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National Geographic Photographer Image - the story behind it
Lens: unknown Camera: Pentax Photo Location: unknown 
Posted By: Marc Langille, 03-08-2010, 06:09 PM

A while back, my friend Jason Edwards (http://www.bio-images.com) needed some help finding a lens hood for an FA* lens. He contacted me by e-mail and I put in the call to both Pentax USA and Pentax Canada for him.

It took some digging, but I managed to get the right people involved! Within several days I had a used but very functional replacement for him - no charge. I managed to get it to Jason in Oz prior to his departure to Rio --> Terra Del Fuego --> Antarctica. I've got in a request to see if a new hood can be ordered.

What I didn't expect was what arrived in the mail today - a large set of fiber boards taped together. Jason sent this package with the enclosed photograph and a personal note to thank me me prior to his departure to Antarctica. Please forgive the image quality: it's still in the protective plastic so there is a fine dust like residue on the plastic and the image is a tad warm due to the pop-up flash, but you get the idea.

Here's the image - a Southern Elephant Seal (female) - actual print size is 10" x 15":


To say I'm a bit overwhelmed by his gesture is quite possibly an understatement. Jason is a longtime natural history photographer who is directly represented by National Geographic in Washington, DC and he still shoots Pentax. We've had some excellent discussions - once on the phone and more than a few times via e-mail on both the artistic and technical aspects of photography.

To say that I would consider it an experience of a lifetime to go on assignment with Jason and experience how he does his work flow is not an understatement.

Now I just have to figure out where this image will go.

Regards,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 03-08-2010 at 07:36 PM.
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03-08-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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Outstanding pix..what equipment did Jason use for this shot...how did he get it ?
03-08-2010, 06:29 PM   #3
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Cool story Marc as I know you are a hugh fan. JIM
03-08-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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Thank you both and I'll try to get those questions (camera gear, equipment used) once he's back "on the grid". I am not sure how long his assignment will be in Antarctica.

BTW, Jason had been looking for some time - apparently I was the only person able to pull in the right resources to find that hood for him.

Regards,
Marc

03-08-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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Very very cool Marc. It's a signature shot from him for sure. The guy is a water rat. Once you get that shot hung, you have some planning to do.
1) Get a month off work
2) find out when Jason is doing his next shoot in some faraway place.
3) get the appropiate shots
4) pack the gear


Come on, I wanna see something from you on the cover of Nat Geo!!
03-08-2010, 06:52 PM   #6
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Terrific story, Marc. All of this is way over my heard and beyond my pay grade, but it's fun to hear about.

Jer
03-08-2010, 07:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Very very cool Marc. It's a signature shot from him for sure. The guy is a water rat.
It's probably no surprise that he's comfortable in the water since he surfs too. I've added the species of the Sea Lion to the original post - it's a Southern Elephant seal - from Wikipedia:

Southern Elephant Seal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
While the females average about 400-900 kg (880-1,980 lb) and 2.6-3 m (8.6-10 feet) long, the bulls average around 2,200-4,000 kg (4,847-8,800 lb) and 4.2-5 m (13-16.5 feet) long. The record bull, shot in Possession Bay, South Georgia in 1913, was 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) and 6.9 m (22.5 feet) long. The maximum size of a female is 1,000 kg (2,210 lb) and 3.7 m (12.2 ft).

So even though there is significant disparity between the sexes, the females are still quite sizable!


QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Once you get that shot hung, you have some planning to do.
1) Get a month off work
2) find out when Jason is doing his next shoot in some faraway place.
3) get the appropiate shots
4) pack the gear
You are killing me - that would be a such a great experience.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Come on, I wanna see something from you on the cover of Nat Geo!!
My sincere and most heartfelt appreciation for the props Peter. I wish it was that simple and I'll keep plugging away. No pressure, right?


QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Terrific story, Marc. All of this is way over my heard and beyond my pay grade, but it's fun to hear about.

Jer
I suspect the waterproof gear is a pretty penny... thanks for stopping in Jer!

Regards,
Marc
03-08-2010, 07:10 PM   #8
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Neat story .... impressive photo ..... you will need to buy some warmer clothes (or come live here for a month in Jan for taster)

03-08-2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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Marc: Really neat story. People doing for one another when they needn't, or might just have said, "I couldn't."

Beautiful image - I imagine we'll see similar from you soon!

Now if an image from that FA* from that trip shows up in Nat. Geo . . .
03-08-2010, 08:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Neat story .... impressive photo ..... you will need to buy some warmer clothes (or come live here for a month in Jan for taster)
I'll be at altitude in Colorado starting Friday - cross country skiing is planned for Saturday, as is hiking or something similar up Pikes Peak on Sunday. Not sure if my knee is ready for close to 4000' of vertical, but I'll be doing something to have fun that Sunday. I hope to bring some photo gear with me.

Regards,
Marc
03-08-2010, 09:00 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Marc: Really neat story. People doing for one another when they needn't, or might just have said, "I couldn't."

Beautiful image - I imagine we'll see similar from you soon!

Now if an image from that FA* from that trip shows up in Nat. Geo . . .
Hi Paul,

Thanks for reading and stopping by!

I guess I must admit that your observation is typical of my attitude: never "if" it will be done, but "when" it will be done. Jason was surprised that I pulled it through for him in such short order and he received it so quickly after many fruitless searches and enlisting others. Now he doesn't have to replace or retire the lens (FA* 80-200/2.8), so I did help him avoid having to buy a new lens, which we discussed!

I agree that it's a wonderful image - I love it - such raw nature being captured. I have no idea if your imagination will become a reality for me - I keep thinking about (more than) a few things, no question there Paul... time will tell.

Now your last sentence is intriguing: there will be images from that lens, since he got the lens hood on the Tuesday prior to his departure... stay tuned!

Regards,
Marc
03-09-2010, 01:08 AM   #12
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Great story and great pic! Its good to hear that National Geographic photographer's use Pentax
03-09-2010, 02:40 AM   #13
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More praise for the story.
Excellent testimony for Pentax too.
Thanks for sharing it Marc.
03-09-2010, 04:05 AM   #14
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What a wonderful story and photo Marc...thank you so much for sharing it with us!
03-09-2010, 07:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Great story and great pic! Its good to hear that National Geographic photographer's use Pentax
Thank you and to my knowledge Jason is the only National Geographic photographer who uses Pentax digital - there might be some others, but I am not sure. He owns some truly stellar FA* glass.

Regards,
Marc
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