Wired UK: Pixar

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 Рa 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!

Wired UK: Server in the Clouds

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.

Wired UK: AeroVelo

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!

Wired UK: MIT CityFarm

chris crisman wired uk MIT City Farm Caleb Harper urban farming

It’s hard not to get excited when the editors at Wired UK reach out for us to shoot a story. Whether we’re subjecting photo assistants to spins in a centrifuge, photographing Sir Richard Branson, or working with cutting-edge brain scientists, we always walk away from every assignment with awesome images as well as a much deeper understanding of what we were assigned to shoot.

Our latest shoot for Wired brought us back the the veritable Boston brain-trust know worldwide as the MIT Media Lab. Specifically, we were headed up to Boston to meet and photograph Caleb Harper, the founder lead researcher of the MIT CityFarm. We spent a few days with Caleb and his team, making crazy images, keep reading for more…

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Wired UK: Do You Still Want to go Into Space?

chris crisman wired uk virgin galactic space health

We can always count on our editors at Wired UK to send us unique assignments. Little did we know what was in store for the Crisman team when we agreed to travel down to Texas to shoot photos for their recent story on space health. Two days of shooting all over the Lone Star state, and a 5G spin in a centrifuge later, we had all the shots we needed.

Yes, you’re looking at the opening spread of the article, and yes, that is yours truly – looking like I’m about to lose my lunch. How did this all happen? What does it feel like to spin at 5G’s? Keep reading to find out..

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Wired UK: The Man Who Made Geography History

chris crisman liam casey pch international wired uk

Only a few weeks after hopping a flight to the west coast to shoot three ground breaking brain researchers, our friends at Wired UK sent us back – this time to shoot a jet-setting entrepreneur who’s accelerating the pace of technology and manufacturing, streamlining the process of bringing new tech to market, and literally making the world a smaller place.

Liam Casey is a very busy man. Jetting in from an international destination to meet us at the US headquarters of his company, PCH International, Liam set aside a few hours to show us how his company is changing the face of technology and of course, do what we do best, make photos. Keep reading for more…

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Wired UK: Game Your Brain

chris crisman wired uk brain researchers adam gazzaley Michael M

When the call came in from our editors at Wired UK, we knew we were in for a good shoot. Fly out to the west coast and photograph three of the most important scientists researching ways to challenge and expand your brain – how could we say no? Although this shoot literally flew by – traveling from home base in Philadelphia to San Fransisico, San Diego, back to San Fran, and all back to Philly in just over 72 hours – we met incredible subjects working on the cutting edge of technology and worked with them to make amazing photos.

Want to see the results and read our story of how it all came together? Keep on reading…

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