I arrived home from my most recent trip this past Sunday and received an incredible birthday gift from friend and colleague Frans Lanting – the beautifully packaged and presented Collector’s Edition of Bay of Life, Frans & Chris Eckstrom’s epic book chronicling the rejuvenation of California’s Monterey Bay.
An area ravaged by rampant utilization by man during the gold rush which stripped the area of life and resources, Bay of Life documents the resilience of nature and the ways in which like-minded people can come together to help restore an ecosystem to not only a state of recovery, but one in which it thrives.
This message of hope and rejuvenation speaks directly to me. If you’ve caught any of my recent talks regarding my own projects, you’ll know the emphasis I put on describing how wildlife populations in many areas are beginning to recover after an initial decrease due to the influence and reach of man.
Though our climate situation remains dire, nature’s ability to rejuvenate when coupled with human awareness, consideration, and conservation efforts is remarkable. This book project not only documents this significant symbiosis between nature and man – it also helps educate and fund future endeavors to protect this beautiful habitat via the Bay of Life Project.
In a win for wildlife and indigenous communities, the last remaining oil and gas leases on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have been cancelled. The US is on track to produce more oil and natural gas than ever before and tapping this vital ecological sanctuary was always a bad idea.
Called “the place where life begins” by the Yup’ik and Gwich’in, the refuge is home to 250 animal species including vast herds of caribou that migrate from wintering Canada every year to calve on the coastal plain, grizzlies, wolves, and millions of migratory birds from as far as Antarctica. As long as I have been photographing, which is a long time indeed, it has been the focus of heated debate over resource extraction. One thing we should know is that this ban is not permanent, and more advocacy must be done to make sure this biologically rich area remains wild and untouched forever—a gift to future generations.
There’s no place like Katmai, there’s no place like Katmai, there’s no place like Katmai. I wish it were that easy to be transported to this extraordinary living laboratory of Alaska’s brown bears. This year we had better than ever photographic opportunities with the bears. From afar with our 100-500mm lenses set at the upper end of the focal length we witnessed at-times violent interactions between older siblings over salmon, tender moments between protective mothers and their cubs, and diverse birdlife of the tundra and waterways. The landscapes are vast and glorious, the wildlife abundant–truly a privilege to behold!
I’ll be heading back to Katmai next summer for two workshops – take your pick and join me next year! Save a few hundred bucks with early bird pricing through October.
Happy Cinco De Mayo! Raise a toast to long-time friend and prolific ecologist Gregory A. Green. Greg has received much-deserved recognition with a lifetime achievement award for Leadership in Conservation by the Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
While devoting nearly five decades of his life to conservation biology, Greg is a prolific photographer in his own right. We have been frequent travel companions, and Greg has been the perfect fit as the written voice accompanying the many photos in my latest project, Wild Lives—due out this October with pre-orders available soon. Sign up for my mailing list to be informed as soon as it’s available. Learn more about Greg and check out his photography on his website, greggreenphoto.com.
Earth Day arrives tomorrow, April 22nd and you can celebrate by visiting your local national parks for a fee-free day. With over 400 national parks and one in each state, there’s likely at least one near you. . . get your camera gear ready and head out for some photos and fresh air!
Don’t know which one to visit? The National Parks Service has created a handy interactive quiz that will help you narrow down your interests to a location that meets your needs based on distance, activities and more.
Share your photos online tagged with the #yourparkstory / #myparkstory hashtags and interact with others celebrating Earth Day at our protected natural places! Some of my best work, including photos from my upcoming magnum opus on international wildlife has been capture in our national parks. Enjoy the image gallery. Better yet, get out there and create your own!
National parks are powerful places that have many meanings and connections to those who visit them – our shared history, our sense of discovery, and our dreams of the future. They teach us about ourselves and the world around us, and invite us to continue to learn, grow, and explore. National Park Week is a time to reflect on what parks mean to us, enjoy what they provide to their visitors and communities, and commit to protecting these places we cherish.
Red alert for fans & collectors of wildlife books! There are a couple titles that I am involved in that I want to highlight that are either being funded or published this week. While they are different in their subject matter and approach, they both deserve your consideration and support.
Remembering Wildlife is now funding Remembering Leopards, their eighth in the Remembering series which has raised over $1.3 million for wildlife conservation. My photo of a leopard is a featured print in the limited edition book, of which there will be fifty copies. The aim of the creators is to make the most beautiful book ever seen on the featured species and to use that to not only raise awareness of conservation issues but also, more importantly, to raise funds for organizations working for its protection. The Kickstarter for this book is now live. You can pre-order the book (as well as grab many other rewards) to give the producers the cashflow to make it happen!
Being published this week is author/photographer Graeme Green’s The New Big 5: A Global Photography Project for Endangered Wildlife. Over five years ago he contacted us about an idea he had about creating a new Big Five of wildlife photography. The Big Five was a term coined by game hunters and includes the African lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. Graeme took this phrase and has turned it on its head. In his book being published on April 4th, he has brought together 165 wildlife photographers (including me) and conservationists to raise awareness of the crucial issues facing the world’s wildlife. Order your copy today!
Today is World Elephant Day, and as you know – I’ve got at least a couple of photos of these amazing beasts! Enjoy the slide show, and if you’re so inclined I happen to be running a sale on all my books through the end of the month – treat yourself or get some early holiday shopping done with a singed/inscribed copy of Wild Elephants! Use code AUG22SAVE20 and get a 20% discount. Request a signature or inscription if you’d like one – just keep in mind this could delay your order as I can only sign when I’m in town!
Wildlife Wednesday on World Rainforest Day? Great timing!
The first leg of a recent trip took me to Brazil, with one subject in mind – the Harpy eagle. This is a massive bird at the top of its local food chain, distinct by its double-crested head feathers that spring to attention whenever the eagle is on alert. I came away thrilled with the photos I got, and included below is also a bit of video we shot from the blind.
Last weekend Seattle lost an icon: Harriet Bullitt, philanthropist and conservationist. She was 97.
Gorgeous to the end, Harriet exemplified the art of living life to its fullest. She had a remarkable spirit for adventure, took an interest in everything, and was possessed of a quiet kindness and supportive enthusiasm.
A grateful young photographer was on the receiving end of a bit of that patronage: she founded Pacific Northwest magazine (now Seattle magazine), which published my photo stories on local natural history and the art of nature photography. Her foundation also helped make my International Conservation Photography Awards a reality. An avid traveler, Harriet and her family traveled with me on a trip to Africa, as well as Cuba where we had to skirt US customs. She was never one to shy away from excitement and I count myself beyond fortunate to have known her!
This week (April 22 – 30) is International Dark Sky Week!
It may seem like a small thing that most may not ever think about, but artificial light pollution can be problematic for a number of reasons. Not only does it disrupt the natural habitat of wildlife by stifling reproduction, disrupting migration, and increase predation – it can also have harmful effects on human health and negatively impact climate change. Last but not least if you’re a photography enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys staring up at the heavens, light pollution greatly obscures our view of the universe around us.
There are a number of ways to get involved in curbing light pollution in your community. Most major cities may already have an organization or two to join or work along side. Community members can help measure light pollution and share data using their cell phone, and there are several things you can evaluate at your own home to cut down on the amount of artificial light contributed to the evening skies.
For more information and to find out what you can do to be an advocate for curbing light pollution in your community, visit darksky.org. Following the release of my latest book Night On Earth I had the pleasure of presenting with the International Dark-Sky Association’s Executive Director Ruskin Hartley. This is a fantastic and well-organized group doing great work. Check them out and get educated on light pollution and how you can help minimize it!