National Geographic : 1992 Jul
On Assignment M erging two hobbies into a career, wildlife photogra- pher GEORGE GRALL (above) plunged into his first GEO- GRAPHIC assignment-a close-up of life on a wharf piling. "When I was three in Illinois, a neighbor kid taught me to climb our fence," George recalls. "I slipped away and brought back a dead snake I found on the road. I've been interested in wildlife ever since." George's parents encouraged his enthusiasm for animals and also nur- tured his appreciation of art, which led to photography. "I sold turtles and snakes for two dollars each when I was 16," he says. "That money got me my first camera. " Since then he has been "into a lot of animals that other people overlook, especially the small ones." Another man who loves his job, photographer JOEL SARTORE, at left, says, "It's amazing to get paid to have great experiences." On his first GEOGRAPHIC assignment, the Gulf Coast, he was "catapulted off an aircraft carrier and swam along with manatees." At an alligator farm Joel and marine biologist Frank Ellender hoist a rare white alligator. Only 18 of these are known, all males from a clutch near Houma, Louisiana. "It was like lift- ing a sack of chicken feed, except a sack can't throw you across the JOSEPH S . STANCAMPIANO, NGS room with a flick of the tail." During tamer days Joel studied journalism at the University of Nebraska, then worked for the Wichita Eagle. In January he became a GEOGRAPHIC contract pho- tographer; he and his wife, Kathy, live in Lincoln, Nebraska. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (ISSN 0027-9358) IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, 17TH AND M STS. N.W . , WASHINGTON, D . C . ~20036 . $21.00 A YEAR, $2.65 A COPY . SECOND-CLASS POSTAGE PAID AT WASHINGTON, D. C., AND ELSEWHERE. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, P . O . BOX 2174, WASHINGTON, D. C. 20013.