Can a vehicle be built which can go directly downwind, faster than the wind, powered only by the wind? The obvious answer is no. Rick Cavallaro proved yes and created quite a ruckus almost three years ago with the Blackbird – a craft that looks like a modern windmill planted on a cardboard drag racer. As articles in Wired magazine have pointed out it’s a counterintuitive concept that “can cause world renowned physicists to throw their Nobel prizes in fits of rage”. After settling the matter for not only downwind but also upwind, that craft is now gathering dust in the backlot of Sportvision where Rick is Chief Scientist. Sportvision created the glowing on screen hockey puck for the NHL – and the yellow first down line shown on NFL broadcasts.
I photographed Rick for Georgia Tech’s Alumni Magazine at Sportvision’s headquarters in Mountain View, the heart of Silicon Valley. That link will take you to a great story, just four of the eight pages are shown below. Rick is a remarkable man: strawberry Pop-Tarts for breakfast every day and an appetite for even greater risks in the mountains and in the sky. As Rachael Maddux writes: “It’s the knowledge that taking risks – and getting a little roughed up in the process – is pretty much the only way to accomplish anything remarkable.”
This issue arrived last week: it was a wonderful experience photographing Eckhart. From the first contact with the editors and on through planning, shooting, and edit. I previously posted some behind the scenes shots and some notes while scouting and getting to know Eckhart. This cover was voted on by the Facebook community of Spirituality & Health magazine with three options to choose from. My favorite is the last shot of the afternoon which is the opening inside spread. In Eckhart’s words “Life is now…it’s through the the very challenges of daily life that you become more motivated to awaken…the answer lies within rather than obtaining more possessions, or achieving this or that, or changing the world out there…”
Look up the term Skater Girl in the Urban Dictionary and you’ll find Peggy Oki in the definition, an archetype of the skate scene and the Z-Girl in the skateboard history books. The hit documentary “Dogtown and Z-boys” profiled the skateboard revolution in the mid 70s in Venice and Santa Monica, the old Dogtown of west LA. It was all male with one exception: Peggy – on the Zephyr team from the beginning.
Peggy still skates and surfs, her custom boards are always nearby, though now she combines her passion for the grace and flow of moving along concrete or along ocean waves with her passion for the arts and for the protection of marine mammals. A touching encounter with a pod of grey whales while surfing a dozen years ago set her on a path that defines who she is today: an activist and champion of protecting whales and dolphins around the globe. She inspires thousands to action with her art, her energy and commitment. Currently campaigning hard to save the Maui’s dolphins off the New Zealand coast, Peggy uses her skills as an artist to bring the message. She’s coordinating the “Let’s Face It” visual petition campaign which features thousands of portraits of supporters (5,500 and counting) as a massive visual petition to the New Zealand government. After a session shooting with Peggy last month she turned her own camera on me to add my mug to the wall of faces. The portrait below is at her home minutes from Rincon, one of her paintings on the wall behind her and a hand painted surfboard in her lap. Take a look at Peggy’s site: www.peggy-oki.com. An amazing woman.
Shooting for a two page national magazine spread, we brought in the special sky, coordinated the dolphins in the background and laughed all the way through. In Venice Beach, LA this evening. Assistant and soon Brooks graduate Megan had the jokes ready to roll.