Tiger Shark Steals $15K of Camera Gear!


While filming a documentary on Tiger Sharks in the Bahamas a videographers rig was stolen by a Shark, it’s not the first time a shark has taken gear but this has been the most expensive at over $15,000. Watch the video to see it all unfold.


Shooting Ballerinas in Natural Light


Von Wong recently shot a group of dancers from the Nation Sloviak Theater and he shot them in the city using ambient light. Watch how he posed the models and setup his shoots to get a dreamy look.

Hiking the John Muir Trail — Yosemite to Mt Whitney


Starting out or completing the John Muir trail it comes down to Yosemite valley.


The John Muir trail is a long and winding trail that begins in Yosemite Valley and ends at the highest point in the lower 48, on the top of Mt Whitney, 211 miles south.

We’re ecstatic to say that team Silber has completed the JMT–yep every step, every amazing view and every (some time heartbreaking) 12,000 foot pass.

It is an expedition,  more than a “hike” or a “backpacking trip.” To make this journey you really have to have your act together– for the trail will surely find every weak spot you have and laugh at you in the bargin! Left out food or a vital piece of equipment? Tough luck dude the nearest store is at best days by foot, and you get to tack on those extra miles to your 211, no breaks here folks.

But unlike the speed hikers that passed us by, we’ve tackled this in stages, with our last stage about 65 miles including getting onto the trail and exiting. The largest part of the JMT I did solo way back, but for some reason didn’t complete. So I’ve had this gnawing goal to get the rest done, and this year for my birthday I gave myself the joy of completing this grand walk through some of the most startlingly beautiful country you’ll ever see up close.

And of course, photographing it and carrying cameras has been a integral part of this journey. I started out long ago photographing with my Leica M2, always slung around my pack.  Then later it was my Nikon D2x

and the little flip camera attached to my poles to capture videos (here ‘s that video.) And the last section I even shot with an iPhone.

half dome and moon sunset
One of the gems we climbed early on: Half Dome at sunset

The Muir trail is an experience and I decided while pounding up one of our last 12,000 foot passes that the only way to  adequately present it to you is with motion and sound. So folks, stay tuned for JMT the movie. I just need a bit of time to put all the pieces together and mix it in with the blood sweat and tears and pure joy of accomplishment.

lama on the john muir trail

BTW, you meet all sorts of amazing folks on the trail…

For photographer Jennifer McKendrick, integrity comes before income. McKendrick, a wedding and portrait photographer in Pennsylvania, made national headlines this week when she refused to photograph a group of girls for their high school portraits after discovering they had been involved in online bullying.

Jennifer McKendrick

Jennifer McKendrick's studio at JenMcKen.com

After being hired to take senior portraits for four girls, McKendrick says she came across their names on a “burn book” on Facebook, a page set up specifically to ridicule and hurl nasty insults at other people.

McKendrick says she then called the girls’ parents to inform them that she would be canceling their appointments, providing them with screenshots of the teenagers’ cyber-bullying. She explained her decision in a post on her blog.

“I mean how could I spend two hours with someone during our session trying to make beautiful photos of them knowing they could do such UGLY things,” McKendrick wrote. “Realistically, I know by canceling their shoots it’s not going to make them ‘nicer people’ but I refuse to let people like that represent my business.”

Not long after, McKendrick’s story was picked up by news organizations and touted as a an example of one person taking a stand against bullying. As for McKendrick herself, who has since received a tidal wave of support on her Facebook page, she says she never expected she would get this much attention.

“I’m surprised by the feedback I’ve gotten,” she said. “Part of me thinks, ‘Wouldn’t anybody else have done the same thing?’ It’s crazy to me because all I did was tell somebody no. It’s not like I created the wheel or something.”

This is the full edit version of my interview with Jeff Johnson, who has a dream job as a Patagonia staff photographer. He gives his tips for outstanding travel and photojournalistic images. Jeff  is also the lead in the film 180 Degrees South which retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heros Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Jeff talks about how the movie came about and his experiences along the way as a photographer.

A few of the questions that I asked him were
  1. How do you tell stories with your photographs?
  2. What’s the story of making the film 180 South?
  3. How was it transitioning from still to motion?
  4. How do you approach a photojournalistic assignment?
  5. Any tips for capturing great light?
  6. How did you do the voiceovers for the film?
  7. How about your tips for composition?
  8. How do you get the “mojo” in your photographs?
We  talked about a whole lot more, so give this full version a watch!

How Surf Photographer Jeff Flindt Shoots the Curl!

Our friend and past AYP guest Jeff Flindt, Senior Staff Photographer for Surfing Magazine, has the bummer job of traveling all over the globe getting shots like you see here. He sent these over today with some notes about how he shot them.  As you read them imagine that you’re behind the shutter of each:

Pipeline by Jeff Flindt

This photo was shot at Pipeline photo in 2008, but seems like yesterday. Canon Mark III 1D with 16-35mm 2.8L probably set at 29mm.  Shutter speed was 1/2000 (for action) and F/4 ISO 200. It’s about 1/2 – 2/3 stop overexposed to expose to the right. I like exposing to the right with raw files. I never shoot jpegs, never with my professional cameras. I am forced to shoot jpegs with my iPhone 4 though. =)

Zander Morton, Asher Nolan, Alek Parker by Jeff Flindt

This picture in the  Galapagos is one of those shots that not everyone is going to get. This was while we were surfing the islands of the Galapago and the surfer was waiting for a set wave.

Both are shot with a hand made custom water housing to fit my camera.

The sea lions had no fear of us, it was actually fun, they reminded me of puppy dogs. Very playful and curious. This is another shot that I exposed to the right.  I had to slow the shutter speed down to bring in more light because the sea lions are pretty dark and you start to lose a lot of light as you go under water. This was shot at 1/125 F/6.3 ISO200 Raw, with my Canon Mark III 1D 16-35mm 2.8L

Now that you’re envious of  him, be sure to check out Jeff’s site on his Facebook and follow him on Twitter. Who knows, maybe some warm island breeze will come your way.

Friends Jumping off a San Dune

We’ve put together a collection of affordable prints of Marc’s work over the years. You may ask,  “how do we have 18½  photographs?” Well look closely and you’ll see. We created a collection that is perfectly suited for holiday gifts.  Yes, with the holidays coming upon us like a truck with no brakes, you can jump in here and knock down your shopping list in one fell swoop! AND you can save 10% by using the discount code msleicam2 at checkout.

What you’ll see here are some of Marc’s classic black &  white Photographs like the image of kids jumping off a sand dune above– NO, this was NOT “Photoshopped” it was captured on his 1960s Minolta 35mm, the kids were jumping off as the sun was going down behind them with the result of a perfectly timed silhouette. There’s a bunch he shot when he took his Rolleiflex into the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico in the late 1960s. A few from Paris and some from South Africa, a real mix around the globe–passing along his point of view — literally.

We’re printing them on Kodak Endura paper that has great black and white and color depth. We frame them with Nielsen Bianbridge classic photographic frames with museum quality rag mats–in all it’s a good clean look, ready to go right up on the wall. And we’ll ship them off to wherever you want.

So prowl around and have a look, we hope you like what you find.

Four Black & White Images From Morocco

I’m still mostly a black and white photographer, goes back to those many years carrying my Leica or Rolleiflex all over on all sorts of adventures with bags of film; then home, maybe a quick shower to scrape off the outer layer of travel dust and sunburned skin, then disappearing into the darkroom for days on end. Come to think of it, this was the perfect dichotomy: wide-open travel and adventure juxtaposed with the lightless solitude of the darkroom itself–but somehow those two balanced as the grand day-night cycles of photography.  So you see, even though I don’t disappear into a shut off dark space, the process lives on, and I still prefer black and white to color–unless I see some image that cries for color for some reason…here are some recent images from Morocco…

Teacher and Children, Madina Fes

I was invited inside this classroom where the children were singing their bi-lingual alphabets from the blackboard, their teacher looking on with her pleased encouragement.

Wall in Rabat, yes, there’s surf here

Shop doorway, in the Fes Madina

The Fes Madina is the world’s largest car-free urban area in the world. It’s a maze containing every urban ingredient (minus autos)  as you can see here: shops like the doorway above to an endless sea of people flowing by…

…or this boy balancing his cane for me, where I employed one of my favorite quotes from Henri Cartier-Bresson: “Sharpness is a bourgeois concept”

Hope I’m not boring you with my travel photos, I promise not to set up a slide projector and keep you as a captive audience for days (on second thought, I wonder how I could arrange that?)

Hello, catching up


Sant Pau, Spain

Well howdy, sorry you haven’t heard much from me lately, truth is I went “off the grid” for a few weeks, well almost, I was posting to my FB, but that’s about it. (BTW that’s a good way to catch my updates.)

The very short version is, we took off for Morocco drove through Rabat and then to Fez and on to Marrakesh. I could write pages about each one of these places and show you hundreds of images and videos shot along the way–and I do plan to roll many of them out as soon as I process the huge number I came back with.  But let me say this, it was life changing, which I know sounds trite, but believe it does alter your view of life to experience life there. We really immersed ourselves staying in the “Medina” (the old quarter of a Moroccan city) not in western-style hotels.

man-in-jennaelfman.jpg So if you’ll be patient, I’ll get my images and videos and stories put together and roll them out for you.

And then we’ll move on to the second part of our journey, hopping over from Casablanca to Barcelona— seeing the work of Gaudi which is like walking inside a sculpture. Then later over to the Costa Barva to see Salvador Dali’s house and personal collection of work. Now that was an experience into what one artist can do to change reality: I was astounded to see how he provided inspiration for the Beatles, Peter Max, Andy Warhal, and really a whole generation of artists.  What really struck me about both Gaudi and Dali was their complete willingness and courage to bend and break the rules, and get their ideas out  in the face of “conventional thinking.”

Isn’t this what we admire artists for, their ability to show us a view of life that might have only been possible in a”dream”? These guys in Spain certainly were willing to get out there and create new visions of life.

I hope to put together what I saw and felt and pass it along to you soon. Stay tuned folks…

“Tree trunks” at Petrified Forest National Park. Photo by Ian Shive

For his new book, “The National Parks, Our American Landscape,” conservation photographer Ian Shive didn’t just visit a few parks — he spent almost half a decade travelling the country, including one intense 20 day trip where he covered 7,500 miles and visited 17 national parks. “The book is a culmination of four years of image gathering across the entire country,” he said in an interview with NPR.

And what a culmination it is. Shive’s photographs portray America’s most beautiful landscapes (from a breath-taking gorge along the Rio Grande river in Big Bend National Park to the desolate whiteness around Mt. Foraker in Alaska’s Denali National Park) all in an intensely personal way that many people will never get to witness themselves. This, of course, is the sentiment Shive wants to get across. “The book simply inspires people to connect with the outdoors and our parks,” he says.

Shive, who works as for National Parks magazine and is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, has taken it upon himself to help with park conservation and the education of the public regarding places like Yellowstone and Yosemite Valley. His new book aims to to thrill, amaze and, most importantly, teach anyone looking to rediscover the wilds of America. “The power of a single image can never be replaced,” he said. “One image has the power to tell a story, spark imagination and educate people within a few seconds.”

Finally, when he was asked which park every American should see and photograph, he had to go with old faithful. “Yellowstone National Park,” he said, “because it has the ability to let a person step back in time and see the United States in a way that has been completely lost to development and expansion.”

To see more of Ian Shive’s work, pick up his new book –“The National Parks, Our American Landscape”– or check out his blog.

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