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Hamar tribesmen in Ethiopia prepare for a bull jumping initiation ritual.

Randy Olson on Bridging Cultural Differences

For Randy Olson, it is the social change that results from powerful photographs that drives what he does. “You hope that if you pick away at some social issue that maybe other people will see it and they will do the same, so the cumulative effect will end up being greater than anything you could do as an individual.” Olson has completed over 30 projects for National Geographic that have taken him all over the world. He tends to document cultures that are facing issues with resources, urbanization, or population pressure.

Olson was named Magazine Photographer of the Year in 2003 in the Pictures of the Year International competition. In 1992, he was also awarded the Newspaper Photographer of the Year. He is one of only two photographers to win both titles. He now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife Melissa Farlow, who is also a contributing photographer for National Geographic.

View more of Randy Olson’s work on his website.