Ted & James Nachtwey

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Just jumping on the bandwagon here – on October 3, James Nachtwey who is arguably the most accomplished and celebrated photojournalist working today – will reveal a project that he has been working on thanks to a TED grant – being released simultaneously online, on media channels, and as images projected in public places.   So spread the word. (Click on the “X” to the left..)

On a personal note, James has always been one of my favorite photographers and an amazing person to get to know.  I met him just days after 9/11/01 in Quetta, Pakistan… I was stunned when he recognized my name as we were introduced (he read(s) The New York Times and likely recognized the byline from seeing it in the paper) but even more impressed with how humble and focused he was and still is.    One of my favorite quotes from him – which is a quote that is pulled from a portfolio review that he was giving years ago to someone else – (after looking through that person’s portfolio quietly page by page, closing the book and making a single comment before concluding the review right then and there and moving onto the next student, is:  “I’m afraid that these pictures don’t tell me anything about who you are.”

We spend a bit of time together in Pakistan as I helped him figure out what was then one of the very first prototype EOS 1D Cameras – and getting his satellite phone working with an antenna we placed on the roof of the hotel (running the wire down to his hotel room window – super high tech 😉

 One of the best lessons I learned from him (there were many) is that while we were all drowning our sorrows late into the night (the press corps in Pakistan) mostly due to the overwhelming emotion / frustration / fear & uncertainty that followed 9/11/01 – Nachtwey would quietly decline to join us – going to bed early (or likely working on a book layout now looking back at what I know of his crazy work ethic.)   By the time we were waking up to horrible light and hangovers – he was walking back into the lobby of the hotel… no matter how good you are, how developed your eye and vision are  – discipline and adherence to the following axiom: “The early bird gets the worm…”  helps even Mr. Nachtwey…

So the point of this rambling post is – I am really looking forward to seeing what he, along with the help of the folks at TED, have come up with… I wish them the very very best of luck – can’t wait to see what they’ve managed to pull off!