Michael spent more than 30 years as a national broadcast journalist for both ABC News and NBC News, on programs that included ABC News 20/20, Dateline NBC, and the Today show. Mostly working in “long-form”—news magazines and documentaries—as a producer, director, and writer, he is the recipient of the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award, Emmy, and Cine Golden Eagle awards.
My journalism career focused on film and video, but throughout my life, single-image photography has been a steady joy. We are bombarded daily with thousands of fleeting images, yet a single photographic image can remain for decades indelibly etched in our minds. Evocative, disturbing, soothing. Why? Why do some images succeed while similar ones fail? What do you actually see when looking at a photograph? The same thing your neighbor sees? In the Serengeti, three other serious photographers and I were delighted when an old lion decided to enjoy the shade cast by our vehicle. The magnificent creature, just a few feet away, seemed to pose for us like a languid fashion model. We all snapped away furiously. Did we capture the same image? The same feel for that battered, scarred warrior? Astonishingly, no! The resulting images were completely different in almost every respect--as if we had photographed different lions in separate geographical locations. And for me, some of the images were hauntingly beautiful, while others were banal, lifeless. Photographers see the same thing, differently; viewers see the same thing, differently. Books and schools might tell you otherwise, but no formula exists for taking a good photograph. We pretend we are in control with our mega-pixels and f stops, with our angles and intention, but the image, the glorious, inspiring, infuriating, elusive image taunts, beckons, and keeps us enthralled.