WILD 10: Conference Report

 

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Story and Photographs by Avery Locklear

From Alaska to North Carolina, Mexico to South Africa, and everywhere in between, government leaders, indigenous peoples, scientists, oceanographers, writers, artists, and youth convened together in Salamanca, Spain for the 10th World Wilderness Congress (WILD10). The conference was held from the 4th – 10th of October and I was lucky enough to attend.

Launched by The Wild Foundation in 1977, the World Wilderness Congress is the world’s longest-running, international public conservation program and forum. Conservationists and environmentalists from around the world come together every four years to educate, train, network and share ideas on how to create a wilder world.

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Is a Mirrorless Camera in Your Future?

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Story and Photographs by Rob Sheppard

A few years ago, I was in Costa Rica hiking a trail in a Cloud Forest preserve. I quite enjoyed the location – lush vegetation, wonderful big trees with their buttress roots. I did not enjoy carrying my backpack of gear, which at the time was Canon 7D and 60D plus lenses (APS-C format, not even 35mm-full-frame). Plus, travel abroad with that big bag was getting to be challenging.

So when I got back to the states I started looking into mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (Panasonic calls them DSLM cameras for digital single lens mirrorless, which is as good a name as any). I knew I could get a Sony NEX APS-C camera that had a similar size sensor to the Canon gear but the camera and lenses were a fraction the size, weight and cost. So I started down the mirrorless road.

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PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECTS: Orangutan Orphans

by Suzi Eszterhas

Bornean Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, Caretaker with infant at bath time, Orangutan Care Center, Borneo, Indonesia *Model release available

Bornean Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, Caretaker with infant at bath time, Orangutan Care Center, Borneo, Indonesia, (c) Suzi Eszterhas

For years I have specialized in documenting the family lives of endangered species. This work has taken me around the globe, spending long hours with wild animal families for weeks, months or even years at a time. In all of my projects I try to incorporate the conservation issues that surround my subject or the latest research presenting fascinating discoveries about that animal and its environment.

Some of my most recent work has taken me out of the wild and into animal orphanages. In the past, I have spent a lot of time with both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, photographing them in protected areas where they have the ability to live wild and free. But the truth of the matter is that these protected areas on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are too small to save the species. More and more forest is lost every single day to bulldozing for palm oil plantations. Orangutans cannot live in a palm oil plantation; they need the diversity of the rainforest to survive. What’s worse is that plantation workers routinely kill adult orangutans and sell the babies as pets on the black market. The lucky orphans are found and confiscated by government officials. There are thousands of baby orangutans in various orphanages on these islands. Continue reading

PHILIP HYDE GRANT: San Pedro Mezquital Project

Story and Photography by Jaime Rojo

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Applications for the 2014 Philip Hyde Grant are due on November 30th, 2013. This $2,500 grant, provided by Fine Print Imaging through its Art for Conservation program, the NANPA Environment Committee and individual donations, is awarded annually by the NANPA Foundation to an individual NANPA member who is actively pursuing completion of a peer-reviewed environmental project that is consistent with the missions of NANPA and the NANPA Foundation. Click here to apply

Project Update from Jaime Rojo: 2012 Recipient of the Philip Hyde Grant

The San Pedro Mezquital project is an ongoing communications effort to protect the last free-flowing river in the Western Sierra Madre, Mexico. The river is under threat by several development projects, including a dam in the middle basin and a huge tourist resource in the upper basin.

The Philip Hyde Grant that I obtained in May 2012 was used to continue the documentation of this huge river basin, but also to give public presentations in the upper and lower basin to involve the local communities in the actions to protect the river.

In May 2012, we inaugurated a large format exhibit of the San Pedro Mezquital that was hosted by the three main cities of the basin, following the course of the river on its way to the sea. I gave presentations on Durango and Tepic on the day of the exhibit launch, and had meetings with regional authorities involved in the management of the river basin:

– Durango, upper basin, May 2012

– Presidio, middle basin, Oct 2012

– Tepic, lower basin, Jan 2013

Also, in January 2013, I did a 2-week expedition with my colleague Octavio Aburto, co-financed by National Geographic Explorers Fund, to document some of the most remote parts of the upper basin (Chachacuaxtle canyon and the Tres Molinos basin), with some surprising results, and a field blog was published in National Geographic Newswatch.  The Philip Hyde Grant represented a great opportunity to continue the conservation photography work in the San Pedro Mezquital river and I will always be thankful for NANPA’s support.

Please take a moment to check out the San Pedro Mezquital website, and this multimedia piece that I produced for NANPA Foundation called San Pedro Mezquital.

 

Children at a project exhibit in Durango, Mexico

Children at a project exhibit in Durango, Mexico

PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECTS: Citizen Science and the Bio Blitz Concept

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Bio Blitzes appeal to citizen scientists of all ages

Story and Photographs by Kevin Fitz Patrick

I remember coming to my first NANPA Summit in Corpus Christi and being overwhelmed by the Art Wolfes and the Robert Ketchums. Although I had been a nature photographer for more than 25 years, I had been working in a small part of the Appalachians most of the time. I had not been to Africa or South America. I hadn’t even been outside North Carolina, so how could I say I was a real nature photographer? Then I met Susan and Richard Day, nature photographers from Illinois who, at the time, shot mostly on a 63-acre property. It was then I realized that it was not about how much of the world you covered but how much you loved the place you photographed. I remember Susan telling me that it was about your niche. Finally, as I start my 70th year—my 46th as a photographer—I can name my niche!

I am a conservation and Bio Blitz photographer. The All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) is an attempt to document and identify all biological species living in a defined area. The effort in the Smokies has become the prototype for species inventories worldwide and has inspired the Bio Blitz; 24-hour species inventories conducted by professional scientists in collaboration with public volunteers. The volunteers can include school children, their instructors, families and even their grandparents. Continue reading

PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECT: Guardians of the Everglades

Turtle Hatchling 8'x4' Sheer Panels at Audubon Gala ©ConnieBransilver   Human Being 8'x4' Sheer Panel at Audubon Gala ©Connie Bransilver Ghost Orchid Essence 8'x4' Sheer Panel ©ConnieBransilver

Endangered Species Sheer Panels

by Connie Bransilver

I have always been a conservationist and one who photographs to share the beauty and importance of nature and the place humans have in it. Because I also believe that carrots are more effective than sticks, I focus on the allure of nature.

For 25 years I have documented conservation. My passions have been primates—lemurs of Madagascar, chimpanzees of Africa and orangutans of Indonesia. Commissioned by a variety of NGOs, what was always critical for me was the human factor. My last assignment was for UNESCO-Asia covering World Heritage Sites. Beyond the iconic images, I was to understand and expose the effect of the local population on the site and the effect of the site and its visitors on the local population. Continue reading

NANPA PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECT: Sacred Headwaters


by Paul Colangelo

Unnamed tributary of Chismore Creek, British Columbia, 2010

 

The Sacred Headwaters in northern British Columbia is the shared birthplace of three great salmon rivers—the Stikine, Skeena and Nass. It is also the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, and it supports a vast ecosystem known for large numbers of moose, caribou, sheep, goats, wolves and bears.

In 2004, Shell obtained tenure of nearly a million acres in the heart of the Sacred Headwaters for a coal bed methane development that would entail thousands of wells connected by roads and pipelines, fracturing wildlife habitat. The water-intensive fracking process that would be used to remove the methane risked altering water levels and contaminating the rivers. Continue reading