Here are the nine images featured in our March/April 2019 issue. Click on the photos to view the contributors’ Instagram accounts. Include the hashtag #OmahaMagazine with your Instagram photos to be featured in the next issue of Omaha Magazine.
Four states (Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, and Idaho) prohibit hemp-derived CBD following the recent legalization of hemp at the federal level. On Jan. 24, Idaho State Police busted a truck driver transporting 6,701 pounds of cannabis from Oregon to Colorado. The Idaho State Police say it’s marijuana. The Colorado-based company, Big Sky Scientific, says the shipment is industrial hemp for CBD. Meanwhile, the driver is stuck in limbo, facing a mandatory punishment of at least five years in prison and a minimum fine of $15,000. Marijuana and hemp are different varieties of the same plant, cannabis sativa. While marijuana is cultivated for high THC content, hemp has less than 0.3 percent THC.
Learn more about the legality of CBD in Nebraska from the cover story of the March/April 2019 edition of Omaha Magazine, “‘CBD Madness’ Sweeps Nebraska.”
Read other Nebraskan perspectives on the medical use of cannabis (from which CBD is derived) in this online exclusive content, “2019 Medical Cannabis Op-Eds: From the Governor, a Colonel, and a Drug Dealer.”
Additionally, the print edition’s editor letter discusses the medical side of CBD. It excerpts an interview with a Nebraska mother whose son takes CBD for severe seizures, “Legal CBD, Medical Cannabis, and in Between.”
Here are the nine images featured in our January/February 2019 issue. Click on the photos to view the contributors’ Instagram accounts. Include the hashtag #OmahaMagazine with your Instagram photos to be featured in the next issue of Omaha Magazine.
Here are the nine images featured in our September/October issue. Click on the photos to view the contributors’ Instagram accounts. Include the hashtag #OmahaMagazine with your Instagram photos to be featured in the next issue of Omaha Magazine.
This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Here are the nine images featured in our July/August issue. Click on the photos to view the contributors’ Instagram accounts. Include the hashtag #OmahaMagazine with your Instagram photos to be featured in the next issue of Omaha Magazine.
Last summer in the far northwest corner of Nebraska, an Omaha-based photographer (who goes by the handle @ONElapse on Instagram and Facebook) set out to capture a timelapse of sunset. This issue’s cover image was taken from the timelapse, which spanned several hours. It was windy and raining lightly, but no sign of inclement weather can be seen in this frame. Look for the photographer, accompanied by his dog, setting up another camera along the ridge in the vicinity of Fort Robinson.
Omaha Magazine publisher Todd Lemke fondly remembers several magazine covers from his 35 years in the local magazine business. But he is particularly fond of the November/December 1993 issue—a poster of which hangs on his office wall. The cover features a beautiful model wearing a Russian fur hat and coat. The lead story? “Revelations on Russia.”
Here’s the behind-the-scenes scoop: Lemke and the author of the cover story, Sandy Stahlstein, had traveled to Russia over the summer. While abroad in the land of “czars, caviar, and communism,” Lemke had proposed to the writer. And she said, “Yes.”
For many years, covers of Omaha Magazine featured one person’s portrait. Often it was someone whom the public could easily identify and read about in the magazine’s inside pages. Five years ago, the 30th anniversary issue changed that idea like a light bulb popping over Lemke’s head.
“I was talked into being the cover subject by Bill Sitzmann, who told me that readers want to know the faces behind the names in business, and that includes our business,” Lemke says.
That was one of the first conceptual covers of Omaha Magazine. Lemke liked the idea so much, he and the creative team began creating unique covers for subsequent publications.
As lead photographer, Sitzmann saw concept covers as a way to stand out from the crowd, also noting that his skill set suited him to the work. The covers have won awards, inspired and intrigued the viewer, and brought an unparalleled feel to the publication.
“The cover that has won the most awards was the black-on-black cover with the spot gloss on it,” Lemke says of 2014’s Best of Omaha issue. The spot gloss varnish meant that while nearly the entire cover was black, there were words on the cover that were glossy while the majority of the cover was matte. “You had to move the cover around under a light source to see the words, but the cover really engaged the reader.”
Conceptual covers also enable Omaha Magazine to feature Omaha stars in uncommon ways. One of Sitzmann’s favorite covers is the July/August 2014 issue featuring Chuck Hagel.
“I got that done in two days,” Sitzmann says. “I flew to New York and drove straight to D.C. with all my gear. I shot at the Pentagon, spent the night at a friend’s house in New York, and flew back to Omaha the next day.”
He also enjoyed shooting the July/August 2015 cover with Keystone Pipeline activist Jane Kleeb holding a black snake and covered in chocolate syrup to emulate oil.
“She was all in,” Sitzmann says. “I gave her the snake idea, and she went for it.”
Other favorite conceptual covers include Mayor Jean Stothert on the September/October 2013 issue featuring the headline “Leading in a Man’s World” (with her head Photoshopped above a man’s hairy arms) and the September/October 2017 issue’s double cover on indigenous language revitalization (tribal elders translated text into the Omaha, or Umoⁿhoⁿ, language for the front with equivalent English text on the inside).
Bringing together these covers involves strategic meetings of the minds of everyone on the creative and editorial team.
“I am proud that each cover is a team approach between edit, photography, and graphics as to the selection and the composition of the design,” Lemke says. “Not everyone agrees all the time, but we are able to respect one another’s opinions, and I think most people walk away from the table saying, ‘Yes, that will work.’”
See the magazine’s current staff at https://omahamagazine.com/articles/35-years-on-staff/
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This article was printed in the March/April 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.
Clothing J.W. Anderson & Salvation Army
Photography by Bill Sitzmann
Styled by Nicholas Wasserberger
Modeled by Charlie Gonzales
This article was printed in the January/February 2018 edition of Encounter.
With his hair pulled back into a ponytail, a cigarette behind his ear, and a tattoo of his own design edging from the sleeve of his T-shirt, the up-and-coming videographer is measuring his rapid success carefully. Twenty-year-old Dax Sukstorf offers boyish smiles sparingly, but he’s quick with a kind word.
The 2015 Omaha North High grad knew from a young age his future lie in visual media. From polaroids up to his current Nikon D5300, Sukstorf has always had a camera in his hands. He got his start working with his mother’s photography business, helping to shoot and edit for weddings. “It was nice, but it’s just not really my kind of thing,” he says. Still in high school, he found the process of shooting and editing “nice” photos pleasant, but unfulfilling. “Taking photos of something is cool,” he says, “but I want to make a photo.” He resolved to take the risk of starting his own business, where he could push the limits of photography and challenge himself creatively.
While friends were changing their majors every semester or resigning to career fields they had no passion for, Sukstorf was methodically building his company. He experienced house parties through a camera lens, experimenting with different shooting techniques and networking with the local musicians who would become his client base.
A young man on a mission, it wasn’t long before the photographer uncovered a uniquely raw and irresistible creative voice. Perhaps influenced by the polaroids of childhood friends on their skateboards, Sukstorf finds himself adamantly against reliance on digital editing tools in his work. “I would rather take a photo and work on it for a very long time, you know, not use Photoshop,” he says, “but use the camera to take the photo and print it, and sell it as what it is: art.”
And his photos are art—not the Instagrammable portraits or cityscapes many 21st century photographers are producing. Sukstorf’s photos have a texture to them.
Subjects—usually local rappers—appear to move in the still images. Lighting, which Sukstorf refers to as “the most important thing always,” takes on an almost tangible form in the foreground of many photos.
Sukstorf has owned several cameras in his career, but his weapon of choice in creating art is an old Canon 30D with an external flash. He maneuvers the clunky camera expertly, aiming to capture the essence of an entire moment. By strategically leaving the shutter open for an extra couple of seconds at the perfect time, the decade-old equipment produces photos that appear “burned” instead of a static image that appears “frozen.” Sukstorf says of his method, “It’s like a video and a picture.”
After endless experimentation with photography, the transition into videography seemed only natural. “I definitely just learned photos as a base,” he says, “but videos are definitely the main interest.” After only one year of shooting and networking, he landed his first visual media contract with local rap group R0ach. Once the photos and videos of the rappers in action were
posted, the “Dax Visuals” video brand exploded from there. His ever-expanding client list is essentially a roll call of local hip hop artists, including work with $wipes, PB, Big Tate, and Absolut-P’s Movie House Radio project on
The immediate spike in demand for video work can be attributed to a uniquely slow and diligent editing process. A distinctive texture similar to his photography is present in Sukstorf’s music videos, making them unmistakably his own. Images fade and movement and light are intricately manipulated to create a hazy, mesmerizing effect. The artist is understandably hesitant to reveal too much about his process or estimate the amount of work that goes into a video, but he offers this breakdown of his craft: “There’s 25 pictures in every second of video. And each flicker that you see in my music videos…each little flash you see, it takes at least five seconds to do that effect. And there’s 25 of those little pictures in each second.” For one of his most recent works, “Adi Boyz,” (created for R0ach rapper Cheechy), that’s about 3,725 frames in the 2 1/2-minute video. “It can take me five to 15 minutes, even 30 minutes, on that one frame.” A hand-drawn video component that lasts three seconds amounts to 75 drawings.
Fortunately for a budding young artist who has yet to obtain his own studio, Sukstorf says DoSpace at 72nd and Dodge offers free access to all the digital tools one could need. Sukstorf often spends hours and days there editing his videos to perfection.
Despite a constant stream of new project offers coming in, Sukstorf doesn’t want to rush his learning process. “I could get better,” he says. “You know, I’m learning this all by myself.” He compares starting and growing his business to another big passion—skateboarding. “Once you start a business, you can keep failing,” he says. “But that skateboarder in me is like, ‘come on, you’re like that close to landing that trick.’ ”
Along with the high demand for music videos come decisions for the beginning business owner. Sukstorf intends to expand in his work within the local hip-hop scene and is learning the art of graphic design for album covers. “I’m open to anything,” he says. “It’s really a
Visit facebook.com/daxvisuals for more information.
This article appears in the November/December 2017 issue of Encounter.