Bill Ellzey - 1963
Bill Ellzey, Class of 1963 is "Kewpie of the Month, September 2001"
Click to See Story

Yo Charley,
Check out my first National Geographic magazine cover (September 2001).  I made the photograph while in Egypt teaching a photo workshop some years ago.

 The second image that I'm attaching, the one with the moon, was made the same night.  I double exposed the moon on the spot in an effort to come up with a photograph that was different from those of the photographers who had set up tripods to my right and left.  (I arrived at the "light and sound show" early to find a spot where the sphinx was directly lined up with the background pyramid). 
Because so many shooters were there I looked around wondering how to make my image different and noticed the moon rising behind us.  As inconspicuously as I could I clipped the camera off the tripod, stepped back a few paces, put on the 300mm lens, shot the moon, then returned to the 80-200 zoom and tripod and, since the pyramid and sphinx were sometimes lit one at a time, waited for them both to be lit to make the second exposure.  Voilla!  Geographic has used the moon version 4 times prior to this cover useage (book, film strip, poster, in-house mural).

Although Geographic was aware that I double exposed the moon, I think they opted not to use it as the magazine cover because a few years ago they caught flack for altering a cover image, coincidentally a pyramid photo.  They probably decided that using "straight" photographs is the only way to avoid such problems.

Anyway, it's been a dream for 30-some years to have a photograph in National Geographic Magazine.  And here it is on the cover!  Yee-haw!  Would you post this to my fellow classmates?  Thankee much.



Back to Directory