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Meltdown: The Story Behind Our Cover Shoot

By Heather Haggerty and Alanna Malone
January 30, 2013

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We started planning our January/February issue of GreenSource shortly after super storm Sandy hit New York City. Our offices were shut down for days and many members of our staff were seriously affected by the storm. A feature article focusing on climate change for our next issue made perfect sense—we not only wanted to educate our readers about emerging building trends to combat rising sea levels and worsening storms but also make a statement about why we’re facing these challenges. We chose the ice sculpture for our cover as an artist representation of the impacts of climate change.

Ice Sculpture Designs in NYC created the ice sculpture using a chainsaw and one solid piece of ice. It took the sculptor roughly 2 hours to create the cityscape, loosely based on NYC. The sculpture, which weighed 200 lbs, included buildings reminiscent of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. Videographer Daniel Schwachter tracked the photo shoot from delivery through the melting process.

"Photographing ice can be tricky since the sculpture is see through and reflects light in surprising ways," explains GreenSource art director Heather Haggerty.  "Photographer Samuel Bristow and assistant Daniel Glazer decided to place it on a glass table and light it from underneath." In order to create the look of mist in the photo the photographers attached a hose to an espresso machine and shot steam toward the sculpture.

"When it came time to start melting the city it quickly became apparent that this process would take quite a long time due to the size of it and to make matters worse the building turned the heat off early for the weekend," says Bristow. "Out came the hot lights, hair dryers and chisels. The espresso machine even joined in on trying to melt this thing!"

Click through the slideshow for more details about the photo shoot.

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