The Nature Photographer episode #7 on Wild & Exposed Podcast
For biologists like NANPA Conservation Committee Co-Chair Andrew Snyder, a beautiful image isn’t everything. Nature photographers can contribute to scientific understanding of wildlife and ecosystems, support publication-quality research, and effect change in environmental issues like biodiversity loss, but only if we share our images—even the imperfect ones—with scientists. Andrew introduces Dawn and Ron to a handful of tools to help us do that. He also tells about discovering a new species of tarantula in the uplands of Guiana Shield, photographing grizzly bears with Art Wolfe and a team of young photographers in Katmai, and what he’s doing at home to nurture a love for nature in his 1-year-old daughter.
The Nature Photographer episode #6 on Wild & Exposed Podcast
Conservation photographer Jaymi Heimbuch leads several initiatives that support the professional development of conservation photographers—and sometimes specifically female conservation photographers—across a wide range of age and experience levels. Dawn Wilson of NANPA and Mark Raycroft and Michael Mauro of Wild & Exposed talk with Jaymi about these projects and what drives her to devote so much of her time supporting others in her field. Hear how and why Jaymi is bolstering up her colleagues, plus why she’s optimistic about the time we’re living in right now.
The Nature Photographer episode #3 on Wild & Exposed Podcast
Special guest Gabby Salazar joins NANPA President Dawn Wilson and Wild & Exposedco-hosts Mark Raycroft and Jason Loftus to talk about her current research studying what types of images influence people to support conservation. Is it the beautiful image of a dolphin in the wild, a dolphin caught in a net, or a dolphin affected by marine plastic? Gabby may not have answers yet, but she has lots of other great questions to share.
This amazing “33-years-young” photographer tells us about her travels in Mauritius, Indonesia, Guatemala, Madagascar, and India—including her work as a Fulbright Scholar—but confesses that her favorite nature photography experience is something much closer to home.
On August 4th, the president signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act. At a time when not many people agree on anything the act, with strong bipartisan support, passed the Senate 73 to 25 and the House 310 to 107.
I photographed Grizzly 399 crossing the highway with a horde of photographers watching in the background as part of a project involving ecotourism and the pressure that it puts on wildlife. I had envisioned this image for some time now and, while I was in Wyoming for the NANPA Nature Celebration, I got the opportunity I was looking for. Grizzly 399 is famous for spending much of her time close to the road. I knew she would make for the perfect subject for this project. I created the image by making sure I was on the opposite side of the road as the rest of the crowd and then when the moment she crossed I lined myself up in the middle of the road to focus on the crowd.
In late January, on the way from Denver to Yellowstone National Park, some friends and I stopped in Jackson Hole for the night. Driving up the east side of the National Elk Refuge just out of town we came across a herd of 30 – 40 bighorn sheep. In late afternoon diffused light I found these four rams about to do some head-butting. Quickly setting up my new 600mm lens on my tripod I was able to grab a few frames before two of them separated and began jousting. The other two went back to grazing.
An urban prairie dog colony near downtown Fort Collins was scheduled for relocation. Construction of new apartments had begun. I knew an excavator would be coming to dig up part of the colony. I drove to the site every day to check on the excavator because I wanted to make a picture of a prairie dog with the excavator in the background to tell the story of development and urban prairie dogs. Finally, the excavator was in the perfect spot. I identified a burrow, set out my camera with a remote trigger, and waited until a prairie dog stood on that burrow.
During my first trip to India, I saw a striking 5-foot-tall bird standing by the roadside. I was told it was a Greater Adjutant stork. The next day, I was taken to the last place I expected to see a mass population of endangered birds: the sprawling Boragaon landfill. With no prior knowledge of my subjects and limited time, I had to think fast while shooting from a stationary vehicle. I’ll never forget the smell, which clung to my gear for days. The scene was heartbreaking yet beautiful. At that moment, I knew I had to pursue wildlife conservation photography.
“If you were alive in 1970, more than one in four birds have disappeared in your lifetime.” So begins a Cornell Chronicle article about a new study by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. That loss represents about three billion birds, across the US and Canada and across all biomes. Researchers examined decades of data on 529 species and found massive declines (53% loss) in the numbers of grasslands birds as well as big drops (37%) in shorebirds. As Ken Rosenberg, lead author of the study said, “It’s a strong signal that our human-altered landscapes are losing their ability to support birdlife. And that is an indicator of a coming collapse of the overall environment.”
In 2010, as part of the International League of Conservation Photographers’ Chesapeake Bay RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition), I found myself on the Anacostia River in Washington DC. The Anacostia is one of the most imperiled watersheds within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a sprawling eco-region spanning most of the Mid-Atlantic. The Anacostia is also my home watershed, where the water that drains off my house and yard ends up.