Last October, Portland Ore.-based landscape photographer Susan Seubert took on a somewhat unconventional assignment for Smithsonian Magazine. The job would have Susan flying to Maui to shoot for the magazine’s new multimedia iPad app. Smithsonian‘s goal with their app wasn’t simply to bring their print magazine to new platform, but to turn each issue into something like an interactive museum. To create something like this is quite the undertaking, as each issue needs not just still images, but audio and video as well. Susan was up for the challenge though and soon headed off for five whirlwind days in Hawaii.
In Maui, Susan spent two days shooting portraits and interviewing those associated with Haleakala National Park before trekking into the crater of Haleakala. In the crater, she needed to collect stills, audio, and video to make the final article as interactive as possible.
It was quite the challenge to trek across the difficult terrain of the crater, especially with over 40 pounds of equipment to carry. It was Susan’s, “first true backcountry shooting experience,” and with just one assistant, she covered 30 miles in just 72 hours.
It was physically taxing to say the least, considering the elevation begins at 10,000 ft. Our approximate elevation change within that time period was well over 6,000 feet.”
Once out of the crater, and back in her office, Susan quickly got to work putting all the parts together,
Since this was such a last minute assignment—shooting in October for publication in December—I coordinated the puzzle pieces that Smithsonian would require in order to put together a coherent multimedia piece. This was their second (I believe) foray into making content specifically for mobile devices, so as a team, we were able to create a new platform of expression for their stories. I am extremely proud to have been a part of this process.
The app, along with Susan’s work, has been garnering rave reviews. She hopes that it will help promote her as a versatile photographer, “one who can not only handle hefty outdoor situations, but can produce quality audio and visual in the field with a minimal amount of tech support.”