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Life Before Photoshop: New York Lotto

Look ma, no Photoshop!

Look ma, no Photoshop!

I was hired by an advertising agency in New York to shoot a photograph for their client who was the New York Lottery. The campaign was called, “Hey, you never know”. Since we had to shoot in the same state as the lottery, I sent a location scout out to find  a highway that would be able to fit both the stretch limo and trailer and the camera car as well. Easier said than done!!!

In fact, it wasn’t happening. Because the limo was so long, and the trailer added even more, I couldn’t get back far enough to get it all in the Panoramic camera I was using. Why a Panoramic you ask? Because the ad was going to be on the sides of the buses in Manhattan. This way, the art director wouldn’t have to crop, making the photo a lot sharper.

If this image was to be shot in the digital age, it would be sooooo easy!!! You just shoot the limo and trailer in some large studio, or anywhere for that matter, then CGI it into the background. How much fun is that????. Maybe for the digital technician!!!

Back then it all had to be shot in the camera, so what did I do? I rented a runway at a small airport outside of the city and I sat on the camera car (panoramic camera in hand) while we both traveled down the runway at the exact same speed (at sunset) while I shot at a slow shutter speed. That way, I could blur the background. I talked the agency into painting the trailer ping and putting the dog (held up by three people) out the roof. Don’t worry, we were only traveling ten miles an hour!!!@

Now that was fun!!!! Here’s the setup:

In my online class with the PPSOP, and my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet, my students work on incorporating the elements of visual design and composition into their photographs, and we also work on creating as much of it as we can in the camera.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2012 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

Don’t forget to AskJoeB a question and send me a photo to talk about.


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    { 8 comments… add one }
    • Valeriano April 17, 2012, 6:55 am

      I think that shooting this digital would have been trickier than on film.
      Awesome idea having the dog out of the roof, it adds even more character to the picture.

      The trailer too is really funny, and the color contrast (pink and bright green) in its details is just fantastic.

      • Joe April 17, 2012, 9:37 am


        Why do you think it would be “trickier”????? Since I shot it with a panoramic camera, it would be different with digital since you would have to crop, but besides that, everything would be the same to me.



        • Valeriano April 19, 2012, 8:09 am

          Well a cropped digital file I don’t think would look good when printed as long as a bus side…
          That is why usually panoramas are made out joining at least three images in digital. Which obviously can’t be done for moving subjects that will not fit in just one frame.

          • Joe April 19, 2012, 8:40 am


            Since it was going on the side of buses in NY, and the fact that I don’t like my photos cropped, I decided to use a Linholf Panoramic because of the size of the film. Also, since I had never shot car to car with a camera that big, I was up for the challenge. Always challenge yourself!!!!!!


            • Valeriano April 19, 2012, 9:20 am

              I agree. I have a question: do you (still) own the Linholf? Or did you just rent it for this shooting? I was interested in getting a Fuji GX617 6x17cm Panoramic, when I can afford it with a couple of lens. Would that be a good choice for panoramas (mainly I would shoot landscape with it)?

            • Joe April 19, 2012, 4:07 pm


              I rented it for the shoot. I can’t remember why I decided on the Linholf over the Fuji…there was something I didn’t like (I think), so I would really examine all the pros and cons of each camera. You might call Adorama in NY and ask someone that knows Panoramic cameras. I’ve hooked up with them because they have the best prices, and their ‘Learning Center’ is great!!!!! Check out some of the books they’ve published. Go to my site and click on the logo to find out some titles.


    • Toad Hollow Photography April 18, 2012, 1:15 pm

      I have learned more by following you than any other source, Joe.  What a GREAT photograph, it’s pretty much the pure definition of “tension in art” in my books!  I suddenly feel an urge to bomb down a highway pumping my fist in the air!  I, too, try to do 95% of my heavy lifting with my work in-camera, only using software as a means to finish what I started.  Great work, my friend.

      • Joe April 18, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Thanks Scott, I really appreciate the comment!!!


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