Photographer Spotlight – Art Howard

May 20th, 2010 by Chris Klapheke

From the top of the world to the bottom of the ocean, Emmy award winning photographer and videographer Art Howard has brought forth images from 25 countries and both poles.  Art has covered an incredible range of events and environments in his career so far, and continues to work worldwide at a breathtaking pace.

Art Howard

Art got his first camera at the age of 9.  He says it was “love at first touch”.  In the seventh grade, he was introduced to the darkroom, and the power of the image emerging.  Art loved photography but disliked the wet darkroom.  The advance of a digital future was tailor-made for Art.

In high school, Art joined Explorer Post 5, a division of the Boy Scouts of America geared toward careers.  Art says “Explorer Post 5 changed my life”.  Post 5 exposed Art to the moving images, sound and stories of television.  With cooperation from a local TV station, Post 5 produced a weekly TV show.  Art became firmly planted in what would be a lifelong career.

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Art got a job at that TV station and started out shooting the “weather shot”—the 30 second scene behind the weather stats.  But Art had his heart set on being a news photographer.  He applied (and re-applied) many times at that station and at others.  He still keeps his rejection letters from that time.  Underscoring the importance of mentors in photography, Art’s mentors kept him motivated until he landed a news job.

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Given that chance, Art ran with it hard.  It’s best to use Art’s own description of his news photography period: “I covered everything from A to Z. Klan rallies, Gulf War, poverty, NASCAR, the first international live shot by a local TV station. I got spit on, kicked, run off, threatened, and shot at.  My cohorts were visionary people and they let me play along side them.  I learned how to do good work fast.  I had to shoot and edit, in very good and bad conditions. Always got instant feedback. You always knew where you stood. I learned how to make do with great gear and not so great gear. I learned how to shoot out of helicopters. How to fix gear, work hard, and have fun.”

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During that time, Art’s photography was featured in “Every Fourth Child”, a documentary about children and poverty.  His photos won acclaim from the Associated Press, and were recognized for excellence by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.

In 1993, after a stint in television in California, Art went out on his own.  His career ramped up from there, full of awards and adventures.  His subject matter broadened globally, including hurricanes, deep-sea exploration and climate change.  Art’s customers included broadcasters, non-profit organizations, government agencies and corporations.

Forging ahead of the pack, in 2000, Art broke new ground in television technology by lensing first High Definition program in the country for use in a public science museum.  Art won the Telelvision Industry’s IRIS award, the first High Definition program to do so.

From 2006 to 2008, Art told the stories of earth scientists studying climate change for Poar-Polozza and the National Science Foundation.  This work took him from pole to pole, and has produced some of Art’s most fascinating images.

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Today his clients include ABC, World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America, CBS, HBO, Real Sports, ESPN, PBS, Nickelodeon, HDNet, The Discovery Channel and National Geographic. His award list is just as long, including Emmys, Tellys, Auroras, and Film Festival Awards.

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Art continues his encompassing travel schedule and image production all year long.  In fact, this article was a long time in the making, as Art was always off somewhere remote, most lately at the bottom of the ocean.

From a local weekly TV program as an Explorer Scout, all the way to National Geographic, Art has been forging the intersection of still photography with video, long before the recent releases of video DSLRs.  Art is on the leading edge again!

Art has kindly provided us with his Top Ten Tips on shooting video in this article on the OPG Blog:  link

In addition, we’ve posted one of his deep-sea exploration videos, Below the Surface, which you can see here:  link

To learn more about Art and see more of his images, visit Art’s website here:  link
 

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