New Open Road Design

OPEN ROAD January-February

The OPEN ROAD, the NRMA’s member magazine has just had a redesign. NRMA Publishing’s creative director Peter Sewell and his team have redesigned the masthead and there is new typography as well as other new editorial features. I was fortune enough to work with Peter on the cover story featuring NRMA president Wendy Machin. It was decided the portrait of Wendy should be made outside parliament house on Macquarie Street. The photographs needed to fulfill a strong brief so specifics were important and close collaboration with art direction necessary.

The pictures needed to point to the story to highlight the need for road funding commitments from NSW government.

I arrived early with assistant Gary Compton to work out where I could make a clean cover shot with parliament in the background as requested  The photograph was quite a challenge with such busy backgrounds especially when shooting in bright sunlight.

I decided to shoot from two locations on the other side of the road from parliament and frame Wendy close and centre using neutral density filters to blow the background out as much as possible at f 2.2 or  so. I would then pull back for the inside shot where background context would be helpful. I use my Canon flash fired wirelessly with a pocket wizard through my small Chimera softbox I have had for twelve years and as good today as when I bought it. We decided the background was not clean enough and we should try setting up on the same side of the road as parliment. The sandstone wall and the black iron gate would serve as clean background going out of focus nicely shooting at f2.2. I used the soft directional light just above the camera and padded down some specular highlights on Wendy with powder. We worked on as many subtile variations on body language and expression as possible in our time so the best image would reveal it’s self in editing.

Here are the published results the cover and inside feature page.

I am really happy with the way it ended up published Peter made the most of the selection I feel.

OPEN ROAD inside feature spread

4 Comments on “New Open Road Design

  1. Well done on the Open Road assignment Michael – gripping detail – I felt I was there myself the way you wrote it – the issues you had to deal with are not easy and show the depth of knowledge you have about the much underrated ‘profession’ of photography.

  2. Michael! I haven’t looked at your blog for a while. Great to see this new design! It works really well, I feel.

    Well done with the cover and the shoot!

    All the best!

  3. Spot on with this write-up, I truly suppose this website wants

    way more consideration. I’ll most likely be again to learn rather more,
    thanks for that info.

  4. Wonderful website. Lots of useful

    info here. I’m sending it to some friends ans
    also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your sweat!

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