2012 Year in Review

It was another banner year for Ian Shive, the photographer. As many of you know, most of my time is dedicated towards enhancing the careers of over 400 other photographers via my stock photography and motion clip licensing agency, Tandem Stills + Motion, Inc. and as an instructor of photojournalism and advanced photojournalism at one of the world’s leading educational institutions, the University of Southern California.

Tandem had its own banner year with a major expansion and our first retail store. But beyond the accolades of the agency, I’ve also had a stellar year working for some of my favorite clients in some of the wildest places on the planet.

One of my personal favorite achievements was the cover of The Nature Conservancy magazine for my story on the Tehachapi Wildlife Corridor. I am also proud to capture the cover of National Parks magazine for my story on Hidden Yosemite.
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I was also fortunate enough to take the 2011 Annual Report cover and accompanying interior spreads for TNC, photographed in Hawaii, and their Caribbean Division Report, photographed in Cuba, both were long form assignments that allowed me to spend time in the warm climates of these radically different but no less stunningly beautiful locations.
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Additionally, I had yet another cover and major interior spreads for the Sierra Club’s 2011 Annual Report.
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In addition to the above, I was also fortunate to visit Southern Chile where I photographed images of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, a new reserve launched by several environmental non-profits including The Nature Conservancy. For a week I photographed artisan fishing efforts, coastal restoration and wild, raw landscapes.

The Nature Conservany Annual Report Photo Shoot / Valdivia, Chile

One of my aerial images from Palau was also ranked one of the most popular images in National Geographic’s Travel 365 collection.

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As if all of this wasn’t enough, I also managed to squeak out my first photography field guide in a form of an App available for the iPad in the iTunes Store, I was profiled in Travel & Leisure Magazine and conducted one of the best radio interviews of my  life on Los Angeles’ 95.5 KLOS Classic Rock station.
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In a more memorable moment, one of my color images that looks black & white was hung next to Ansel Adam’s image that inspired it at the famous G2 Gallery in Venice, California.

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I also announced my first workshop taking place at my beloved Channel Islands National Park. In partnership with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, the G2 Gallery (where I’ll be conducting my first exhibit in April 2013) and the Channel Islands Park Foundation.

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There were many other publications that ran my images including Lonely Planet, AARP, Mosaic, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Books, Sunset, Visit Montana and more.  I can not express enough my gratitude for the support that these organizations give to me by allowing me the opportunity to capture these important issues and bring them to the world in their publications. I can only imagine what 2013 will be like. Stay tuned!

The Real Slumdog, No Millionaire


While on the streets of Hardiwar, India a couple weeks ago, me and my travel partner encountered one of our first real street hustlers. A kid not older than 13 worked us hard to make cash. We were taking photos of many of the people with no consequence but this kid recognized an opportunity to make some money. I donated 20 rupees to his hustling-cause, but after three frames, he wanted another 20 rupees. I showed him that I overexposed by accident getting bad shots on 2 of the 3 frames to which he was quick with a reply, “Yes but your friend got two shots. 20 rupees if you want more.” He was a ball of energy, moving fast, yelling and working me and the crowd for anything he could make. After watching the film, Slumdog Millionaire, I had a lot of preconceived notions of India, including fears of being constantly hustled. After a week there spending the majority of my time in a crowd of 16 million people, I rarely felt hustled if at all other than this one moment. The people of India were incredibly generous, rich in spirit, and full of pride and culture. Some Indians find the term Slumdog insulting but it’s a term we are all now familiar with thanks to Hollywood (Bollywood?) and one I wanted to share some new insight on.

Yellowstone Country: Barefoot in the Tetons

Even for us travelers who seem to wander endlessly from stunning location to exotic location, it can sometimes be easy to forget the most important reason we do so – to find solace, relax and just let go of whatever it is we call our daily grind. These days, my daily grind is more often about coffee and free wifi signals, but nonetheless, places like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park will always bring me back to my center. A few weeks ago, with two wonderful friends, I decided to randomly detour from the prescribed trip and float the Snake River, hike mosquito-filled trails and just sit back and forget that anything else existed. 
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Wild Exposure Episode 1 Launches!

Take a 6-minute journey through America’s Southwest from the Grand Canyon to the white gypsum dunes of New Mexico. Go behind-the-scenes of Ian’s new book, The National Parks: Our American Landscape, and tune-in to Current TV on your local cable provider to see episodes 2, 3 and 4 throughout the month of August and September.

http://vimeo.com/5787116

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Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

As a nature photographer, the journey to wild places is as much a part of the fun as the destination itself and today was no exception. It’s been the sort of week where I “happened to be in the neighborhood” for a few wildly interesting places. Today, I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina rather unexpectedly and even more so, at Medjugorje, the major pilgrimage site for Catholics. On June 24th, 1981, six children in rural Herzegovina claim to have witnessed an apparition of Mary, mother of Jesus, and she is said to appear everyday since then. I’ve heard a variety of skeptical things about this place and admit, I arrived expecting flowers, rosaries and statues – but the experience I had was all together different and even jolting.

At first glance, Medjugorje appears like a tourist trap. Thousands of rosaries, crosses and other religious items line both sides of a small street, attracting throngs of visitors, tour buses and an equal number of vendors eager to hock their goods. As I pushed further into town, the street narrowed even more, and like a funnel, it led me through residential neighborhoods and soon, a cobble stone street too small for a car but once again lined with religious markets. Continuing higher into the hills with no other path but forward, the cobble stone ended abruptly and I found myself at the bottom of a hill covered in jagged rocks and red soil. I stopped, lifted my eyes up and before me was a spot that looked fit for a movie reenactment of the crucifixion. At this very moment, the blue skies began to lose territory to storm clouds and a long, droning thunder echoed off the surrounding hills, their baratone clap resembling mortar fire that is all too real for the people of this region. I marched up the hill, sweating in the humidity and in total silence. The only sounds were the murmur of people reciting the rosary or singing songs of religious praise, the sound of which was made more eerie by the incredibly diverse languages represented here. I stumbled through the rocks, working my way higher and higher, exhausted and drenched in sweat. Soon though, I rounded a bend and there before me was a beautiful statue of Mary at the location where the children were said to have first seen her. People were on their knees and crying could be heard from somewhere in the crowd. Thunder still shook the earth around me and the clouds were now completely over us, but no rain fell, only a cold wind blew. Catholic pilgrims from around the world took their turns looking up, wondering, and praying. Regardless of what you may believe, the combination of weather, the thousands of people of all ages climbing this mountain and the sounds of their prayers, made this experience incredibly remarkable. 

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