Basil Pao: The Man Who Shot Everything
July 17, 2013 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Basil Pao (鲍皓昕) is a photographer, among other things. He's probably most famous for his involvement with Michael Palin's travel series. He was featured in the fifth episode of Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days*. After that, he became the stills photographer for subsequent series of Palin's travels (Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil, so far).

Pao did most of the photography for Palin's companion books: Pao also published books of additional photos, with (only) introductions by Palin. The photos for these books are also on Palin's website, with introductions by Palin: Before getting into photography, Pao had been an art director in the record industry in the US. Pao was stills photographer, third assistant director and actor in The Last Emperor and later on Little Buddha.

Pao has done a lot of his own projects, including several books: He also does corporate, editorial and other photography, illustration, and has several interesting photographic projects in progress, including Scream (featuring people around the world with a model of Munch's The Scream), Life of a Super-Tanker and Hangzhou.

He was interviewed by CNN, and here's one of his self-portraits.

Previously, previouslier, previousliest. And why not, "The Cycling Tour".

* Episode 6 of Around the World in 80 Days is not on YouTube, but the 20th anniversary revisit episode is. It also has an extensive page on Palin's site.
posted by jiawen (5 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I recall a bit in Full Circle where Palin and his crew walked up these hundreds and hundreds of steps to get to what is supposed to be a spectacular mountain view. When they arrived, a thick fog/mist had rolled in and Palin was left there to explain this wonderful view to the camera while gesturing behind him to the wall of fog. The absurdity of it got to him and he and the crew just started laughing. I wonder if Basil Pao thought it was funny too, but was also silently cursing to himself at having nothing to shoot.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:31 PM on July 17, 2013

Basil Notfaulty!
posted by markkraft at 8:26 PM on July 17, 2013

There are a ton of quality photos and materials to sift through in this post. More than were superficially apparent. I began by paging through the Himalaya photos, and then suddenly realized that they are connected to travelogue diary pages like this one, some of which don't even have photos.

Thanks so much for this collection, and for giving us such wonderfully fun and fascinating reading to play with.
posted by zarq at 1:47 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ah, thanks for these links. I love Palin's travel series and frequently flip through my copy of New Europe, looking at the beautiful pictures. I had no idea all this work was available to view online! The Life of a Supertanker project and his work for Wah Kwong Shipping are particularly interesting to me.
posted by daisyk at 1:48 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this, jiawen. I have 'Inside Himalaya' and it's a really beautiful book. All the links are great.
posted by Huw at 2:23 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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