One of my greatest privileges as a journalist was to research and write the story of Howard Bennett and his campaign in 1985 to force Los Angeles to clean up Santa Monica Bay. The result was the book, Dirty Water: One Man's Fight to Clean Up One of the World's Most Polluted Bays (University of California Press, 2010).
For the book's cover, I photographed Howard neck-deep in the bay in 2009. It's still one of my favorite portraits. I chose the surf location because for years Howard used to swim in the ocean, nearly every morning, for a half mile or more before he went to work as a teacher at Culver City High School. Logically, that's how he got involved in the fight to force the city to stop dumping millions of gallons of partially treated sewage in the bay everyday.
My wife and I recently visited Howard and his wife, Bente, at their Playa del Rey home. Howard still swims but now in a special pool they build in their backyard which abuts the Playa del Rey beach. Howard is still feisty at 85, but a little slower in other ways. While we were talking, I pulled out my camera and photographed both of them by the light coming through the windows overlooking the beach. They tolerated me without saying a word.
Two of my favorite people.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Monday, February 16, 2015
My intrepid canyoneering friends and I took a trip through Rindge Gulch, a vegetation-choked canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains more or less above Malibu. Following some nice rappels, among the highlights was the more or less historic Rindge Dam that was, according to Wikipedia and other sources, built by the Rindge family in 1924-1926 for flood control on Malibu Creek. By 1950, it had filled up with silt and has been pretty much nonfunctional since. These days, it is part of Malibu Creek State Park and was recently pronounced off-limits for reasons of safety. Oh, well, scofflaws that we are, we had no other way of getting back to our cars but to exit the canyon via the dam. Even in the harsh, crappy light at the time, the structure is interesting to look at and hike by. This is a pano stitched together from eight vertical shots.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Valerie Millet, photographer http://valmillett.blogspot.com/
Michael Frye, photographer/writer http://www.michaelfrye.com/landscape-photography-blog/
Dan Kraus, photographer http://dankrauss.blogspot.com/
Victoria Watts, photographer/writer http://seattlestravels.com/
Liz Carlson, photographer/writer http://youngadventuress.com/
Anyone interested in entering the Thomas Cook Explore the Elements blogger contest should go to http://www.thomascook.com/blog/holiday-competitions-deals/explore-the-elements/#comp_rules for all the details.
Monday, February 2, 2015
|Pine Creek Canyon, Zion National Park|
A website mainly geared toward professional photographers called The Photo Brigade recently published a few of my canyoneering pictures that were taken in the past year. To see the posting, here's the link: http://thephotobrigade.com/2015/01/canyoneering-by-bill-sharpsteen/.