Seizure – The Crime Issue Cover Shoot

Seizure-Crime Cover

Image © Matthew Venables 2013. All rights reserved.

Friday April 12, 2013

A few weeks back I took a day’s sojourn down the coast to Culburra, a left turn from Nowra towards the coast two and a halfish hours drive from Sydney.

Travelling with the Editor in Chief and the Art Director from Seizure magazine, who happen to be friends, we’re on our way to attempt to make a good picture for the cover of the upcoming issue, a Crime themed journal of new writings.

I’d had this idea, with a nod to one of the photographic greats, Helmut Newton, and we wanted a nice quiet beach, with less chance of folks becoming concerned or thinking we were deranged.

The Seizure crew wanted something colourful, as the last few covers had been relatively monotonal, and they had access to a house in which we could stay the evening, a five minute walk to the beach.

With all that in mind I thought you beauty, we’ll get two chances at some nice environmental light at sunset and sunrise, and I’ll try make a postcard type shot, all nice light and colour except with a wrapped up pair of bodies in the mix. Should be pretty straight forward, use a minimal bit of extra lighting and let the scene speak for itself.

As it eventuated, it rained very heavily, for days, the evenings’ shoot washed out in favour of drinking Negronis, apparently quite a specialty of the Editors’, and selecting the outfits and “props”.

Waking at half five in the morning, a perverse and ill advised attempt to catch the dawn light, a thunder and lightning storm was assailing the house, the house leaking under the barrage. An hour or so later the deluge stopped, and we were on the blown out beach, doing our best to make the picture amidst the wind and spitting sky.

I’d thought plenty about logistics, about how to light and pose the subjects, but really, in the cut and thrust of a shoot on a windy beach there was plenty I hadn’t accounted for: it is hard to hear one another, it is very challenging to hold a light on a pole with a soft box attached, sand can be a real nuisance to work with.

I like what we got in the end. It looks like I’ll be lucky enough to have the shot wrap around the front and back cover. Different by some, as almost always, to what I’d imagined, I think the conditions contributed mightily to the feeling of our shot.

The new issue is available for pre-order now. Shipping to supporters and bookstores in May.

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