Today is “Nature Photography Day” – I think I might have something to accomodate! This day was designated by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide–a cause I couldn’t agree more with and one I’ve been pursuing my entire career.
Thankfully I’m home for a couple days between workshops & I will be posting some new photos from the last three weeks along the Pacific coast of California and Oregon. I encourage everyone to get out there and explore your corner of the world!
I’m excited to share the results of the global vote to create a New Big 5 of Wildlife Photography. Thousands of wildlife lovers around the world have voted for their favorite animals to photograph and see in photos.
The 5 animals in the New Big 5 are: Elephant, Polar Bear, Gorilla, Tiger & Lion.
“These 5 animals – elephants, polar bears, gorillas, tigers and lions – are such beautiful and remarkable species, and are wonderful ambassadors for the world’s wildlife, from iconic species to little-known frogs, lizards, fish and birds. So many face threats to their survival from issues such as poaching, habitat loss and climate change. A million species are at risk of extinction. If we work together, we can stop this happening. There is always hope. Change is possible if we each play our part.”
– Dr Jane Goodall
The ‘Big 5’ is an old term used by trophy hunters in Africa for the most prized, dangerous animals to shoot and kill: elephant, rhino, leopard, Cape buffalo and lion. The New Big 5 project had a better idea: to create a New Big 5 of Wildlife Photography, rather than hunting. Shooting with a camera, not a gun.
More than 250 of the world’s photographers, conservationists and wildlife charities have come together to support this international initiative, which is raising awareness about the crisis facing wildlife, including habitat loss, the illegal wildlife trade and climate change.
Each of the 5 species in the New Big 5 face serious threats to their existence and are listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. They’re the tip of the iceberg. The world’s wildlife is in crisis. More than a million species are currently at risk of extinction, from elephants, cheetahs, orangutans, lions and polar bears to ‘unsung heroes’ and little-known cats, frogs, birds, lizards and other species, each too valuable to lose. The next 10 years are critical.
We hope the New Big 5 can stand for all the world’s wildlife and highlight the urgent need to act globally to save these animals, our planet and ourselves. These 5 animals are a powerful reminder of what we stand to lose.
The project’s message is that all wildlife deserves to exist and every single species needs to be protected. From bees to blue whales, all wildlife is essential to the balance of nature, healthy ecosystems and the future of our planet.
Change is possible.
Find out more about the 5 animals in the New Big 5 of Wildlife Photography!
Tomorrow night, my good friend and renowned wilderness photographer Tom Mangelsen joins Parimal and myself on Earth Is Our Witness. Tom will be sharing photographs from his Legacy Reserve Colelction with us; a very limited collection of his most poignant wildlife images and the stories behind the struggle that iconic species face in their fight for survival in a modern world.
Tom and myself go way back, so the banter should be flowing and I know you’ll be instantly engaged by his images and their stories! Join us tomorrow, May 4th at 6 PM PST on the EIOW Facebook or YouTube pages!
Following EIOW, at 7:30 PM PST – join us once again for Tequila Time Live! Parimal will be sharing more timely photos from his homeland of India, currently experiencing immense strife in the face of the pandemic. As national headlines emerge from that region of the world, it’s the perfect time to glean some insight and perspective from someone whom is familiar.
Following Parimal’s presentation, I’ll have some exciting news about the future of Tequila Time and future live broadcasts.
See you tomorrow for our visit with Tom & Tequila Time!
Today is dolphin day, and these frenetic swimmers are on my mind as we kick off spring! They are constantly on the go, quite literally. Did you know only half of a dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time?! If I were to adopt the powers of any creature on the planet, that’s a fairly enticing one. Imagine how many more books I could get done if I could stay awake and just shut down half my brain at a time!
Of course, they have developed this ability for specific reasons. Dolphins breath air and their breathing is consciously controlled. In some ways that seems like a restless life, but they certainly make the most of it with their agile swimming and dexterous leaps.
Enjoy the photos from a past trip to Baja and the Sea of Cortez, and leave a comment below if there is an animal superpower YOU would love to have!
Hard to believe, but this week marks the one year anniversary of Tequila Time! From it’s humble beginnings (awwwwwwkwarrrrrd!) to the latest episode we did before I got back to teaching workshops, the format has changed over the months as I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t – but most importantly, I’ve absolutely loved looking forward to connecting with you all as much as possible!
I am back to traveling and I’ve seen the grumblings about the lack of Tequila Time – we all knew this would happen when I got back on the road, but rest assured that though they may not be as frequent, I fully intend to connect with you live whenever possible.
Episodes have been proliferated on a number of platforms, however soon enough we are very much looking forward to curating them all in one place. For now, check out episodes on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Do you have any favorite episodes, moments, or subjects from the past year of Tequila Time, or are there any subjects we didn’t cover that you’d like to hear about?
Leave a comment below, we are always looking for great suggestions and questions!
It’s your last chance to vote for the 5 animals you want to be included in the New Big 5 of wildlife photography! The original ‘Big 5’ is a term used by trophy hunters for the 5 toughest animals to shoot and kill (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and Cape buffalo).
The New Big 5 project has a better idea: to create a New Big 5 of Wildlife Photography, rather than hunting. Shooting with a camera, not a gun. It’s about celebrating the incredible creatures we share the planet with and helping to protect them.
I’m excited to be supporting the New Big 5 project which is on a mission to raise awareness about threats facing wildlife around the world, including habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict, illegal wildlife trade and climate change, as well as conservation ideas and solutions.
The international initiative is supported by +150 international photographers and working with conservationists and charities, including The Jane Goodall Institute, Conservation International, Save The Elephants, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Polar Bears International, Save Wild Tigers, Wildlife Direct, Save The Rhinos, Lion Recovery Fund, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Snow Leopard Trust, WildAid, IUCN and more…
Please go onto the New Big 5 website and VOTE for the 5 animals you want to be included! Voting ends April 20. The results of the international vote will be announced May 17.
“What a great project the New Big 5 is. I wonder what the final choices will be. There are so many incredible animals in our world, all fascinating in different ways. Any project which brings attention to animals, so many of whom are threatened or endangered, is truly important.”
It’s been a trying year for everyone, but it’s been nice to see the signs of a slow but steady return to normalcy as more folks receive their vaccinations. I for one have received my vaccine and am champing at the bit to get back to what I love – traveling, teaching, and connecting with our workshop participants!
We have a number of workshops coming up – both here in the Pacific Northwest and abroad. I highlighted our upcoming Port Townsend and Majestic Redwoods workshops with a Quick video slideshow on the blog last week. I also talked about the upcoming Mongolia Journey.
To ensure safety of all participants we will ask for proof of vaccination or a COVID test within 72 ours of the workshop. Safety first! As always, if you have any specific questions regarding the workshops I’m offering, head to our contact page for a number of ways to get them answered!
Here is a current list of all our upcoming workshops, excluding several that have already sold out – sign up today to ensure your spot!
A couple days ago I posted some photos from Mongolia in anticipation of an upcoming workshop there – and now I’d like to share a couple closer to home! I’ve got several upcoming West Coast workshops with space available to join us on these safe & inspiring locations.
The two I’m highlighting today are newcomers to our workshop rotation. For starters, Port Townsend and the surrounding area provides the backdrop for a new abstract workshop – the perfect follow up and expansion to the ever-popular Abstract Astoria. Here we will visit the port as well as Fort Worden State park, hunting for abstracts to exercise our creative muscles!
Later on in May we will head down to Crescent City, California to photograph the beautiful coastlines as well as the nearby Majestic Redwood forest. I’ve assembled some photos from these locations. Enjoy! Space is limited – click the links below to sign up today!
As mentioned onTequila Time, I can’t wait to get back out in the field for our upcoming slate of workshops and tours! Of course we will promote safety first, as I’m sure we are all anxious to put a tumultuous year behind us. I’m even more anxious to get back to doing what I love – teaching workshops, and joining friends new and old for amazing experiences both in our Pacific Northwest workshops and abroad.
On the subject of workshops abroad, there is still room to join me for the photographic journey we have slated for July of this year. Space is limited, so if you’re interested let us know today!
In the video above, I share some images of the things we will see on this epic adventure to one of the least-densely populated countries in the world, where in total there is only a population density of five individuals per square mile. Vast landscapes, interesting wildlife such as the yaks famous in the region, and of course the culture are all aspects we hope to capture in the remote areas we will visit.
Urban renewal takes many forms. We are busy primates, always changing our environment for better and mostly for worse. For 40 years Seattleites dumped their garbage at the Montlake Dump just north of today’s Husky Stadium. It was just a worthless marsh so why not? Spurred on by a blossoming of environmental awareness in the 1960s-70s, a plan was slowly developed to reclaim the area as a natural laboratory. Today the site is some 50 acres of which 14 acres have been completely restored. It is a long process, beating back the Himalayan blackberries, loosestrife and other nonnative species. It wasn’t until the 1980s that work in earnest began, resulting in the natural marshland in existence today.