Christopher Testani has always been an angler, but of late he’s been fascinated with one of its more peculiar sects. “I’ve traditional rod-and-reel-fished all my life, but never fly fishing,” the Brooklyn-based photographer tells PDN via email. “The past few years I’ve become more interested in it, and have been wanting to shoot a fly fishing story in New York State, with a food/cooking element to it.” Testani studied both photography and film in college, and wanted his personal project about fly fishing to combine both stills and video.
Originally from upstate New York, he was familiar with a remote location in Ulster County, about 20 minutes from Stone Ridge. The production of “Time is But the Stream” began with a conversation with Chris Lanier, a food stylist that he works with regularly on editorial jobs. Lanier knew of a fly fisherman who lived next door to a wild trout stream (Class A, for the fishermen). Testani also approached his filmmaker friend Christopher Parker to discuss the video component. “He’s really talented and brings a lot to the table,” he says. “Both in terms of his visual style and especially his ability to collaborate and develop the story.” The three brainstormed ideas and scouted the area. Then they pulled together a crew that included prop stylist Carla Gonzalez-Hart and camera assistant Rich Watts, who added the hand-drawn titles and credits.
Planning for this multi-media project began in mid-April of this year, shooting took place towards the end of May, editing for both photo and video was completed in mid-August. “This was the first time I’d attempted to shoot stills and video at the same time, and I think I learned a lot in terms of what works and doesn’t when trying to do that…I also picked up a few fly fishing tips, so hopefully next time I’m out on the stream I’ll be holding a fishing pole instead of a camera.”
Testani was selected in 2012 as PDN’s 30, and his clients include Afar, Bon Appetit, Garden & Gun, HGTV, The New York Times magazine, Ogilvy & Mather, Travel & Leisure and Women’s Health.