Depth of Field: Bob Krist

Bob Krist

Yesterday I had the privileged to do a phone interview with Bob Krist. You know Bob from his work with National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler. I

As an editorial photographer, Bob’s assignments have taken him to all seven continents and have won awards in the Pictures of the Year, Communication Arts, and World Press Photo competitions. During his work, he has been stranded ona glacier in Iceland, nearly run down by charging bulls in southern India, and knighted with a cutlass during a Trinidad voodoo ceremony. He won the title of “Travel Photographer of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and again this year at the 2008 convention. In 2000 his work was honored at the Eisenstaedt Awards for Magazine Photography in New York City.

Bob’s books include In Tuscany (Broadway Books, NY), which features 270 pages of his photographs of the region and is a collaboration with author Frances Mayes. It spent a month on the New York Times bestseller list. He also photographed the coffeetable books Caribbean and Portrait of the Caribbean and Low Country: Charleston to Savannah (Graphic Arts Center Publishing), A Photo Tour of New York (Photo Secrets Publishing, San Diego), and Impressions of Bucks County (Old Mill Productions, New Hope PA).

An accomplished writer as well as a photographer, Bob is a contributing editor at both National Geographic Traveler and Outdoor Photographer, where he writes a travel photography column. His how-to book Spirit of Place: The Art of The Traveling Photographer (Amphoto Books, NY) was hailed by American Photographer magazine as “the best book about travel photography we’ve ever read.” His newest book Travel Photography: Documenting the World’s People and Places was recently published in the Digital Masters series by Lark Books. He lectures in Washington DC as part of the ongoing “Live at the National Geographic” series. He teaches photo workshops for the Maine and Santa Fe Photo Workshops, National Geographic Expeditions, and Linblad Expeditions.

This was a very casual interview, more like a conversation with an old friend. The interview went rather long. I could have edited it down, but I thought you might enjoy the whole thing. So here it is in two installments. I hope you enjoy it.

 

You can find Bob’s Website & Blog HERE.

Visit his portfolio HERE.

You can listen to more Depth of Field podcasts HERE.

Part 1

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Part 2

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52 thoughts on “Depth of Field: Bob Krist

  1. Great interview Matt,

    I’ve long been a fan of Bob’s work and much as I would love to believe he’s wrong on this one, I think he has hit the nail on the head when he says that those of us who practice a documentary style of travel photography may be headed the way of the dinosaurs if we don’t learn to change and adapt. For those of us who have no interest in becoming a Photoshop guru but just want to tell great stories it’s a brave new world.

    And Bob also hit the nail on the head when he mentioned your affinity for your portrait subjects, they’re truly beautiful.

    cheers

    Paul Dymond

  2. Great interview Matt,

    I’ve long been a fan of Bob’s work and much as I would love to believe he’s wrong on this one, I think he has hit the nail on the head when he says that those of us who practice a documentary style of travel photography may be headed the way of the dinosaurs if we don’t learn to change and adapt. For those of us who have no interest in becoming a Photoshop guru but just want to tell great stories it’s a brave new world.

    And Bob also hit the nail on the head when he mentioned your affinity for your portrait subjects, they’re truly beautiful.

    cheers

    Paul Dymond

  3. Bob Krist is one of my favorite travel photographers! Great interview, Matt!!!

    First of all, Yay! Bob blogs! How did I not know that! Very exciting news.

    The interview was excellent! He nailed it when he talked about the changes and about adapting in this field. There is a video where David Griffin said that there is at least one good photograph within everyone, but professional photographers must make them all the time.

    I absolutely loved it when Bob said: “It doesn’t matter how many notes we take, it only matters if we got the killer quotes” – brilliant!

    It did hit home when he spoke about family and how hard it is to be in this field and still have a solid family. I think that’s why travel photography will always only be as a hobby of mine.

    I signed up to one of Bob’s seminars from the NG Traveler about a month ago but it ended up being a different speaker (booo) so I hope to one day be apart of his workshop.

    Again, great interview.

  4. You’re right, it’s more of a conversation than an interview. But what a great conversation! I would have loved to sit there with a good cup of coffee and just listen to you two chat.

    Thank you for posting this.

    jack

  5. Thanks, Matt, for posting this. The interview itself was terrific and I find the informal format to be even more illuminating because it gave Bob a chance to be Bob and gave us a chance to relate to him more personally. Hope you will do more of these :) Peace.

  6. Awesome. Informal and relaxed but some great home runs in there!

    Thanks Matt and Bob. You know Matt I’m getting such a lot from your site and David’s and starting recently to get some idea’s from Gavin’s that’s really helpful about where I want to take my photography. I guess I really resonanted when Bob touched on someone seeing their photography as communication rather than art. David had an interesting discussion going about the art or craft issue which I kind of wondered whether I should break into the duality of and throw this ‘third way’ of thinking into the melting pot. But I decided I didn’t want to side track the plot. Anyway this interview has added more grist to the mill of my thinking.

    Cheers
    Andy

  7. Andy – I think I would be more at ease saying photography was a tool for commuinication than a craft. I see our medium more like writing. It is all about the story and by adding audio to a slide show just gives it that much more depth.

  8. Ah, but writing is most certainly a craft and the better at it you become the more able you are to communicate. Writing is a tool for communication, the craft is in how practiced and skilled you become at it, and the art is when that communication reaches it’s most universal and resonant. Or that’s the way it helps me to think about it.

    I don’t think that it’s a matter of craft OR art. That was never my intention. That’s like saying “Is it the journey or the destination.” It’s a journey that results in a destination.

    Maybe.

    Great interview Matt. You’ve found your niche. Move over NPR.

  9. I really enjoyed this Matt. At first I was a bit frightened by the time I’d have to find to commit to listening to it, but I’m glad that you didn’t edit it. It was all worth the time. I hope that you will do more of these.

  10. I am excited that you all like the interview so much. This seems like a hit. So maybe I will do it again. I guess my many years in broadcasting paid off in photography after all.

  11. um…MAYBE?

    sheesh…

    I oughta smack you, Brandon…

    How about MAYBE I write another book? Dude, you rock at this!

    But lose the crappy classical music. You were smoking your pipe and wearing your beret when you put that crap on weren’t you? :-)

  12. um…MAYBE?

    sheesh…

    I oughta smack you, Brandon…

    How about MAYBE I write another book? Dude, you rock at this!

    But lose the crappy classical music. You were smoking your pipe and wearing your beret when you put that crap on weren’t you? :-)

  13. Classical music? What interview were you listening to!? That was the very cool Celtic band the Glutterpups. You can here the whole piece

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    . That might a lot to do with why it had the whole NPR feel you liked.

  14. I just had the chance to sit down and properly listen to the audio (had a little trip to Paris last week- I didn’t even KNOW there was a Paris in Texas!must brush up on my geography)and I have to say Matt, that I agree with everyone else-the interview with Bob was fantastic. His thoughts and insights on family v career were excellent and it is wonderful that he and his wife were able to balance the two so succesfully. The interview flowed really nicely and it was great to hear a “live” voice rather than only see the written word. I guess it helps establish a “relationship” for and with the viewer…
    More interviews please, Mr Brandon :)
    p.s. I’m interested in what music Mr duChemin is thinking for your next interview? A little Michael Bolton or AC/DC perhaps? ;-)

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