Dereck and Beverly Joubert have spent the past 30 years living among lions in the African country of Botswana, capturing incredible photographs and footage of the majestic creatures that have garnered widespread praise. They are considered two of the world’s preeminent experts on the big cats, having created tens of films, books, scientific papers, and articles in National Geographic magazine (along with a list of filmmaking awards, including five Emmys).
CBS’ 60 Minutes recently paid a visit to the Joubert’s, creating the fascinating video above that shows how the duo live and work, and how they’ve dedicated their lives to documenting and protecting the cats from human threats. Read more…
For a recent National Geographic story on giant sequoia trees, photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols was tasked with capturing a photograph showing the sheer size of one of the largest trees in the world. The video above offers a short but interesting glimpse into how Nichols and his team went about doing so. Read more…
National Geographic photographer and filmmakers do some pretty crazy stuff and use some pretty crazy gear in order to capture the perfect shot. They’re the type of people who see a large shark and, instead of fleeing the scene, think to themselves, “we should attach a camera to that thing.” And then they actually do it.
Mounting cameras on sharks is risky business, though, and the video above shows just how dangerous it can be. In it, marine biologist Greg Marshall tells of his first attempt at deploying his camera onto the back of a large shark back in 1992. It didn’t go according to plan. Read more…
In 1984, photographer Steve McCurry shot a portrait titled “Afghan Girl” that would become the defining image of his career and one of the most famous National Geographic covers ever published. In 2002, McCurry was able to locate the subject, Sharbat Gula, and learn her story. National Geographic then published a fascinating piece telling the story of the photo, the search, and the subject:
The reunion between the woman with green eyes and the photographer was quiet. On the subject of married women, cultural tradition is strict. She must not look—and certainly must not smile—at a man who is not her husband. She did not smile at McCurry. Her expression, he said, was flat. She cannot understand how her picture has touched so many. She does not know the power of those eyes.
Some interesting facts: McCurry shot the photo on Kodachrome using a Nikon FM2 and Nikkor 105mm f/2.5. Gula’s identity was confirmed by comparing her iris to the Afghan Girl’s. Although she had never seen her famous portrait, Gula distinctly remembers sitting for the photo — it was one of the only times in her life that she had a photo taken of her.
Contest is open only to individuals who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry and who do NOT reside in Cuba, Iran, New Jersey, North Korea, the Province of Quebec, Sudan, Syria or Vermont. Employees of National Geographic Society, and its subsidiaries and affiliates [...] CONTEST IS VOID IN CUBA, IRAN, NEW JERSEY, NORTH KOREA, THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, SUDAN, SYRIA, VERMONT AND WHERE PROHIBITED.
Iran and North Korea? Those are understandable… but New Jersey and Vermont? Turns out there’s a pretty simple answer for those states as well: state laws. Read more…
This image was shot in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor. The intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in. On the right we notice a television and a sound console. These tribes live weeks away from any village by foot. In spite of being located at an altitude of 4,300 meters in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan they are equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and cellphones. Ancestral ways of living, with touches of modernity.
The image was submitted into the category Sense of Place (the other categories were: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, and Spontaneous Moments). Read more…
There are many things a photographer has to take into consideration when composing a phenomenal picture, but one that you don’t often think about is perspective. In an educational article over on National Geographic, photographers Cary Wolinsky and Bob Caputo — who have a combined 64 years of experience shooting for NatGeo — talk about how important it can be to “Get Some Perspective,” sharing some helpful tips and tricks they’ve come up with along the way.
It’s good to have a little perspective–to know where you stand and just how big (or small) your world and the things in it are. Most pictures we see include something we recognize–a person, a house, a car, or something else that we already know the size of. Like leaves. We think we know what size leaves are. And usually we’re right [...] But photographs can be deceptive, especially in this age of easy photo manipulation.
Check out the entire article, complete with examples, over on National Geographic. And when you’re done there, head over to Wolinsky and Caputo’s website PixBoomBa for more helpful (and oftentimes funny) photography tips.
Having just mentioned National Geographic yesterday, it’s appropriate that we’re featuring a photographer whose work has been used in the magazine many times over. David Doubilet is certainly one of the greatest underwater photographers in the world, and his work in both fresh and salt water, in both black and white and color, really leaves one breathless. Read more…
A little over a month ago we featured an extended interview with long-time Newsweek Photo Editor Jamie Wellford. It was a longer video than we usually put up but very educational and well worth an hour of your time. And now Photoshelter has put together another long interview/webinar as part of their “What Photo Buyers Want” series, this one with National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist.
In the video, Photoshelter’s Allen Murabayashi goes in depth with Krist about the her background, NatGeo as a whole, and how the magazine goes about selecting from the many thousands of photo submissions they receive on a daily basis. If you’re into National Geographic photography and hope to maybe make a career of it some day, this is an hour of insight you won’t wanna miss.
For those of you who’ve ever wondered what it takes to get your work into National Geographic, here’s a hint: not “creative” software filters. According to a set of guidelines laid out in a message from the magazine’s Director of Photography, certain minor post-processing is ok with the exception of filters. Minimal dodging and burning, black and white, hand tinted images (if you’re experienced), and cropping are ok when done well; fish eye lenses are discouraged; but filters are a definite no no.
How much of a no no? Well, the photo director’s exact words regarding filters boil down to: “No. Please stop.” So even though the current trend in photography, spearheaded by Instagram, is towards filters, don’t expect Nat Geo to jump on the bandwagon anytime soon.