Big on Green – How a Tiny City Makes A Huge Impact

National Geographic photographer, Michael Yamashita, proposes a limited-edition photographic record of Singapore’s transformation into a model of urban planning, eco-architecture, technology and environmentalism. Singapore is paving a “greenway” for the world, showing that a city can grow and still preserve a healthy and safe quality of life.

This folio is a celebration of not only Singapore’s fiftieth year, but also of its achievements as a role model for a world facing rapid climate change and shrinking resources. Please join us to make it happen. Find out how by clicking on Gofiee’s weblink below. Thank you for your support!

Gardens by the Bay. Supertrees, vertical plant displays. Park just opened 4 days ago. Singapore's bid to become the greenest city on the planet, this Bay south Garden is one of 3 to be built on reclaimed land highlighting the diversity of plant life in tropical rain forest.

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La Batea: Impressions of Gold in Colombia

Artesanal miner El Palo, Cauca.

Artesanal miner El Palo, Cauca.


Stephen Ferry’s Kickstarter project is in it’s last week… with your participation he and his sister can complete La Batea: Impressions of Gold in Colombia. La Batea documents artisanal gold miners, their craft, and their struggles with multinational mining companies in Colombia. We need to make four more field trips, contract a designer, print and bind the book.  La Batea: Impressions of Gold in Colombia will be published in December, 2016 by Red Hook Editions, an extraordinary photobook publishing community based in Brooklyn. The Spanish edition will be published by Icono Editorial in Bogotá, Colombia

We have thought a lot about the materials used to make this book. A touch of real gold is pressed into the rough cardboard of the cover.  Porous paper engages the sense of touch. And the graininess of Stephen’s film adds texture to the images. With this design, La Batea seeks to create an emphatically tactile experience for the reader.

With a contribution of $35.00 you can reserve a signed copy of La Batea. Other books are available a are beautiful chromagenic collecors prints.

Thank you for your support.

La Batea draft dummy ING-1

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Lecture and Masterclass in Sun Valley


Gerd Ludwig is teaming up with former National Geographic Director of Photography Kent Kobersteen to teach a masterclass at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts from September 30 – October 5, 2016. They will also present a joint lecture the night before, on September 29.

Participants in the masterclasss will be challenged to produce their very best work on subjects about which they feel strongly. Students will select a subject and shoot an essay during the week. The daily work will be critiqued by Ludwig and Kobersteen, and suggestions will be offered. In addition, Ludwig and Kobersteen will give presentations of their and other photographers’ work to make instructive points and to inspire.

Kent Kobersteen was Director of Photography and Senior Editor at National Geographic magazine from February 1998 until January 2005. He joined the National Geographic in 1983 as a picture editor. Kent currently conducts photographic workshops and lectures internationally on the philosophy, ethics, and business of photojournalism.

In the evening presentation on September 29, Gerd Ludwig will speak about several of his projects for the National Geographic Magazine and show his work. Kent Kobersteen will speak about the Geographic’s philosophy of photographic communication and present a show in which three National Geographic photographers show their work and talk about their working methods.

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Cost: $10 members / $15 nonmembers
Information & tickets available here:

Friday, September 30 – Wednesday, October 5, …

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Nat Geo cover



I’m on my front porch in my fave spot looking at sand and wind and light. Darkroom ready to roll. So yea it’s a bit of nostalgia time before I hit the road again soon for a 6 week marathon. This was my first cover for NatGeoMagazine back in ’73 when I was 29. Whew! That big 30 was coming fast and I was a passionate dude. This was shot not far from where I sit OBX (also later a story in NatGeo).This boy “progging” ,going after blue crabs in the marshes on Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay, helped change my life since the editors loved my first story and it had been my proposal. So I was on a roll. Yet secretly I wasn’t proud of this picture. Wasn’t my style. It was “funny” and I wanted to be taken seriously. Besides it was a horizontal cropped vertical and that killed me too. Yet overall the essay was laid out by Bill Garrett and was beautifully done. So I was in. This after 8 years of hard scrabble and married with two sons.The family of course was with me for part of this assignment and led to a pattern of us going all over the world together for NatGeo and others. Anyway I’ll post right now a few pictures from my first big magazine story. Oh yea, by the way this was an isolated culture of

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The Photo Festival Circuit

A young girl enjoys a lollipop while watching shoppers in the Domiz Camp for Syrian Refugees just outside of Dohuk, Iraq on Nov. 23, 2013.

A young girl enjoys a lollipop while watching shoppers in the Domiz Camp for Syrian Refugees just outside of Dohuk, Iraq on Nov. 23, 2013.

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Amman, Jordan to attend an exhibition of my work on Syrian refugees at the 5th Edition of the Image Festival. I had the immense pleasure of working with the dynamic and unstoppable Linda Al Khoury. She is the organizer of this photo festival and the inspiration behind bringing folks like Josef Koudelka and an array of talented photographers from the Middle East and the Arab world to Jordan, including members from the Rawiya Photo Collective. I also had the opportunity to teach a small workshop to a group of photographers mainly from Amman. Among the participants was a very talented Italian photographer currently living in Amman, Alessio Mamo, who has produced powerful and intimate work on the Syrian refugee migrant crisis.

Somar and his trip mates on the train toward Serbia. Every refugee payed 25 euro to reach the Northern border.

Somar and his trip mates on the train toward Serbia. Every refugee payed 25 euro to reach the Northern border. ©Alessio Mamo

For the workshop I gave my students a simple assignment: Amman at work. Here is what Alessio came up with in 3 days.


©Alessio Mamo


©Alessio Mamo


©Alessio Mamo


©Alessio Mamo

The photo festival circuit, which often includes doing workshops, giving lectures and engaging in other public events, has become an interesting new aspect of my photographic life. It’s something I …

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World Press Freedom Day – 3 May


Iran, Kurdistan, 1980

Imagine for a moment that you are on assignment somewhere and you hear the deafening sound of a fleet of fighter planes; they are coming in to attack that place in order to destroy everybody there. This threat looms day and night, without respite. Your stomach is tense with fear, but you walk on, preferably at night so that no one can see you. You try to reassure yourself — you are neither an attacker nor a member of the armed resistance. Your weapon, your reason for being in this place, is your desire to provide witness to what others cannot see. You are a messenger.

Hanging on to this idea, drawing bravery from it, you continue to walk on. I was in Iranian Kurdistan. The Kurds actively took part in the resistance against the shah’s dictatorship in 1979, and also participated in the Iranian revolution, pursuing their dream of achieving an autonomous Kurdistan after the victory. But after Ayatollah Khomeini seized power, the Kurds were called “sons of Satan.”The government ordered the relentless bombing of Kurdish cities and rural communities. A resistance movement started to grow; even women, farmers, and intellectuals had to take up arms and go underground. In the city of Sanandaj, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps responded to the unrest of the people in the besieged city by carrying out bloody reprisals and mass arrests. The prisons became so overpopulated that the mosques …

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Imperfectly Invisible

For those contemplating the life of a photojournalist, beware the personal challenges and questions that await you. I have spent a lifetime trying to become invisible. As a documentarian my goal is to disappear, to observe without disturbing the world I’m trying to capture. It is obviously impossible to actually achieve this, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. Disappearing into the background is an effective strategy to bear witness to moments that would otherwise be inaccessible. Candid intimacy is the term I’ve used to describe my work, and my vanishing into nothingness is the imperative.

People congregate at the Gare St. Charles, the main train station in Marseille, France on Sept.24, 2010.

People congregate at the Gare St. Charles – the main train station in Marseille, France on Sept. 24, 2010. Photo ©Ed Kashi/VII

But what happens when you become so expert at this that you begin to disappear in your own life? After more than 30 years of perfecting this routine in my work I am now confronting the residual impact on my personal life. It’s as though I am nothing without my work. Over the last three decades my energy has been channelled into forging my identity as a documentarian, in the process becoming very good at slipping into the mentality that has led my career to where it is today. So much so that I now feel solely defined by the roles of photojournalist, filmmaker and mentor. A work machine.

Yes, I have two beautiful and incredible children that are my lifeblood. And …

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Mission Critical: Orangutan On The Edge Premiers on Earth Day

This Friday at 9 pm, the Nat Geo Wild Channel will premier Tim’s show on Orangutans.  As you can see below, if you check out their website now you can view clips from the show along with a slideshow of Tim’s images.  Learn about Orangutans and Tim’s mission to save them at Nat Geo Wild’s website.

NG Wild Orangutans

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Nicaragua Unbound

My first time visiting Managua, Nicaragua in 1983 was only my second trip to a country in the developing world. I traveled with a group of American doctors from San Francisco who were going down to provide medical support to the newly victorious Sandinista government, which had overthrown the dictator, Anastasio Somoza, in 1979.  When I arrived, I was greeted by an energy that I had never felt before or since. There was a palpable joy in the air, a feeling that the people had actually freed their country and regained control of their destiny. Tragically, that was a short lived dream, mainly due to the cold war proxy fight that the Reagan administration prosecuted through the illegal Iran/Contra affair. Basically the Reagan administration covertly sold arms to Iran, and the money the CIA received was used as a slush fund to support the Contra rebels, who were fighting the Sandanistas. What transpired was a protracted conflict throughout much of the 1980’s. Whether the Sandinistas would have ever made good on their promises, it’s impossible to know given the drain on their energy, treasury, and good will, in having to fight a tough war against US-backed rebels. Here is an image I made during my visit back then, which represented a massive education in what it meant to cover conflict and how difficult it can be to produce work that makes a difference.

Scenes of daily life in Nicaragua during the war with the Contras, four years after the 1979 Sandinista revolution. Boy soldiers play chess with bullets at a military outpost in Matagalpa province.

Scenes of daily life in Nicaragua during …

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Sidewalk Vignettes


 “You could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own
front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go… well, anywhere at all.”
– Stephen King



The first sidewalks made their appearance around 2000 BCE in what is now Turkey, 
and there is evidence that both the ancient Greeks and Romans incorporated
roadside pedestrian footpaths in their cities.
– Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

USA-10473Los Angeles, California, USA

INDIA-10727NF2Mumbai, India

FRANCE-10213NF2Paris, France

The sidewalk as an integral feature of urban life
can be attributed largely to the career of Georges-Eugene Haussmann,
the man behind the massive rebuilding of Paris in the 1850’s and 1860’s.
– Divya Subramanian


ITALY-10738NF2Umbria, Italy

02385_16, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA, 07/1991, USA-11529. People paint mural on a wall outside. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova 01/13/2016Los Angeles, California, United States

COLOMBIA-10001La Esperanza, Colombia

IRELAND-10001NF2Dublin, Ireland


“A sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously …
Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on,
by watching street activity.”  
–  Jane Jacobs

_DSC2474New York City, New York, USA

  “The screech and mechanical uproar of the
big city turns the citified head,  
fills citified ears –
as the song of birds, wind in the trees, animal cries,
or as the voices and songs of his loved ones once filled his heart.
He is sidewalk-happy.”
–  Frank Lloyd Wright

THAILAND-10023Bangkok, Thailand

CHINA-10301Hong Kong, China

The sidewalks were long where I grew up. They were as veined as the backs Of my Grandma’s hands…
– Colleen J. McElroy


RUSSIA-10080Moscow, Russia


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