talks about his career with National Geographic and how the loss of his Father when he was 21 made him determined to share his knowledge and love for photography with his children.  Let me tell you what I love: ~ great faces and twilight ~ wide angle lenses and tele close ups ~ off beat points of view ~ freezing a slice of time ~ finding beauty in the mundane Many of these images also reflect my fascination with the middle east and its ancient cultures and religions.  It's funny how photography enticed me into its professional ranks.  My undergraduate degree was in Pharmacy. My introduction to photography started at 18 years old during my freshman year at Albany College of Pharmacy. I still remember the amazement of watching an image emerge from a sheet of white photography paper in the college dark room. I was hooked. I bought a Yashica rangefinder camera and the following summer led an American Youth Hostel Bike trip from New York to San Francisco. In 1975 I moved to Jerusalem and worked as a volunteer for the World Zionist Organization's information service. I was given a small monthly stipend and an apartment from which I travelled all over the country.  My photos were well received.  After my volunteer program ended in the fall of 1976 I had created a very a strong portfolio and decided to try and go professional. One of my most memorable editorial features was covering the very first overland bus trip from Tel Aviv to Cairo right after the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed in 1978. This was a really big story as Egypt was the first Arab country to formally sign a treaty with Israel. The following week my coverage was the cover story on the weekend magazine for the English language daily newspaper, The Jerusalem Post. All the foreign journalists stationed in Israel read the paper and the story helped launch my career. Samburu National Reserve, Norhern Kenya, walking safari. In 1982 I became a Black Star Photographer, shooting editorial features for newspapers and magazines in North America and Europe.  Those were the days before instant anything. Once an assignment was completed, I would rush to my makeshift darkroom in my apartment, develop the film and print frames based upon how negatives looked through a loop. A breaking news story meant I had to dry the print and rush it over to the AP office where it would be faxed to New York or London for distribution.  When a color assignment was completed, I would have to drive the film from where I finished the day to the air freight terminal at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv. Once at the airport I would fill out a declaration about the content of the images and submit it to the Israeli Army Censor who would allow the unprocessed film to be shipped. If a photographer was caught trying to slip something out without running it by the army censor, they would be asked to leave the country. But the worst part for me was waiting to hear if the photo editor liked my coverage. Spring flowers bloom in April in Galilee, Northern Israel. Monument Valley. Bedouin. After a few frantic years I drifted away from hard news and started to do more editorial features and travel assignments.  In 1983 I became a contract photographer for Insight Travel Guides whose editorial offices were in London. I continue to do books for them to this day. In the course of all those years I was the principal photographer for over 45 titles and/or updates. A decade of assignments which took me from Easter Island to Hong Kong and many places in between. It was during this very interesting period of my career that I decided to try to bring one of my children along to assist and learn photography. My reason was quite simple and slightly selfish; I lost my father when I was 21 and had no adult memories of the two of us together.  So I vowed if I ever had children I would share my love of travel and photography with them so they would have great memories of our photo adventures together.  This is how my children Abe, Daniella and MIchelle learned the skill of problem solving on the fly. I wanted to teach them to make pictures not just take them. And so we did. As the children got older and their creative eye developed I would take them on as equals on many guide book assignments. Chicago. By 1989 I returned to America with the dream of working for National Geographic. My break came in 1990 when I was introduced to Charles "Chuck" Herron, the Senior Photo Editor at the WORLD Magazine, the society's monthly children's magazine.  I always told my children ,"On the road of life you never know who will change your direction and effect your career." My encounter happened on a spring day in 1990 when I was introduced by a photo editor at the USDA to his fishing buddy, Chuck. I had shown my portfolio to several editors at the National Geographic Society but those meetings went nowhere. So, for my first formal meeting with Chuck, I did my homework. I arrived with my carefully edited portfolio. I had also learned that the most important currency in the business was not just being able to take good photos, but being able to come up with great photo story ideas as well. Greek Orthodox priest inside of the tomb of Christ, Holy Sepulcher Church, Jerusalem. We had a cordial meeting and Herron was open and welcoming.  Then he said, "You see the rolodex on my desk? It has the names of 450 photographers in it. Give me one good reason why I should put your name in it?" Without missing a beat, "Because I have great story ideas" I confidently replied. He paused, and said, "Lets hear some." I then rattled off three ideas I had prepared. He smiled and said "but I don't have many photographers with great story ideas so I'll give you a chance" Before leaving for an assignment there would be a meeting in which there was detailed discussion about getting, "the opening photo" which would be either a full or double page spread. Our meetings usually ended with Chuck saying, "surprise me", which were the scariest two words I ever heard. Iceland, southern.  Farm house with approaching storm. A curious Giraffe meets new arrivals at private African lodge in Northern Kenya. Wickenburg. Pioneer Village, a living history museum outside of Pheonix. The tower of the ad-Deir monastary with Bedouin kids on the roof in Petra, Jordan. Richard Nowitz on zip line canopy tour at Pico Bonito National Park near the Rio Cangrejal, Honduras.
Richard’s daughter Michelle Fay Nowitz’s work is also in this issue.   Over the next few months we will be showing the work of Richard’s other children. OCTOBER 2012 BACK ISSUE Back to current issue