Here be Dragons! I spent most of the month of January in Asia – Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. In Japan, I was able to return to the place I photographed ducks and swans three decades ago for Migrations. As you can see, the congregation of waterfowl was a crush of feathers and beaks that mostly obscured any sight of the water beneath them. We also visited the beach, where storms in the region have discarded all kinds of garbage onto the shore – it was awful, but also quite a sight.
From Japan, we visited Indonesia and most notably Komodo island where I was able to capture the massive and menacing Komodo Dragons. I’d been planning this stop for a while and wasn’t disappointed, using some rigged up gear to get in nice and close.
The trip closed out in the Philippines, and this time the congregation was of revelers and worshipers at the Sinulog Festival and the – *deep breath* – Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Santa Niño. That’s quite the name, for quite the festival! I was most impressed with the variety of colorful costumes on display. I was also the sole photographer willing to get in the water with whale sharks – no regrets, enjoy the photos!
In January, Dr. Samuel Wasser and myself had the pleasure of speaking to a crowded Great Hall about the efforts being made to protect and preserve elephants at Town Hall Seattle. If you weren’t able to make it to the event, the Seattle Channel has made it available for all to watch online.
If you’re inspired to help, visit www.giving.uw.edu/ivory and contribute to a very worthy cause via the University of Washington.
Today is “Monarch Butterfly Day” according to whatever mystical powers-that-be control the hashtags! I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Monarchs over the years at many of Mexico’s renowned preserves that harbor millions of butterflies as they migrate.
It’s with a heavy heart, then, that I make this post – one that should be about the beauty of this creature and the symbolism and joy it brings world-wide. However, tragic events that have befallen a pair of conservation heroes in Mexico should be taking center stage right now until answers are found.
As you may have heard, activists and outspoken critics of the illegal logging activities in preserved areas of Mexico, Homero Gómez González and Raúl Hernández Romero were recently found deceased, both under mysterious and possibly malicious circumstances.
González was an agricultural engineer and the manager of the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve. Growing up in a logging family, he was a skeptic of conservation efforts and their possible impact on contributing to poverty in the region. His background and education gave strength to his voice when, in the early 2000’s, he became an advocate for curbing the deforestation he was seeing first hand.
Hard to believe we are already a month into the new year; where does the time go? I’ve had a couple of weeks now to tend to things back at the home and office, including last night’s wonderful event at Town Hall Seattle where I was honored to take the stage with Dr. Samuel Wasser and discuss the threats facing world elephant populations and the positive measures being taken to ensure their future.
Before I move forward with another month globe-trotting, I’m taking a look back. Enjoy this gallery of 15 years of January images!
I made multiple trips to India this year, including a trip this past November. I’m now an expert on old Delhi, where I was able to capture a number of abstracts before setting out in search of wildlife, namely tigers. My last trip here was focused mostly on the Holi festival, and while I came away with some shots I’m happy with the crush of people made for a chaotic environment to shoot in. This trip was more my speed, and I’m happy with what I came away with. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
Happy 2020! I hope everyone had a great time with friends and family over the holidays and is prepared to make 2020 a great year. Every holiday season I assemble a slide show of the previous 12 months of shoots, and every holiday season I’m surprised at how much I’ve been able to fit in. This year has been no different, with multiple trips to India, photographing the eclipse in Chile, visiting the location of ancient holy sites in Isreal and Jordan. . . whew. You’d think I’d be exhausted, but rest assured that I’m as tenacious as ever both in terms of travel and in my affinity for leaf-blowing my property as soon as the landing gear hits the ground! Enjoy the slide show, and have a spectacular time in the Roaring Twenty-Twenties!
It’s that time again! Each year Pantone choose a “color of the year” that can help drive creative endeavors and design. Check out my image gallery celebrating this year’s color, “Classic Blue”. Here is some additional information on Pantone’s Color of the Year:
For over 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.
A timeless and enduring blue hue, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.
Imprinted in our psyches as a restful color, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.
From India to Antarctica, it seems I’ve spent the Holiday season just about everywhere on the glob. When you create a lot of books, you also spend a lot of time looking back at old photos and reflecting! Enjoy this selection from 15 years of December travel – and have as warm and safe Holiday season with the people, pets, and/or endeavors you love!
It’s #GivingTuesday – so it’s a good time to mention the wonderful charitable organizations featured in my recent book, WILD ELEPHANTS: Conservation in the Age of Extinction. Though the book does touch on the troubling plight of elephant populations, we also explore many of the fantastic organizations and individuals who are out there making a difference and providing hope for the future of these animals.
To that end, if you’re feeling charitable this holiday season here is a list of the organizations mentioned in the book. Maybe the nature lover in your life or the person who has everything would appreciate a simple holiday donation in their name? Anything helps!
It’s a #TravelTuesday, and as I prepare to head off again this evening to distant lands, I’m doing a bit of reflecting on my past November travels. It looks like South Georgia Island is a common favorite for the month in years passed, sprinkled in between with warmer locales.
I don’t have any current plans for another trip to South Georgia Island at the moment, but several 2020 and 2021 trips are on the docket, and who knows what *secret* plans I may have brewing – keep an eye on the Events page for all the upcoming adventures!