National Geographic’s Stephen Alvarez is part photographer, part filmmaker and part explorer. That triad makes his photography great because while some photographers take pictures, Alvarez has learned to tell stories — and as the years have gone by and his gear has improved, his stories have continued to get more compelling.
In this short video, Alvarez talks about some of his best work, revealing little behind the scenes tidbits while simultaneously sharing his motivation and drive. Read more…
Even before the digital age, National Geographic’s photographers, on average, took about 1,933 photos for every one photo published. And it’s this dedication to showing the world only the very best of what they manage to capture that makes these photographers some of the best in the world.
In this B&H Event Space seminar, seasoned photographer Marcus Donner explains the necessity of quantity, and shares some lessons on how to go from taking pictures, to telling stories. Read more…
Ken Burns is a documentary legend, and even though he comes from a filmmaking perspective, his ideas on what makes a story worth telling (or, in our case, a moment worth capturing) are universal and universally inspiring. In this short interview he did with Redglass Pictures he talks about finding subjects where one plus one equals three — where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. He also talks about sincere emotional manipulation, and how he believes it is at the heart of his greatest documentaries. “Emotional truth,” maintains Burns, must be pieced together and created.
And it’s these abilities: the ability to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts, and the ability to “manipulate” the story to piece together an emotional truth that may not be obvious to the casual onlooker; its these abilities that should be at the center of every artist’s tool chest, be they photographer or documentary filmmaker.
Australian photographer Liam McHenry tells the inspiring story of an encounter he had with a confrontational teenager when doing street photography. What started out as a situation spiraling out of control instantly changed when his subject suddenly “understood” his photography. McHenry says that the big revelation he had through the experience was: “it’s never just a photo.”
It’s always fun listening to photographers recount once-in-a-lifetime experiences that lead to once-in-a-lifetime photographs. In this short National Geographic video, photographer Brian Skerry describes what it was like to get up close and personal with a 45-foot-long whale. We only wish there was a little video to go along with his wonderful storytelling!