National Geographic : 1995 Oct
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Assignment * INFORMATION REVOLUTION Louie and Friends: Heads Up "I like to do the impossible," says freelance photographer LOUIE PSIHOYOS, who regularly pro duces impossible-to-photograph stories for the GEOGRAPHIC on such subjects as trash, sleep, and the sense of smell. "But I would never be able to do it without help," he says. Or without humor, his favorite way to make a point. Melding those two necessities, Louie set up this self-portrait to include collaborators on his arti cle in this issue. Louie, seated, and his longtime assistant, artist JOHN KNOEBBER, standing, wear gutted computer monitors. Digitized head shots of maga zine staffers appear on working monitors: (clockwise from left) layout editor DAVID GRIFFIN, art director ALLEN CARROLL, illustrations editor BILL DOUTHITT, and senior writer JOEL SWERDLOW. "John and I wanted to shoot a computer story without too many pictures of people hun kered over a keyboard," Louie says. Meeting that objective kept the pair busy with occa sional 16-hour days for nearly a year. At one point they convinced the wealthiest entrepreneur in the world to dangle from the treetops by a rope atop huge stacks of paper (pages 16-17) -the better to illustrate the storage capacity of a CD-ROM. They also- briefly- shot nov elist William Gibson with a laser (page 31). "My hand tingled for three days," says Gibson. "We're Laurel and Hardy," Louie says of his friend John and their work habits, "by way of the 'The Far Side' cartoon." John makes his home in Sausalito, California, on a 1950s sailboat he restored. Louie, a graduate of the Uni versity of Missouri School of Journalism, lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife, Vicki, and sons, Nico and Sam. He recently wrote and photo graphed Hunting Dinosaurs (Random House, 1994), a humorous and informative look at paleontological discoveries. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN0027-9358) ISPUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHENATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,1145 17THST.N.W .,WASHINGTON, D.C.20036-4688. $25.00 AYEAR,$3.00 ACOPY. SECOND-CLASS POSTAGEPAIDATWASHINGTON, D. C.,ANDELSEWHERE. POSTMASTER: SENDADDRESSCHANGESTONATIONALGEOGRAPHIC, P.O.BOX2174, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20013.