As PhotoMedia enters its 23rd year of publication, we can’t help but reflect on the wide variety of events and developments there have been to cover along the way, including the rise of digital photography, global terrorist threats, political and celebrity scandals, natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake, and now, unfortunately, the still-unfolding man-made disaster in the form of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
It seems timely that this issue focuses on the subject of nature and landscape, allowing us to feature a photographer who has made it his mission to expose mankind’s not-so-kind treatment of the environment and the planetary damage caused by our collective deeds.
In June 2007, I was invited to join a group of seven professional photographers on a trip to Alaska to photograph grizzly bears in the wild, which resulted in a feature story in our Fall 2007 issue. The first day, I was paired with photojournalist Daniel Beltrá in a tiny room on a 10-passenger trawler. Daniel had just won the World Press Photo contest for his pictorials on the rapidly vanishing Amazon rainforest. Throughout that trip, we established a solid friendship. Two years later, I was proud to learn that ABC News had chosen Daniel as its Person of the Week for his work’s influence on policy decisions at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen.
While our story on Daniel was under way, he was assigned to cover the BP oil spill and produced the photo that graces this issue’s cover. That image epitomizes the dedication evident in the photos that comprise our feature on him, along with some words from him on how he discovered his life’s purpose.
Our profile of painter/sculptor/photographer Jeremy Kidd offers a very different perspective, showing how this artist’s digitally assembled panoramas of cityscapes and nature give the viewer an unusual, multidimensional visual experience.
In more personal news, I am pleased to report that PhotoMedia won one of the three 2010 Maggie Awards for which it was nominated, a great honor indeed. At the awards banquet, I was chatting with a woman from a three-year-old magazine when she innocently asked me, “Does it get easier the longer you publish?” My response was, “Easier? No — not if excellence is the goal. More challenging, yes. And definitely more interesting and fulfilling.”
Please visit our recently redesigned website, PhotoMediaonline.com, for the online counterpart to this print edition. Now more than ever, it’s critical that you let our advertisers know that you noticed their ads in PhotoMedia — our future depends on it. They deserve the utmost appreciation for supporting this publication and enabling us to bring you in-depth coverage of the world of photography for free. We welcome your opinions and encourage you to share PhotoMedia with others who love photography.
Gary Halpern, Publisher