Image: Cool & Noteworthy 2012: The New York Times Magazine creates a visual feast for its London issue

Cool & Noteworthy 2012: The New York Times Magazine creates a visual feast for its London issue

"It has been a while since The New York Times Magazine commissioned a special photography issue devoted to a specific place, but in March, with the Olympics looming, it put the focus on the British capital, publishing the headline, "In this year of austerity and Olympic spectacle, what will London show the world?"

Featuring stories by Nadav Kander, Gareth McConnell, Idris Khan, Mark Neville and Chris Levine, plus archive images from Stephen Gill's personal collection, it was a major undertaking, but Kathy Ryan and her team put it together in a few weeks. "Hugo Lindgren, our editor, decided to devote an issue to London and make it a photography issue with one major literary essay," says Ryan, the magazine's director of photography. "Dean Robinson [one of the magazine's story editors] had the idea of commissioning [fantasy fiction writer] China Miéville to write that piece, and I took charge of the rest with my team - in particular, one of our picture editors, Stacey Baker, and Clinton Cargill, who set up all the shoots for Nadav. My first note on it was at the end of October, initiating the plan to publish it in January with a two-week lead time [though it was eventually published almost three months later]. For the first couple of weeks in November I was firing off emails to photographers, then we were full-throttle working on the issue."
Ryan says tight deadlines are the norm when working on a predominantly news-driven weekly, but, even so, commissioning the photographers to shoot new stories was quite a feat. Kander photographed some of the city's actors, McConnell shot young models for a fashion spread, Neville took fly-on-the-wall images of a cross-section of London society [3], Levine created a photo illustration of the Olympic Stadium and Khan took multiple-perspective shots of London's best-known landmarks." By Diane Smyth


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