Menzel has dedicated a large part of his 30-year career building an impressive portfolio of hi-tech stories on subjects as varied as virtual reality, insect robots, lightning, DNA fingerprinting, micromachines and solar power and solar cars. Menzel's commitment to photography means he spends most of the year on the road shooting a story or researching the next assignment. Much of his work is self-initiated: his award-winning coverage of the Kuwait oil well fires ran as a 26-page cover story for German Geo and his photo essay of the civil war in Somalia was one of the first to hit the press.
As a photojournalist, Menzel is constantly pushing himself to extremes in search of new and better angles, whether it's rising at 4 a.m. to catch the early morning light of a camel fair in India, rappelling the glass of Biosphere II, the space colony prototype in the Arizona desert, or shooting an eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano while the rubber soles of his boots melt.
Menzel has won numerous awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the World Press Photo Foundation and Communication Arts Magazine. His work has been exhibited at the United Nations, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the National Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science in Boston, the Tech Museum in San Jose, and at Visa Pour L'Image, the international photojournalism conference in Perpignan, France. His photographs are also part of the permanent collection at the International Center of Photography in New York.
Menzel's projects include Material World, A Global Family Portrait which was published by Sierra Club Books in October, 1994, with a CD-ROM; Women in the Material World (co-authored with his wife, Faith D'Aluisio) published by Sierra Club Books, 1996. These epic works of photojournalism focus on the material possessions and daily lives of average families and women around the world. Material World has been excerpted in magazines around the world and featured on the television programs National Geographic Explorer, CNN International Hour, CBS This Morning and Oprah. Both books have been translated into Japanese and German.
His third book is the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Man Eating Bugs: the Art and Science of Eating Insects, a worldwide look at the human consumption of insects. This book, a Material World imprint, co-authored with his wife Faith D'Aluisio, was released in September, 1998 and is distributed by Ten Speed Press. In 1999, it was awarded the James Beard Award in the Writings on Food category. Menzel and his wife have just completed their fourth photographic book about robots and their creators, called Robo sapiens: Evolution of a New Species, also a Material World imprint, to be published by MIT Press in September, 2000. Menzel's initial robot photoreportage for Stern Magazine in Germany that led to the book Robo sapiens was awarded first place for science photography by the World Press Photo 2000 in Amsterdam.
Peter Menzel lives in Napa, California with his wife Faith D'Aluisio. They have four teen-age sons.
Faith D'Aluisio is co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Women in the Material World (Sierra Club Books, 1996 hardback, 1998 paperback) with her husband Peter Menzel. This book, which explores the lives of 20 women, builds upon the documentary work of Peter Menzel's first best seller, Material World: A Global Family Portrait (Sierra Club Books, 1994), to which she contributed. Women in the Material World has been excerpted in magazines around the world. Both books have been translated into Japanese and German.
She completed another book with Peter Menzel, Man Eating Bugs: the Art and Science of Eating Insects, a worldwide look at the human consumption of insects. This critically acclaimed book, a Material World Book imprint distributed by Ten Speed Press, won the 1999 James Beard Foundation Award for Reference and Writings on Food. D'Aluisio and Menzel have just completed their fourth photographic book about robots and their creators, called Robo sapiens: Evolution of a New Species, published by The MIT Press, Fall, 2000.
Faith D'Aluisio is a former award-winning television news producer.