IN-DEPTH

with a SaaS-enabled, Data-driven Marketplace

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Introduction

Have photographs lost their economic value? One might make that case by connecting the dots, starting with the consolidation of photo agencies, then the transition from film to digital image capture, followed by the conjunction of crowd-sourcing with the World Wide Web and social media, which led ultimately to underserved publishers (particularly those looking for stock photos) and the sorry circumstances that challenge photographers who try to earn a living today. …


PHOTOGRAPHY

Watching the Balloon Roll Away

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Kitty Hawk at Dawn Over the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the Outset of the First Transcontinental Balloon Flight / ©1980 Tom Zimberoff

Part One

A Time magazine assignment took me to Sausalito to cover the outset of an historic journey: the first non-stop, trans-continental flight over North America in a balloon. It would be a milestone achievement in aviation history. Kitty Hawk, referencing the most singular aviation milestone of all, was the name of the craft (the gondola, actually), co-piloted by Maxie Anderson, a businessman and gubernatorial prospect from New Mexico, and his son Kristian. Maxie helped pioneer Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta, an annual mass ascent of hot air balloons, arguably the most photographed event in the world: five hundred gargantuan confections arrayed willy-nilly on terra firma then loosed from gravity by igniting an open flame to rise like spirits; soundless but for, here and there, a whoosh of propane; a visual crescendo, culminating in a phantasmagorical armada suspended in a brilliant blue sky. You’ll see plenty of traditional hot air balloons. …


My Portrait of Alexander Haig

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A powerful black sedan sped through the capital chasing two American flags whipping above the hood. A short motorcade kept up behind in single file. The streets were essentially empty of other automobiles; a smattering of Russian jalopies, rows of miasmatic buses. This was typical on any given day in 1981. Traffic was bicycles, thousands and thousands of them pedaled by uniformly-costumed commuters; men and women buttoned up to their chins in ill-fitting tunics; green ones and just-as-baggy blue ones. Many of them wore caps adorned with a red plastic star in front.

Daylight spilled inside the Hongqi limousine from a turbid sky through windows that framed what looked like a newsreel streaming by. I sat on a jump-seat facing the secretary of state; the two of us alone in back. He was in shirtsleeves, shuffling loose-leaf documents on his lap and casting glances through half-readers raked down the bridge of his nose at a newspaper laid out beside him on top of his jacket. He seemed distracted: a sigh, a deep breath, a backhanded brushing-away of his tie. …

About

Tom Zimberoff

ARTREPRENEUR, PHOTOGRAPHER, CLARINETIST, MOTORCYCLIST Fate follows the path of least resistance. Success follows the path of maximum persistence.

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