Before the holidays (yes, way back in December), a group of us (editor, photographer, photography director, lighting specialists, models, assistants, interns) gathered for three straight days for a photo shoot for Joshua Jay‘s followup book to Magic: The Complete Course–The Amazing Book of Cards. Tricks, shuffles, games, and hustles, plus the history of cards, how to build a card castle (or at least a card condo) and how to make a playing card wallet–even how to send a playing card through the mail.
Josh Jay’s books are easy to learn from in part because of the step-by-step photos that go along with each trick. But what’s not so easy is the process of making those step-by-step photos. Photographer David Arky was practically hanging from the rafters of the studio to get these overhead shots!
There’s our author and card sharp, Joshua Jay, who’s been carrying around a deck of cards regularly since he was 7 years old. Sleight-of-hand closeup card magic is his specialty, and in his new project, he’s game for showing us all a few flourishes that will let people at your weekly poker gathering know that you mean business. Here’s a fun fact from the photo shoot: Josh arrived on set wearing a blue T-shirt–the lighting specialist had him layer a white shirt over it to help reflect the light in the studio off the undersides of the cards. Pretty fancy.
And, lastly, here’s the view from above as Josh demonstrates a very impressive “ribbon spread and flip.” We shot on a royal blue plexi surface for the majority of the shots and then switched to blue velvet for the tricks (like the one shown here) that needed a textured surface to work properly–note the well-placed clamps to keep it taut over the table!
The book is slated to come out this spring, so get ready to impress at the poker table like you never have before. Cascade the cards from one hand to the other, show off a perfect casino riffle shuffle, throw in a few false cuts, and find four Aces without touching the deck — intimidating, no?