Brian Smith has carved out a name for himself in photographing the rich and, as he puts it, the infamous. His list of subject is far too long to write out here, but here is just a sampling; Venus and Serena Williams, Gene Hackman, Cindy Crawford, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, The Bee Gees, Antonio Banderas, Shaquille O'Neal, Alan Greenspan, Don King, John Turturro, Anne Hathaway, Ben Stiller, Sylvester Stallone, Pope-John-Paul-II, Wynonna Judd, Richard Branson and many, many more. It is important to note that Brian Smith is not a "one trick" pony. Brian worked for years in photojournalism and has made several iconic and historically important images. If you are over 40, you probably remembers Brian's iconic image of US diver Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board while competing in 1988 Olympics. Brian peppered our time together with advice and pointers that every photographer will find helpful. You will enjoy this one!
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I have been looking forward to talking with Michael Yamashita for years. Yamashita is a National Geographic icon. He has shot more than 30 stories with the magazine, many of which became cover stories. Specializing in Asia, he has shot stories on Marco Polo’s journey to China, the Great Wall, The Age of the Samurai, Korea's DMZ and much, much more. Many of his stories have been turned into a National Geographic Channel documentary, The Ghost Fleet, won Best Historical Documentary at the 2006 New York International Film Festival.
Yamashita’s prior book, Marco Polo: A Photographer's Journey , sold over 200,000 copies worldwide in its initial printing . Marco Polo is also the subject of his award-winning National Geographic Channel documentaries, Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed, in which Yamashita retraces the 13th-century Venetian’s epic excursion to China. His other books include The Great Wall: From Beginning to End, Zheng He (Discovery), In the Japanese Garden, New York from Above and Mekong (River): A Journey on the Mother of Waters.
In this interview Mike Yamashita gives us a wonderful look into what it is like to have been a National Geographic photographer for 30+ year. We also talk about what does it take to make a great photo and so much more. Mike is easy going and open. No pretense with this man. By the end of this interview you will believe Mike Yamashita is they guy that lives next door, only with a much cooler job.
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Michael Freeman is one of the photographers I had wanted to interview for a long time. His book on composition, "The Photographer's Eye" had become the first book I hand to new photographers. It is destined to become the classic treatise on composition - a must read for every photographer.
Michael is one of the most widely published photographers in the world. He has worked for most major international magazine and book publishers in a long career. A leading photographer for the Smithsonian Magazine for three decades (more than 40 assignment stories), He has also published more than 120 books on subjects as varied as Angkor, Sudan, ethnic minorities in Southeast Asia, the Shakers, and contemporary Japanese design and architecture. His 50 books on the practice of photography are standard works, and have sold almost two million copies in more than 20 languages. His contribution to teaching is the photography courses at the UK’s Open College of the Arts, now to degree level in the national curriculum. London-based, Michael Freeman travels for half of each year on shooting assignments, principally in Asia. His latest large-format reportage book is The Tea Horse Road, the result of a two-year exploration of one of the longest trade routes in the ancient world, between China and Tibet.
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Eric Kim says, for him street photography happened by chance. "I was standing at a bus stop and I saw a man with horn-shaped glasses reading a book. There was something so genuine and unique about the moment. My heart was palpitating and the second I brought my camera to my eye, he looked directly at me and I instinctively clicked. My heart froze, but I made my first street photograph, without even realizing it."
Eric Kim is another one of those “nice guy” photographers. There is not a lot of ego to have to sidestep to hear honest views and listen to his story. I appreciated that. Eric seemed to be open and willing to have his ideas and thoughts challenged or at the very least poked that by me in this interview. We talked at great length about his definition of street photography and we got into the differences between social documentary and social commentary in photography. I think you will enjoy getting to know Eric, I know I did. You may not agree with his approach or all of his views but you'll definitely learn to respect the man. Eric travels the world teaching people to face their fears by photographing strangers in some of the most interesting and challenging places. He's done collaborations with Magnum as well as the Invisible Photographer. His motto is “Always shoot with a smile, and from the heart area.”
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