In late November and early December 2004, I traveled to India with my wife and then 6-year-old son to tour the state of Rajasthan. While not strictly focused on shooting, this trip did provide some opportunities for photography. Rajasthan (literally “land of rajas” or kings) is located in the dry northwest region of India near the Pakistan border. It has a long and storied history filled with chivalry, conquest and passion. For more than 1,000 years this desert land has seen kingdoms and empires flourish and fall, from Mughals to Marwars, and prior to independence it was closely allied with British influence in the region. Rajasthan is a place of color and adventure; even today, there are cautionary tales for travelers. Read more
Photographing the Coastal Brown Bears of Alaska
In September 2005 I traveled to Katmai National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska to photograph that region’s famous coastal brown bears. With me were several other accomplished photographers, including Microsoft’s David Vaskevitch, Bob Kennewick of Voicebox Technologies, and my friend Jim Lewis of the Lewis Group, who organized the trip.
Note: for a better look at selected images from this trip, see my gallery Teetering on the Edge
And a whirlwind trip it was—I was in Alaska for just 3 days—but every day was better than the last, with increasingly wonderful encounters with these impressive animals. It was somewhat eerie, however, to know that we were photographing just a few miles from where bear-enthusiast Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were killed at Kaflia Bay in 2003. I am sure that Treadwell was familiar with most of the animals that we saw. Read more
For 16 days in September 2003, I had the privilege of traveling to Africa to shoot wildlife and indigenous cultures in Kenya with seven other Seattle-based photographers. We photographed primarily in three locations: the great Maasai Mara game reserve which forms the northern border of the Serengeti and is the home of the annual Great Migration; the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for its millions of migrating flamingos and majestic leopards; and the hot, arid twin reserves of Samburu and Buffalo Springs, in Kenya’s dry Northern Game Country. Read more
I am often asked to shoot portraits of corporate executives. As a photographic specialty this can be very rewarding, but it is often challenging. After all, executives are busy people, and most don’t have a lot of time for photography. Of course, your editor or art director is expecting something compelling, perhaps even something great. What’s the secret to getting the right shot? Read more
f/1.0 And Be There
If there can be said to be any “legendary” lenses in contemporary 35mm photography, the Leica Noctilux must surely be one of them. (Editor’s note: Since this article was written, Leica has released a new 50mm Noctilux with an even faster f/0.95 maximum aperture. This article applies only to the older, now discontinued lens.)
The Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux-M has the distinction of being the fastest production lens available for general purpose photography. Since its introduction, the Noctilux has amassed a cult following among the cognoscenti of “available darkness” photography. This no doubt has to do with the inherent qualities of the Noctilux itself, but I suspect the strengths of the Leica M as a low-light photographic tool play a significant part. Read more
Why You Should Ditch That Zoom for a Classic 50mm “Normal” Lens
So, there you are, the proud parents of a beautiful new baby, and you can hardly contain your excitement as you unwrap that new 35mm camera kit you bought to document your child’s early years. Although you’ve had a point-and-shoot camera for a while, you wanted to step up to a “real” camera for the kind of quality pictures you see in the popular media and in the camera maker’s brochures. You fumble a little as you mount the 28-80 zoom lens and load the film, but pretty soon everything is ready to go.
As your spouse proudly holds the baby up you raise the camera to your eye. The viewfinder seems a little dim in the room light, but hoping for the best, you gently squeeze the shutter release and… Read more