Archive for February, 2013

Few years back Laura and I worked on a tribute to NASCAR fans. Driving past Daytona today in route to Miami, I can't help but think about them and revisit that piece.

NASCAR Fans from Straw Hat Visuals on Vimeo.

It's Havana's birthday. She's a dozen years old today.

I remember when I met her so clearly.

She has had an incredible effect on my life.  I see things with a softer edge now that she is in the world. In Osaka, Japan Alexander Hassenstein, who I met first in Barcelona at the Olympics when he was barely 17, and then again in St Perersburg Russia during the Goodwill  Games, asked me what my new daughter was called.  ....when I told him Havana his  eyes lit up, and he called Germany immediately to speak to Sabine--then carrying their unborn daughter--and he said "I have her name.  It must be Havana."

Two old friends, who behave like children,  crossing paths all over the world, sharing stories about their Havanas.  And an unspoken bond forged through a love of life, people, and images. More of my images of Havana through the years are on my Website.

Growing up in Nebraska, I experienced nature first-hand. Life on the plains taught me to live on the land and to appreciate its natural beauty. Nebraska's mystery and majesty have always inspired me creatively. It's remembering those roots that keeps me fresh. More than 500,000 sandhill cranes stop along the Platte River each spring as they make their way northward. Tom Lynn, Laura and I will be there to document their visit. In a recent interview with the New York Times, George Archibald, one of the founders of the International Crane Foundation discussed cranes and their elegant dance. "[The cranes] have complicated and beautiful behaviors — they dance and duet and have all kinds of vocal and visual languages in ways that seem to be human-like. They are devoted to a single mate for life and rear just one or two chicks at a time. Because of this and other factors, they are also one of the most endangered groups of birds." The plains of Nebraska are known as a vast, open space with endless skies and unbroken sight lines, the only constant noise the whistling wind but when the cranes descend on the wide flat Platte all that changes. These majestic birds create a city on the sandbars and bustling traffic in the skies. I invite you to come to come to Nebraska in mid March to experience first-hand why so many nature enthusiasts call the sandhill crane migration one of the greatest spectacles of nature in North America. I'll be leading a photo tour that will allow you to not only experience the migration but also to capture video and images of the phenomenon. The tour includes entrance to the blinds, hands-on instruction from me, Tom and Laura with the cameras and support systems. There will also be an Apple certified Final Cut Trainer providing instruction. You can learn more about the tour and secure your spot at

I've spent most of my adult life working for print publications. Almost the entire time, I have had to suffer through conversations about why print is dead. I see photo staffs being eliminated to save money at newspapers who are struggling financially because they can't sell their products. That makes very little sense to me as a long term plan. It's a desperate stab literally in the dark to raise short term numbers without any initiative, cleverness or creativity. Eliminating content providers eliminates content production and doing that is not going to attract or retain content purchasers. Boarding my flight from Oslo to London, I watched passenger after passenger grab 2 or 3 newspapers from racks next to airplane door. The entire flight virtually every seat was filled with people reading the morning newspapers. The plane was WIFI equipped, but for this flight, on this day, newspapers ruled the air. Makes me wonder if they know something we don't.

Every Super Bowl, I have some form of connection with at least one of the teams in the game.

Early in my career at Sports Illustrated, I covered 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh when he was the starting quarterback in Indianapolis.  One shoot in particular sticks in my memory.  As a coach, Harbaugh is known for being tough to interview.  As a player, at least with me, he was great.  Not only did he give me as much time as I needed, but he took me out for breakfast -- at Cracker Barrel.

Harbaugh reading the paper at home.

Then in October of last year, Laura and I, along with Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Tim Layden, did a story on the four kickers in NFL history who have kicked 63 yard field goals. David Akers of the 49ers is in this elite group.

David not only gave us as much time as we needed, he brought his family in to meet us.  We had so much fun with them, we shot their Christmas card while we were there.

People always ask me who my favorite sports teams are.  My answer: I like people, not teams.  David Akers and Jim Harbaugh are two of those people.  They were gracious and easy to deal with, and so I hope they do well.

Over the years, I have covered more than 25 Super Bowls. For tomorrow's game I'll be Amsterdam bound to judge the World Press Photo competition, but I will definitely be checking in on the action in NOLA -- as soon as I land.

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