Every photographer's career is filled with moments. They're obsessed with them, possibly more so than any other kind of artist in any other medium. A painter or a sculptor can revisit her muse or re-channel her inspiration, but for a photographer, once that moment is gone it's gone or good.
This week's cover, “Life on the Streets,” was one such moment, and Brett Holman was lucky enough to be there in the Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming when it all happened.
“When you first see it, it's about that one moment that I got where your mind has to wrap around it at first, “ says Holman. “If you look at the angle, I'm actually sitting on top of my van for my own personal protection. There were probably more than 200 buffalo that day, and it's hard to get a simple, clean image when you have that much crap going on in the background. I just sat there and waited, because it's not like I can dictate anything that goes on with wildlife. This guy [the buffalo] came across the road and the timing of the small car in the background was perfect. It definitely shows that conflict between two very different worlds.”
Holman grew up in Paradise, Calif., and started working as the staff photographer for the town's local weekly there before moving back to San Diego in 2005, where he had graduated from SDSU. He started venturing out to places like Anza Borrego, Mount Laguna and even the streets of Ocean Beach to snap shots. While he says the local market is scarce for his kind of nature photography, he's landed the cover of Backpacker magazine and is building up an online database so that his work can be used for stock photography.
“I really love the gritty lifestyle of being a dirtbag photographer, he says. “I decided to do this because I was passionate about it at the time and now, six years later, I'm still out shooting photos, eating Top Ramen and having fun.
This passion has led his to his next Into the Wild-type adventure: Hiking up the 211-mile John Muir Trail that starts in the Yosemite Valley and leads up to Mount Whitney. It's a treacherous hike for just about anyone, but especially for someone with 20 pounds of camera equipment strapped to his back.
“You're supposed to go super-light, but it's never been done before. Nobody's ever taken external lighting on an expedition there and actually documented the whole trip.”
Holman is confident that there will be that moment on the expedition, that one space between click and shutter that will define that trip in the same way that “Life on the Streets” defined the Teton trip.
“A good picture will keep me happy for a month,” he says. “It recharges me. For that picture, that was the moment I wanted, and I managed to get it.”
See more of Brett Holman at getawayimagery.blogspot.com