National Geographic : 1992 Oct
On Assignment y Bering Sea standards, pho tographer NATALIE FOBES was enjoying beach weather-a balmy 10°F-at a hot springs spa near the Siberian town of Lorino. Even as ice crystals clung to her clothes, Natalie ducked into an ice shelter (right), where she bravely donned a bathing suit for a dip. "That was a nice day for February," says Natalie. "On bad days it was minus 35°F with a 70-knot wind. When it blows like that, the smart people stay indoors-everyone except photographers." Venturing out, she protected her film from freezing by keeping it at hand, in her mittens. A 110-knot wind battered a trawler she was on. "I was in the galley hanging on to a pillar, with my legs out from under me." Another time, while crossing the Russian tundra, she was knocked unconscious when her vehicle slammed into a hole. Siberia is a far cry from her Iowa childhood. Her years at Ohio Uni versity gave no hint of future high adventure either: "I worked two jobs-as a waitress and a deli man ager-to get money for cameras and college." The effort paid off. Natalie became an award-winning journalist, first at the Cincinnati Enquirerand later at the Seattle Times. While at the Times, she braved the frigid ocean to do a series on Pacific salmon, which led to a GEOGRAPHIC article on the subject (July 1990). She also covered the Alaska oil spill for us (January 1990). But don't dub her Natalie of the North. "I'm looking forward to an assignment where it's warm and sunny and they have flush toilets." "Getting down and dirty" was how RAYMOND GEHMAN approached his assignment to photograph U. S . wetlands. In Florida's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary that meant slosh ing through waist-deep waters and enduring heavy doses of heat and bugs. "You pull on your waders every morning, knowing you're going to get wet and muddy anyway. JOELRHYMER You just jump in," says Raymond. Feeling comfortable in the out doors comes easy to the Virginia native, who worked the wilderness beat at the Missoulian in Montana and the Virginian-Pilotin Norfolk. Now a contract photographer for the Society, Raymond made his debut with the February article on Eastern wildlife. Sharing the honors on wetlands, Denver-based free-lancer JIM RICHARDSON, here on a soggy perch at the headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park, says, "I like to show how natural systems work. It started when I was a boy scientist on a Kansas farm-I'd scoop gunk off the bottom of a pond and go to my microscope to study all the crea tures." The veteran journalist honed his style at Topeka's Capital Journaland the Denver Post. Water issues have dominated Jim's GEO GRAPHIC assignments: Great Salt Lake (June 1985), the Colorado River (June 1991), and a forthcom ing story on groundwater in the High Plains. "I've spent so much time in water," Jim says, "that friends think I have webbed feet." NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,17THANDM STS. N.W., WASHINGTON,D. C. 20036. $21.00 A YEAR,$2.65 A COPY. SECOND-CLASS POSTAGEPAID AT WASHINGTON,D. C., AND ELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O. BOX 2174, WASHINGTON,D. C. 20013.