Recent work & professional musings
Mining the archive and coming up with a mining story; a 2008 story shot for The New York Times on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. The proposal to build the mine is controversial and 14 years later, still ongoing. The mine contains large deposits of copper, gold, and molybdenum and is in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska,...more
Maybe it was a 1990s thing, but I knew photographers who were quite literally crop-nazis, especially in the end days of film and darkrooms. Slicing off so much as a hair of your frame in the darkroom was a photographic sin. Anyone who worked as a documentary photography in the late 1980s and and 1990s was exposed to this - the more you...more
Every photographer's dream assignment is the road-trip photoessay. They're lying if they say otherwise. Hop in a car, hit the road with a camera (and "your" writer), a beat up copy of Kerouac's "On the Road" (confession: I've never read) and search out the small town America of your imagination. I've only done a few such shoots, mostly in Asia, but in 2008 I hit the road with New York Times writer, and a neighbor here in Seattle, Bill...more
Sometimes you get home, upload your images, and see an image that means you nailed the shoot. One such image below, the kind of image that goes straight into my portfolio. Photo is from a shoot for Crowley Marine who needed both beauty and working shots of their new tug the Athena. Shot with a Mavic drone near Tacoma, WA, I had about a minute over the vessel before high winds forced me to bring the drone home. Nailed it!more
Someone recently asked me how we used to get our film processed and out from war zones in places like Cambodia, and get it to New York or Paris for a deadline. I had to explain, we didn't process the film; back then Time Magazine had their own in-house photolab and all we had to did was get the film to them. That, of course, was often harder than finding an E6 lab in the Cambodian jungle.
This slide was shot on assignment for Time...more
After a week of scanning in some old family photos I finally figured out why I may have become a photographer. The four scanned images below were all shot by my mom in 1966 using a medium format camera and slide film. These color photos of my older brother Chris could have been taken yesterday - the tones, colors and detail are stunning. All they needed was a proper scan and some TLC in Lightroom and Photoshop to come to life, which I did...more
Recent work for Preservation Magazine, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on the Urban Grace church in downtown Tacoma, Washington. The history of the congregation that would become Urban Grace dates back 140 years and the church traces its lineage to the First Baptist Church (1883), founded on Pacific Avenue in what was then known as New Tacoma in the Washington Territory.
I had to go back to the church three...more
Links below to watch both of the episodes I was featured in for Arirang TV's "In Frame" series. The twelve-part series on Korea's national TV network followed mostly Magnum photographers around the country but when I was asked to do two episodes I agreed on one condition, I could photograph in the southern port city of Busan. I had been to Korea many times before but never to Busan and because it was where my wife was born, and later adopted...more
"A rather unsatisfactory term's work, and I fear not 'O' level material". B.T.G.
This was my school report for "Art" in the summer of 1980 at King's College School in London. "O" levels are standardized exams in British secondary schools and apparently a life in the arts was not in my future. When I suggested to my art teacher that I enjoyed photography, I remember his retort:
"Photography isn't an art, Isett".
I've never been much of a gear head (for the love of god, don't ask me why I've always used Nikon!) but I'm also smart enough to see the writing on the wall. The DLSR camera was always a stopgap between the worlds of film and full digital, so I finally made the leap to mirrorless cameras with new Nikon Z7ii.
Amazing cameras so far, however you're still not allowed to say, "Hey Stuart, your cameras take great pictures". No better way to...more
Yet another return to Amazon's growing campus in Seattle's South Lake Union and Denny Triangle neighborhoods to photograph Site Workshop's landscaping and plantings. The last time I was in the area was right after Amazon closed its offices because of COVID in March, 2020, and returning was a chance to see both people slowly returning plus the explosion of...more
Selects from a recent shoot working with Seattle-based Blackwing Creative for McGee Air Services, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines that operates all the ground crews at Seatac airport servicing their fleet of planes. Besides doing a complete website redesign, the images are also needed for recruitment, as travel starts to pick up in 2021. Being a regular...more
The Tiny Toones break dancing troupe was founded by Tuy Sobil, a.k.a. "KK", a 44 yr old Cambodian-American and former gang member from Long Beach, California who was deported from the United States in 2004. Working out of the Toul Tom Pong neighborhood in Phnom Penh, the Tiny Toone's house runs a drop-in center and community center for at-risk youth and street...more
Thinking about my old friend A.K. Kimoto who died 11 years ago this March from unexpected, natural causes at the age of 32. A young and talented photographer, with a heart of gold, AK impacted every life he touched and is dearly missed. After his death The New York Times published his work on opium addiction in Afghanistan, a...more