Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Busy taking pictures in Washington

I must apologize to my five followers... I've been so busy taking pictures and sending them to clients that I haven't had time to share them with you here.

From Washington DC, I went to Washington State, and after a trip to San Francisco's Bay Area for Bioneers, now I'm writing from Washington Square, New York City.

I also had a quick stint in Exeter, New Hampshire, where I photographed author Dan Brown.

I'm taking an average of three EcoPortraits per day. Stay put for more. In the meantime, here's a photo of some of the people braving the rain on the International Day for Climate Action, which was published in El Mundo here.

You can see more of my coverage in New York in El Mundo's new portal for the Americas. I took some photos of El Museo del Barrio. You can see one here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

News from the Front

After going to Washington DC, and then Washington State, I'm heading to Washington Square (New York), with an interim trip to Marin, to cover the Bioneers conference, and a boomerang trip to New Hampshire to photograph a famous author (more details after publication of the assignment). The book publisher requested to my editor that I'd be the photographer. I'm very excited, and very nervous at the same time about being away from home for two weeks.

If you read my previous posts, you know about my meetings in DC, and my flight with Richard Bach. During our time in Washington, we also met with writers John deGraaf (founder of Take Back Your Time), Gordon Hempton (sound tracker and defendent of silent spaces) and Paul Stamets (mycologist and founder of Fungi Perfecti).

Gordon Hempton, author of One Square Inch of Silence.

Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running and other books.

John deGraaf, author of Afluenza, the All Consuming Epidemic

Sam Jones interview By Rob Haggart

Check out this insightful interview of photographer Sam Jones by Rob, A Photo Editor.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gourmet Closes

My heart goes to the people at Gourmet, for they have lost their baby of 68 years. Read about it in the New York Times. Buy the paper and support the print advertisers, or read it online for free here (page sponsored by Adobe Acrobat as of now).

Charles H. Townsend, Condé Nast’s chief executive, said to Stephanie Clifford, of the NYT, "that the current advertising picture was too dismal. “The tide’s not coming back in,” he said. “It could take us five years to get back to 2007 levels if we’re lucky enough to.”"

Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride will also be closing. In total, 180 people will probably lose their jobs. The titles will probably continue their presence on the Internet, but Condé Nast is not betting on display advertising for revenue, according to the NYT story.

New FTA regulations on blogvertising

Great Blog Entreprenuer blog about the new FTA regulations on advertising practices through blogs and social media.

WARNING: Other than the one dollar I've made from Google Ads over the last few years and have yet not collected, I'm not taking any money from advertisers. If any of you want to sponsor any of my blogs, I'll be happy to point out that you sponsor my blog.

Those are my wings / Esas son mis alas

The story about my experience with the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Carlos Fresneda's interview with the writer was published in El Mundo Oct. 4, 2009. I'm posting here both the English and the Spanish versions of my text, together with the photos the newspaper used. Bach receive us to promote his new book Hypnotizing Maria. Bach nos recibió para promover su nuevo libro, Vuela conmigo. Mi texto en español lo puedes leer más abajo.

“Those Are My Wings”
Above the clouds with Richard Bach.
©2009 Isaac Hernández, Orcas Island, Washington, USA.
“Flying is something that you learn in a minute and a half and you spend the rest of your life perfecting,” says Richard Bach, as I tighten by harness cradled in the back seat of his loyal Husky A-1B aircraft. “If you want, you can fly it,” he surprises me.
After a quick lesson on how the control lever works, and checking that everything is in order and that “the engine is happy”, Richard directs the hydroplane against the wind and soon we’re lifting, Orcas Island under our feet turning into a silhouette against the blue Pacific.
I feel like one of the farmers in the Midwest to which Richard offered flights on her plane for just three dollars, during the 70’s, after writing Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He was continuing a tradition began by returning WWI pilots.
From the hand of Bach and his book I began taking flight as an adolescent. Who was going to think then that three decades later Richard himself would take me to the top of the clouds to let me free with the wind?
“After some time,” points Bach, “the wings become an extension of your arms, and you can even feel the air ruffling your feathers. Those are my wings, that’s my power. You stop thinking that your body is here and the plane is there, you become one and only one creature, a flying creature.”
The metaphor of Jon Seagull becomes reality inside my bones. My teacher is not a “talking seagull”, but the writer that gave life to the book that he had carried inside him.
“Go up to that cloud,” asks my instructor. I pull the lever and up we go. I maneuver at 1000 meters with a smoothness of a seagull. I’m happy that my captain doesn’t ask me to stall and do a nosedive. And I remember the end of the book. “No limits, Jon?“ My race to learn has begun.

“Esas Son Mis Alas”
Sobre las nubes con Richard Bach
©2009 Isaac Hernández, Orcas, Washington, EEUU.
“Volar es algo que se aprende en un minuto y medio, y se perfecciona el resto de la vida”, dice Bach según me aprieto el cinturón de seguridad en el asiento trasero de su fiel avioneta Husky A-1B. “Si quieres puedes pilotar,” me sorprende.
Tras una rápida lección de cómo funciona la palanca de mandos, y comprobar que todo está en regla y “el motor contento”, Richard dirige el hidroplano contra el viento y comenzamos a elevarnos, y la isla de Orcas bajo nuestros pies en una silueta contra el Pacífico.
Me siento como uno de los granjeros del Oeste Americano a los que Richard diera paseos en avioneta por tres dólares, durante los 70, tras escribir Juan Salvador Gaviota. Seguía una tradición que comenzaron los pilotos que regresaban de la Primera Guerra Mundial.
De la mano de Bach y su libro comencé a tomar el vuelo como adolescente. ¿Quién me iba a decir que seis lustros después acabaría él mismo llevándome a lo alto de las nubes para luego dejarme libre con el viento?
“Pasado un tiempo”, apunta Bach, “las alas se convierten en una prolongación de tus brazos y puedes sentir incluso el aire como si te tocara las plumas. Esas son mis alas, ese es mi poder. Dejas de pensar que tu cuerpo está aquí y el avión está ahí, te conviertes en una sola criatura, una criatura voladora”.
La metáfora de Juan Gaviota se hace realidad dentro de mis huesos. Pero en lugar de una “gaviota parlante”, mi instructor es el escritor que dio vida al libro que llevaba dentro de él.
“Sube hacia esa nube,” pide mi maestro. Tiro de la palanca y hacia arriba vamos. Maniobro a mil metros de altura con la suavidad propia de una gaviota. Me alegro que mi capitán no me pida hacer una caída libre, y recuerdo el final del libro, “¿No hay límites, Juan?” Mi carrera hacia el aprendizaje ha empezado...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Flying with Jonathan Livingston Seagull

I flew with Jon Seagull... Well, not quite, but with Richard Bach, the author of the best selling book that made a big impression on me as a kid. I asked Richard if I could take his picture flying and he agreed. I didn't have to twist his arm as he loves flying. Once on the air, he taught me how to fly and let me take the controls! What a memorable day. Thank you Richard! And thank you Carlos for bringing me along to Orcas Island and letting me fly with Bach. You can see a selection of photos in the Mercury Press archive here.

Richard and his Beech T-34, which he features in his latest novel, Hypnotizing Maria.

Richard at his new home atop Orcas Island (above and below).