Land Speed Racing, El Mirage Dry Lake, California. The high octane screams, the desolate landscape, the stainless steel against a moon-like surface. It’s an iconic, timeless visual that echoes the gritty determination of man and machine has no boundaries.
An epic night of music and mayhem from the mind of photographer, friend and (probably not yet realized to himself) music promoter David Fearn (aka @shitshowdave). Bravo young sir, what an amazing night of loud and sweat!
A bit late on posting this one but last summer I was sent to Napa Valley to photograph the iconic vineyards of Sloan Estate, one of the most exclusive hideaways in the famed wine region. It turned out to be a pretty productive one-day shoot and a nice little travel piece. Here’s the tearsheets from Le Pan.
We shot this nice little interview piece a while ago for nbcnews.com. and I finally got around to making a director’s cut. Created entirely with just a two person crew, I conducted the interview, directed lighting, three cameras, operated two and oversaw audio. It’s amazing what you can do with a capable assistant. Big shout out to Mr. David A. Fearn. Thanks buddy. Ali Wong is a total crack up and if you get to see her live, take it! She’s currently a writer on the hit NBC show “Fresh Off The Boat’.
Rev. James Lawson, civil rights activist photographed for Time magazine. Lawson, a revolutionary figure in the civil rights movement, invited Martin Luther King to Memphis in April 1968 where he went on to deliver his famous “Mountaintop” speech. One day later he was assassinated.
It’s funny how looking at things with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I love this shot, but don’t think I gave it the time of day when I initially made an edit. It has such an iconic, almost biblical feel to it. David vs Goliath. The sole firefighter taking on the behemoth of a fire- breathing monster, as he turns away his gaze at the insurmountable task. Ok, artistic writing rant over.
The is not surfing. This is running, full-sprint, launching into oncoming waves, 360 aerials, tube-riding before landing back on shore, ideally untouched. This is Skimboarding.
I’ve never really known much about skimboarding, but after seeing a couple of guys casually goofing around at the waters edge in Santa Monica, I figured there has to be more to it. So I decided to follow my curiosity about this under the radar sport. I’m always looking for interesting subjects to shoot for personal projects, ideally that have not been covered too much. What I found was not just a great visual feast of a sport, but a whole sub-culture, all focused at one spot, Aliso Beach, just an hour and a half down the 405 in Laguna Beach, California.
Aliso is where skimboarding was invented in the 1920’s and is still generally considered to be the best place in the world to skim. People move here just to build a life around skimboarding and compete against legends. So I set out to capture the character of Skimboard culture and with the portraits a cross-section of the devotees who make Aliso what it is today.
I shot over the summer months of 2015, leading up to the World Tour event at Aliso called The Vic, on the last weekend in August. After a few weeks I got to know who’s who and a great set of characters were becoming apparent thick and fast. I love to shoot portraits of people who are still effectively in their element, maintaining that authenticity and intensity. I want you to be able to almost taste the salt-water just by looking at them.
But no matter how global Skimboarding becomes, Aliso will always be its home, its proving ground, its Bansai Pipeline. For more go to: gallagherphoto.com/galleries/skim
It was ten years ago this week that Hurricane Katrina almost wiped America’s most interesting city right of the map. I remember watching the drama unfold on TV, in disbelief with each day going by and still nothing seeming to be done. In all honesty, like everyone else, I never really thought it would get this bad and was kicking myself that I hadn’t found a way to get out there sooner, but after a couple of days I was relieved to get a call from People Magazine and I was on the next flight to Houston. I’ve been fortunate to cover many important human interest stories for People over the years and love working on current events with the deeper perspective a weekly magazine can offer, and with no story being bigger than this, I was excited to be a part of the team.
After a few days in Houston I drove down to New Orleans proper, along with my buddy and longtime colleague People correspondent Ken Lee (which was an adventure), where I was shocked to find a city completely deserted and literally under martial law.
One sight in particular that sticks in my mind from my first day there; a pick-up truck casually pulls onto the freeway ahead of us, pretty normal, until I notice a passenger sitting on the flatbed, scanning the horizon, brandishing a shotgun, cocked and looking for action!
It was an unusual time to say the least and very grateful for the experience. There’s really nothing quite like witnessing real life in action; the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve been back to New Orleans quite a few times since then, and happy to say it doesn’t seem to have lost it’s charm, or its edge. Hallelujah!