Two and a half years ago I photographed a climate change story for The New York Times at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. While on assignment, one of the NOAA scientists was kind enough to give me the tube (pictured below), with a admonition that I should hang on to it – as it is a historical sample of the CO2 levels below 400ppm – probably the last years it will be under this benchmark in our lifetimes. His prediction came to pass this May as the concentration of CO2 in the earths atmosphere passed the 400ppm mark.
Two years ago I photographed a personal project over the course of a month in China. I had the good fortune to spend most of the time traveling with a dear friend who had just moved back to Beijing to start a fuel cell company. As often happens when I travel – there was a very fine line between visiting a country as a tourist and getting beyond the surface. I find the only way to get deeper is to have deep connections with subjects you are photographing. This can’t be rushed and I feel blessed to have made many deep connections world wide over the last 10 years of my career as a photographer. You can click through to the image set on the Nat Geo Stock blog here.
A friend sent me this link to the story of Vivian Maier, a Chicago nanny who took more than 100,000 photos during her lifetime and never showed them to anyone. She recently passed away and her photography has been discovered. Some say she may rank among the top street photographers of the 20th century.
Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, in early December I found myself on the side of a volcano at 11,141 feet on the Big Island of Hawaii photographing a story for the New York Times. The story revolves around the research facility and dedicated staff that has been taking continuous measurements of CO2 in the air since the late 1950’s. Its a great read and an honor to be featured on the front page of the NYT. You can read it online here listen to the audio slideshow here and see the slideshow here. Enjoy!
I must have passed this cross covered with leis twenty times before I noticed it on the solitary stretch of Kamehameha highway by the sea on the island of Molokai. It was located on a blind curve so I franticly took my frames while standing in the middle of the road as a friend of mine spotted oncoming traffic.
2008 was designated the “International Year of the Potato” by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. According to Jacques Diouf, the Director-General of the FAO, “The potato is on the frontline in the fight against world hunger and poverty.” I produced the above image while living in Tamil Nadu, teaching photography at Light and Life Academy, south Asia’s first photography school. In the background you can see a large tea plantation that produces much of the CTC tea for the Tetley tea company. I was just recovering from a nasty case of typhoid fever when I took this frame and was only strong enough to click off half a roll or so before exhaustion forced me to retire to my bungalow that shared the same hillside as the potato farmers.
Jonathan Kingston Explores the World in Search of Images and Insights