Norman Asch’s Adventure in Africa

While everyone was wondering what Norman Asch was doing, he was in Africa, shooting pictures for a new wildlife photography series. While Norman Asch was born into immense privilege, his accommodations while shooting were modest. He also went to great lengths to respect the local culture without being condescending or appropriative. He visited several sub-Saharan countries on his visit and experienced unique cultures that are rarely seen by Westerners. Undoubtedly, Norman Asch had fantastic experiences while travelling, but he also experienced some unfortunate moments.

It was Norman’s third week travelling across the sub-Sahara and he found himself in a small village in Botswana. The past two weeks were filled with camping and safaris. In order to get the best and most intimate photos of the animals, he often had to wake up before dawn and hike out into the remote parts of the country. Waking while it is still dark out is difficult, but it is part of the dedication that Asch exhibits regarding his work. After shooting massive animals such as hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions, and the like, he had an idea. Photos of the big animals were plentiful, but they didn’t stand out. Thus, Norman wanted to photograph some of the smaller animals native to Africa.

Thus, he found himself in Botswana. Norman had spent the last few days hiring local men and women to help him find scorpions to use in his latest shoot. He wanted to shoot them close-up to create unique compositions. Once there were enough scorpions for the shoot, the locals delivered him the scorpions – in a metal bucket with a piece of wood over the top. Not the safest method of delivery, but it should hold until morning. Except, it didn’t. In the night, Asch got up for some water and in the dark, knocked over the bucket. Thus, he was forced to spend the entire night crouched atop his bed, for fear of stepping on a scorpion. It wasn’t until morning that he could careful step his way out of the now-infested room.

Despite this comical but terrifying turn of bad luck, Norman was inspired by the scorpion debacle. Viewing the scorpions crawling on the floor provided a spark of inspiration to shoot photos from above, whether he was shooting animals or otherwise. This top-down approach guided the rest of Norman’s visit as well as a plethora of his subsequent work. Upon returning to the United States, his work was unsurprisingly well-received.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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