Since you’ve talked about Cold a lot we’re going to skip that and go directly to your other work. Yeah. I am so happy about that. You have no idea.
I love your facial landscapes project. How did those images come about? It’s funny because all that comes from, believe it or not, a commercial fashion background. I worked in commercial fashion on these shoots that were super scripted and organized. You come out, you go into a motor home in the morning, you talk to the models, you talk to the photographer (back then I was the assistant), and then you go and execute the shoot—trying to sort of play off people’s insecurities. To me the whole project stems from the idea that there’s so much more inherent beauty that we don’t really look at all the time, and one of the places you often see that is in the elderly. They have this massive amount of life experience and in our modern culture we remove all the wrinkles and don’t like looking at them. For me, having looked at so many faces that were kind of polished with make up and all this shit, I was like, there’s something more real about this beauty. That’s where it came from. I went to Nepal and Tibet and just started looking for the people who had worked the hardest, who had lived the most, and then I just applied very simple commercial fashion lighting to the shoots and it turned out beautifully. I’m like, “Oh god, I can like count his whiskers,” which is not necessarily a bad thing. You can get into it with the person. The other thing about the project is that I kind of wanted to celebrate the people who climbing success was built on—sherpas and the local people that support and provide the infrastructure.
Screenshot from YouTube Video Mitch DoBrowner: Epic Storms
Google has released a series of videos showing how people use the company's tools for work and play. Yes, it's a promotional campaign, and yes, Google search is a business. But the videos are still worth a look and few moments of reflection. It's easy to take search tools for granted as they've become such an integral part of our everyday lives, but they've also given people an extraordinary new opportunity to find and research adventures. Mountain bikers, photographers, surfers, kayakers, and others have all shared stories with Outside writers and editors about prep work done with Google Earth or Google Images.
Here are two of Google's search stories that are worth a watch.
Mitch DoBrowner: Epic Storms The photographer used Google images to research cloud formations. While DoBrowner initially gained attention as a landscape photographer, his images of storms have blown up recently. He talks about how and why he chases storms in this photo-eye interview. (More of his pictures at MitchDoBrowner.com)
From Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, the Appalachian Trail is almost 2,200 miles of White Blaze, Trail Angels and Lean-Tos. And somewhere in West Virginia, in a town named Harpers Ferry, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the organization who manages and protects that long and winding road, has its headquarters. Harpers Ferry is considered the halfway point of the trail (If you're really doing the math, the actual halfway point is 75 miles north in Gardners, PA near the Appalachian Trail Museum, which opened last year in 2010), and for Northbounders and Southbounders alike, taking your photo at the headquarters has become a ritual for those intending to walk the entire trail.
Having your photo taken at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters has become a standard ritual for those hikers intending on walking the entire A.T. One of the functions of the ATC, as the lead organization in managing and protecting the A.T., is to maintain the official 2,000-miler registry of all those who have completed the A.T. This tradition started in 1979 when ATC staff member Jean Cash (known to legions of hikers as "Trail Mom") started taking pictures of hikers with a Polaroid. According to the ATC's website, "the practice became a standard procedure, and a numbering system was developed that served as an informal registration."
The only thing more varied than photographer Michael Muller's portfolio—portraits of superstars from Kelly Slater to Lebron James, movie posters for blockbusters like Captain America and Spiderman 3, expedition coverage from the Galapagos to Tanzania—is his career path. Muller’s father, Thomas, a project manager who helped build and plan the city of Jubail in Saudi Arabia, used his vacations to take the family globetrotting and practice photography. By high school, the young Muller had traveled to roughly 50 countries and become a whiz with a camera. At 15, he had his first photo published in a snowboarding magazine. At the same time he was calling record labels and pretending to be a photographer for the Contra Costa Times, and shooting the world’s biggest bands as they performed around California. He spent those same high school years training for triathlons. After graduation, he moved to San Diego, climbed into the world top ten, and raced against the likes of Lance Armstrong. Then he did an about face and moved to Boulder to photograph snowboarders, going out 120 straight days to shoot a calendar before passing the reins to his best friend.
In the interest of time, we'll stop the chronology as Muller hits his early 20s, moves to L.A., and builds that portfolio. With so many famous faces and remote places in his quiver, you might think it would be hard to pick a gallery that stands out. It is, so we went with his latest groundbreaking project, photos of the world’s biggest sharks. Turns out, that many-toothed monstrosity of a project grew out of a simple and innocent childhood prank. --Joe Spring @joespring
What was your first photo? Actually, the first photo that I took where I saw the power of photography was a shark. When I was in fourth grade, I took a picture of a shark in a National Geographic. So I had a photo of a photo and I was showing all of my little buddies. And they were like, Oh, no way. You saw a shark. I lied to them for like 20 minutes, until the guilt just ate me up. Then I was like, Nah, I’m just kidding. I took a picture of a picture of a shark. But I saw how excited they were and it always left an impact on me.