National Geographic : 2004 Nov
ONE THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY Final Edit AUSTRALIA'S MONSOON Winged Misery An image of cattle tormented by swarming buffalo flies evokes the punishing climate of Australia's tropical north, where the insects proliferate soon after the torrential rains come. But while some photographs stand completely on their own, others work best in context. "An obvious pairing would be to run this picture with the cattleman on pages 92-3," says design editor Bob Gray. "We needed a strong human face for the opening text page, and we found it with the rancher's anxious look. But there wasn't room for both, and the cattle picture would not fit in as logically later in the story." A different pest-the bush fly-caused plenty of annoyance for photographer Randy Olson. "They land on your skin and lick your sweat," he recalls. "As I was climbing an incline to photograph light ning, they walked in circles around my eyes, trying to get to the moisture below my eyelids. I had a camera in one hand and electronic equipment in the other, making it hard to shoo them away." NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * NOVEMBER 2004 WEBSITE EXCLUSIVE Cut it or keep it? Find out more about what tipped the balance for this photograph and e-greet a friend with it at nationalgeographic.com/ magazine/0411.