Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Annie Leibovitz

The crowd started getting bigger and bigger. She went from photographing the Rolling Stones getting mobbed by their fans to getting mobbed by fans of her own.
I don't know why authors always insist on signing the inside of their books..I was happy she didn't mind signing the cover.
Ryan H at the W
For some time now I've had a project planned in my mind and on random pieces of paper scattered throughout my house and office to create a book of influential people and places from my life. The plan is to go to childhood homes to take photographs, find old friends and photograph them as well as a quest to photograph people who have influenced my life one way or another over the years that I haven't met. One of those people is Annie Liebovitz. Yesterday she released her latest book called Annie Liebovitz at Work I bought it right away and read through half of it last night and this morning. Tonight she was at Benaroya Hall for Seattle Arts and Lectures speaking in front of a sold out crowd and reading stories from her book along with her amazing images of subjects ranging from Bette Midler to the Queen of England whom she had asked to remove her crown because it was too fancy. A couple of faux pas was that it was a tiara and not a crown..the other was that it was supposed to be fancy and the Queen was not the least bit happy with the request to remove as shown by the BBC. Amazing portraits resulted however so I don't think too much damage was done.

I went to the lecture with my friend and fellow shutterbug Ryan. After the show we had the opportunity to attend a cocktail party hosted at the W Hotel where Annie was graciously shaking hands, signing autographs and taking photo's. She was nice enough to pose for a photo with me and due to technical problems I won't go into in this blog the shots didn't turn out too well so we went back again for another shot. By then, the group of people surrounding her was getting pretty substantial and she handled it with grace and courtesy in a way I think only she could do.

It's weird to me to think of a photographer as a celebrity. Because I live, eat and breath photography there are definitely some people out there who I really look up to. Annie being at the top of the list. Others include Joe McNally, Matt Mendelsohn..well, I could go on but I've got to get up early and need to wrap this up so I won't. My point is that as a photographer I am eager and excited to meet other photographers at the top of their game with such amazing experience under their belts who have lived lives that I can only dream of at this point in my career. The sold out crowd of who knows how many people tonight did not appear to consist of photographers though. Sure there were loads of cameras there tonight and a few were high end good cameras with some nice L glass in front of them but most were cell phone quality P&S cameras taken by people that didn't appear to know the difference between aperture and a Koala bear (sorry for the random analogy but I'm very tired :). Annie is famous for photographing famous people and justifiably so.

It must be an unusual journey to pass from photographing the famous to becoming one of the famous but she really seems to handle it very well. She had a way of speaking to the crowd that makes her immediately likeable. She seems as modest as any person could be with such an impressive resume. She doesn't appear to me to be a person that buys into her own hype which to me is a true sign of character. It would be a dream come true to have the opportunity to shoot with her.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long Lashes

Look at the long lashes on this Zebra!

If you haven't already, be sure to stop by my Wildlife Photography web page at

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tanzania Photo of the day

Just got back from watching Madagascar II with the girls at the awesome IMAX Theater in downtown Seattle. Great movie, well worth watching and it reminded me to post a pic of the day from Africa.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday's Africa Photo of the day

Laying on the break table at the Fish House was a copy of Sunday's paper. In the midst of the stack, a glimpse of a photo caught my eye. I pulled it out and there in the Seattle Times was this great article...

The article was written by Sandi Doughton, she articulated the African experience better than I could do in my journal. The story was so cool because she writes about her journey to a relatively obscure destination...the Ndutu Lodge which happens to be one of the places I stayed. It is a great lodge and I had written about in my journal posted in August on this blog. One thing she didn't mention that surprised me was the brutal drive I had mentioned a couple/few times :) If you click on the video attached to the article it shows a bit of their experience including a fairly bumpy road and it's worth the 3 minute view for sure.

Because the article brought me down memory lane and I mentally revisited Lake Ndutu today I decided the picture of the day should be from that area. This hyena was hanging out alone in broad daylight. Most of the other hyena's I saw on the trip were in much darker environments. Ugly little sucker isn't he?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wednesday Pic of the day

A couple of lions loving the Serengeti.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Pic of the day

Well, I jinxed myself. I said I was geared up and ready to get back to daily uploads and no sooner had I signed out when my computer that I purchased less than a year ago. Top of the line, state of the art..Costco's best...Motherboard went bye bye. Grrr. As you can imagine, I spend a great deal of time on the computer. I blew the dust off my old computer and hooked it up. 45 minutes later when Photoshop finally opened, I attempted to open a photo to edit. Less than an hour later (barely) I finished editing that one photo. Sheesh, what a headache. I've got a new computer to get my work done and it is oh so nice :) I was able to import all of my Africa photo's into Adobe Lightroom in a fraction of the time it took originally. While uploading, this photo of a family of baboons playing in a tree while the African sun rose caught my eye. I hope you like it.

On a side note. I try not to talk too much about politics here. Mainly because so many of my friends disagree and often accuse me of being a close minded hillbilly. I'll tell you this. I think the last 8 years under the Bush administration have been rough and we haven't had a president with our best interest in mind. That being said, I was a firm believer (and still am) that John McCain is as true an American hero as we have ever known. Long before this long campaign began I've admired John McCain and considered him one of our nations greatest leaders.

With Barrack Obama I've been filled with doubt, uncertainty and at times I can admit..fear. It wasn't uncommon for me to rant.. "Barrack Hussein Obama? President of the United States?...really?" It just sounded weird to me. It was difficult for me to get past the fact that he belonged to that horrible church for 20 years and impossible for me to believe he never heard the Reverend rant about race and the US the way he did in the videos. Kinda reminds me of Bill Clinton claiming to have never inhaled.

That being said...watching the election tonight and seeing the overwhelming majority of the country unite to elect this man made me feel optimistic about our future. While I believe John McCain was the more qualified of the two candidates and would have done an extraordinary job as President, watching Obama's speech tonight gave me goosebumps and at times brought tears to my eyes. What I see in him is a man that inspires. A man that brings hope and gives confidence where it has been lacking. While I disagree with a lot of his politics, I believe that he will do a good job in uniting the people of this great country and will renew faith in us overseas. As a man who proudly voted for John McCain I now proudly express my support of our 44th President.

Don't get me started about our evil Governor though...the race is still on. If Chris Gregoire wins again, Washington state is screwed. C'mon Dino!!! :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Hungry Hippo

Not something you want to find while wandering around the Serengeti. Well, it was actually something I wanted to find..glad I did.

Sorry for the lag in posting a pic of the day..should be back on track now.