Basque Children Running Home - photo by William Albert Allard @williamalbertallard
Bill was already a legend when I started at National Geographic years ago, and he continues to surprise and awe with his vision. In honor of his 80th birthday and to support his Flash Print Sale, I’m posting this beautiful image of his. He says: “Basque children running home, my picture of two small girls scampering home to the call of their mother in the tiny French village of Behorleguy, is 50 years old this fall. To honor the anniversary of this picture which in large print form has sold for thousands of dollars, it is now available as a flash sale print for two weeks only (Until November 14) at $100.00.” He continues: “In September and October of 1967 it was my very good fortune to be roaming the Pyreneese mountains to document the Basque country of Spain and France for National Geographic magazine. I celebrated my 30th birthday on the last day of that September in the French town of St Jeane Pied De Port, not far from where this picture was made. One late afternoon I was standing along the edge of a narrow and gently winding road leading to a village when I hear a woman’s voice calling. The sun had descended but soft light was reflecting down from the clouds, falling upon the road and in the distance, the white steeple of the village church. I then heard a faint sound approaching behind me and when I turned to look I saw two little girls answering their mother’s apparent call to come home. I raised my Leica and made two quickly framed exposures. When I saw the two pictures a month later upon my return home, one was a shaky blur, a failure. The other was this picture of two girls not running, not skipping, but seemingly floating in grace and innocence, returning to their village home. It is one of my most iconic images.” And it’s one of my favorites. Click on the link in his profile for more information and to purchase a signed print! Don’t miss this opportunity!
Please join me at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC on November 13 for a retrospective talk about my life and work for National Geographic over three decades. It’s a journey through 65 countries, lifting a curtain on hidden worlds, showing the realities behind the masks, veils and curtains of cultures worldwide: the lonely lives of Japanese geisha behind those perfect masks , the women in Africa and China who were scarred and mutilated in the name of beauty, and the horrific and tragic world of human trafficking worldwide.
Shooting the “Enigma of Beauty” story I gained insights into how and why we change ourselves physically to attain the status and power of beauty. I photographed the bound feet of Chinese women, the scarification and lip plates in Africa, the neck rings of the Paudang tribe in Thailand, and American girls still in diapers being prepared for beauty contests.
My work on the story “21st Century Slaves” took me into the ugly and clandestine world of human trafficking, where millions of people are exploited daily: bought and sold against their will, held captive, brutalized and exploited for profit. I wanted to photograph the victims without re-victimizing them, and also show the saviors, the people running shelters and aid organizations. But I needed to portray the perpetrators. It’s hard to look evil in the eye and know that your subject would literally sell you into slavery, given the chance. But I kept in mind why I became a journalist and photographer in the first place: to change the world, even a little, by shining a light into some of its darker corners.
Through my life in photography I’ve seen so much beauty in this world, and also the damage done by the darker instincts of humankind. I’ve also witnessed the incredible power of photographs. They stop the world. They freeze the frame and command you to look—and think. They make abstract issues real, have faces and hearts. They can change your minds and your actions. They can make YOU change the world. And I hope you will. Link to event details in profile. @natgeo@thephotosociety
What to do in Jackson Hole, WY when your flight is delayed for two hours? One last trip through Grand Teton National Park. The drama of the Tetons is the way they rise so abruptly from the valley floor, without the usual foothills. And fresh snow was the icing on the cake. #grandtetonnationalpark@summitworkshops@thephotosociety@natgeo
Flying in to Jackson Hole, WY can sometimes be a dicey experience, skirting the Grand Tetons. On my way there now for the Photography at the Summit Workshop-- and hoping for a smooth landing! Apparently it's snowing there now. It's an incredibly beautiful place for a workshop, with a great staff and faculty. #photographyatthesummit
Today is the last day to purchase a signed print of my image of Venice, Italy during @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale. Click on the link in my profile to see the full collection of globetrotting prints available for $100. Don't miss out!
An iconic view of Venice from Piazza San Marco, seen through the veil of a woman in carnival costume. This photograph, as well as images by 25 of my colleagues at National Geographic, are available until September 16 in a Flash Sale of signed prints. Visit the link in my profile to see them all. @natgeocreative@natgeo@thephotosociety#venice
FLASH SALE! National Geographic’s Flash Print Sale is now live — and includes my photograph of Venice seen through the veil of a carnival costume. Visit the link in my profile to see all of the signed prints available until September 16. Beautiful works by amazing photographers. Check it out!
As Americans celebrate the Labor Day holiday, please spare a thought for the 150 million children worldwide (UNICEF estimate) engaged in child labor. Little construction worker in the country of Benin. Thousands of children in West Africa end up in slavery in the abuse of an old tradition of sending village children to the cities to work in exchange for an education. Instead, they end up as unpaid workers in homes, factories and construction sites. #childlabor#laborday@natgeo@thephotosociety
Hiroshima, Japan. 72 years ago today, the first atomic weapon of wartime use was detonated. A Japanese schoolboy gazes at bomb victims portrayed at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum a few years ago when I photographed that city for National Geographic. Visitors move silently here, as did survivors so badly burned that skin and clothing hung in rags. @natgeo@thephotosociety#hiroshima
Hiroshima, Japan. Ground zero. A woman and child ride past the memorial plaque that commemorates those who died during the World War II atomic bombing of the city. 72 years ago today, from six miles above this street, the first atomic weapon of wartime use was detonated. #hiroshima@natgeo@thephotosociety
Happy Mother's Day! Thinking about my grandmother Ruby Violet, shown top left in this picture, undated but probably around 1900, taken in the American Deep South. Found this in the "Family Archive" -- big boxes of hundreds of loose prints from mom's attic. Does anyone have any idea of what might be happening in this image? #mothersday@natgeo@natgeocreative
Unseasonal Acqua Alta (high water in English) in Venice today--it usually occurs in autumn. This photograph was taken on assignment for @natgeo a couple years ago in Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Place) for the article "Vanishing Venice." That iconic square is the lowest place in Venice, and becomes deceptively beautiful when flooded. Acqua Alta is caused by when seasonal rain, astronomical tides and strong winds combine to interfere with the water outflow from the lagoon. The first record of this phenomenon was in the year 782 and it has been documented ever since, with the record level in 1966 of 6.4 feet. Human activity has contributed to the other natural causes: subsidence (natural sinking of soil level) and rising sea levels. #Venice#acquaalta@natgeo@thephotosociety
Flying into San Francisco for my National Geographic Live presentation a few days ago. The Salt Pans are a stunning and unexpected surprise out the window on approach to the airport. @natgeo@thephotosociety#sanfrancisco
"Sing sing” dancers, Papua New Guinea, 1998.
Dancers at a sing sing in the highlands of Papua New Guinea take a break. There are over 800 distinct language groups on the island, and these communities have lived for hundreds of years with their unique history, knowledge and cultural practices. But they were often at war with each other, and the sing sings were organized by the government in 1957 in an attempt at pacification—with mixed results. Caution: smoking can be hazardous to your health. From my archives, photographed for a National Geographic article on beauty and what it means in various cultures around the world. @natgeo@thephotosociety#papuanewguinea#travel#culture
#Repost@gdybenko with @repostapp
Phenomenal National Geographic Live lecture by Jodi Cobb @jodicobbphoto . Outstanding pictures and insights. A life well spent. Thanks so much for bringing your work to us in Waterloo.
Secret Service agents stop a man from reaching President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter during their walk down Pennsylvania Avenue after his swearing-in ceremony. Astonishing change in the number of Secret Service agents lining the parade route and surrounding the President today. From my archives. @thephotosociety@natgeo
Ronald and Nancy Reagan wave after swearing in ceremony at the US Capitol in 1981. Outgoing President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale at left, Vice President George Bush at right. It was about that moment that the American hostages in Iran were released. From my archives--history. It was a lifetime ago in so many ways. #inauguration@thephotosociety
From the archives. The sealed lips of a Japanese geisha symbolize the secrecy of her world. Some years ago I spent six months over a three-year period documenting the hidden lives of these women who are now considered the guardians of the highest of Japanese traditional culture in an ever-evolving role in society. I was the first photographer given access to their geisha houses, dances and parties. A geisha trains her entire life in the arts of music, dance, tea ceremony and conversational skills, as her main job is to entertain at the business functions of the richest and most powerful men of Japan. There are very few geisha today (no one knows how many), down from 80,000 in the 1920’s, and now they enter that world by personal choice. But as I got to know the older geisha, I found that many had not entered the geisha world by choice, but by adversity and even tragedy—sold by destitute parents, or abandoned, or born to a prostitute or courtesan. But through discipline and talent the geisha created a life of beauty, becoming the image of the perfect woman, a living work of art. And that was the source of her pride, and her survival. From my book “Geisha: the Life, the Voices, the Art.” @thephotosociety#geisha