Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

IN THE LOUPE: Louie Psihoyos

Self Portrait Self Portrait
© Louie Psihoyos

International Stock Agents: Grazia Neri (Italy); AGE Fotostock (Spain); Cosmos (France); Focus (Germany); Katz Pictures (England); Pacific Press Service (Japan); INA Agency Press (Sweden); Hollandse Hoogte Photoagency (The Netherlands); and Foton Imagia Agencja Fotograficzna (Poland).

Equipment: Almost exclusively the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, what he calls "the Porsche of digital cameras." He sold all his film equipment on eBay in the summer of 2005. "I was actually surprised you could still get money for your film cameras," he says.

Upcoming trips: Japan, the Galápagos Islands, Australia, the Mediterranean and points everywhere — all to create still and video documentation for his nonprofit organization, the Oceanic Preservation Society.

Books and Exhibitions: "Hunting Dinosaurs," about his extensive work with paleontologists for frequent National Geographic essays, and "Hyperion," an oversized, limited-edition document on Netscape co-founder Jim Clark's 155-foot yacht, which has a 192-foot carbon fiber mast (the world's largest). Psihoyos also was one of seven contributors to Peter Menzel's "Material World" book and traveling show, featuring families around the world surrounded by their material possessions.

Major influence: The mid-20th century imagery of W. Eugene Smith. "He hits on a lot of cylinders for me," he says. "He's got a great sense of light, and he's passionate about his subjects." Psihoyos' favorite Smith pictures include "The Country Doctor" and "Spanish Village," but most meaningful to him are Smith's photographs showing the aftermath of a mercury-poisoning incident in Minamata, Japan.

Advice for up-and-comers: "If there's anything specific that's come out of the digital world, it is that it's become easier and easier to take bad pictures," he says. "In photojournalism school, they don't teach you how to take great pictures; they don't tell you how to light. Most of what I learned about lighting and taking pictures in general came from reading books and watching films shot by great cinematographers."

Website: psihoyos.com

Ted Fry
Story Author: Ted Fry

Ted Fry is a freelance writer living in Seattle.

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