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Illustrated gifs capture post 9/11 NYC

November 15, 2016


Weeks after the dust of the fallen World Trade Center had settled, a delivery bicycle locked to a traffic sign across the street from the destroyed towers came to symbolise stories of unknown loss. As time passed and the bicycle remained unclaimed, passersby grew concerned about the fate of its owner and memorialised it by attaching flowers, notes and tributes to the bike’s wire delivery basket.

9/11 bike memorial

Earlier this year, Michael Raisch had some of his 2001 photography of the bike memorial acquired by the 9/11 Museum, and since then Michael decided to revisit his experiences in the city through the creation of illustrated gifs. He got in touch to share a bit of the process.

9/11 bike memorial project

9/11 bike memorial project

9/11 bike memorial project

“I needed to work with an over head camera rig to get even lighting and to ensure the single-frame animation sequence was correct. It required finding the right light that I could configure with an even ring of light while drawing. Using a cable shutter release meant I didn’t shake or disturb the camera, resulting in a smooth animation sequence. I then color-corrected and compiled the 18 to 30 frames into a single black and white gif.”

9/11 bike memorial project

9/11 bike memorial project

“It was labour intensive but the effect had a huge impression on the museum staff. The sketchy animation style offered the engagement that hopefully transported the viewer back to 2001, pre-social media, before the daily occurrence of digital photography on smart phones.”

9/11 bike memorial project

When you see something like these it’s easy to overlook the work involved in their production. Lovely effect.

Final project and more gifs over on Michael’s website.


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