If you don’t know Joey L. from his work for the National Geographic Channel, the History Channel, or charity: water (his images have been displayed in little places like, oh, Time’s Square), then you might know him from his tutorials. Since 2006, Joey L. has been distilling his hard-earned photographic know-how into easy-to-follow instructional videos (originally in the form of hand-labeled DVDs, and now available on the World Wide Interweb). His most recent series, Dudes with Cameras, is a compulsively watchable mix of photographic wisdom, travelogue, and late-night sleep-deprived mischief. Highly recommended.
There are two stories behind every photograph: the story of what was being captured, and the story of capturing it. Tales by Light, now streaming on Netflix, focuses on the latter, documenting the wild, often perilous journeys of world-class photographers as they create their spectacular images.
If you’ve been in an Apple Store recently, you’re already familiar with Austin Mann’s work. He’s the photographer responsible for some of the stunning iPhone imagery currently being used in stores, online, and on billboards around the world. We’ve driven past his 30-story-tall image of a waterfall in Downtown Dallas many times. But if you think having your work on display for the world sounds like a dream come true, you’re wrong. Or at least Austin doesn’t see it that way. His ambitions are much larger and much smaller at the same time.
There’s a moment in Free Solo during Alex Honnold’s historic, rope-less ascent of El Capitan when the audience sees cinematographer Mikey Schaefer doubled over, so sick with anxiety that he’s unable to watch what’s happening. It’s a powerful moment. And, after speaking with Co-Directors Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi, it seems to accurately sum up what sounds like the most stressful production we’ve ever heard of — a production they weren’t even sure they wanted to take on:
The first thing Jesse Edwards tells us when we sit down to talk is that he’s a little sleep deprived. He and his brother Joel, the creative duo behind the Emmy Award–winning production studio Evolve, just got back from a six-day shoot in Portugal, a shoot that involved capturing every sunset and every sunrise. “It was super fun,” Jesse says, describing multiple 30-plus hour days. “The whole crew was having the time of their lives.” It was our first glimpse at the MO that permeates everything Evolve does: enthusiasm, adrenaline, fun. They push their work to new, often dangerous extremes not because that’s what their company has become known for, but because that’s just who they are. They’re the type of guys who jump into glaciers. They get close-ups of lions.
For most creatives, healthy working relationships are a rare gift. There’s a lot working against us: Egos. Pressure. Deadlines. Differences of opinion and taste. And yet we can’t help noticing that some of the best work being done today is being done by people who genuinely like each other. A great example of this is National Geographic Channels SVP/Group Creative Director Andy Baker and one of his go-to photographers, Joey L.