I wrote this a few years ago for a post in APUG about this type of photography. I'm obviously not a writer.
Everyone knows the stories of Ansel Adams and how he camped out for hours and days to get the incredible photographs that he is famous for.
However, there is a hot new photographer named Ansel Liebowitz doing the same type of work. He has recently been commissioned by Landscape Incorporated to produce the covers for the magazine called Terra Faire.
The progression of this cover shot is as follows:
Day 1. Executive meeting in New York with editor, photo editor, art director, location director, 2 writers, Ansel Liebowitz and his assistant , the stylist, and two interns. The discussion, the cover for May, three months away. Apparently there is a movie coming out on May 5th that features a lot of locations shots in and around the Sierras.
Day 2. Meeting with Ansel, his four assistants, stylist, art director, location director and 2 location scouts and 2 interns. Find the perfect location, check on snow, moon location, time of day etc and report back to Ansel by early next week.
Day 9. Meeting. Same group as day 2. Location scouts report that they have helicoptered around the area and have 3 locations that could be perfect. They produce photographs showing the entire area and included are the position of the sun, moon and at what times. Snow may be a problem.
Day 11. Meeting. Same group. Location is decided upon. Two assistants are sent to the area to camp out and report back when conditions are perfect. The other assistant is sent to round up rental equipment for the shoot. The location manager is sent to arrange for transportation air and ground, for Ansel and his group as well as for equipment, for the day the shoot is decided upon.
Day 19. Sierras. Weather is perfect.
Using their satellite phone the assistants contact New York. The shoot is set for 5pm. The equipment has arrived and has been set up. Ansel jumps in a limo and heads to the private airport. After a grueling 4 hour flight which he sleeps through aboard the company jet, he arrives at the nearest airport, and jumps into a helicopter to take him 30 miles to the staging area.
A Hummer picks him up and then deposits him at the site at exactly 4:30 PM. Unfortunately the driver, not used to the slick roads, fails to stop in time and runs smack dab right into the catering truck. The doughnuts are OK but the capiccino machine and one intern is ruined. Oh well.
Luckily the set decorator arrived yesterday, in time to hire 3 local Sikorskys to drop 500 tons of fresh snow in patchy areas to even out the flats before the mountains. The valley floor is alive with the rhymthic whine of the six semi trailer generator trucks pumping power to the 126 strategically placed strobes filling the valley with light as the assistants tweak the set up working on polaroids. Ansel, wearing his new trumpeter swan down jacket jumps out of the Hummer and looks at the polaroids and yes it's perfect.
He trips the shutter and just to be sure trips it twenty more times as his dutiful assistants skillfully switch the film holders in and out. The shoot had to be interrupted once, while one of his assistants shot a pesky bear cub that kept edging into the shot. But right on schedule, ten minutes later, Ansel is back in the Hummer heading for the helicopter to take him to the airport. He has a gallery opening to attend later tonight.
Day 45. Executive meeting New York. Editor, photoeditor art director,
2 writers, Ansel Liebowitz and his assistant, 1 intern. Ansel, freshly tanned, back from the Bahamas, looks over the pictures which have been photoshopped and printed. They naturally, are admired all around. Ansel - another perfect shoot.
Day 90. The magazine hits the newstands to rave reviews and Ansel has done it again.
Another book is in the works. Just in time for Christmas.