Monday, March 25, 2013

You Never Know

Years ago I was watching a 60 MINUTES broadcast while overnighting at a hotel. The story they were covering was about a bright young man who had grown up in Harlem, became successful, and now was returning to his old neighborhood, buying old beat-up buildings and remodeling them into affordable and safe housing for people to move in to. It was a wonderful story.

As the TV crew followed him through the hallways, up the stairs, into an apartment to visit with one of the new tenants, I noticed the wall behind them had one of my photographs made into a poster. I jumped up looked closer, and sure enough, an old wolf image of mine made into a poster. I laughed out loud and shook my head with a big grin. Hey, I made 60 MINUTES..... and in a good way! HA.

Sometimes you just never know why an image is gonna end up where it does. These little surprises are a nice treat. Its part of the fun in this business. Recently, during one of my winter photography workshops, a brutally cold morning gave us the perfect ammunition to create an image that you can only achieve in this sort of hostile environment.

It was -36ยบ F Below Zero. When you toss up a ladle of hot water into this frigid air, that hot water instantly vaporizes. It makes for a wonderful images combining both science and art. It soon appeared in National Geographic's "Your Shot" collection of online images.

Another example of how unusual circumstances result in unexpected placement, came from a photograph I snapped while shooting a Smithsonian Magazine assignment. I was in North Dakota covering a feature story on a farmer who collects tractors. While crossing from one field to another across his land, I stumbled onto a sort of "old car graveyard." I spotted this 54' Ford Crown Victoria with an Ash tree growing right outta of the hood.

It struck me immediately, NATURE'S REVENGE.

I sent the image off to one of my favorite clients, Patagonia, and they soon used it on one of the cover of their clothing catalogs, then in their beautiful book, UNEXPECTED. Now, over a decade later, they are using it again as a design for one of T-Shirts.

How cool is that?  Ya just never know.


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