I went to Tanzania specifically during the migration to create a Day to Night with animals instead of people. The biggest challenge was capturing the changing of time with the animals. In capturing the varied species of the Serengeti, I knew I would be relying more heavily than I like to on luck. I scouted for 2 weeks and I found a watering hole that I felt would be the best location for the photograph. I worked with my assistants hidden in a crocodile blind 18 feet above the ground for 30 consecutive hours, capturing these incredible species coming together to share this one sacred resource- water.
Photographing on Steeple Jason was an extraordinary experience. The island is rarely touched by man. Albatrosses roost by the sea, sharing the grassy incline with penguins. While these albatrosses sit on their nests, warming and protecting their chicks, their partners soar above the ocean, swooping down to catch prey. I took 926 photos in 26 hours, and used about 80 to make this image.
Shooting in Kenya at Lake Bogoria I captured the Flamingos on the lake, an extraordinary experience. The lesser flamingos of Africa’s Great Rift Valley thrive in the extreme environment of high-altitude soda lakes, feeding on algal blooms that are toxic to many other creatures. I shot 1742 photos over 36 hours from a 30-foot scaffolding enclosed in a bird blind, capturing the movements of the flamingos and the marabou storks stalking them. I chose about 30 photos for this image.
This image is one from a series featured in the January issue of National Geographic to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. My goal was to create a photograph that showed the majesty and vastness of the Grand Canyon incorporating a human narrative within the scene while presenting the beauty of the landscape. I photographed from the top of the Desert View Watchtower at the South Rim, where my team and I worked for 27 hours; during the day I was flanked by tourists who were curious about my process. When the sun rose I captured one of the greatest cloud formations I have seen. I chose to shoot the Grand Canyon at the end of July, to catch a lightening storm, which I feel is an important aspect of this photograph.
This scene, scouted near the Tweedsmuir Park Lodge in Bella Coola, captures the grizzly bears looking for food in their natural habitat during the salmon run. I photographed for 36 hours, observing the gentler nature of these bears that most people do not get to witness. Due to climate change, the rivers in which the salmon travel are hotter and drier than ever before, leading to an increased number of fish deaths and a lesser number of fishes for the bears to feed on. I hope this image helps to create awareness about the dangers of climate change and the effect of man on natural habitats.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by the Cetus Society to Robson Bight, an ecological reserve off the coast of BC. Robson Bight is designated for the protection of the important habitat of the Northern killer whales. Pods of orcas’ swim through the waters at Robson Bight, rubbing themselves on the barnacles and pebbles along the seafloor, which is unique to this location and only happens at specific times of the year. To create this Day to Night photograph, I worked for 35 hours under a silver moon, watching these animals interact.
From mid-February to mid-April, half a million sandhill cranes gather along the Platte River. Emaciated when they arrive from Mexico and the southern United States, they fatten up to migrate on to the sub-Arctic and Arctic nesting grounds. From a blind 25 feet high, I shot 1,377 photos over 36 hours and used about 200 to create this image. During the day the cranes gorge on waste grains left in fields; in the evening they return to the river in waves.
The inspiration for this image was the Albert Bierstadt painting “Yosemite Valley.” This perspective required perhaps the most challenging setup I have had— tethered, along with two assistants, to the edge of a rock outcropping at a 45-degree angle on an area the size of a four-by-eight piece of plywood. We captured long night exposures to take advantage of the beautiful moonlight bathing the face of El Capitan. Photographing both the significant moments of the landscape as it transformed throughout the day and night, as well as the remarkable human moments of awe experiencing one of the most iconic national park vistas, was a very important goal in this image. This photograph was the impetus for National Geographic to give me the grant to create a series on the National Parks.
Getting permission for this shoot took two years. I was fortunate to photograph on such a beautiful day, though it was so noisy being under the C and L subway trains, 40 feet up in the air under the Manhattan Bridge. This view is of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The Palio is a quick, ninety-second race- if you blink, you may miss it! This Day to Night image shows the progression of the race from the morning to the false start, the race, and the conclusion of the race. The Palio is held twice a year in Siena, Italy. The many Contrada, (or districts) within the city compete bareback in this highly intense horserace. Winning is considered a high honour.