Recreational spelunkers are dropping down a 100-meter limestone pit that was eroded by a waterfall that pours from its top. I illuminated this photo by leaving the camera lens open while two climbers descended on different ropes, popping off flash bulbs at the sides of the cave on their way down.
About the shot
I was born in Beverly Hills in 1957 and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in geophysics. I began my career in photography by hitchhiking through Africa for eighteen months. Since my first assignment for National Geographic Magazine in 1987, I have completed over twenty major essays for the magazine, including three covers.
In addition to National Geographic, my work also regularly appears in GEO, Time, Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Fortune, and Stern. My expeditions to the Sahara and Gobi deserts were featured in National Geographic Explorer television programs in 1998 and 2002. I have won numerous awards for photography during my 25-year career, including two first prizes in science and technology in 1995 and 1998 from World Press Photo. I have also won awards and citations from Pictures of the Year, Overseas Press Club, and LIFE magazine's Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards.
My latest passion is photographing the world's deserts while piloting a motorized paraglider. This experimental aircraft provides me with a unique physical perspective over remote places that are inaccessible by conventional aircraft. When I’m not on assignment, I live in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with my wife, Wall Street Journal editor Lisa Bannon, and our children Nell, John, and Nicholas.