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In Art Direction

By nilesphoto

Sunset Tunnel photo book

On 01, Oct 2015 | In Art Direction, Photography, Production, Retouching | By nilesphoto

If you’ve ever worked with me, or spent time with me, you’ve probably heard references to a semi mysterious book project I’ve been working on. Usually followed by a long technical explanation of the complexity of capturing a miles worth of digital images, and then stitching and printing hundreds of images to present as a single photo. Folded into a book.

This project was shot in 2001, and put on the back burner for most of the last decade. Publishers didn’t want to touch it because Graffiti wasn’t considered mainstream enough to sell books, and current production costs made it prohibitively expensive. We archived the files, and waited for stitching/printing technology that would make printing in our chosen format possible.

On that note… I’m currently finishing up production and pre press work, and will start running test prints as soon as next week! I’ll be updating my blog sporadically as milestones are met and production moves forward, but for now.. it looks like there’s a good chance I will have a book printed within a few years. We’ll see if I can get production costs down low enough on a small first run, for a publisher to want to pick it up for a second run.

Current plans are to have the look and feel similar to this mock up, as a double sided print.



There are approximately 385 8×10 photos per side of the tunnel, that will be stitched into one image. Only half of the project is shown below.


One side of 385 files, stitched together into ten. The approximate print size of the final image will be 7 inches tall by 260 feet long.


Our rolling “tripod” and lighting rig at work. There was also a separate rig that rolled on the other tracks for the generator, isolating the motor vibrations to a different track.


We could only work in the tunnel for two or three hours a night. For the first few weeks of shooting, we would have a spotter sit out at Ocean Beach to let us know the number on the last train waiting in line to go back to the yard. That way, we were absolutely sure the last train had passed us for the night before we started to set up lights in the tunnel. As we were finishing shooting on the North side, 9/11 happened, and the tunnel gates were suddenly locked at night. Probably for the first time in years. At first we thought there was no way we could finish shooting, until we realized that we could still slide our gear under the gate. Now we also had the extra safety of a locked gate between us and trains running on the track. This development actually made what we were doing far more safe and freed up a ton of our time to focus on capturing images. While it took us several months to test lighting, and to shoot a miles worth of images in ten foot sections on just the north side… it only took us a little over a week to finish shooting the south.

True Modern and Jonti-Craft shoot

On 12, Oct 2012 | No Comments | In Assisting, Photography, Second Shooter | By nilesphoto

I had the pleasure of being the second shooter and assistant for Odell Hussey Photography on this project. Odell was hired to shoot video and stills, highlighting a joint venture between the furniture design house True Modern, and children’s furniture manufacturer Jonti-Craft.

Jonti-Craft True Modern by Edgar Blazona

Odell and I are working out details on how to incorporate his video expertise into a traditional interior design photo shoot. The rough idea is to bring in a small track to shoot HD video with interesting pans and sweeps to give you a better sense of the space, and deliver video in a style that is easy to edit down for promotional videos or video vignettes for your web presence. We will be working out a package deal to make it easy for my clients to add a video element to traditional photo shoots at a minimal cost.