China’s Growing Sands in National Geographic China

[vimeo width=”580″ height=”300″][/vimeo]

I am delighted to announce here on my blog that this month’s issue of National Geographic China contains a 12-page essay of my images and text, about my Pulitzer Center-sponsored work on “China’s Growing Sands”. This is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to a new audience in China and bring wider attention to the issue of desertification, which is gripping the north of the nation.

I considered just posting photographs of the layout here as a traditional tearsheet display, but then I thought it would be more fun to create a short video to showcase the layout. Also, this story only appears in the Chinese edition of National Geographic this month, so I wanted those not based in China to be able to see the excellent layout, as if you were flicking through yourself.

Please click on the video above to begin and thumb-through the magazine article with me on Vimeo. If you prefer YouTube, please go here.

If you are in China now, or over the coming few weeks, please pick up a copy. You should be able to buy it on most newsstands across the country.

Always happy to hear your thoughts. What do you think? Do you like the spread?

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  1. Sean,

    Congratulations- really impressive! It is inspiring to see your byline in the National Geographic! Most impressive is your dedication to the subject and where it has taken your photography- well done.

    Best, Jeremy

  2. Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks a lot. It’s really satisfying to see how this project grew from an initial idea a couple of years ago. You never know where things will take you, I guess. Just got be prepared for the ride!


  3. Hi Sean, I can’t see the video cos it seems to be blocked on my server. So I just nipped downstairs to the magazine booth to buy a copy. Looks superb, though I’m curious…did you let them choose from the whole selection? Or just send them a watered-down version (pun not intended)?

    Also, is the article any good? I can’t read Chinese but am interested to know if the Chinese edition values good journalism as much as it does good photography (Nat Geo USA also features exemplary writing.)

  4. Hi Billy,

    If you are in China and don’t have a VPN then I am sure it is blocked. When I have time, I will try to upload onto YouKu or TuDou. You will be able to see it then, for sure.

    Glad you liked the layout. I worked very closely with the team at NGM China for this article. Like any shoot/article that I have ever done, a selection of images was given to the editorial team, then the editors chose which to run. They were very keen to hear my thoughts however and consulted me with regards to which pictures I thought were important to the story.

    The essay that accompanies the photo is mine, just translated straight into Chinese. NGM China were always in contact with me and very particular about all details, facts and the overall message the article was to convey about the seriousness of desertification in China. No watering down.


  5. Hi Sean. Thanks so much for the reply. Interesting to know about the process. I didn’t mean politically watered-down…more in regards to whether or not you let them have your best work. Wouldn’t that be printed exclusively elsewhere already?

    I’d be very interested to read an English version of the essay.

    Congrats on a great blog. Its wonderful to come across such an open and generous photographer.

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