Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rick Smolan: The Story of a Girl

A very good story in this TED Talk.
Photographer Rick Smolan tells the unforgettable story of a girl, a photograph, and an American homecoming.

Smolan is the co-founder of the America 24/7 project, which captured the United States during a week in May 2003. More than 25,000 photographers -- pros and amateurs -- sent images to a team of editors assembled by Smolan and partner David Elliot Cohen, who turned the photos into an eye-popping book. It's become a best-seller, of course, helped along by the fact that buyers could choose their own image for the cover. After the national book dropped, fifty more 24/7 books were released, one for each US state.

Smolan has long been a force for exploring culture through photography. The Day in the Life photography series that he cofounded -- best-selling photo books that captured life in America, Australia, the Soviet Union ... -- were an '80s cultural phenomenon. (Rare was the coffee table without at least one of them.) In the 1990s his production company, Against All Odds, investigated the storytelling powers of interactive CD-ROMs with From Alice to Ocean, a narrative of a cross-Australia trek, and Passage to Vietnam, exploring that country as it opened up in the early 1990s. 24 Hours in Cyberspace took a snapshot of the booming industry in 1996, and One Digital Day in 1997 further explored our fascination with tech.

Smolan's latest book, with collaborator Jennifer Erwitt, is Blue Planet Run, about the drive to bring fresh drinking water to everyone on Earth. In an unprecedented move, offers Blue Planet Run as a free PDF download. Download the free PDF of Blue Planet Run >>

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