected plastic sculpted into water effects. I would take the sculptures to specific locations and photograph them in the right light.After about a year, I saw a Robert Longo charcoal drawing at a gallery here in LA, and that was when the idea for Plastic “Waves” hit me. The artwork was from his Epic Wave series, and his masterful rendering of texture made me think of plastic garbage bags. Although a completely different interpretation, this one image out of the series is closest to one of Longo’s waves. It’s the one I saw in the gallery that day. Since then, I’ve shifted away from that first project, titled Mirage, and solely working on the Plastic “Waves” series.

Where did you photograph the sculpture? ( it looks like the wave is built in two pieces)
It was during the early days of the pandemic when every public outdoor space was off-limits, and the beach where I photographed the first one was on that list. So, I had to hike the sculpture and gear up to a fire road near where I live in the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s a remote trail that was closed, but I set up behind a bend at the foot of the trailhead, out of view. Yes, this sculpture was designed in two parts. I wanted to force depth in the image and frame the smaller section in the foreground and close to the lens. It gives the perspective that feels as if you’re swimming in the ocean, watching the wave go by.

What did you use for the waves and the wave’s foam and spray?
The process starts with chipboard as the base that defines the overall shape. Then repurposed pillow batting is applied to the surface, giving the sculpture visual volume. On top of that, I lay an aluminum screen over the entire area that is visible to the camera. The screen provides tooth for the next application, paper pulp made from old newspapers combined with a binder. Once it dries, I laminate black plastic garbage bags to the surface using a spray mount and a hairdryer.

The last step is the most time-consuming: recreating the foam and spray. It’s critical because that is where the eye goes first; the details must be as realistic as possible. That area is made from a translucent garbage bag of different thicknesses, each serving a particular purpose. The foam is loosely crumpled from a thicker plastic to hold its shape, while the spray is made from a thinner version. The spray is where most of my time is spent. I make hundreds of little pompoms that I hot glue to the surface and add hundreds of longer ones that I speckle throughout. During capture, I use a neutral density filter, small aperture, long shutter speed, and an electric leaf blower that gives off the illusion of motion to the spray.

How much testing did you do with the plastic bags?
I didn’t test the plastic bags so much as learn how to turn a 2D artwork into a 3D sculpture. The first wave I attempted resulted in four iterations before I could get it right. That means starting over from scratch each time. I’ve gotten a lot better at controlling the issues by altering the techniques I use and having a complete understanding of what types of bags work best for each area of the sculpture I’m working on. Ultimately, it is all about the light and reflection and how it interacts with the particular garbage bags. I’ve been at this for a while and now design the waves in a specific way depending on the light at any given point in the year. The wave’s design has to be oriented to the right for summer projects, while the winter months require it to face the opposite direction.

What was most challenging about the build for the cover image and the wave image?
Creative Director DW Pines selected a photo from 2020, and I didn’t explicitly create it for the cover. He had already designed the cover with my image and sent it to me with his initial inquiry. But he asked about creating a shot in the week we had, but I told him they can take weeks, sometimes months, to make, and there wasn’t enough time. And time is the most challenging aspect of this work. The process has a mind of its own and is unpredictable, and is due to the materials I use not bending the way I want. However, I’ve changed the techniques to work around those issues. The capture phase of the project is also a challenge because I usually end up photographing the sculpture four or five times before I feel it’s right. Until the sculpture is ready to be photographed, I haven’t seen the sculpture in the intended lighting, and that’s when all the flaws and issues appear. So, I’ll bring it back to the shop, make the necessary changes, take it back to the beach and try again.

What was your intent for these images?
One point I’d like to share is my intent for these projects. Plastic “Waves” and Mirage were both started because I wanted my work to have a purpose, and environmental causes are what these projects’ primary objective is geared towards. I want to benefit nonprofits devoted to water conservation through gallery print and book sales. This syndication is my first opportunity to do so, and I’m very proud to be writing that first check.

The Daily Edit – Dawn Kish photographs Glen Canyon

Dawn Kish

Heidi: How did that camera find its way to you?
Dawn: A few years ago, my friend Richard Jackson and I were working on a large format project together. Jackson is a master printer and makes beautiful photographic prints. Out of the blue he hands me this old Crown Graphic 4×5 camera and says, “Would you be interested in using this camera? It belonged to Tad Nichols.” My jaw dropped. I am a huge fan of Tad’s work and feel like he is the Ansel Adams of Glen Canyon. He photographed Glen Canyon in the 1950’s before it was buried under a watery tomb called Lake Powell. Tad documented the pre-damed canyon with this camera and he did 16mm motion pictures as well.  In 1998, there was a big push to get these important photos published and get his archive to Northern Arizona University (NAU). Tad and Richard became friends on a river trip many years before and he became the printer for his book, Glen Canyon-Images of a Lost World.  Tad passed away in 1999 and bequeathed this camera to Richard.

I told Richard, “No thank you, I’m worried I would harm this historical camera.” This offer made me nervous but I was also elated, but I said, “I’ll borrow it when I have a good project for it.” Well, 2 years later, Glen Canyon started to emerge and Lake Powell’s water levels are at its all time low since the fill up of the reservoir in 1963. Finally, I’ll go see Glen Canyon, a place I never thought I would experience in my life time except in books, photographs, films and Katie Lee songs. And I’ll take TAD (the Crown Graphic) with me. WHOOP!

Why was this body of work important for you to document?
This is a project of LOVE. The love for nature, photography, adventure and the historic significance. I can’t believe this happening. I feel it is my most important work yet to date. Plus, I’m from the Southwest and want to help preserve this iconic landscape. Tad spent time photographing pre-dam Glen Canyon, dam construction, and the resulting formation of Lake Powell with his 4×5



How much did Tads work from Glen Canyon: Images of a Lost World inform your body of work?

His book is definitely is an inspiration. I didn’t go back and recreate his work. I went back to explore and expose what I found and let creativity guide me. This is a creative project and not a replica of the old and new. Though, I do believe there are a few people doing this type of work. The book was my guide and Tad’s spirit to create art and advocacy for our public lands.

Since there’s a significant time and water gap, was it challenging to find the location?
It is still a giant lake. There is still 300 feet of water till you hit the river channel in the deepest parts. But the very outside of the lake is being exposed so you do have a glimpse of what was buried. I feel so honored to get to these places. Glen Canyon is massive and many side canyon fall into it. The logistics are overwhelming and feel I got just a glimpse of what is to be discovered. Tad documented the canyon for over 10 years. I have had 5 journeys by boat so far, that added up to about 12 days on using the camera in the field. I used Gaia maps and marked waypoints of the places on the map that I took the photos. All most all the images look like they are taken underwater by todays maps. Looks like I needed underwater housing and some scuba gear to get the shots.

Just trying to get on the lake there were delays and mishaps of all sorts – bad weather (fucking wind that turns the lake into an ocean), forest fires, road closures, ramp closures, running out of gas, breaking tents, sand in the cameras, sand in your crotch…I’m sure you get the idea. Hahaha. The place is over whelming but over all worth it. The beauty keeps calling me back.

If you were able to connect with Tad, what would your message to him be?
I would thank him for his determination in trying to save this beautiful canyon and documenting this natural wonder before it was all gone. I would tell him I’m going to Glen Canyon with his camera and called it “TAD”. To be honest, I talk to camera all the time when I’m making photos. I ask him to guide me and I usually take a huge breath when I release the trigger cable. I got a little nervous making the exposers on real film. I made sure I backed up my images with my Nikon. You don’t want to mess up because it is not a place you can return to so easily. There is a lot of money and time that goes into one exposer. So I try to relax, concentrate, breathe and talk to Tad and enjoy the beauty of the canyon.

What conservation groups did you work with for this project?
I am involved with the Glen Canyon Institute (GCI) and NAU archive to prepare exhibits about the emergence of Glen Canyon. The work will have an art advocacy message and a percentage of the print profits will go back into these non-profits.  If anyone would like a print they are available. I hope to get a book rolling too but not sure how to do this. I’ve never done a book before but i’m up for the challenge.

What’s your goal with this project?
My goal is to inspire people to not make the same mistake again and fight for our natural world. David Brower, CEO of the Sierra Club during the 1960’s, said, “This was my biggest mistake to let Glen Canyon go under.”

I also started a very personal heart felt film about the making of this project called, Tad’s Emerging World.  I’ll be submitting it to film festivals end of July.