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How The Cover For ”The Diving Board” Came About
Posted by editor_usa

Monday 22
July 2013 @ 16:06

Somewhere along what is now the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Squamish lies a little secret spot Tim Barber knows well.

Its a place with an unparalleled view of the ocean that the photographer’s friends once took him to visit. There used to be a diving board on the edge of a cliff, set up by some kids. Its long gone.

Still, that place and the image Barber snapped there close to a decade ago will live on forever as the cover image for Eltons new album The Diving Board, coming out in September.

The image features a young man standing at the end of a diving board set far above the ocean. Surrounded by fluffy clouds, with mountains barely peeking out of the fog in the distance, the man one of Barbers pals is looking at the calm waters below.

It wasnt set up or doctored or anything, Barber said of the original image, which he released as Untitled (dive board) in 2004. For the album cover, we did some manipulation to widen the frame. But the original photo was completely untouched.

The album cover touch-ups also removed some floating logs that appeared on the water in the 2004 image, giving the final image a striking tone reminiscent of Storm Thorgersons work. Thorgerson, who died in April, is famous for his contributions to albums by the likes of Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here), and Led Zeppelin (Houses of the Holy).

It was Barbers friendship with photographer Ryan McGinley which led to his selection for The Diving Board.

Elton John is a huge collector, the 34-year-old told the Vancouver Sun.. He may have the biggest private collection of contemporary photography. And he has collected a lot of Ryans prints. And he hired Ryan to shoot his record cover in the past (for 2006s The Captain & The Kid), so that was the connection.

Tim described the call he received from the piano player as insane.

Elton John phoned me himself, which speaking of surreal was really a surreal moment, he said. He introduced himself and asked me about the image and talked about the idea of using it for the cover.

They asked me to shoot additional images for the inside cover. So he sent me the album and I listened to it and thats how I got some inspiration for the inside, which youll see when it comes out.

Barber was born in Vancouver of American parents working in northern B.C. He spent the first four years of his life here before his family moved to Massachusetts.

He came back to Vancouver in 1999 to study photography at Emily Carr before moving to New York City after graduating in 2003, working as the photo editor for Vice magazine for a few years. He has gone on to do portraits of actors, including Willem Dafoe, fashion photography for Stella McCartney and others, and corporate gigs for Nike, Casio, Nordstrom, Adidas and Club Monaco.