National Geographic : 1994 Apr
On Assignment bear hug begins a bear hunt for freelance photographer SARAH LEEN, about to accom pany Russian biologists to a wildlife preserve in Kamchatka to photograph bears emerging from hibernation. The helicopter copilot didn't speak English but understood her gesture of thanks for transport across the road less region. "You couldn't shoot a story in a place like this without tremendous help," she says. Born in Wisconsin, Sarah grew up in an Army family, moving "all over the Midwest." While an art student at the University of Missouri, she became interested in photography. After graduating with a journalism degree, she began her career; as a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC intern, she covered Uganda for the July 1980 issue. She has also photographed California's Central Valley, the Canada-U . S. border, and Lake Bai kal for the magazine. Working in Siberia is like time travel, Sarah says. "It's grubby. I'd get excited when I could wash my hair in some little stream. Still, I'd love to go back. I like a place where you can't count on the light going on when you flip a switch." When National Geographic field technician KEITH MOOREHEAD is on JOUHN HAVE, NGS STAFF assignment, though, you can count on the light. As a member of the Society's photo equipment shop, he specializes in designing and building underwater lighting and protective camera housings for diving photog raphers. "Whatever they need," he declares, "we'll figure out a way to do it." Off the coast of Ireland Keith adjusts a light on the camera-laden hull of the robot Jason (left), featured in this month's Lusitania article. Keith has also mounted remote-controlled cameras and lighting outside airplanes, subma rines, and "even on the fin of a shark," he says. "That one's called the crittercam." Keith's first job at the Geograph ic, 17 years ago, was fixing photo copiers. He learned a lot after his transfer to the photo equipment shop. "I had never touched a cam era before," says the Memphis native. Now he-and his tool kit follow cameras all over the world. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN 0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBY THENATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,1145 17TH ST. N.W ., WASHINGTON,D. C. 20036. $21.00 A YEAR,$2.65 A COPY. SECOND-CLASSPOSTAGEPAID AT WASHINGTON,D. C., AND ELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SENDADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O. BOX 2174, WASHINGTON,D. C. 20013.