On my 40th birthday, My friend Rob Turan asked me, “With all the incredible media stuff you have shown us. I have wondered what are your personal top five favorites?” Hard to pick 5 favorites but here are five things I’ve seen lately from friends and strangers that stick out.
1. This shot from fellow climber and photographer Andy Mann, who has been killing it of late on assignment in Fiji and Antarctica, etc. I seriously think he just took up SCUBA and now he’s swimming with sharks in Fiji, and coming back with shots like this from the Gulf of Mexico. Says Andy: “One of the cooler moments in a while. No assignment. I was just out there with my buddy Caine, diving out in Gulf Stream for a week to shoot what we could shoot. We were about 100 feet down, drifting with the current and hoping to see some sharks come up, when bam, out of the deep blue was this massive school of jacks. They hit us like a freight train and vortex’d around us for a minute or so and moved on. Tens of thousands of them. Never even touched us. It was enough Chaos for us to loose the rest of our crew and have to abort the rest of the dive, surface, and signal the boat before we drifted any further out to sea.”
2. This Fruit of the Loom campaign from Ty Milford. Saw his work all over Times Square the other day and didn’t realize it was his until visiting his site. A master of the fresh lifestyle vibe, always keeps the site and book looking slick. Look how much this pops and makes you smile, even while sitting in a cab hungover on the way to JFK.
3. This shot from No Agua, No Vida, a documentary project photographer John Trotter. Came across this while working on our water documentary. Trotter was viciously beaten while on assignment for the Sac Bee in ’97, and while in rehab in California, shot a powerful body of work called The Burden of Memory, after which he started working on No Agua, No Vida. Since 2008 he has taken a “small footprint” approach to his work, foregoing a car and when possible traveling to locations with a folding bicycle and a small trailer of equipment. That’s fuckin commitment for you.
4. Work by Norwegian photographer Erik Almas. High-end campaigns shot at great expense, exquisite retouching and attention to detail, influenced by great art and always open to new approaches. He is also so generous and unpretentious about sharing techniques and insights into his work.
“Zombie Roof” by David Pearson. Climbing and climbing film is still my guilty pleasure and I loved this beautiful short about Peter Croft’s legendary line Zombie Roof (5.12d) in Squamish B.C. with a meditative free-solo by Will Stanhope.