"Not all who wander are lost", J.R.R. Tolkein
We all recognize the distinctive yellow border on the cover of a National Geographic magazine. It’s the famous “calling card” that transcends generations and language barriers to open doors into new worlds. Those treasured piles of dusty magazines carefully stored in grandparent’s attics or family dens were probably the first introduction many photographers had to the enduring power of an exquisite image in an exotic location.
Last Sunday NG photographers Ralph Lee Hopkins and Bob Krist were in town to showcase their beautiful imagery while explaining how they compose photos to tell us the powerful stories of our changing world. Although technology has impacted the way they work, they still retain the essence of their craft. Bob weaves a visual narrative using a variety of pictures while Ralph specializes in creating iconic covers that truly encapsulate the essence of an idea in a single image.
I’m sure it’s a lifestyle we’d all secretly covert without realizing their profession is also changing as the print industry evolves. “Life” and other classic photoessay magazines have faded but NG continues to evolve, just as they embrace new work opportunities.
I was particularly impressed by Ralph’s recent work to raise awareness of the need to conserve the ecosystem in the fragile Baja region. His stunning aerial shots and partnerships with local preservation groups struck a chord for me. Ralph encouraged us to all take a stand to protect this delicate planet in our own small ways and I commend him for that personal commitment.
Ralph is off to Australia soon so I was pleased to provide him with some tangible tips and some contacts to help him prepare. Hopefully our paths cross again somewhere in the world. In the meantime I will enjoy his book of “Nature Photography” and marvel at the beauty we all share.