the incredible getty images

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So, about this week's whirlwind trip to New York City:

A few months ago, I received an email from someone inviting me to speak at Getty Images, along with the amazing Jonathan Fields.  When I received the email, I was certain that there had been a mistake:  first, I thought that maybe I was thinking about a different "Getty Images," but a quick Google search told me that I had the right one.  Then I was really confused:  what could I possibly have to tell the premiere photography media company in the world?

Turns out they had invited Jonathan and me to speak on innovation and creativity (again, both characteristics that I fully associate with Getty), and I could not have been more honoured.  The talk went well, I believe, and the folks at Getty were really lovely.  But what I wasn't prepared for was how awed I would be when I arrived at their offices.

I walked in, and was immediately breathless.  I imagine what I felt is similar to what an 18-year-old aspiring actor must feel the first time he sees the Hollywood sign in real life -- that I had actually entered the inner sanctum of where the works of the best and brightest photographers in the world are discovered and harnessed.  I got to take a quick tour of the offices, and everywhere you looked -- on walls, in offices, in cubicles -- were stunning and iconic images, several of which I quickly recognized.  And get this:  I even had the honour of meeting Pancho Bernasconi, the Director of Photography for heaven's sake, who kindly took about 15 minutes out of his day to discuss with me the future of photography:  how social media and the advent of camera phones and their apps are changing the face of photography, and how the immediacy of digital photography as a whole impacts the speed at which photography, particularly newsworthy items, gets published.  It was the most fascinating conversation that I've had about photography all year, and I wish I could've spent more time talking with him.

I'm also so grateful to have received their beautiful Year in Focus 2011 anthology, with some of the most inspiring images of 2011.  I pored over this book on my flight home last night, and I'm already planning some down time to go through it again and again.

Here are some of the images:

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And you can see more of the anthology here:

So thank you so much, Getty, for your amazingly warm reception and generosity.  This was seriously one of the highlights of my year.

SongKodachrome by Paul Simon

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