Joel Sartore, A grizzly bear walks past a set of moose antlers at Katmai's Naknek Lake

I got a chance to watch most of the premiere broadcast of the PBS documentary "At Close Range with National Geographic" last night, and I thought it was marvelous. It's a straightforward documentary about the life of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore (pronounced sar-TORE-ee). Doubtless, a good deal of the show's considerable appeal lies in Nebraskan Sartore's particular mixture of charm and humilty, the full-bore stops-out Nat'l-Geo-style wow factor of his pictures, and, to a lesser but still considerable extent, his beautiful heartland-American family. But the show also gives a great inside look at a certain type of professional long envied by amateurs—the full-time National Geographic nature and wildlife shooter—and it provides a lot of insight to everything from the family stresses to the risk of disease to the arduous process of editing 600 rolls of film down into one magazine article. It's a fine documentary, well done, very entertaining, enlightening, and I highly recommend it.

If you missed the premiere, you can wait until the next showing or purchase it on DVD.



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