Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada image copyright © 2014 Susan Seubert
Public speaking, for me, was once a terrifying prospect. Standing on stage in front of an auditorium full of strangers, lights low with maybe a dim spotlight on me, huge images projected on the screen behind me: this scenario was petrifying. Yet over the years, it’s become much easier for me to stand in front of an audience and speak. Perhaps it’s from practice or maybe it’s simply the passing of time, but either way I am now much more familiar with myself and what I do than I was when I gave my first formal lecture. It was to the Society for Photographic Education’s Conference at Evergreen State College in Washington. I was 22 years old and had to excuse myself after the first sentence came out of my mouth as I thought I might pass out.
Thankfully, that was not the case these past two Sundays when I had the opportunity to speak alongside National Geographic Traveler’s Director of Photography, Dan Westergren. I had been asked by the National Geographic Seminar program to prepare a day long talk about “The Travel Assignment”, something with which I am now familiar. The day was broken up into several segments in order to address the subject in as comprehensive a manner as possible in under 6 hours. Dan and I took turns speaking depending on the subject. Occasionally we would interject a relevant story or address a specific audience member’s question during the other person’s presentation. My subjects were the following: “How Portraiture Can Inform a Larger Narrative;” “What I Carry in My Daily Camera Bags and Why (using pictures to illustrate not only the gear, but also examples using different lens lengths, hello Canon and Think Tank!! );” and finally to present two stories shot on assignment for the magazine. Dan’s topics were: “Photos We Love and Why;” “Histogram, White Balance and Composition;” “Mirror-less Cameras;” “Using Light;” and “Essence of Place.”
A highlight of the program for me was Dan’s opening sequence of, “Photos We Love and Why.” November 2014 is National Geographic Traveler’s 30th Anniversary, and I am humbled and pleased to have one of my images included in their 30 Greatest Travel Photos in 30 Years. Because these were the images Dan chose to show as part of the program, I was able to explain the behind-the-scenes of my image chosen, and Dan described the criteria he and his editors use in the selection process for the photos published in the magazine, and how those criteria had changed over time. Considering that over 30 million images have been submitted to National Geographic Traveler and of those, approximately 34,000 have been published in those 30 years, I feel very fortunate that one of mine landed in the chosen 30.
In both Los Angeles and Portland, our audiences were terrific! Everyone was engaged, positive, asked great questions and seemed pleased to have spent an entire Sunday in a darkened room, looking at pictures with Dan and me. In fact, one of the winners of the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photography Competition was in attendance at our Portland seminar. One of the many benefits of attending these seminars is that we allow a good amount of time for questions where anyone in the audience can ask and we are right there to answer. Our goal is to be there to not only provide insight and information about the world inside National Geographic Traveler Magazine, but also to tailor the day for interaction with participants. I always dine with the guests so we can possibly continue talking during lunch. Participants also received a handout which has not only the information we address during the seminar, but also a list of resource web sites for Travel Photographers.
I look forward to my upcoming speaking engagements. I will discuss my work during Portland’s upcoming Photolucida. I am scheduled to give a talk to the students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art during one of their “Career Chat” programs and also at the Froelick Gallery where I’ll be having a show of my work in April. I will be giving another seminar for the National Geographic Seminar program this coming spring. As the schedule becomes available, I’ll be posting about it on my social network pages as well as on this blog.
Presenting my portrait images at the Skirball Cultural Center Auditorium in Los Angeles for National Geographic Seminars, “The Travel Assignment”
Thank you for visiting my blog and have a great day!
Posted in assignment photography, blog, camera technical, Canon, Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-300 lens, commercial photographer, editor, editorial photographer, editorial portrait, lecture, magazine work, National Gegoraphic, National Geographic Seminar, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, photo workshop, photography, portrait photographer, portrait photography, public speaker, Travel, Travel Assignment, travel photographer, travel photography | Tagged Canon, Canon 5D Mark III, editorial photographer, lecture, Los Angeles, magazine, magazine photography, National Geographic, National Geographic Seminar, national geographic traveler, national geographic traveler magazine, photography, photojournalism, Portland, Public Speaker, slideshow, Travel, travel photographer | Leave a Comment »
As I was preparing for my forthcoming National Geographic Seminars, I realized that in the last 10 years I’ve photographed over 30 feature stories for National Geographic Traveler Magazine, ranging from Beaujolais to Bangkok to Birmingham. :-)
I look forward to sharing my experiences, tips and tricks of the trade for all who attend the National Geographic seminars on The Travel Assignment in Los Angeles and Portland. For the schedule of events, click here.
Monks during prayer at Wat Suthat Thepphawararam, a royal temple of the first grade, one of ten such temples in Bangkok.
An art-light installation designed by San Antonio artist Bill Fitzgibbons called “LightRails” in the 18th Street viaduct near Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.
The village of Oingt, located in the southern part of the appellation of Beaujolais. Pictured here is a Fete de Conscrit.
Posted in America, assignment photography, Birmingham, commercial photographer, editorial photographer, France, lecture, magazine work, National Gegoraphic, National Geographic Seminar, photo workshop, photographer in Portland, photojournalism, Thailand, Travel, travel photographer | Tagged editorial photographer, magazine photography, National Geographic, National Geographic Seminar, national geographic traveler, national geographic traveler magazine, photography, photojournalism, Stock Photography, Travel, travel photographer, travel photography | Leave a Comment »
One hundred years ago yesterday marked the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal. The building of the canal has a long and interesting history and represents one of the major engineering feats of modern man. France started work on the project in 1881 but stopped work because of the high mortality rate from tropical disease. The United States took over the project in 1904. The canal took an entire decade to complete. The canal cuts through the Isthmus of Panama and connects the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea via 48 miles of water and a series of locks. Last December, I was on board the National Geographic Sea Bird as the National Geographic Photography Expert for the Costa Rica and Panama Expedition. Our final adventure in Panama was to pass through the entire canal, including spending some time on Isla Barro Colorado at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Our route took us through the canal from the Pacific to the Caribbean. It was a truly remarkable experience. Here are some pictures to illustrate our transit. Enjoy!
Panama city as seen while Transiting the Panama Canal, Panama including views of Frank Gehry’s colorful Bio Museum
Entering the canal by passing under the Bridge of the Americas near Panama City
After being at sea and experiencing the world of tropical jungles, we were jolted to suddenly be in the middle of an industrial area, which is itself surrounded by dense forest.
Panamanian officials joined us in order to ensure safe passage through the locks system.
Barro Colorado Island, a site for the study of lowland moist tropical forests owned by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Panama Canal and is part of the Barro Colorado Nature Monument.
How big are the trees? Very big. :-)
You definitely will feel like swimming because of the heat and humidity, but you’ll be taking your chances with the wildlife.
A very cooperative Spotted Ant bird was sitting very still for a portrait. I quickly learned that it was because I was standing on top of its prey, which were making themselves quite at home on my shoes, then pants, then, eeek!!!
Our ship, the National Geographic Sea Bird, tethered to one of the trains that guide the ship through the canal.
Most ships that transit the canal are huge, industrial type vessels.
We arrive at the Caribbean Sea! Such an amazing experience.
Posted in adventure photographer, assignment photography, editorial photographer, Expedition, landscape photographer, landscape photography, National Gegoraphic, National Geographic Expeditions, outdoors, photographer, photography, Travel, travel photographer, wildlife photographer | Tagged Canon, editorial photographer, island, Isthmus of Panama, magazine photography, National Geographic, National Geographic Expeditions, National Geographic Sea Bird, national geographic traveler, nature, opening of the Panama Canal, outdoors, Panama, Panama city, photography, photojournalism, tourism, Travel, travel photographer, travel photography | Leave a Comment »
The published image in the New York Times of Rick Goff
This week I was assigned by The New York Times to make an environmental portrait of a man in Yamhill, Oregon for a piece written by Nickolas Kristof, one of the Op-Ed columnists for the paper. My assignment was to cover a story called, “Inheriting a Hard Life,” and Rick Goff was the subject on which the premise of the article was based. My missive from the photo editor was to, “think Dorothea Lange in color.” The late Dorothea Lange is famous for her work as a FSA photographer, most notably for her image, “Migrant Mother.” So with some ideas swirling around in my brain, we hopped in the car and bee lined it to Yamhill because the deadline was virtually the same day we had to shoot.
We arrived at the location and Rick was ready for us. He had apparently already received a copy of the story and was prepared to start shooting. We spent about an hour working on trying to make some images that best illustrated the point – an attractive portrait in an environment that was a working man’s setting. Rick was in charge of expression. He already knew that this wasn’t necessarily a happy story. He was really good at facing the camera which made our shoot go very smoothly. We worked in several locations and as we were wrapping up, I noticed these great windows. Since the picture had to be in color and Ms. Lange’s images are all black and white I decided to work with the window area because the colors were very muted. The wood facade, the window frame, the background and Rick’s posture all came together. I instantly knew that this was the image they would run. It’s in today’s New York Times, and although it’s color, it’s very monochromatic. I’m pleased with the way the image turned out and, as usual, extremely happy to continue to receive interesting assignments from the Times. Here are a few outtakes as well as some behind the scenes pictures.
One of my faves
Another one of my favorite outtakes from the shoot
Loving my 50mm f1.2 – trying out super shallow depth of field
On assignment for the New York Times, using a log chair.
The best images come from working in odd spaces
Thank you for visiting my blog! Have a great day!
Posted in assignment photography, Canon 5D Mark III, editorial photographer, editorial portrait, Oregon, outdoors, Pacific Northwest, photographer in Portland, photography, photojournalism, portrait, portrait photographer, portrait photography | Tagged behind the scenes, Canon, editorial photographer, New York Times, outdoors, photography, photojournalism, portrait photographer | 1 Comment »
Yours truly in Baja on board the National Geographic Sea Bird. Photo copyright © 2014 Ralph Lee Hopkins
Tomorrow I will board an airplane bound for Oslo and then on to one of the most fascinating archipelagos on Earth, Svalbard. It is located about halfway between Norway and the North Pole. I am excited to be the on board National Geographic Photography Expert on the National Geographic Explorer - a beautiful, ice-class expedition ship. I’ll be on the expedition, “Land of the Polar Bears,” until the end of June teaching photography, giving lectures about being a photographer for the National Geographic Society and joining the guests in exploring this incredible environment. During this trip we will have opportunities to explore the Svalbard archipelago both on land and at sea. There are a few types of megafauna that call Svalbard home, the most notable being Ursus maritimus, commonly known as the polar bear. Other marine mammals include several species of whales, including the Narwhal of unicorn legend, along with seals, walruses and many migratory and endemic sea birds. Having never been this far north before, I’m thrilled at the possibilities for photography. This time of year the wildlife will likely be searching for food as this is the Spring season and the sun will not set. We will be traveling through 24 hours of daylight which should make for magnificent lighting possibilities. You can follow my travels on my new Facebook Page.
Here’s a sneak peek at my camera kit
Lots of Canon Glass for this trip!
Other news on the home front
I’m proud and thrilled to now be represented by Jenna Teeson! Jenna and I met ten years ago when she was a photo editor at National Geographic Traveler Magazine. As the years passed, she moved on from the Geographic back to her hometown, Boston, and has since been working as artist representative for Heath Robbins, a very talented food and lifestyle photographer. Jenna has worked on global campaigns with some of the country’s top advertising agencies and I’m excited for what’s next for us. I know we can go far together as Jenna brings greater exposure to my work and the opportunity to collaborate with new partners. Jenna is one of the most well organized and pleasant people I have had the privilege to work with, so when we reconnected, I jumped at the chance to work with her again.
In my absence, please contact Jenna for assignments.
She can be reached at jennateesonreps(at)gmail(dot)com
or by phone at 202-302-7384
For stock requests, please visit my stock site here.
Thank you for visiting!
Posted in adventure photographer, editorial photographer, Expedition, National Gegoraphic, National Geographic Expeditions, nature photographer, outdoors, photographer, photography, Svalbard, Travel, travel photographer, wildlife photographer | Tagged adventure photographer, editorial photographer, island, National Geographic, National Geographic Expeditions, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Photography Expert, National Geographic Sea Bird, National Geographic Society, national geographic traveler, national geographic traveler magazine, nature, outdoors, photography, Polar Bears, Svalbard, tourism, Travel, travel photographer, travel photography | Leave a Comment »
Our kitties are on the cover of the Healthy Cats Calendar! I was interviewed by Amber Lotus about their story.
Originally posted on Amber Lotus Publishing:
In Honor of Adopt a Pet Month we wanted to feature the story behind the kitties on the cover of our Healthy Cat Calendar.
2015 Healthy Cat Calendar
We interviewed Susan Seubert, the cover photographer for The Healthy Cat Calendar, about her adopted furry family.
Q AL – Where did these beautiful cats come from?
SS – These kitties were part of a litter of 3 that a stray cat gave birth to in a friend’s backyard. The momma cat and one kitten disappeared, leaving two tiny kittens behind. They had just opened their eyes when my friend found them.
Q AL – When did you get them?
SS – My friend posted photos of them on her Facebook page in hopes of finding a home for the two of them. We had just lost our cat of 17 years and had decided that we didn’t want to go through…
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Beautiful clouds mimic the breaking waves at Neakahnie Beach in Manzanita, Oregon
One of the best places on the Oregon Coast is the town of Manzanita. It’s only about two hours from Portland and Neahkahnie Beach, which fronts this beach town, is one of the best beaches in the state. The beach is 7 miles long and very flat, making it ideal for walking, throwing a Frisbee, or finding a nice piece of driftwood on which to sit and watch the gorgeous and powerful Pacific Ocean. It never feels crowded here, yet there’s always someone walking a dog or playing with their kids, or even riding horses! The town of Manzanita has an amazing grocery store with a fantastic deli for a picnic lunch as well as a marvelous bakery where you can get hot cinnamon rolls and a great cup of coffee along with hand-made bread. On top of all this there’s the Cloud and Leaf book store, so if you are there on a rainy weekend, you can pop in and find a good read. With its Bed and Breakfasts and lovely little restaurants, for a weekend getaway at the ocean, Manzanita is hard to top. I was very excited when I received this assignment because I have spent many weekends and day trips here, so I know the place well. However, being able to frame my adventure with a photo assignment gave the trip an added dimension. Since the story wasn’t simply about Manzanita but part of a larger story about Great American Beach Towns, it was a way for me to demonstrate my Oregon pride. I moved here from the Midwest in 1988 and never looked back, largely because of the natural beauty Oregon has to offer, from its grand beaches like Neahkahnie, to the Cascade Mountains, the wine country, the high desert, the Painted Hills, Crater Lake and the Columbia River Gorge. Manzanita is a perfect example of what makes living in Oregon so wonderful. I hope that this story inspires you to visit Oregon. You can see the online gallery of pictures from National Geographic Traveler’s American Beach Towns here.
Dennis and Peggy Awtrey entertain guests at their hillside B and B in Manzanita, Oregon
Chef Brian Williams stands outside of his restaurant The Big Wave Cafe in Manzanita, Oregon
Posted in assignment photography, editorial photographer, landscape photographer, landscape photography, magazine work, National Gegoraphic, Oregon, outdoors, Pacific Northwest, photographer in Portland, photography, Travel, travel photographer | Tagged editorial photographer, Lifestyle photographer, magazine photography, Manzanita, National Geographic, national geographic traveler, national geographic traveler magazine, Neahkahnie Beach, Oregon, Oregon Coast, outdoors, photography, photojournalism, Stock Photography, the Oregon Coast, tourism, Travel, travel photographer, travel photography | Leave a Comment »
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