In the years 1959, 1960, and 1961 following the 1959 Tibetan uprising and exile of the Dalai Lama, over 20,000 Tibetans migrated to Nepal. Since then many have emigrated to India or settled in refugee camps set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Government of Nepal, the Swiss Government, Services for Technical Co-operation Switzerland, and Australian Refugees Committee.
Those who arrived before 1989 were issued refugee ID cards and benefited from de facto economic integration; however, more recent arrivals have no legal status and cannot own property, businesses, vehicles, or be employed lawfully. Many of these recent arrivals transit through Nepal on their way to India.
The largest settlement close to Pokhara is Tashi Palkhiel, about 5km northwest of Pokhara in the foothills of the Himalaya. The community is home to under 1,000 Tibetan Refugees in exhile; although the most senior population are the remaining who fled during the initial uprising. Jangchub Choeling monastery was created in 1963 by Lama Dupsing Rinpoche in order to meet the spiritual needs of the Tibetan and Nepalese population there. A small Tibetan carpet factory generates some income and jobs but is still economically depressed.
Sara and I used to work together at the Real Simple magazine test kitchen when we were at Time, Inc. in NYC. Yet another amazing person I feel fortunate to have shared time with. Note: The following is an excerpt from The Good Neighbor Cookbook website which she co-authored. She is now working at doitDelicious.com and occasionally making headlines in The Enquirer as Jerry Seinfeld's love interest (for real not for real)...
Sara is very aware of the irony that she is coauthor of The Good Neighbor Cookbook yet lives in a 46-floor high-rise in New York City, where she knows barely a handful of neighbors. In her defense, she has spent her adult life cooking for others, first as a restaurant owner/chef, then as a recipe developer/food stylist for Real Simple magazine. She is currently food/web director atdoitDelicious.com, a website for beginner cooks. You can also view her work at saraquessenberry.tumblr.com.
Kitchen equipment I can’t do without: My grandma’s 70 year-old cast iron skillet.
Go-to dinner favorites: Fall: roasted cauliflower and sage pasta. Winter: roasted chicken with lots of lemon and garlic. Spring: lamb chops and mint sauce. Summer: sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil and grilled bread.
What I most love to cook: dishes that simmer: pasta sauces, curries, soups, stews.
Home-alone dinner: Soft boiled egg on buttered toast. If I’m feeling fancy, maybe some broiled asparagus, too.
Dream kitchen must-have: Counter space.
Good-neighbor pledge: To cook for the sweet old ladies who live on my floor.
Kanchipuram is a rural village in the southern portion of India (Tamil Nadu). Through micro-lending programs, places like this thrive once they are able to secure loans for farming equipment and other small businesses.
Carly Johann is a rookie professional as well as a fitness model. I photographed Carly in the studio doing some fake running (see below) but I reserved enough time to shoot at a previously scouted location in San Diego before sunset.
I found my spot, made a mark for Carly to hit and set up my lights. I used Profoto B1 lights so I could take advantage of the high speed sync. This recent miracle has improved motion photography for the better (if only they could improve the wattage). When shooting a moving subject, it's difficult to freeze the action with strobes while syncing at the maximum shutter speed (Nikon usually 1/200", Canon 1/160") .
I learned the hard way when I photographed Apolo Ohno for a cover long before. It was a similar situation shooting him running across the frame. If you thought Apolo was quick on skates, you should have seen him run for me. He had his hands in blade formation and only had one speed - wicked fast. It was hard to find a suitable image that didn't have blur in it!
For Carly, I was able to shoot at 1/1000" at f5.6, ISO 400. This gave me enough ambient for the sunset sky while freezing the action. I chose a white beauty dish for the key light directly in front of her and used heads with reflectors for the rim and fill. I set my power output on the strobes to match the ambient so no key shifting.
Being an experienced fitness model, Carly easily hit her mark in stride and responded quickly to my hand and posture adjustments. That is usually the deal maker or breaker for a shoot like this. I learned to shoot wide for these to maximize the depth of field on a moving subject. This allows me to retain sharpness while I pan the camera (pre-focused). The large file size with the 36mp Nikon D810 easily allowed us to crop without loss as you can see with the image I posted. SEE LIGHTING DIAGRAM BELOW
If I remember correctly the studio shot was used inside the magazine. I've included the unretouched, straight out of Lightroom version here:
If I were to crop for print it would be slightly above the knees. This would be identical to a Women's Running Magazine cover. I used 4 lights with umbrellas for an even blue background. The rim lights had medium strip softboxes with grids. The grids focus the light on the subject while reducing the bounce on the ceiling and floor. They're also ideal for minimizing flare in the camera lens. I used a medium octabank as the key light, with an intentional Rembrandt lighting pattern. The fill was my usual 7' octabank.
For these shots, I back the model up close to the seamless. I show them the mark I need them to hit and the stride I need at that exact moment. For every time they run towards me, I only get one frame and one chance to get it all right. It's a strength in numbers game but I have yet to meet a subject who likes the numbers to add up.
I've included the lighting diagrams below for each setup. They're hardly accurate or pretty. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this shoot or anything else on my blog, please feel free to reach out!
When it's time to move on. When the years have added up. When you're moving too often. Usually that means it's time for all the old negatives and prints to go. The only way I feel comfortable disposing of imagery is to let it burn baby burn...
Certain people command respect. Sometimes it requires a cold, steely exterior necessary to be the master and commander of a ship circumnavigating the globe. In many ways, the captain is part celebrity (to the guests) and part dictator (to the crew). I had first sailed with MC Krstanovic in 2003 on my first journey around the world as the photographer with the Semester at Sea program. I was asked to take his portrait and I was very inexperienced and nervous. I had 30 seconds and the results reflected it. Terrible light, framing and execution.
Fast forward 5 years and I'm on the ship again ready to take his portrait for a second time. With some luck he remembered me from years before which automatically creates a familiarity and comfort. Krstanovic was at ease and I felt comfortable placing him where I wanted and taking the time (2 minutes) to get the shot right.
This portrait is all natural light, taken somewhere between Brasil and South Africa. It was a wonderfully calm day. With moments to scout a location in the technical marvel of the bridge of the ship, I noticed a dramatic sky on the starboard side and the light was coming in from the stern of the ship. There is a small deck area off the bridge where captains overlook docking procedures. I asked the captain to join me on this deck and positioned him so the sun was coming from his back left shoulder. The outside area was painted white and had glass windows surrounding part of this deck area. The light created this gorgeous wrap from one wall and perfect fill light from the other. With a quick meter reading I placed the Captain in a strong position facing away from the camera while also creating a short-light Rembrandt lighting pattern.
I thought the image turned out perfectly with all the elements falling into place with natural light. Rarely am I so lucky to have proper dramatic light create itself without my interfering with light modifiers. I brought a physical print to the Captain later and he was over the moon with the results. We became quick friends and he would invite my wife and I to his private cabin for wine and cheese, buy us drinks whenever he saw us in the lounge and treated us like friends and royalty.
I will forever remember the night in the Captains cabin when he recounted a portrait he absolutely hated taken by a photographer a few years prior. He was congratulating me on creating an image that truly spoke to his persona and ego. I felt quite proud. He may not have realized that the photo he distinctly remembered not liking was taken - I believe - by me...
“What’s with art anyway, that / We give it such precedence?” Most basic is the common respect, the popular respect for living off one’s vision. My experience has shown me that the artist is a person much respected by the poor because they have circumvented the need to exert the body, even of time, to live off what appears to be the simplest bodily act. This is an honest way to rise out of the slum, using one’s sheer self as the medium, the money earned rather a proof pure and simple of the value of that individual, The Artist. This is a basic class distinction in the perception of art where a picture your son did in jail hangs on your wall as a proof that beauty is possible even in the most wretched; that someone who can make a beautiful thing can’t be all bad; and that beauty has an ability to lift people as a Vermeer copy done in a tenement is surely the same as the greatest mural by some MFA. An object of art is an honest way of making a living, and this is much a different idea from the fancier notion that art is a scam and a ripoff. The bourgeoisie have, after all, made it a scam. But you could never explain to someone who uses God’s gift to enslave that you have used God’s gift to be free. - Rene Ricard
A million years ago when i was working at a studio in NYC, I decided to test the limits of a Phase One P45 back (when this was the newest technology). I found these photos and thought it would be fun to share.
I used a Hasselbad 555 body with an 80mm lens and 2x extension tube. I put a single head with a reflector camera right, put my subjects within a couple inches of the lens, blasted a flashlight in their eyes to close the pupil and brought this landscape to the screen.
Light eyes like mine didn't have the same depth and detail as the darker tones.
Eyes are as individual as fingerprints. Each example is a different friend. In Aron's eye above, you can see his long eye lashes reflecting back.
These images are cropped in but the P45 digital back could easily handle it.
I was asked to photograph Dr. John Hellemans within what felt like minutes of landing in Kona, Hawaii in 2013. He is a world class coach as well as athlete. Born in Holland, he has spent most of his adult life in New Zealand training top endurance athletes. His humble quiet nature betrays his impact and importance in the sport of Triathlon. I was shooting uber coach Siri Lindley (Rinny Carfrae, Rebekah Keat, Rafael Goncalves, etc) during the same shoot and she was beside herself having the opportunity to meet Dr. Hellemans.
I decided to use the beautiful available light on the west coast of the Big Island. The plan was to shoot at sunset for this reason. The portrait above was all natural light shot with a 70-200mm 2.8 lens at 155mm and f/3.2. I found a textured background facing the setting sun and used no modifiers. I love the shallow depth of field and prefer the intensity and personality of black & white over color images for portraiture.
We quickly moved from traditional portraits to shooting Dr. Hellemans with his bike on the back road of the Energy Lab. I found a high point for John to stand and put my belly on the pavement for the low, long perspective. This too was available light.
And we finished with a rushed sunset shot with major key shifting to keep John from becoming backlit but maintaining the density of the sky. I used a White Lightening 1600 head with the compact Chimera 22" portable beauty dish. This image ran as a full spread in the magazine.
Per the usual, I didn't have time to plan the shoot or location scout beforehand. All my decisions were made on the fly without an assistant. It's functioning in panic mode (remember I was concurrently photographing Siri Lindley). Any mistakes I made I had to live with. I have no more than eight frames of every look I shot which is not power-in-numbers. My only saving grace is that I run through a thousand scenarios in my head before the shoot. If you have any questions about how or why I do the things I do, give me a shout!
On another note these images are directly out of Lightroom with no additional retouching. Retouching has become a dirty word but that is due to a lack of understanding. Images have always been perfected since the beginning of the art form. If I had time to retouch these before posting, I would. But I didn't. I'm lazy.
I haven't seen the world in it's entirety. I haven't seen war in three dimensions. I haven't gone hungry a day in my life. I haven't struggled to protect my family from neighbors, government, or predators. I've never been subjugated or labeled as a minority or been forced to do labor for unfair or zero wages.
I have seen more of the planet than 99% of other inhabitants. I'm among an even smaller percentage (.01%) of people who have circumnavigated the globe on a ship. So what I have learned is that we are headed to an unsurmountable and currently unavoidable path to self destruction.
While it is true we are living in the least violent times our planet has ever seen, the violence we do see is still shocking and troubling when it's in our own back yard. The war on terror continues with our soldiers in harms way. When it's thousands of miles away we do seem to find it easier to disassociate: When it's communities we don't understand it borders on complete disregard.
It would be impossible for humanity to agree on all things from religion to politics, yet we can all agree we deserve human dignity. I cannot state enough that I am generalizing, but our current world of war and atrocities is likely to be derived from either religion or thirst for power.
I've been fortunate to see the apartheid era townships of Cape Town, South Africa. I've been fortunate to travel to predominantly Muslim countries at times when the US State Department all but forbid it. I've almost been robbed in Brasil. I've witnessed hungry children in South Africa. I've left a country hastily to avoid a Maoist Rebel takeover. These experiences haven't hardened my view, rather it has broadened my ability to see the world from others perspective.
With this in mind, I harbor the most dislike and distrust for Americans who blindly hate, label and celebrate intolerance. Yes there are Extremists who are directly responsible for terror, but we should always rise above intolerance and recognize the small number of bad actors within the larger groups of peaceful and loving humans within a differing religious and political belief system.
On our nations darkest days after tragedies like the Orlando, FL mass shooting, we gather in sadness and unite in anger. Our collective memories will dissolve over time but there will be families and friends of the victims that will carry the horror in their hearts and minds for at least a generation more.
Will the victims differentiate between international or domestic terrorists? Maybe temporarily. History will be the harshest judge and this time we live in will be remembered more for our inability to pass common sense laws on guns. It will be remembered for our country promoting and not shaming rhetoric from aspiring world leaders. Read that again, ASPIRING WORLD LEADERS.
If we celebrate the Greatest Generation for defending human rights and dignity during the era of World War II, how can we disrespect their contributions and lives lost by reverting to the same thinking they fought to rid our planet of? How can we not see that same ignorance welling up within our own country? This doesn't exemplify any form of intelligence. It doesn't distinguish from "east coast elitism". It's an embarrassing lack of education and understanding that leads to our current divide.
We have freedom of speech and we should always invite differing opinions and points of view. We also believe in intolerance for intolerance. Our entire progression as a nation is based on this fundamental concept. As we move forward as a nation beyond Orlando, the Boston Marathon and all other recent terrorist tragedies, let us not recede to McCarthy era paranoia and Hilter-esc hatred. We did intern Japanese Americans during WWII. Are we willing to relive that mistake? Registering Muslims in America is a small step in that direction but a big leap in our new normal of hatred and isolationism. "Let's Make America Great Again" is a slogan that will only be true if we reflect back on what we have fought for in the past - not regress.
Timelapse: MV Explorer transits the Panama Canal from the Pacific to the Caribbean side, May 2008. John David Becker (copyright 2008 all rights reserved)Read More
Being a former and potentially future Olympian, it was fitting to photograph him on the track at the Olympic Training Facility in Chula Vista, California in 2015. Thanks to our lovely escort with a golf cart (intern), we were able to get all the gear down to the track with minimal pain. My Art Director handed me a tearsheet of someone tying their shoes. Time to improvise.Read More