I stopped on this photo because a week ago I spent 25$ on Girl Scout Cookies, and one of the types I purchased was the chocolate-covered S’more cookie on the right. I have strong (fairly negative) opinions about it so I wanted to see why the New York Times wrote an article on this cookie. Turns out, the NYT Food Editors all agree that the cookie on the left (graham on the outside) is far superior. I am disappointed I purchased the chocolate-covered one, because it had no marshmallow in it and was lame. Someday I will try the superior cookie.
I looked into the photographer, and he doesn’t have his own website but the primary results for his name were fascinating and hilarious. All of the headlines on Google read like the following:
“Tony Cenicola’s Pinup Chicken”
“Tony Cenicola’s Steamy Turkey is This Year’s Poultry Pinup”
Beyond intrigued I opened some of the articles and I really have to share this image with you:
This is the photographer’s “Pinup Chicken” which he posed for an article discussing the positive properties of chicken skin, which people thought was terrible for you. Because the content is “scandalous” he thought the accompanying photo could be this way too. Apparently the photo generated a huge buzz on the internet and eventually PETA got a hold of it, publishing an article about it called “How Can a Beheaded Corpse Be Sexy?” and called out the photo for promoting necrophilia. REALLY? Of a CHICKEN? PETA always goes to the absurd extreme with their internet content.
There was another editor taking part in arranging this pinup chicken, Tiina Loite, so I decided to look up what else she worked on. Apparently there was a TIMES Dining cover that featured a nice pretty white rabbit, but the article it referenced focused on eating rabbit. Loiite had a tough time finding a photo that looked serious but not cruel, and certainly not cute. I think this was a lesson in audience: she said she didn’t want to make readers cry, but that could happen with referencing murder or making the bunny look sweet and cute. I feel like this is a tough position especially when working with a publication with as huge of a readership as TIMES. This sort of editing is something I need to work on with my own projects.
With all the difficulty in finding more on Mr. Cenicola, I went to review just one more article he shot for. I actually found one he wrote himself, about his experience at a popular and renowned observatory on the Canary Islands, videoing a time-lapse of the stars there. The article was all about the trial-and-error of his adventure. There were rules about driving with headlights around the observatory (for obvious light pollution reasons) but Cenicola had an old rental car wherein the headlights wouldn’t turn off at all. He had to rip the bulbs out himself and then use foot-mats held by the hood of the engine to cover the residual LED bulbs that surround the normal headlights. So resourceful! After more than seven sitting in his car waiting for the camera to do its’ thing until 3am, Cenicola reports that he wasn’t even satisfied with the results: the car lights could be seen, the settings weren’t right. All that work and tedious effort just to be redone again! This is still not an occurrence I am familiar with as an artist…usually it’s a one-and-done with minor edits, not a complete rehaul and re-do of all my work. I suppose I can use his article as a lesson to prepare myself for these types of upsets in the future.