Behind-the-Camera of Photojournalist Nic Coury in Monterey County, California.

March 24, 2014

The Late, Great "Serial" Artist Ed Leeper.

Ed Leeper at his home in Pacific Grove, Calif.
I got news over the weekend that a longtime, close friend of mine passed away.

Ed Leeper was a self-proclaimed "serial" artist and peace activist. On Tuesdays, he could be seen on the corner of Franklin and Alvarado streets during the Oldtown Monterey Marketplace giving away tons of free books for the pure reason of getting more people to read.

I never really knew either of my grandfathers and Ed sort of filled that role for me. I spent a lot of time photographing him and he was always up to work with me in the pursuit of art and making art. I knew I could always call him up on a whim and he would be game to make and talk art.

He would always get excited when I pulled out a film camera, wanting to test out a new lens or lighting idea. He would pull out some obscure art piece he made and explain it. His yard in Pacific Grove was filled with absurd art pieces and random wood, paints and books for future projects and endless ideas.

According to his stepdaughter, Kira Godbe, "Ed died yesterday sitting in his comfy chair, reading an article about one of his favorite artists, [Robert] Rauchenburg. He was completely at peace, his legs crossed, his glasses on and his eyes closed and that is it."


Below is a video I shot of him talking about what is "art" to him.













March 3, 2014

Inside the Monterey County Jail.

Last Friday I got to tour the Monterey County Jail on assignment. Here a few frames.

Portrait of 50-year-old James Scott, an inmate in Monterey County Jail who is doing half of a seven-year drug sentence. He's a native of Seaside, Calif. and it scheduled to be released in September 2014. He's one of the longest-housed inmates in the county jail.
Seen through a tower window covered in spitballs, a sheriff's deputy walks through a hosing pod in the Monterey County Jail on Friday morning, February 28, 2014.
Graffiti inside a safety cell at the Monterey County Jail on Friday, February 28, 2014.



December 29, 2013

Multimedia in 2013

Other than photos, I produced some cool video projects in 2013. Here are a few.

My friend from high school, Alissa Bell, runs a really neat business printing stuff on letter press.


Alissa Bell Press from Nic Coury on Vimeo.


In April, I had the honor to help promote equality in professional mountain biking.


Equal Prize Money in Professional Cycling from Nic Coury on Vimeo.


In January, I shot a really cool music piece on a local 60s garage rock band.


The Tomb Weavers from Nic Coury on Vimeo.


I also shot lots of videos pieces for work, including a really cool friend of mine who's an artist.



People I Know: "Serial" Artist Ed Leeper from Nic Coury on Vimeo.


December 22, 2013

Pfieffer Fire in Big Sur.


This past week became extremely busy as a massive fire broke out on Pfeiffer Ridge in Big Sur late last Sunday night. 22 homes were lost and over 950 acres burned through the hills just south of Big Sur Station on Highway 1 in Big Sur.

On Monday afternoon, I got some good access into the canyons and sent some photos over to the Associated Press, which were published all over the country. Below are a few of those clips.

The firefighters, including the local Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, worked tirelessly in helping the local residents who were displaced by the fire and the Big Sur community was fantastic in making sure their friends and family had a bite of food and bed to rest in.







December 15, 2013

Portraits of the Year 2013

Three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey looks at one of his championship motorcycles from the early 1990s at his home in Monterey, Calif.

I spend a lot of time with a lot of people for both the newspaper and variety of magazines around the country, so here are my favorite portraits of the year.

I had the honor to photograph three-time World Champion Wayne Rainey (above) for Cycle World magazine for a profile I also wrote for their December issue.

Below, is winemaker Ian Brand who I photographed for Imbibe magazine in the Spring.
Winemaker Ian Brand in Salinas, Calif.
Two of my good friends bought a 1970s Volkswagen Bus, named it Lily and started a tour company around San Francisco. I shot some portraits of them for their website, Vantigo.
Erik and Amy Hormann of Vantigo VW Bus Tours in San Francisco.

Also in San Francisco, I photographed two of my very good friends' engagement at their favorite places around the city.
Rebecca and Jamie Schlessinger engagement photo at Dolores Park in San Francisco.

In Indianapolis, I photographed a drag race test of the Ducati Diavel for Cycle World magazine.
MotoGP racer Ben Spies burns out on a Ducati Diavel at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August.

I shot the Big Sur International Marathon, which has a large group of Boston to Big Sur runners. Runner's World magazine ran some of my photos in their July issue for the worldwide story on the Boston Marathon bombings, which were only two weeks before Big Sur in April.
After the three friends completed the Boston Marathon two weeks ago, Kristin Powell (right) from Minneapolis cries with Lindsey Wild and Nycole Schneider after they finished the Big Sur International Marathon in April.

The three men below, I photographed for The Forward newspaper in New York on a story about transgendered members of the Jewish faith.
Elliot Kukla at his home in Oakland, Calif.
Noach Dzmura at his home in Berkeley, Calif.
Rabbi Reuben Zellman at his church in Berkeley, Calif.

This was my favorite photo from the annual Big Sur Fashion Show.
Jessica Babcock looks at Zosia Considine during their performance at the Big Sur Fashion Show.
 Below are two of my favorite portraits from Monterey County Weekly's 25th anniversary issue for a story on 25 people who are going to be making a difference in the next 25 years.

Theatre producer Jourdain Barton at Paper Wing Theatre in Monterey, Calif.

Music promoter and DJ Britt Govea at Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur,  Calif.
 As always, I photograph a lot of my very talented friends who are doing really cool and creative things. Here are a few of them.

Zosia Considine models locally-made clothing and jewelry in Big Sur, Calif.
The Silent Comedy performing at the Black Box Cabaret at California State University Monterey Bay in December. 
Alicia Hahn and Matt Peterson at the 2013 Big Sur Food & Wine Festival.

November 1, 2013

Recent Portraits



Music Promotor and DJ Britt Govea.
Here are 12 of my favorite recent portraits, shot for the 


Theatre Producer Jourdain Barton.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard.

Playwright Luis Valdez.

Winemaker Ian Brand.

Fashion Guru Maddox Haberdasher.

Surf Instructor Dominic Rivera.

Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett.

Salinas City Councilwoman Kimbley Craig.

Monterey Jazz Festival Director of Education Paul Contos.

Local eco queen Megan Tolbert.

Carmel Valley Ranch Chef Tim Wood.

October 30, 2013

Smorgasbord of Food and Wine.


Restaurant 1833 in Monterey.

I've spent the last month or so photographing our annual Wine & Dine Guide and here are a handful of my favorites.

This year we had a bunch of list of cool pizzas, sandwiches and cocktails.

Luckily, we have some very tasty food in Monterey County.




Mundo's 2 in Marina.

Vesuvio in Carmel. 

Montrio Bistro in Monterey.

Esteban in Monterey. 

La Bicyclette in Carmel. 

La Balena in Carmel.

Vesuvio in Carmel. 

Scheid Vineyard's Tasting Room in Carmel. 

Beach House in Pacific Grove.

The Bakery Station in Salinas.

Tarpy's Roadhouse in Monterey. 

Ferdi's in Seaside. 

Restaurant 1833 in Monterey.

The Sardine Factory in Monterey.

Corkscrew Cafe in Carmel Valley.

Mal's Market in Seaside. 

Monterey Coast Brewing in Salinas.