In March of 1899, Mount Rainier National Park was founded as the nation’s fifth national park and the first created from a national forest. The pinnacle of the cascade range and an active stratovolcano, Mount Rainier can be seen looming in the distance from the hustle and bustle of caffeinated Seattle. It’s long been a place of study for volcanologists and glaciologists alike.
Coming home from trips to the remarkable places of the world is easier knowing I’m fortunate enough to live in the midst of such incredible places. The verdant Cascade Range is a must-see for anyone traveling to the Pacific North West!
This past February, Denali celebrated it’s 100th year as a national park and preserve. Home to the highest peak in North America at 20,310 feet, the park covers 6 million acres of land in Alaska composed of forests, glaciers and tundra.
At a critical time in our history when it comes to protecting our natural places, it’s important to note that Denali was the first national park created to protect wildlife and is home to 209 different species of animals. A natural laboratory for researchers and scientist, the park has been home to various scientific studies for a century now.
Alaska is one of my favorite locations on the globe, so much so that I make it a point to lead workshops in its parks on a regular basis. The scope and scale of the environments here are like no other.
Now is a better time than ever to get involved with our national parks. Click here for a list of events related to the Denali Centennial to see how you can participate!
Over the past couple weeks many people have contacted me about what we, as a community of nature enthusiasts, can do to #Resist. Loosening of environmental regulations and the de-funding of the National Parks Service are just a couple of reasons that concerned citizens are interested in the creation of materials such as cards, info packets, and brochures to get the word out about the natural heritage we could lose.
For decades I have been working with environmental organizations and NGOs near and far in promoting awareness and raising funds to fight for our public lands. I am so heartened that our concerned citizens want to flood their congressional delegations with pro-environmental messages and visuals. While myself and like-minded individuals will never cease in exploring new ways to bring attention to these vital causes, many products and memberships already exist that will both provide donations to the organization of your choice and also serve as a signal to your representative.
And this is just a small selection of organizations you can support! Click here for a list of many of the organizations I’ve worked with over the years, all of which are worthy of your consideration for support!
However, donations only go so far – and nothing counts as much as your voice. Contacting your members of congress via phone or postal letter (far more effective than emails) and attending town hall meetings or other local events where your representatives are in attendance are the most effective ways to make your voice heard.
Contacting your elected officials is easy – Click here to locate their information.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding this critical matter. We will continue to fight for our valuable lands and wildlife!
Before heading off to Cuba a few weeks ago, I shot some aerials over southern Florida. Freshwater issues abound in this state. How do you accommodate an increasing and thirsty population and a thriving and powerful agricultural industry while protecting water quality and the fragile ecosystem of the Everglades, as well as other increasingly endangered wild areas of the state?
I took to the skies to capture some shots of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s great natural wonders & now it is part of the largest marine park encompassing 1.2 million square miles of ocean surrounding the continent. It’s always good news to hear of a preservation of our planet of this proportion.
Save 20% on any Heart of the Sea print purchased this month. They are printed on EPSON Premium Photo Luster paper using archival EPSON Ultrachrome inks, and I hand sign them with a silver acid-free pen. Get more information about my Fine Art prints here.
Some years are publishing years, some are traveling, 2015 was for reshaping the business—a necessity in the ever-changing photography industry. I closed my downtown Seattle gallery and launched this website, focusing my core business online and allowing me the ability to concentrate on other projects, of which there are many.
All the filming that I did in 2014 with Abraham Joffe and the Untitled Film Works crew—in East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Alaska, and here in Seattle—finally came to fruition. Tales by Light is a joint Canon Australia and National Geographic Channel production & I hope it comes to the US soon!
Travel & Photography: The year was bookended by East Africa
While travel slowed somewhat in 2015, I still managed trips to Tanzania (twice), Kenya, Yellowstone National Park (twice), Antarctica, India, Bali, Japan, Iceland, Washington State, Alaska, Svalbard, California, and Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. The final expedition of the year was to the Danakil Basin of Ethiopia.
As a juxtaposition to my September trip to Wyoming, I just returned from a great trip to East Africa, which included Amboseli, Lake Natron, Mahale. So, I begin with these photos from Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Enjoy!
July 1st to September 30th of this year was manic, photographically speaking: the Palouse in Eastern Washington, brown bears in Alaska, aerials in Iceland, polar bears in Svalbard, fall color in California’s southern Sierra, and then back home in Washington state to the solitude of Mount Rainier.
In the book The Living Wild, Art wrote, “After all, an animal without habitat is simply a curiosity biding time to its extinction. But an animal with its habitat is a vibrant representation of natural selection.” It is within this book that Art highlights the environment and the wildlife in a symbiotic relationship and travels beyond the more common seen portrait of wildlife. There are many places throughout the world that highlight this type of diversity, but Americans need to travel no farther than the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With the reintroduction of wolves in the 90s’, this 11 million acre reserve of land has become one of the most intact temperate ecosystems on the planet. If you count the bird, mammal, fish, insect, amphibian, plant and reptile species, you walk away with thousands of potential photography subjects. Due to the stunningly beautiful land surrounding the creatures, this place offers the opportunity to capture imagery very similar to the visions Art has created in The Living Wild. Moose, bear, antelope, elk and countless others can be composed with the backdrop of the Tetons at sunrise and sunset. If you are wondering how, now is your chance to learn.
Visit Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming the first weekend in October with Art Wolfe and Gavriel Jecan for a four-day workshop being held in the heart of one of America’s most scenic locations.
I can agree with my fellow traveler Mark McInnis about our trip to the Katmai National Park area in Alaska “…this trip has been amazing. Just amazing.”
He continues on: “Jerry, Art, Becky and I were shooting aerials yesterday when I spotted a White Wolf. We landed on the beach and Art thought that he [the wolf] had probably left because of the noise. But we snuck around the corner and he was still there just napping on the beach! We started clicking photos, but he heard our cameras and promptly got up to leave. Haha, This next part still just cracks me up. Art started howling. Like a wolf. And the wolf stopped, turned sideways, and looked DIRECTLY at us. And of course his shot is twice what mine is, but it doesn’t matter. That memory will stick with me forever. My jaw might have hit the floor. It was amazing and one of the most memorable and comedic moments of my life. Art is such a legend. I love him to death and have only known him for 4 days. Talk about a gifted, talented and honest human. Really love the guy.”