When a plan comes together - shooting the April magazine cover

The April magazine's front cover

As April's magazine arrives with readers, many will have noticed the cover is a montage consisting of two different photographs, joined together.

For this we owe a big thank you to photographer and friend of the Club magazine, Alisdair Cusick whose patience and skill was a massive help in getting this ambitious idea turned into a reality.

We'd initially come up with the plan for a split front cover having realised we didn't have a natural picture that illustrated the concept behind our main feature this month, an article about the two sides to a holiday in the Lake District.

We decided we'd need to shoot something striking to get this idea across.

I hastily arranged for Ali and myself to travel to the Lakes about two weeks before our print deadline to get the shot we needed. Plenty of preparation had been done back in the office in Coventry before we left. Our designers had been busy working out how to get the exact shots we needed in order to be able to cut down the middle of the page, yet for the two photos to blend almost seamlessly, backgrounds and all.

A number of factors needed to be taken into consideration in order for us to get the desired outcome. Distance from the subject, position, stance, angle and depth of field all had to be determined and reproduced exactly for each side of the page.

The right hand picture was taken at Ravenglass Club Site and shows me standing in front of a family tent, in a pose designed to reflect the part of the feature that suggests you can go where the crowds are, to busy campsites, packed high streets and so on.

The left hand picture is taken at the edge of Wastwater, England's deepest lake, not far from Ravenglass and Eskdale Club Sites. Here we had to recreate every nuance of the first photo including how far apart my feet were, how far forward I tipped my head and so on. Eventually after shooting several options in each location, both seated and standing, and of course making sure that we had a backup option if our first plan didn't work, we decided we had the two pictures that would work together.

The position of my face was almost perfect, the contrast of the colours of my clothes worked well, the sky was a lovely blue in both locations and the sweep of Lingmell over my shoulder in the left hand picture matched well with the treeline in the right hand picture.

This was perhaps the most challenging idea for a front cover we had ever produced in my time on the magazine and making it work was a time consuming and painstaking process, but we got the desired result - and I can only say that we had the most fabulous weather imaginable for the shoot and some amazing late afternoon light for the photographs.

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

Stuart Kidman avatar Posted by
Stuart Kidman
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Stuart Kidman

Stuart Kidman avatar

Stuart Kidman is the magazine's Deputy Editor. He has been a journalist for ten years, writing for local newspapers before joining the Club in 2009. He loves camping and enjoys nothing better than trekking off into the wilderness to 'rough it' for a couple of nights.

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Camping & Caravaning Comments - 1 comment

Bob Peapell

Thanks for the interesting article on how you shot this complex cover composite photograph. I am always amazed at the technical lengths creative photographers have to go to produce an image that requires photography, design, compositing and photoshop skills all rolled into one.
Great image and let's see lots more and hopefully you will have an opportunity to describe how you arrived at the finished result.

May 13, 2013 Reply to this Comment

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