Bashful Batis at Mardi Gras Bash

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I’m a shy photographer – at least at first. I’m just not good at sticking a camera in someone’s face, much less directing them on how to pose. That’s why I tend to use longer focal lengths for street photography, because I can sit back unobtrusively and get natural candids without bothering anyone. For the bashful photographer, Mardi Gras is the perfect place to practice because everyone – and I mean everyone – is looking to get snapped. And the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens with which to practice.

Afghanistan: Wartime Tourism

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Afghanistan is not technically at war and I was not strictly a tourist. But much of the country is driven by fear and uncertainty. In Kabul, helicopters thunder overhead – two crashed while I was there. SUV’s vie with herds of goats, meandering donkey carts and zipping minibuses – doors and throttles wide open – in […]

Five Miles High

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This was probably the most difficult photo I have ever taken, not just because it took three years of planning and one prior failed expedition to get to this spot, but also because it was -15°F and my fingers were too cold to move. It was about 6:00am, just after dawn, near the summit of Mustagh Ata, a fabled peak in the Chinese Pamirs. It’s name translates as “Father of Ice Mountains” in the Tadjik language.

Beijing Dust Storm, 1979

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Beijing is on the edge of the Loess Plateau, an area bound by a huge 500-mile bend of the Yellow River and known for its fine sand, almost like ground flour. Each spring, the sand would descend upon Beijing like Bartholomew’s Oobleck – there was no way to keep it out of your mouth or any other part of your body, even if you kept your windows closed. It was just everywhere. 1980- (2)Sometimes it blew in with a storm, other times it just descended quietly overnight like the first snow of winter – as it did in this photo. At the time I was staying in the Minzu Hotel with a group of advertising executives from McCann-Erickson.

 
 
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