Photographer// Author// Keynote Speaker// Instructor
Fifty-Year Contributor to National Geographic
Chicago, 1997 // A blues bar in Chicago called Smoke Daddy with a black and white checkerboard floor and a large finned Cadillac parked by the door contribute to this image made during my 1997 essay for @natgeo on The Blues Highway. The essay focuses on he great migration of many African Americans out of the Deep South and up to northern cities from the early 1900s to the 1960s. When they left the south, they brought their music with them.
I have always felt that walking the streets of Paris is akin to walking through a never ending series of one-act plays with constantly changing sets. Here I’m glancing into a brasserie on Boulevard Saint-Germain where I’d stop often for a pastors or a glass of wine. What makes this image is the man returning my glance with one of his own, stopping for just a moment from smoking his pipe and reading his paper. His presence is amidst a wonderful montage of the brasserie’s décor of etched glass and a white chalked menu board. The many verticals of the image stand out against the strong horizontal of the menu board. As with many of my images, one can find several pictures within the boundaries of the main one. #paris#cafe#france#pipe#pipesmoking#color#followme#streetphotography
Paris, 1986 // In 1986 I made my first effort to photograph Paris as an easy called “The Sidewalks of Paris”, for National Geographic Traveler magazine. In the Latin Quarter I made this image of some street artists, some quick portrait sketchers, taking a cigarette break. The warm palette of the image is due to late afternoon sun falling on a collage of posters, old and new, some torn and casting shadows that add to the texture of the wall. A 1986. French-Canadian film called “Anne Trister” echoes itself across the image and forming the top of a triangle above the two artists is the American actor James Cagney, an iconic gangster in films of the 1930s and 1940s. @natgeo@thephotosociety@natgeotravel@leica_camera #paris#streetphotography#street#filmphotography#kodachrome#shadow#shadows#poster#french#color#followme
While documenting National Geographic’s essay, “Hunters: For Love of the Land” in 2007, I traveled to Iowa to photograph the annual migration and hunting of snow geese. In many parts of the country, especially in areas known as the Midwest and Central Flyway, it is not uncommon to see more than 100,000 of these birds blanketing a farmer’s field as they travel south. In this image, a hunter rises from his pit blind to fire at a passing flock. The abundance of lesser snow, greater snow, and Ross’s geese – collectively known as light geese, is such that without hunting, they would destroy much of the natural resources from their range stretching from Canada to Mexico. Agricultural activities throughout North America have provided an unlimited buffet of corn and wheat for a migratory bird species that has exploded from fewer than 1 million birds in the late 1960s to an estimated 15 million today. In just the last two years, hunters across the country have harvested an estimated 800,000 birds. Wildlife managers say that harvesting two or three times as many birds is necessary to bring the population down to a manageable level. In order to prevent a catastrophic event of starvation and the continuation of habitat destruction, wildlife officials allow hunters in many states to harvest up to 25 (or more) birds a day throughout the lengthy hunting season.
El Paso, Texas, 1990 // While photographing my essay on minor league baseball for @natgeo in 1990, I photographed a lot of the moments when they play the national anthem and the players and fans remove their hats and sometimes bow their heads. Here, the third baseman for the El Paso Diablos stands in the shadows of his position, his white pinstriped uniform is bright against a blue Texas sky with scattered clouds clustered above the grassy field. The player’s number one jumps out at us in scarlet. The magazine cropped the picture into a vertical in order to make it a cover for “A Season in the Minors” in the April, 1991 issue. But I much prefer the picture in its original horizontal format that invites the viewer to take to the field, we’re about to play a game. Let’s play ball!
Bihar, India, 2002 // In India a woman carries rocks in a basket balanced on her head to a machine that will crush the rocks into gravel. Her child plays very nearby in the fog-like rock dust that blankets the landscape. These women will profit a few dollars for their day of labor.
My exhibit, William Albert Allard: Paris--Eye of the Flaneur opens at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 5 and runs through May 13th. The prints are beautiful archival ink on archival water color paper made by my good friend photographer and artist, Robert Llewellyn. All the images are from my new book of the same name as the exhibit which reflects a 31-year retrospective of my work in the wonderful City of Light. The book's publisher is Edition Lammerhuber ofVienna, Austria. With the wonderful paper and printing it is by far my best book and is now available in the states. Join me in L.A. on April 5 for the exhibit opening!
Peru, 1981 // When sometimes showing my work to an audience I ask, “Have you ever seen a truckload of beach balls?” And that is what this picture is all about. A fully loaded truck traveling through a small costal town in Peru. The woman in red looks out, shielding her eyes from the sun, probably pondering the sight of a truckload of beach balls.
Palermo, Sicily, 1994 // Laundry seems to soar like great birds in flight from lines strung from tenement buildings in an old neighborhood in Palermo. Sicly was a wonderful place for me to document. It’s such a wonderful visual resource with people who aren’t shy of being photographed, full of life and vigor. And the food, oh how good it is!