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  • Top of the World

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    This was taken on Top of The World in Alaska from my first trip there in the 90's. I rented a 4-wheeler in Vancouver and drove all the way thru beautiful British Colombia, then the remote Yukon, and on the rugged Alaska Highway the entire 1500 miles. 

     

    I have been back to Alaska 7 more times (2 of them this past year), but I never have been as excited as this first time. After the Alaskan Highway, I drove this rough 4-wheeler to Fairbanks and above the Arctic Circle, 400 miles above the highest paved road in the world on the oil trail road alongside all the oil trucks. Glad it wasn't my vehicle as I returned it much later in Vancouver with three cracks in the windshield .... not rare in Alaska! Took a small bush plane to the town of Barrow, which was the Northernmost point in the USA.

     

    It was a grand long trip that I would recommend to anyone who has that crazy adventurous spirit. Not for the faint-hearted tho, as the frost heaves are many and can break an axle if you drive too fast over them. Then of course, there can be bears present whenever you stop by the road -- I learned quickly to blow the horn loudly to scare them away. You do NOT want to be surprised by these bears! And you buy gasoline when you are at 1/2 because the stations are few and FAR between!

     

    This picture really shows the joy of being on "Top of the World". The world, and it's many adventures, awaits anyone with the spirit to explore our planet. My suggestion --- Go For It!

     

     

  • Shooting the Greatest Fighter Ever

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    In about 1976 or 1977, as a photographer just really starting my career, I was given an assignment to fly down from New York to Miami Beach to shoot all day at the famous 5th Street Gym. Not just to shoot any boxer, I might add, but to photograph The Greatest... Mohammed Ali. It was quite a treat for me then as it was one of my most important assignments to that date.

     

    Hiding my admiration and trying to look more "seasoned" on the job, I spent the day shooting with Ali and his trainers. He was such fun to work with that I forgot how raw I was and just interacted with him.

     

    I wrote later about working with Ali in 1989 in my first book, "Clicking The Shutter Is The Easy Part". "The person I think who was the most animated would have to be Mohammed Ali. I worked with him in Miami toward the end of his boxing career. He was such a study in contrasts. He would change so quickly to the camera. I shot so many sides of the man... parts that he wanted to show to the world. He was the greatest then, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to portray him on film."

     

    I have had hundreds of celebrities in front of my lenses since then, but he remains the most fun to work with. (so was Shaquille O'Neal, but that is another story and another day). I have had 14 more books published since that first book, and it is fun to go back to that dusty 1989 book and read what I wrote from time to time. 

     

    Someday, I plan to do a book I will call "Retrospective" of all of my work types-- 
    including many of my past assignments and stories. I will show my early, early photos, then my starting editorial news assignments, and then the many fashion assignments with models, etc. Then I will end with my advertising & travel work which I am more known for now. I just don't feel really old & "retrospective" enough in my career yet!

     

    I will say one thing: it has been a fun, fun career! Hope you enjoy Mohammed Ali today.

     

     

  • 6 - Day B & W Challenge - Day 6

    This was fun converting my images to B&W to post for this Challenge. Hope you all have enjoyed it.

    Here is an environmental portrait taken three years ago of a Muslim man in the Sahara Desert border town of Douz, Tunisia. I wanted to "lead into" him for this portrait, so I used fabric as the leading line. Loved the country of Tunisia and of course so enjoyed camel rides into the Sahara. That African desert is so magical. I just returned two weeks ago from the Sahara again, this time in Morocco.

     

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  • 6 - Day B & W Challenge - Day 5

    This is the type of face that I search for when traveling. It has character, pride and humanity. I found this gentle man in a market in the fabulous little town of Antigua, Guatemala. He was almost blind, but his spirit came thru the lens. I usually don't zoom this close, but this time I wanted to show him boldly in front of the camera.

    I'm glad I met him.

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  • 6 - Day B & W Challenge - Day 4

    In the isolated mountains of the Sacred Valley of the Incas of Peru, I found this wonderful woman plowing fields by hand with her oxen. She had all of her seeds wrapped in front of her skirt as she slowly worked the fields in her town of Chinchero, near Cusco. Elevated at about 11,500 feet, they live a rural & lonely life, but that did not dim her zest for life one bit.

     

    My goal was to get her laughing and this photo was the result. I love experiences like this in meeting locals more than any other part of traveling. Two photo tips for you in travel photography: First, try to never 'center' your pictures, and then also include a lot of the surroundings for what I call environmental portraits -- giving the viewer a sense of how & where your subject lives/works. This brings the audience into the real world of your travels.

     

    The goal I have in the rest of my life now is to perhaps in some small way inspire people who see my pictures to go out and explore this wonderful planet with a sense of awe & respect. That would make me proud indeed.

     

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  • 6 - Day B & W Challenge - Day 3

     The world may not always "get" us, but we do rejoice in traveling our planet and seeing things & places that make our hearts sing! Our images help to make the world understand different cultures and, hopefully, our work makes others appreciate this exciting & diverse planet we all live in.

     

    Today's B&W Challenge photo was taken in formally horrible Hanoi, Vietnam. I have toured Vietnam twice and it seems to be getting better and warmer to outsiders now, long after the horrible war. They are starting to trust Westerners again.

     

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    I could not resist taking a picture of this man's flowing in the breeze beard. That made the image to me and I am glad that he said yes to my request. Remember to always take the chance & ask people to take their photo.... many of us have images in our head that we did not take because we were afraid to approach people in foreign countries. As the great hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said, "You miss every shot you don't take!"

  • 6 - Day B & W Challenge - Day 2

    I call this graphic image "Double Cross". 

     

    This Fine Art image shows absolutely no nudity, but I love the careful rim lighting and the graphic lines. I guess I just love the double crossing. Shot this probably 10 years ago and I envisioned this image before I even arranged her body this way. Some of you may remember I also shot my "Pasta Special" image with her. 

     

    Hope you all enjoy this capture. As most of you know, I rarely use any PhotoShop techniques or corrections .... I try to see & capture my images as they are. (Comes from my old film days when you HAD to capture an image in camera!) Nude art does not even have to show any nudity to be effective. It is all about what the vision you see in your head, whether it be Commercial Photography or Fine Art. It's all about impact & the WOW factor to me.

     

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  • 6 - Day B & W Challenge

    For my first day, I choose a B&W Infrared image of zebras in Tanzania, Africa. I am in Africa often and I just loved the soft feel of this image -- especially that old tree with so much character! More to come each day now.

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