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chris crisman daveed diggs hamilton portrait photo

When our editors at the New York Observer called with an opportunity to shoot a member of the award winning cast of the hit musical Hamilton, we couldn’t say no. We were lucky enough to spend an hour with Daveed Diggs, the actor and rapper currently playing both the roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette.

chris crisman daveed diggs hamilton portrait photo

chris crisman daveed diggs hamilton portrait photo

We spent a morning shooting with Daveed Diggs at the Fraunces Tavern Museum in downtown Manhattan, coincidentally a historically significant location that the real Alexander Hamilton frequented during the 19th century. Couldn’t have asked for a better location.

chris crisman daveed diggs hamilton portrait photo

chris crisman daveed diggs hamilton portrait photo

chris crisman daveed diggs hamilton portrait photo

We owe a big thanks to our editors at the Observer for the opportunity and a thank you to the Fraunces Tavern Museum for providing such an awesome location. As always, we also owe a thank you to the team at PXL House for post-production and the final polish on theses shots.

Tickets may be close to impossible to get these days but head over to the official site for Hamilton to check out more info on the show. Also if you’re a Daveed Diggs fan, make sure to give him a follow on Instagram @daveeddiggs. Also make sure to head over to the Observer’s website to read their story on the star.

Questions, comments? Let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto.

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chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

Whenever the phone in our studio rings and there’s a +44 country code at the beginning of the number, we get pretty excited – a phone call from Great Britain almost always means a new assignment from the folks at Wired UK and always something new and exciting for us to go shoot.

This latest cover and feature shoot was no different; we were asked to shoot the creative and technical geniuses who are behind the world famous computer animation studio, Pixar. This particular project took shape over many weeks and came to fruition as two separate shoots in California. First we set off to photograph the director, animator, producer, and all around creative genius John Lasseter. For the cover image, John was to be composited into a scene with the Arlo, the star of Pixar’s newest film The Good Dinosaur.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

As usual with most cover shoots and important subjects, we had a short amount of time with Mr. Lasseter – Chris planned to shoot 3 unique setups in under 30 minutes. After a few hours of setup and testing, our shoot was a breeze – John was a natural and totally enjoyed himself with Chris and our team.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

By far the most unexpected moment of the shoot was on our final all-white set when John called out to everyone behind the scenes asking if anyone had a sharpie. As if she was reading his mind, our awesome prop stylist Kim Creigthon was ready with a set of markers. The next thing everyone knew, John Lasseter was sketching out an original drawing of Buzz and Woody from Toy Story – right on the middle of our set (quite literally)! I have a feeling that drawing is currently framed back at Wired UK Headquarters in London.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

Arlo may have been CGI that was added in later, but we still needed something to simulate the presence of a giant dinosaur in frame. It may be a bit smaller than a dinosaur, but in this case, a tennis ball attached to a C-arm did the trick. No need to book an animal wrangler for this shoot.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

A few days after our quick cover shoot with Lasseter, we flew back to California to spend the day at Pixar’s campus near San Fransisco, capturing images of the incredible space and some of the creative minds behind the company.

First on our shot-list was Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Disney Animation. Similarly short on time to John Lasseter we only had a few moments with Mr. Catmull to shoot our portraits, and were able to capture a handful of great options (if you look closely on the top portrait you may notice the very familiar looking art from the recent Pixar film Inside Out).

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

We also shot portraits of Denise Ream and Peter Sohn, the producer and director of The Good Dinosaur. With the upcoming release set for only a few weeks away, these two were also very busy wrapping up any final details on the film, but spared a few moments for a portrait session in front of Chris’s camera.

chris crisman wired uk pixar john lasseter ed catmull photos

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The other unspoken star of the show on our shoot day at Pixar was the building itself. Designed and meticulously managed and built by Steve Jobs, the space was beautiful, refined and architecturally stunning, yet reflected the playful and quirky nature of Pixar – truly an inspiring space to drive creative ambition. We honestly feel very lucky to have spent the day in such an inspiring place.

Questions? Comments? let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!

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Hi everyone! Short and sweet post for you today. Back in July we got another call from the NY Observer. We love getting their calls because you never know who they’re going to have for us to shoot. They’ve given us Kevin Spacey, Henrik Lundqvist, Kevin Kline, and a few others in the past. If you haven’t seen them, there are posts for each. Check them out!

This time it turned out to be Jesse Eisenberg and we were super stoked on this one. I LOVE movies. I’ve seen every movie ever. So yeah.. I celebrate his entire catalog… He’s been in a ton of stuff. He played Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Zombieland is probably my favorite of his but Adventureland was great too. He’s also playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (!). Can’t wait! Anyways, back to it. He was great to photograph. Super generous with his time and very easy to talk to. The shoot went smoothly and we’re all very happy with the pictures. Many thanks to Jesse, the Observer, and the Library Hotel in NY for letting us use their roof. Enjoy!

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And of course, some BTS:

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Chris is pretty relaxed on set sometimes.

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And yours truly sitting in for another light test.

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chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

Drones are here. Whether it’s as simple as capturing footage from a GoPro, surveying land, top secret military operations or even drone beer delivery (my personal favorite) – these flying robots are in our skies and not going away anytime soon.

As with any developing industry on the edge of modern technology, the team at Wired UK are on it. Earlier this year we received a call from across the pond to fly out to San Fransisco and photograph two companies at the forefront of the aerial robotics industry: Airware and 3D Robotics.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

First up was Airware, a drone company aiming to take the already airbone industry into the cloud. Terrible tech puns aside, the Airware team creates hardware and software that is trying to create a standardized operating system for the world of commercial drone operations – no small task.

Jonathan Downey, the founder and CEO, as well as the rest of his team were generous with their time and access – helping us to illustrate both the tech and the people behind scenes who are bringing this idea to life.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

Our second shoot took us to the Oakland based HQ of 3D Robotics, a consumer robotics startup helmed by former Wired Editor in Chief, Chris Anderson. They just released their first offering, the 3DR Solo Drone – a very user friendly and easily piloted GoPro wielding UAV capable of 3D scanning. Not too shabby.

Spending a day with their pilots and watching the R&D team work was inspiring to see where the consumer side of the drone world is headed.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

And of course the shoot wouldn’t be complete without a few wonderful light tests from Jared and myself. After all these years we’ve gotten really good at standing next to windows and on rooftops.

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

chris crisman wired uk drones airware Jonathan Downey 3D Robotic

We were pretty busy on set wrangling all of these flying robots but we managed to grab a few quick BTS shots. If you look closely enough at the shot of Chris Anderson you can spot the 3DR Solo flying dangerously close to the industrial tanks in the background. No crashes though – the shoot was a success!

Questions? Comments? Let us know at @crismanphoto on Instagram and /crismanphoto on Facebook.

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crisman ellsworth creek

Hi everyone! We’re super happy to to announce that the story we shot back in February for The Nature Conservancy has finally been released. Usually when we get the call from TNC, we need to prepare ourselves to go to some far off place and this job was no exception (and neither was the one we just got back from… we’ll be talking more about that in a few months!). This job had us go to southeastern Washington to the Ellsworth Creek Preserve to photograph their operation.

I’m sure a lot of people are wondering why TNC would put a logger with a fallen tree on the cover of their magazine… and that’s a good question. I’ll try to explain things as simply as possible. Back in the day (about 100 years ago), logging companies we’re cutting down everything they could get their hands on. They’d just completely clear cut entire forests – sadly, this is still happening as you’ll see in one of the pictures below. After a few decades pass, trees would grow back but the forest would all be the same height. There would be no diversity in the ecosystem. So TNC is thinning out these second growth forests to allow sunlight to get through to the ground and allow a natural diversity in plant life and wildlife to take hold while also creating jobs in the local community. Here’s a link to the story which is more detailed and explains things much better than I could ever do. (http://www.nature.org/magazine/archives/beyond-the-timber-wars.xml).

I’ve gotta say that this was one of the toughest shoots we’ve ever worked on. It rained the whole time we were there.. which makes sense since it’s a rainforest but rain and photo gear don’t get along. The terrain was steep, slippery, and overgrown. Most of the time I was carrying a Profoto 7b pack and a small octabank through the forest and Chris had the camera and tripod. We were falling all over the place even with the spikes our contact had loaned us, all while trying to keep the gear dry. We took a beating but sometimes that’s what it takes to make great pictures. I’ll let the pictures below tell the story.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, walking up a tree he just fell in a second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

 

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell falling a tree in a second growth forest at Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve , WA on 2/11/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurments in old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurements of an 11-foot-wide western red cedar at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Aerial views of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

The effects of clear cutting seen from the air neighboring the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Landscape of old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Landscape of a healthy old growth forest. This is the scene TNC is trying to create by thinning the second growth forests. 

Tom Kollasch in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Tom Kollasch, TNC Willapa Program director, in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Rober walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Robert Walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

And here’s a few BTS shots from our time in Washington:

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.30 AMA clear cut and the border of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.15 AMThis is the machine that pulls the thinned trees out of the forest up to the lumber yard. It’s very heavy. The workers specifically said don’t stand under it…. Chris fell directly under it. 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.40 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.56 AMWe drove down to Astoria to catch our plane to get aerial shots of the preserve. We had to stop here. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.47 AMLighthawk is a non-profit organization that donates air time to conservancy efforts. Chris is doing business before taking off.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.24 AMGetting aerial shots in our Lighthawk flight. Apparently the air is really cold going 100mph and having your hand out there is uncomfortable.

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Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.06.10 AMChris working with the crane operator in the lumber yard.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.55 AMAnd lastly, it was oyster season while we were there. These were the largest oysters we’ve ever had. They were the size of our hands. 

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chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

In the fall 0f 2014, the Crisman team headed to Detroit to spend a week working with a group of artists and actors who make up Shakespeare in Detroit. Founded in 2013, Shakespeare in Detroit is a site-specific Shakespeare company that performs throughout the city of Detroit. From the costumes to the actors, the staging and their props – every piece of the SID productions are sourced and based in Detroit. They’re an amazing group of people who are breathing life into the city, and we couldn’t be happier to tell their story.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

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For this shoot we wanted to bring the characters of Shakespeare to life in real locations that spoke to the city of Detroit. The first and most obvious thought would be do go down the route of ruin and shoot inside the crumbling remains throughout the city – but this is a misstep. The true Detroit, the 2015 Detroit is not a crumbling remain, it is a city in rebirth, a thriving city which plays just as an important role in this project as the characters we’ve staged in front of the lens.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

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Art, culture, food, it’s all there in Detroit. And it’s growing – faster than you may image. From city institutions like Coney Island hot dogs to brand new craft distilleries and burgeoning restaurants, there couldn’t be a better city to stage this performance in.

Not happy with just shooting stills, our team also captured motion for this project, including this video interview with the founder and director of Shakespeare in Detroit, Sam White. Although our photos may shed some light into the amazing production she founded, Sam shares the story of SID in a way that only she can.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

Can’t have a shoot without some light tests and BTS coverage. We kept our kit pretty small and mobile since we were shooting at least 2 locations a day and sometimes more.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

One of the most unique and most distinctively Detroit locations was The Heidelberg Project, a large scale outdoor art exhibit that spans an entire city block.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

And then I got stuck in a fish tank. Well – not really… we did shoot at the amazing Belle Isle Aquarium, a historic building designed by the legendary architect Albert Kahn.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

Aside from being the stage for our scenes photographed from Othello, Slow’s Bar Bq serves some damn tasty BBQ and is a must visit if you’re in the city.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

We owe a big thank you to our editors at Southwest magazine for trusting us to bring this wild story to life. We also owe a thank you to Sam White and the entire acting company at Shakespeare in Detroit – we couldn’t have pulled this off this without all your help! Last but not least, we owe a thank you to the city of Detroit – the other character throughout this series of photos – quite possibly the most appropriate backdrop for these images.

chris crisman editorial photography Southwest Airlines Shakespea

And last but not least here’s a photo of Jared asleep while sitting in for a light test. Yup – it was definitely a long week.

Thanks for reading – make sure to check us out at @crismanphoto on Instagram and /crismanphoto on Facebook.

 

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WIRED UK - February 2015

Last fall the Crisman team hopped a flight to Nevada and trekked out into the middle of the desert to photograph a record-breaking human speed attempt. Part science & engineering, part sheer human strength – the AeroVelo team set out to break records at the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge and we were there to capture every minute of it. Here’s a few of our favorite shots that ran in this month’s issue of Wired UK.

chris crisman editorial photography wired uk aero velo

chris crisman editorial photography wired uk aero velo

chris crisman editorial photography wired uk aero velo

chris crisman editorial photography wired uk aero velo

Sadly, we have to report that the AeroVelo team didn’t break the record – for as close as they came, mechanical failure got the best of their bike. Undeterred, they’ll be back – there’s always next year.

chris crisman editorial photography wired uk aero velo

chris crisman editorial photography wired uk aero velo

As for us – will we ever go back to Battle Mountain? Unless we get called back to document AeroVelo’s 2015 quest for the speed record, I doubt it. Aside from some very, very fast moving human powered vehicles and a lot of untamed stretch of desert, there’s not a whole lot out there. Maybe we’ll be back to document the 2015 run – only time will tell.

Questions? Comments? Let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and/crismanphoto!

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