Kike Arnal shot only a handful of stills while on assignment as a videographer for a Discovery Channel documentary on the spread of malaria in Venezuela's Orinoco River Basin. One of them is of this Yanomami man drinking from the Putaco River, a tributary of the Orinoco. "What you see on his back, that's all he needs to travel for a week or morea bow, a few arrows, and a machete," says the New York-based Venezuelan photographer. The spot is so remotethe nearest mission village is a week's trek awaythat the river water is clean enough to drink.
Arnal exposed 100-speed film for 1/60 second and set his 20mm lens to f/5.6.
Thomas Hoepker befriended a Mayan priest in Guatemala while documenting the resurgence of the country's indigenous religion after the end of its 37-year civil war, in 1996. The priest invited Hoepker to a Mayan New Year's celebration rite in April 1997: About 30 candidates for priesthood descended into this underground dome in a forested mountainside near the central highland town of Cob√°n. "It was the size of a large Gothic cathedral," says the German-born, New York-based photographer. "I shot my pictures with my camera pressed to the soot covered floor of the cave, basically in total darkness but with daylight filtering down from the mouth of the cave and with the candles and the bonfire lit by the believers."
He opened his 28mm lens to f/2.8, exposing 100-speed film for about half a second.
Roy Zipstein was photographing the Negev Desert in his native Israel and had left his car to roam about the sand in the evening twilight when an elderly Bedouin man drove a herd of about 60 camels his way. The adult camel has a piece of rope tied around her knee to keep her from wandering off (the youngsters stay close to their mothers and don't need to be secured). "That's how the old man parks the camels for the night," explains Zipstein, who is now based in New York. "The camels lift up one knee for him, he ties the rope, and then they settle down to sleep."
He used a 90mm lens set to f/2.8, 400-speed film, and a shutter speed of 1/30 second.
Andy Anderson happened upon a volleyball session while walking the beach at Santa Barbara, California, and took this iconic shot of Daven Casad-Allison, a top player on the women's pro circuit. "I just loved her explosive nature and the form of her body," says the 44-year-old Mountain Home, Idaho, photographer.
Anderson used a handheld four-by-five camera with a seven-inch lens, exposing 100-speed film for 1/500 second at f/4.5.
Lorena Guillen Vaschetti gained rare access to document an Aboriginal sunset ceremony near Adelaide, Australia, last February. The dancers, accompanied by drums and didgeridoos, kick up the region's crimson earth as they thank and bid goodnight to the sun.
"These men are immersed in Western culture, but they believe in honoring daily rituals, and they're very secretive," says the Buenos Aires-based photographer, 30. "They didn't want to end up on a postcard, and that gave me the idea of not showing their faces."
Vaschetti, shooting digitally, used a 135mm lens and an ISO of 100, with exposure times of 1/20 second at f/2.8 and, opposite, 1/30 second at f/2.
For Stockholm's New Year's Eve celebrations, Jeppe Wikstr√∂m set up a tripod on V√§sterbron bridge, overlooking downtown, and exposed the frame for a full second. What he got was a lot of bang for "one Mississippi." But he didn't know he'd gotten the shot until the next day. "I still shoot film," says Wikstr√∂m, "so it's always a bit of a gamble. You really don't know, with a long exposure, if the fireworks are in the right place at the right time." If you're hoping to make a similar image this July 4, the key, says the Stockholm native, is to plan your location and know the correct exposure. After that, keep shooting; sometimes it's just a matter of luck.
THE TOOLS: Pentax 6x7, 165mm fixed lens, FujiVelvia ISO50 film, f/5.6, 1 second