Manny Rubio is a New Yorker. His accent, personality, confidence and aggressive work ethic typify “Big Apple” natives. While majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry, with the intent of graduate school and becoming a Field Biologist, he taught himself photography to improve his photo microscopy. He began shooting for the school newspaper and yearbook which exposed him to using the 35mm SLR and the exhilaration of editorial photography.
The near constant movement and expedience of sports fascinated him and quickly became an area of expertise. Soon he was working as sports stringer for the local newspaper, the Staten Island Advance. The natural progression was to feature sports stories and eventually to photograph the area’s plethora of professional teams. This led to assignments from Sport Magazine. He became a regular at most venues but especially enjoyed shooting football and hockey.
Manny began working evenings as a darkroom assistant for Geoffrey Clements, the most successful photographer of art in NY. Soon he was traveling to Manhattan, his two days a week without classes, to photograph paintings and sculpture for the leading galleries and museums. Using 4X5 and 8X10 cameras on location was constraining for his “A” personality, but the constant visual bombardment of the highest quality art provided endless lessons in composition, design, gesture and use of color. His willingness to share the wonders of photography he answered the call of a friend, the Wagner College Art Department Chairman, and spent two years teaching two photography courses evenings ten hours a week.
Relocating to Atlanta in 1972 Manny established himself by becoming the photographer for the soon to be opened OMNI. For longer than two years he photographed all the events in the building and periodically traveled with the Atlanta Hawks and Flames. He opened a commercial studio as a base which enabled a broad range of new photographic possibilities. In 30 years there his editorial style and dedication to quality images permitted traveling the world to produce award-winning advertising campaigns, annual reports, and collateral for: Coca Cola, IBM, Hilton, Equifax, Chevron, Sea Pines, Delta, Eastern, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, Hooter’s, Mitre, Ryder, Michelin, 1st Atlanta, C&S, Seaboard Coastline.
Manny has always been fascinated by the 35 mm camera’s ability to capture a small slice of time--- Henri Cartier Bresson’s “The Decisive Moment”. He sees the camera and lenses as tools, as implements to capture his vision. This makes him a camera salesman’s dream--- quick to buy and explore the capabilities of each new piece of equipment. Make no mistake in many ways he is a dinosaur. One quirk that has carried over from his early learning days is the imperative that he controls the equipment rather than it controls him.
The first thing he needs to know is how to put the camera into manual mode. Auto-exposure, auto-focusing and the associated electronic marvels are distractions from being submersed in creating and capturing the image. All his photography for the past 5 years is digital and he loves it!
During a nearly 50 year photographic career he has continually challenged himself by working in a wide variety of photographic disciplines with sports as a fundamental, perennial favorite. Manny amassed more than 500 covers for a veritable “who’s who” of clients. He did sports for: NFL Properties and their associated publications for 25 years as well as Sport, SI, SI For Kids, ESPN, ABC, CBS, Newsweek, Time, Sunday NY Times, Inside Sports, Sporting News, Playboy, and most seasonal “one-shots”. Manny retired from shooting sports after Super Bowl XXX in Phoenix.
The desert outside Tucson is home for him and his wife, Beth. Manny has returned to his avocation studying, photographing and writing about nature. Along with dozens of magazine articles and two books on scorpions, Smithsonian Institution published his award-winning coffee table book Rattlesnake: Portrait of a Predator. He is currently working on two books about the effects of rain on wildlife living in the desert near his home.
David Boss | Malcolm Emmons | Manny Rubio | Herb Weitman
Darryl Norenberg | Rod Hanna | Richard Mackson | Dick Raphael | Leo Mason | Peter Brouillet | George Long