What turns you on creatively?
Nearly everything. There’s so much humor in ordinary moments, and I find the way cultures and life collide all over the planet completely fascinating and compelling. I’m passionate about telling the stories of people and the natural connection they have with their landscape.
What turns you off creatively?
Not much. I find there’s something fascinating even in the most unlikely situations.
What’s your dream photo assignment?
Working on larger issues and the global implications. Last year was a dream for me when I went around the world to 11 unbelievable locations like Micronesia, China, Western Australia, Alaska and several countries within South and Central America for a Nature Conservancy exhibit. Another dream would be to spend time in Sri Lanka documenting this magnificent culture so deeply affected by years of conflict and the impact it has had on the landscape and its people.
If you could have dinner with an artist from any era, who would it be?
Just one? I would love to meet Cesária Évora, a singer from the impoverished islands of Cape Verde. She has the most soulful and sultry voice, and you can hear the joy and heartbreak in her music. She performs in bare feet as a sign of solidarity for the women and children back home who cannot afford shoes.
What’s your favorite photograph not taken by you?
I love anything by Walker Evans.
What profession other than photographer would you like to attempt?
Writing, and if I had the talent, I would have loved being a pianist.
What’s your favorite camera feature?
Durability. I often go to remote and rugged places where the environmental conditions can wreak havoc on cameras, so I need to know the camera will work once I’ve gotten myself to these far-off places. My new D300S is built to handle these conditions. Its solid construction keeps it working in the harsh locations where I shoot.
What’s your favorite Nikon product, and how does it help you create better pictures or help you compete as a professional photographer?
Cameras are tools for me, and I’ve never been one who’s obsessed with gear. However, I do love the perspective-control (PC) lenses and the unique feel they give to creating images. I’m also excited by my new Nikon D300S and its capacity to make HD videos. I love thinking about telling stories in another way, and moving images add another level of complexity to what we do.