John Callan, a former editor of PhotoMedia, is a freelance writer based in Woodinville, Wash.
George Ciardi: Working while the City Sleeps Unpublished
As a factory worker for most of his life, George Ciardi has always had an affinity for the "accidental artistry" of the places where he worked. "It's all this functionality that ends up being beautiful in odd ways," he says. Ciardi took a job as a courier two and a half years ago, but stuck in a car all day, he soon felt "visually frustrated" and missed the rhythm of factory life. That all changed when he began seeing the old buildings he delivered packages to in a different light.
"My job takes me to all these great locations," Ciardi says. "So I started writing down the places that might be promiq sing and going back at night with my camera."
The spooky colors in Ciardi's images are provided by the buildings' own outdoor lighting. The yellowish hues come from sodium vapor lights, while mercury vapor...
IN THE LOUPE: R. J. Muna: Unpublished
Studio: An expansive 12,000-square-foot remodeled lumber mill in an industrial area of San Francisco
Recent subjects: Lexus, Infiity, BMW. "In the technology world, we've done everything from Sony Playstation to Apple to Microsoft."
Best advice to aspiring photographers: "The most difficult thing for a new photographer to do is to find his or her own voice. Imitating other photographers necessarily puts them behind the curve. You need to think and create your own great ideas, and have the technique be the second thing. "When all is said and done and the year's work, or decade's work, is looked back on, the things that rise to the top are the great ideas you had, not the great techniques. That's a very difficult thing for a young photographer to grasp. Most of the time that comes not from a lack of talent, but a fear that their own voice will not be accepted. That's something you have to get over."
R. J. Muna: An Alluring Eye Unpublished
Whether you're perusing the 53 dreamlike models and dancers in his latest photo book, The Apparitions, or marveling at the blur of a snarling attack dog in a recent ad he shot for Sony Playstation, there's no denying that R. J. Muna's photos make the pulse quicken. Less clear is how his wispy images gather so much force from such ethereal foundations.
In Muna's latest book, says photographer Owen Edwards, "What Muna wanted to track down wasn't just the spirits that flit through our dreams, both waking and sleeping, but whatever it was that brought them up from the depths."
Throughout his career, says Edwards, "Muna has created photographic versions of these invented glimpses...
Jeff Schultz: Twenty years on the Trail Unpublished
Jeff Schultz, one of Iditarod's two official photographers, will mark his twentieth year chronicling the race when the dog sledding teams leave Anchorage next March. Originally a portrait and wedding photographer, he was swept up in Iditarod fever after shooting a portrait of the charismatic Joe Reddington Sr., a founder of the modern race who passed away last year.
That seed planted in Iditarod's early days has blossomed into an Alaska-focused career for Schultz, who now shoots editorial and corporate assignments and owns the the stock agency Alaska Stock Images at alaskastock.com. Schultz himself regularly shoots outdoor and adventure stock in addition to his annual coverage of Iditarod.
Much has changed since the race first reached Nome in 1973, and since 1981, when Schultz hired a pilot on his own first year on the trail, and "could only afford to fly the trail half way." More teams, more media, and more machinery have turned the Iditarod into...
Mike Albert: Climb Every Mountain Unpublished
Avid hiker Mike Albert grabbed this shot of a lonely trekker on the French alpine slopes of Mont Blanc three years ago while backpacking through Europe. Albert took the photo after riding a tram that takes hikers and tourists up the face of Mont Blanc, a massive glacier-encased mountain like Mount Rainier in Washington State, only higher at 15,771 feet.
About the tram ride, Albert says, "It's the only time I ever took the easy way out. It was a hot summer day. You wouldn't believe how many people were hiking that trail. Yet there was this one guy off by himself. I got this one shot...
Reality Bytes Unpublished
At the end of a long, dark hallway, he opens the doorway of L.A.'s most famous feather prop house. Through a haze of feather dust, Morgan sees workers breathing through dust masks as they fashion angel wings of every shape and size. He picks out a few sets of small wings, then heads back to his studio, where his staff is fashioning tiny harnesses to hang hired pigs from his ceiling. It's a long way to go to make something as mundane as an ad client's product—a door—look interesting. And the end result will look only subtly different had someone spent an afternoon fiddling with Photoshop. But the image Morgan creates in the camera, and the story behind it, will last a lifetime.
The world of studio photography has evolved rapidly since the advent of the digital age. From the digital stock CDs of the 1980s to the portfolio websites and digital editing tools of the 1990s to the photography megaportals of 2000 and beyond, the creative and collaborative opportunities offered by computing...
Patrick Bennett: On the Job Unpublished
Though he says he "thoroughly enjoys shooting at dirty factories," corporate photographer Patrick Bennett is finding new worlds to conquer in advertising. Much in demand, he uses blurring, color and odd angles to illustrate the energy of his subjects.
The scene of terror above was shot for ad agency DDB Worldwide's 50th anniversary. "They said we had to show as many DDB Seattle employees as possible and we had to show the Space Needle. But they didn't say we couldn't have Godzilla break the top off.
"We had about 80 takes where I was yelling through a megaphone and screaming at the employees to run from the imaginary monster. If there was anyone not running and screaming...
Reid Callanan, founder and director of the Santa Fe Workshops, is the PhotoMedia Photography Person of the Year for 1999. An engraved sculpture is given annually to a member of the photography industry who has earned recognition for "exceptional artistic and business accomplishments, passion, devotion to the industry, inspiration to colleagues, and humanitarian achievements in the community."
PhotoMedia honors Callanan and the Santa Fe Workshops for educating thousands of photographers at all career stages, while promoting the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and support for the photographic community in New Mexico and worldwide.. Through his dedication to these principles, Callanan has been able to attract the highest caliber...
For Love of the Game Unpublished
The sun is fading over the Rocky Mountains on a late winter Friday afternoon in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Tom Mangelsen, a powerful man in his mid-50s, is tucked away in his downtown studio, surrounded by 2,500 boxes of film he has shot and developed in the past few years but not yet had time to review. With his whirlwind schedule this spring and summer, he's unlikely to catch up anytime soon.
By the end of June, he'll have released a new catalog, published a new book and opened his thirteenth Images of Nature photo gallery, this time in Kirkland, Wash. He'll miss the late April opening gala, however. That week he'll be spending his evenings huddling in a bamboo thicket...
Colin Meagher: Man in Motion Unpublished
Extreme action is the mark of photographer Colin Meagher, who captured whitewater kayaker Chuck Kern cresting the falls on the Kootenai River in Northwest Montana. Like his subjects, says Meagher, "I find that I am drawn to things that have a lot of high-energy. Whether it's running or climbing, mountain biking or snowboarding, I'm looking for that little slice of time that most people aren't even aware of."
It's on those occasions, Meagher says, that having a motor drive is one of the nicest luxuries. "It allows me to anticipate that moment, but often times, I won't even have the motor drive running. I'll just be clicking one frame at a time. Just to keep sharp...