One editor’s day on the road – in 28 seconds
When Paul Roman began Fine Woodworking, he knew that it was important that the magazine’s editors be passionate woodworkers. It’s our love for and knowledge of the craft that enable us to put together a great magazine issue after issue. He also knew that the best way to get great photographs for the magazine would be to have the photographers be woodworkers too. That’s why he decided to train the editors in photography. The same knowledge and passion that lets us produce great text also lets us produce great photographs. And by great I mean informative as well as beautiful. We always want our photographs to tell you something important about what the author is writing. (And I believe that there is just as much to read in our photographs as there is in our text.)
Given that photography is a part of every article in the magazine, that means that the editors travel a lot. Sure, we could shoot the photos in our own shop, but then we would miss out on something very important: the chance to watch the author actually do what he writes about. It gives us a chance to see details of technique that might be missed otherwise. And it gives us a chance to ask questions as things are progressing. By watching, asking questions about, and even trying, what the author is doing, we come to have a very good understanding of the technique or project. And that knowledge results in a significantly better article for you, the reader.
That’s why I found myself boarding a plane early one Sunday morning not too long ago and heading out west, to Seattle. I spent 3 days there and then 2 days in Vancouver, BC, shooting photographs for 4 articles. One of the authors asked if he could shoot some time-lapsed images of our photo shoot and show them to his friends. I asked him to pass along the video to me so that I could post it for all to see. Although his camera batteries died around lunch time, the images he captured do give a good sense of what I (and the other editors) do when we head out for an onsite photo shoot.