Behind the Scenes: How We Made Our Election Cover

Nov. 3, 2016 coverEXPAND
Nov. 3, 2016 cover
Dallas Observer

This election has been crazy. In creating a cover for Jim Schutze's feature, we wanted to convey that in the end we are all losers for having been witness to it. What better way to exemplify that feeling than a trash can fire? Photographer Ed Steele took on the challenge of making this happen.

Setting up the initial waste basket for burning.
Setting up the initial waste basket for burning.
Ed Steele

Ed recruited a retired fireman who served with Denton FD for 37 years, a volunteer fireman from Krum and a third volunteer to assist with the shoot. Since we'd have to shoot the fire outside, Ed requested we shoot early in the morning to best control the lighting. Ed rigged a setup that placed the waste basket on reflective tile flooring with a white backdrop.

Second waste basket to burn
Second waste basket to burn
Ed Steele

As a reliable fire starter, we used gel lighter fluid. We burnt through multiple metal mesh waste baskets and plenty of political posters, buttons and stickers from both the Trump and Clinton campaigns. Ed photographed two waste basket variations. In the end, the cover image was an amalgamation of the shoots to create a well-rounded composition.

We shot two waste basket variations. In the end, the cover image was an amalgamation of the two shoots to create a well-rounded composition.
We shot two waste basket variations. In the end, the cover image was an amalgamation of the two shoots to create a well-rounded composition.
Sarah Schumacher

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