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Epson Finish Strong!

Sep 4

In Jobs at 7:43am

High above Boston. Still crazy after all these years:-) Very proud to continue to be a part of the Epson Finish Strong campaign.

Many thanks go out to Dano Steinhardt of Epson, who in addition to being a great director of the action out there on location, is also a very fine photog. (Hmmmm….maybe those two things go together?) It’s been wonderful working with the whole creative team from M&C Saatchi in LA, the Epson folks, and of course the gang at my studio, all of whom had big roles in this. Lynn produced the job, wonderfully as always, Drew shot the video, Cali climbed the tower with me and shot the above, and Lynda organized the operations on the rooftop.

Once again, I climbed with Tom Silliman of ERI, who, as he says in the video, taught me how to climb. We went up the Empire State Building four times together and on one occasion, slung outside that building on the east face, 105 stories up. And once you climb with Tom, you’re pretty well hooked on trying to get your camera into and up on all sorts of structures. He’s an amazing guy, still climbing at 68 years old, a world class kayaker, and he can bench press 285 fer chrissakes. It kinda makes you push yourself up there, you know? He’s also a hoot. I asked him about timing of descent on one of our climbs together, and he reassured me. “We’re all going down soon, Joe, one way or another,” he said with a smile, perched on the wing of an antenna, out there in the breeze.

Cali’s a rock climber, but this was his first time up an antenna, and he did well. I had to find a place up there in good light for Tom and I, and then, orchestrate a spot for Cali to shoot, and observe the layout sketches, and graphic needs of the page, logos, text blocks, etc. All while the cameras were hanging from us in buckets, attached to safety climbing gear. The rigs and the gear totaled somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 60 pounds of additional gravitational pull. And weaving yourself in and out of the myriad of pipes, cables, and structural supports up there is like playing high altitude version of Twister. You definitely feel it at the end of the climb.

Always been climbing something or other, and I can still hear my mother’s voice, yelling at me to get down off of this or that. Obviously, being a photog is a good way to continue to never grow up. More tk…

Alan MacRae says:

on September 4, 2013 at 8:11 am

Great story, Joe. Images are amazing. The closest I’ve ever come to this was rappelling down a seven story building (sorry, in New Hampshire ya know) with the fire department doing a feature set on their training. It was a blast. Thank you for continuing to share with all of us.

Millie says:

on September 4, 2013 at 8:33 am

These photos are hard to look at…I’m afraid of heights. Amazing shoot! And that “one” shot is outstanding!

Joe Dunleavy says:

on September 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

As usual, your story and captures are unreal. The video showed your camera wit,h what appears to be, a funny looking lens. Can you share what equipment you used that day? Thank you .

Marv Ross says:

on September 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

Sans Attends?

Steve says:

on September 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

Amazing shots and certainly vertigo inducing,
By the way, your talks at gulf photo plus are always inspirational, thanks for making the long journey to Dubai year on year

Hannes Uys says:

on September 5, 2013 at 8:35 am

Being crazy is good! :-)

Jerome Yeats says:

on September 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Dear Joe,
Being pedantic, “Epson finish strong” is meaningless. By neglecting to say “Epson finishes strong” the ad agency loses many people who would simply not be interested. Epson (Seiko?) is a single entity…. as you know, and you didn’t make the rules.

It’s true; as you get older you have to visit the gym more and more just to attempt to keep in reasonable shape. It’s not rocket science. It’s just got to be done.
Jerome Yeats

MMS says:

on September 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Looks like a 16 mm fisheye on your camera. My hands are sweating from just watching the video! Fabulous shoot!

nate parker says:

on September 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Holy cow- you can see at least 3 of my old college apartments from these images! Where’s the video: I must see it!

Dominic Duncombe says:

on September 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Woah. That makes my feet and hands hurt just watching you. On the one hand I would love the chance to do it, on the other I would be too worried to be any good, although I tend to forget how high I am when I look through the camera.

I always wondered how hard you had to work for that shot of the Empire State building bulb. Now I know, really, really hard.

Thanks for sharing, great story.

Richard Kimbrough says:

on September 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

Really cool getting to see the results of the contest. I spent a lot more time than I expected with writing my entry. I realized I’m way too verbose, and having word limits really teaches you how to edit and to make sure every single word is important. I need to do more of that both with my words and my images.

Good to see they found someplace fun for you to climb. I would have had you half way up the wall of this canyon near the VLA with a bunch of buses splashing through a river that is a road.

Keep up the great stories here. They are always fun to read.

Charlie Cotugno says:

on September 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Top of the Prudential?

Walt Rowand says:

on September 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Joe, Great as usual. Is this your last shoot with Drew?? You really have to be missing him by now. I myself get that gut fealing knowing he is gone Time will ease the fealing. Best Regards, Walt.

Joe McNally says:

on September 7, 2013 at 11:07 am


Speed says:

on September 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Joe. Scary. Very scary.

Were the antennas powered and in use while you were climbing on them?

Joe McNally says:

on September 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm

They were powered up, but the transmission aspects were shifted to another facility temporarily, I believe.

Publilius says:

on September 12, 2013 at 1:07 am

hmmm, unless you use a self-timer, someone else was up there with you taking the shot.

Joe McNally says:

on September 14, 2013 at 7:55 am

Of course, Cali climbed with us. He did a great job.

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