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Rich Clarkson is the organizer of the Sports Photography Workshop. His Denver-based company packages books, uses new technology to manage photographic and publishing ventures for such diverse groups as the Denver Broncos football team and Colorado Rockies baseball team, and serves as consultant to a variety of companies, publishers and foundations. The former director of photography and senior assistant editor of the National Geographic magazine, he photographed for many years for Sports Illustrated,Time and LIFE magazines. Working earlier for newspapers in Topeka, KS. and Denver, he was named as one of the 100 most influential persons in photography by American Photo magazine.
Clarkson is the organizer of three annual workshops in photography conducted each fall in Jackson Hole, WY and sponsored by Nikon Inc. Two of the workshops are in editorial and wildlife photography, one being specific to digital photography. One workshop, in Sports Photography at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, features faculty from many leading publications, including Sports Illustrated magazine. He has been a regular lecturer at the annual Missouri Workshops, the Maine Photographic Workshops, and the International Center of Photography in New York City, and has been active in other workshops in this country and overseas. He was a lecturer on the adjunct faculty of the University of Kansas School of Journalism for seven years. A two-time Pulitzer Prize juror, Clarkson serves as a judge and advisor for the Sasakawa Sports Foundation and Sports Photography Competition in Tokyo.
He has been a contributor to numerous publications on photojournalism and sports and has co-authored five books including “The Jim Ryun Story” with Cordner Nelson in 1967, “Sooner” with Bill Bruns in 1972, “Knight With the Hoosiers” with Bob Hammel in 1975, “Montreal ‘76” with Bill Bruns in 1976 and “The Final Four” with Billy Reed in 1988. He was director of photography for the book, “A Day in the Life of America” in 1986, and was a photographer on four other “Day in the Life” books.
In 1989, he was producer-coordinator for the Brian Lanker project, “ I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America,” which included both a book, now in its 14th printing, and two traveling exhibitions. It has become the second best-selling picture book ever in America. In 1996 Clarkson produced and curated with Jane Livingston and Pindar Press of New York a major exhibition of 100 years of sports photography, “Visions of Victory,” which was featured in Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Rich Clarkson and Associates has produced fourteen hardback books, the latest being “The Final Four” celebrating the past 50 years of this American classic. As a continuing consultant to the NCAA, the company photographs all NCAA national championships.
Still active as a magazine photographer, Clarkson has worked regularly over the years for Sports Illustrated, Time and Life. He photographed seven summer and one winter Olympics, organizing all picture coverage for Time at Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976 and for Sports Illustrated at Moscow in 1980. He was a consultant to the Los Angeles Organizing Committee in 1984.