• The Great Pyramids

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    Today I share with you one of my two most famous photos. My Paris night traffic image has made the most money, but this image is second in total residuals and should continue selling on to eternity as nothing will date this image! 


    I shot this image on my Kodak World Tour and it is the most famous picture from that 2-year, 214,000 mile assignment.


    Let me tell you the "behind the scenes" on this image. First, Kodak was my client for those two years (along with sponsors Marriott & Hilton who paid for 295 days of hotels in 72 countries.) This assignment got TV and Press coverage in most of the countries I traveled, as they said it was the most extensive commercial project any photographer ever delivered. So Kodak, Marriott or Hilton set up TV shows in many languages and many magazines did stories as I continued to travel all around the Earth. I know I was able to shoot most of the major monuments on Earth in those two years with the newest Kodak films, so Kodak could say that I used their films in their magazine advertising. They DHS and FedEx delivered the newest films to me on location many times along the way on my journeys. As I look back on that time, it was a whirlwind time as I traveled everywhere with just my assistant, Luke Potter, rather than the big crews I was used to shooting with then. And when we arrived in cities, the sponsors did make our lives much easier with the contacts, great hotel rooms, and TV show crews.


    To get this Egypt image, it took me two days of prep & shooting. First of all, this was the area I scouted to shoot the sunset with all three pyramids of Giza together along with my camel riders. But this location was also "off limits" by the police. So I had to pay the 2 policemen $50 each on the two nights I worked from this location (bribes work in most countries, I have learned!). I also hired the two camel men for $40 each and I had them come back the second night to get the light I wanted. So that totaled $360 I had to pay out for this one panoramic image. Fuji, by the way, was a sponsor of mine for many years at that time, and they gave me the Fuji 617 camera that I used for this Kodaak image --- now THAT is dancing a thin line! They were not happy that I accepted a Kodak assignment of that magnitude, but they did wait for me to come back and then I later continued to speak at photo conferences "sponsored by Fuji". That is a whole other issue, as I think myself and fashion photographer Nancy Brown are the only two photographers I ever knew who were getting sponsored at the same time by the two separate film giants. Definitely took some balls & some dancing around the names at various projects.


    So I paid the first night in Egypt, but the sunset just wasn't what I wanted, so I paid and had them all come back the next night to do it again. I captured just what I wanted that night so it sure was worth the wait! This image was displayed on the famous Times Square Marriott Marquis Billboard in New York City at the time for several months with "Bill Bachmann uses Kodak Film" under it. That was the biggest billboard in the world, so it was quite the nice "feather in the cap", so to speak. And the image now has made over $220,000 in stock sales alone for me up to today, so that $360 investment was well worth it I would have to say. I also have a gallery poster of this called "Perfect Light" for sale at selected galleries and on my website. (See Below)


    I have always loved this iconic image and have it 6-feet long mounted in my home. Kodak did get their money's worth from this trip, and it is a shame that Kodak has lost so much of that fine company today.... a skeleton of it's old self in Rochester. I wrote a blog about one year ago on my website on the demise of Kodak, and it is very sad for me to see the company with the yellow box of wonderful surprises we photographers created on their films for so many years now not even be a player in today's digital world.


    Thank God I kept the many slides of all those 295 days of shooting and most of them went to my stock agents for sales over the years. That two years of traveling (and I even survived 168 plane meals!!) was exhausting, but it was also very wonderful from a career & stock sales standpoint. If I just gave all those images to Kodak back then, who knows where they would be now since so many of the top people I worked with have left Kodak. So a hint --always keep copies of your images & YOUR copyright to all of your images.... ALWAYS!


    Hope you enjoy this warm feel of the desert and the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt!