Out of the Mist: An Interview with The Grays Photographer Steve Weinrebe
It's always a pleasure to see my work in print, and especially in such a nice treatment as 'The Grays' cover. I've been a professional photographer for 30 years and I still get a thrill out of seeing my work in a terrific layout. Usually I shoot for a planned layout ahead of time, but there's a nice serendipity to stock photography where an image can see many different uses.
The Alien in this photograph is a carefully constructed model, about 3 ft. high, that I commissioned from a terrific model maker, whom I knew from teaching, at the time, at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. My intention was to create a photo series that was reminiscent of one of my favorite movie genres, 1950's science fiction (which of course was itself rooted in the news of the day). I shot the series in the Spring of '97.
My inspiration for the overall character of the work came from a brilliant photo editor at Photonica (now part of Getty Images), who challenged me to do something different and have some fun at the same time. I photographed my Alien in street scenes, as well as studio scenes. While many of the images I made with the Alien were a little 'tongue in cheek', the Alien in Mist series really stuck with me. I always believed that the most haunting surrealism is just a small step removed from reality, so to have the Alien just appearing, coming out of the mist, without any props or other background, ended up very successful.
This seems to be the second book that this particular image has been used for in less than two years; it also appeared as the front cover of a book by Susan Clancy, which leads me to ask: In your opinion, which of these two covers did a better job using your source image?
As far as the two book covers you mentioned, I wouldn't be being strictly diplomatic by saying they are both very nicely done, and a good example of how a good designer can create a unique look, in this case two from the same photograph.¹
Hope this answers some questions. Nice web site. Look forward to reading
Grays' and seeing the movie!
Beyond Communion.com thanks Steve Weinrebe for taking the time to share these thoughts. To see more of Steve Weinrebe's artwork visit GettyImages.com
Notes: ¹ The designer of the cover of The Grays (responsible for the layout, the fonts, and image manipulation) was [TK] for Tor Books. The designer of the cover of Abducted was Tim Jones for Harvard University Press.