Monday, December 15, 2008

My Grandfather's Television

I got a call from a magazine client looking for a cover image. It's to go with a story analyzing television coverage of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist. We discussed the possibility of using a shot of Rehnquist with media (I didn't have a good one), and then turned to the option of a studio illustration.

I have here in my office a black & white television that once belong to my grandfather. He passed away more than 30 years ago, but his TV still works great (at least until the switch to digital broadcast comes in February!). I thought I could put it to use.

The shoot worked out well. A frame grab of Rehnquist with his distinctive Gilbert-and-Sullivan-inspired gold stripes was easy to find. Ring lighting helped create the distinctive shadows on the green background.

And the TV is appropriate, because I often think of my grandfather when photographing the Supreme Court. He liked to debate the court's decisions and constitutional questions with his grandson when he visited us in Miami each summer. He might have hoped I'd become a lawyer, or feared I'd become a journalist - but perhaps never imagined I'd so often end up photographing the people, the building itself, and the issues of the highest court.

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