Photography awakens us to the experience of being alive.
National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 90 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.
Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. Recently, she joined Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation.
Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Clay Bolt is a Natural History and Conservation Photographer specializing in macro and close-up photography of Southern Appalachian biodiversity, with an emphasis on invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians. His images are regularly used by organizations and publications such as National Geographic, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Magazine, BBC Wildlife and many others to promote an awareness and preservation of wildlife. He is an Associate Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).
In 2009 Clay co-founded the international nature photography project Meet Your Neighbours. MYN has grown to include dozens of photographers around the world. The mission at MYN is to reconnect people with the wildlife that lives within their own communities. In 2012, in partnership with The Highlands Biological Foundation, he co-founded Backyard Naturalists, whose mission is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world in children through science, art and technology. His latest project will focus on North America's native bees, their importance to our world and the challenges that they currently face.
Clay is passionate about spreading the message that a connection to nature begins at home, and he is always seeking out new ways to promote this concept through his photography, writing, presentations and community involvement. For the past decade Clay has regularly partnered with organizations to develop imagery that can be used to support conservation.
John is an award winning freelance photographer based in Bucks County PA. John is a passionate photographer and enthusiastic workshop leader.
John was personally selected by Dewitt Jones to participate in his www.healingimages.org project. John’s work has been published in a number of magazines and books and has been used by Nik Software, Topaz Labs and Lensbaby in their advertising campaigns.
Recently, John was the recipient of an excellence award from B&W Magazine.
Legendary nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen has traveled throughout the natural world for over 40 years observing and photographing the Earth's last great wild places. A Nebraska native, Mangelsen's love of nature, his life outdoors and business success were heavily influenced by his father. An avid sportsman, Harold Mangelsen took his sons to favorite blinds along the Platte River in Nebraska to observe the great flocks of ducks, geese and cranes that migrate through the valley. From these adventures, Mangelsen learned important lessons for photographing in the field, most notably patience and understanding animal behavior.
One of the most prolific nature photographers of our time, Mangelsen is as much an artist as he is a conservationist. Tom was named the 2011 Conservation Photographer of the Year by Nature's Best Photography, placing his work in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. He was named one of the 40 Most Influential Nature Photographers by Outdoor Photography. His image Polar Dance was selected by the International League of Conservation Photographers as one of the 40 Most Important Nature Photographs of All Time. He was chosen as one of Dr. Jane Goodall's Heroes of the Animal Planet and profiled in the television series of the same name. Mangelsen was named one of the 100 Most Important People in Photography by American Photo magazine and honored with Nikon's Legend Behind the Lens recognition. The North American Nature Photography Association named him Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year, and Mangelsen also received the prestigious British Broadcasting Corporation's Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award. He was presented with an honorary doctorate from Doane College and received an Honorary Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society.
Mangelsen's work has been published in National Geographic, GEO, Le Figaro Magazine, BBC Wildlife, Life, Audubon, National Wildlife, Smithsonian, Natural History, Newsweek, Wildlife Art, American Photo, Nature's Best Photography and many other publications. Tom has also been profiled on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN's World News, CBS News, and ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. In addition, Mangelsen is co-founder of The Cougar Fund, a founding Fellow of The International League of Conservation Photographers, on the international advisory council for the Jane Goodall Institute and a board ambassador for the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.
Josh was born in the city, raised in the mountains. Grew up on granite and the smell of pine trees. Studied engineering and got a job designing satellites but didn’t like sitting in a cube all day. Found photography, fell in love with it, and has no plans to do anything else. Currently residing in California’s breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains.
A proud official Nikon photographer; his photos can be seen worldwide in the Nikon D750 campaign. In addition his work has been featured in magazines like Outdoor Photographer and Popular Photography, and hangs on walls in homes across the United States.
Paul's ALIVE interview is scheduled for release HERE in 2015!
"I love to make pictures that draw the audience in for a closer look.” Grab a flashlight, speedlight, headlamp, or glowstick and journey into the world of Dave Black where the action will be lit!
Dave’s education in Commercial Graphics Design and Studio Drawing lend well to his vision of photography. As a freelance photographer for over 30 years Dave’s work has primarily centered on the sports industry for such publications as Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, and the award winning TV show Sports Century on ESPN.
The list of coverage includes the Masters, Kentucky Derby, National Football League, NASCAR and extensive work regarding the United States Olympic Committee, Olympic athletes and coverage of twelve Olympic Games.
Known for his creative use of Speedlights and in particular with the artistic technique of Lightpainting, Dave’s portfolio continues to broaden into the commercial and advertising industry, and with specialized lighting projects including work for the National Geographic and their book Where Valor Rests, Arlington National Cemetery.
Dave is a "Nikon Ambassador" and a SanDisk Extreme Team photographer. His monthly website tutorial articles, Workshop at the Ranch attracts more than 85,000 unique visitors monthly. Check it out!
Grab a snorkel and immerse yourself in Brian’s jaw-dropping images.
Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine covering a wide range of subjects and stories.
Brian is praised worldwide for his aesthetic sense as well as his journalistic drive for relevance. His uniquely-creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea, but also help bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our oceans and its inhabitants.
His year round assignment schedule frequently finds himself in environments of extreme contrast from tropical coral reefs to diving beneath polar ice. While on assignment he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear Blimp to get the picture. He has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater over the last thirty years. That’s more than some fish.
For National Geographic Magazine, Brian has covered a wide range of stories, from the harp seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters to the alarming decrease in the world’s fisheries, both cover stories. Other NGM features have focused on subjects such as the planet’s last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, sharks of the Bahamas, marine reserves, sea turtles and squid. He is currently at work on his twentieth feature story for NGM.
Brian has also worked on assignment for or had images featured in magazines such as People, Sports Illustrated, US News and World Report, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Smithsonian, Playboy, Esquire, Audubon, Men’s Journal and in countless publications worldwide. He is also the author/photographer of five books. His latest monograph Ocean Soul, was released late in 2011 and continues to receive worldwide acclaim.
Brian frequently lectures on photography and conservation issues having presented at venues such as TED Talks, Harvard University, The National Press Club in Washington, DC, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He is also a regular guest on television programs such as NBC’s TODAY Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and ABC’s Good Morning America. Recognition for his work includes awards from organizations and competitions such as Pictures Of The Year International (POYi), BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature’s Best and Communication Arts.
In 2010, National Geographic magazine named one of Brian’s images among their 50 Greatest Photographs Of All Time. His fine art prints have been sold at auction at Christie’s, the world’s leading art business and he has had single photographer exhibits in venues such as Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, The G2 Gallery in Los Angeles and The National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC. Other recent print exhibits of Brian’s work have been held in Paris, Barcelona, Shanghai and Geneva. His latest exhibit, Portraits of Planet Ocean at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC opened in September 2013 and runs for nearly two years.
He is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), the Explorer-In-Residence for The New England Aquarium, a Marine Conservation Fellow with Conservation International, on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and on the Board of Directors of the Sea To Shore Alliance. In 2012, Brian created the New England Ocean Odyssey, a 5-year project with the Conservation Law Foundation to photograph marine wildlife in New England waters.
After three decades of exploring the world’s oceans, Skerry continues to pursue stories that will increase awareness about the sea.
“The oceans are in trouble. There are some serious problems out there that I believe are not clear to many people. My hope is to continually find new ways of creating images and stories that both celebrate the sea yet also highlight environmental problems. Photography can be a powerful instrument for change.”
Rob Sheppard is a naturalist, nature photographer and videographer who says his favorite location is the one he is in at any time. He is the author/photographer of over 40 books, as well as a well-known speaker and workshop leader, and a Fellow with the North American Nature Photography Association.
He was the long-time editor of the prestigious Outdoor Photographer magazine and helped start PCPhoto (Digital Photo). Presently he is editor-at-large for Outdoor Photographer. He trained both as a photographer and a naturalist specializing in ecology and botany.
As author/photographer, Sheppard has written hundreds of articles about photography and nature, plus books including the Magic of Digital Landscape Photography, The Magic of Digital Nature Photography, Digital Photographer’s Complete Guide to HD Video and the National Geographic Field Guide to Digital Photography.
Amy Gulick is an acclaimed nature photographer and writer. Her images and stories have been featured in: Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife, Audubon, Sierra, and other publications.
Her work has received honors such as the prestigious Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Voice of the Wild Award from the Alaska Wilderness League, and a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. She is also the recipient of a Philip Hyde Grant for her work in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, and a Mission Award, both presented by the North American Nature Photography Association.
Gulick is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers, a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and a member of the North American Nature Photography Association.
Dewitt Jones is one of America’s top professional photographers. Twenty years with National Geographic photographing stories around the globe has earned him the reputation as a world-class photojournalist. As a motion picture director, two of Dewitt’s films were nominated for Academy Awards.
In the business community, Dewitt’s work is also well known. He rose to the forefront of creative marketing by photographing national advertising campaigns for organizations such as Dewar’s Scotch, Canon, and United Airlines.
Dewitt has published nine books including California! and John Muir’s High Sierra. His most recent book, The Nature of Leadership, was created in collaboration with Stephen R. Covey.
Speaking to audiences across the country, Dewitt is recognized as a renowned lecturer. His genuine style and ability to communicate with audiences make his presentations truly outstanding. Dewitt’s inspirational messages are further discussed in his best selling training programs.
Dewitt graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in drama and holds a Master’s Degree in filmmaking from the University of California at Los Angeles.
My route to making a career from arduous physical challenges began when I was small and weak and could not get into any sports teams at school. I found my niche in the outdoor clubs, sailing, fell-running and completing the National 3 Peaks in 24 hours when I was 13.
At 18 I taught in Africa for a year. This opened my eyes to the beauty of the world, that the world is crazier and there’s more of it than we think. I tasted adventure, camped beneath southern stars and I wanted more.
Throughout university I read books of epic journeys*, dreamt of being a writer and an adventurer and I set about taking the steps to make it happen. I saved up for summer exploits and the more I saw the greedier I became.
Back home I ran in the hills and realized that simply refusing to stop is a good way to ensure you reach the end.
My self confidence rose and, with it, my ambition. Freed at last from the shackles of formal education I headed for the world to start learning. My journey round the world by bike was intended as a journey not a structured expedition. I would wander where the fancy took me, I would travel slow, and cheap, and with wide open, curious eyes. If I could also help to promote ‘Hope and Homes for Children’ by succeeding that would be a further boon.
There was focus to it all as well: I wanted to make it right round the world to come home with sufficient material to begin learning to be a writer. I enjoy writing and I would love to make my life as a writer.
Home at last I tried hard to bury my wanderlust. I have had normal jobs and I have written two books. But it has not succeeded, and I’m now preparing for the next adventure. I have been at my most excited when hunched over a map and dreaming of more, or when eulogising to children at my talks about the thrill of freedom, the privilege of opportunity, the satisfaction of self-reliance and my gratitude that, for whatever reason, I snatched at my dream and I acted upon it.
If my journeys can convince children (or anyone) to out-stare the fear of failure and insecurity and to take a risk upon their ambition then I shall be well-pleased. If I can also share my new appreciation of how good the people of the world actually are, as well as my experiences of the great imbalance and injustice in our world, and my corresponding scorn of the apathy and “affluenza” in our own society then so much the better.
My next big journey is different. It has nothing to do with the fun and excitement of foreign cultures. It is a complicated, high-budget, technologically challenging expedition. But I am thrilled by it because it is different, it is difficult and because it will take me to more new places. New places physically, certainly, but new places in my mind and spirit as well. I will learn more about how hard I can push myself, about how much I can endure. It will hammer home how important the important things are in life, and how trivial most of our concerns are.
If the expedition also convinces some children of the potential in their lives I will be proud. If the expedition produces a book and helps me to eke a career from doing what I love I will be grateful.
The lifelong memories will be sweet. But most of all the adventure itself will be glorious: forcing my heart and nerve and sinew to keep going through some of the most desolate, unvisited, majestic landscapes on Earth, the opportunity to explore what I am capable of, to make the most of my too-fleet three score years and ten, to share it all with a good friend, to try to achieve a goal many believe to be impossible.
And all this away from the rushing madness of the world. To seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield: that’s what I want.
Alastair's ALIVE interview has been released HERE!
Interview with Alastair Humphreys
Colby Brown is a professional photographer, photo educator and author based out of Denver, Colorado. He specializes in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography.
Throughout his work one can see that he combines his love of the natural world with his fascination of the world’s diverse cultures. Each of his photographs tells a story of life on this planet.
Born in California, he developed a love for both the ocean and the mountains at a young age. Whether he was exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains around Lake Tahoe or sailing around San Francisco Bay, Colby’s thirst for adventure and the outdoors started early.
Colby has dedicated the last eight years of his life to combining his passion for photography with his love of travel and adventure. From diving the Great Barrier Reef to climbing peaks in the Himalayas. Surfing the breaks off the North Shore in Hawaii to ice climbing the glaciers of New Zealand.
Through these experiences, he has learned the importance of compassion within this dynamic and complicated world we all live in. Lending a helping hand or even a smile can go a very long way. In 2010 Colby helped found Lespwa Haiti, an organization that sets out to bring back the focus on the rebuilding of Haiti. In 2011 Colby founded The Giving Lens, which blends photo education and giving back to local communities. If you get a chance, please check out the “Get Involved” section of this website to learn more.
While specializing in landscape and travel photography, Colby Brown, also does freelance photojournalism and donates his time to many Non Profit organizations while out in the field.
He is a citizen of both the US and Canada, a certified PADI Master Diver and Wilderness First Responder. He has worked as a photography instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions and is currently focusing much of his time and energy on Humanitarian efforts around the globe.
Colby’s Clients have included: National Geographic, The Sierra Club, The Red Cross, The City of Denver, San Antonio Express News, H.E.L.P, Tree’s Water & People, Amurt, Empowerment International, The Bethlahem Christmas Project, The Denver Post, The Matador Network and many others. You can find Colby’s photography work in art galleries throughout Colorado and Texas as well as in many private collections.
Colby’s latest book, Google+ for Photographers, is now available at nearly all major retailers and most independent book stores. It focuses on showing you not only the nuts and bolts of Google+, but how to use its features to build an online following and grow your photography business in this new age of digital personable interaction.
Prepare yourself for a young and fresh perspective on the natural world.
Living on the Pacific coast in British Columbia, Canada, Connor has learned about wildlife and wilderness firsthand. Connor's photography draws from knowledge gained throughout his life doing activities such as fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, and camping. It was mountain biking that first sparked his interest in photography, which he took up in 2008 at the age of 17. Having such an outdoor oriented background, his focus quickly switched to nature photography.
Connor was recently awarded the 2013 Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Eric Hosking Award in London, where he was also a speaker at the WildPhotos conference.
Connor has recently completed a biology degree in ecology and conservation and hopes to become a conservation photojournalist.
Connor's interview is scheduled for release HERE June 2014!
Joe and Mary Ann McDonald
Get ready to have a great time with Joe and Mary Ann.
They are the most prolific and active husband-wife nature photography team in the United States today. At least half of each year is spent in the field.
Joe has been photographing wildlife and nature since 1966, starting with images of his pet turtles, lizards, and snakes he made as a high school freshmen. By high school he was selling photos to the National Wildlife Federation, and by his freshman year in college he was publishing in that magazine.
Since then, Joe's been published in every natural history publication in the U.S., including Audubon, Bird Watcher's Digest, Birder's World, Defenders, Living Bird, Natural History, National and International Wildlife, Ranger Rick, Smithsonian, Wildlife Conservation, and more. He is represented by multiple stock photo agencies, both domestically and world-wide.
He is the author of seven books, A Practical Guide to Photographing American Wildlife; The Wildlife Photographer's Field Manual; The Complete Guide to Wildlife Photography; Designing Wildlife Photographs; Photographing on Safari, The New Complete Guide to Wildlife Photographyand African Wildlife, A Portrait of the Animal World. His book, Designing Wildlife Photographs, was judged best book by the Outdoor Writers Association of America for 1994. In 1999 he produced Photographing on Safari, Joe and Mary's first instructional video. With Rick Holt and Mary Ann McDonald, he is also the author of Digital Nature Photography - From Capture to Output.
Joe is a founding member of NANPA, the North American Nature Photography Association, is a NANPA fellow and a former Board of Director for that organization. He has conducted multiple educational sessions at the annual NANPA summits, and he and Mary Ann have been Keynote speakers at this event. He has also addressed nature photography groups around the country, in Arizona, California, Florida, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and elsewhere.
Mary Ann has been photographing wildlife and nature professionally since 1990, after her interest was ignited by taking a photo workshop run by her future husband. Since then, Mary's been published in most American natural history magazines, including cover credits with calendars and Natural History magazine.
Mary has written numerous children's books, including Leopards, Grizzly Bears, Woodpeckers, Flying Squirrels, Cobras, Boas, Pythons, Garter Snakes, Rattlesnakes, Jupiter, Cows, Horses, Chickens, Ducks, and Sunflowers. These text and photo books are illustrated with photographs by Joe and Mary Ann. Mary's also written an adult coffee table book, Out of the Past, Tradition and Faith of the Amish in 1996.
In 1994 Mary won two first place awards in the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. Her two winning entries are once in a lifetime shots. Her fighting flying Great Egrets is a rarely photographed action, and her shot of Noon, a tigress in India, is historic as Noon, and so many other tigers of the Indian park where the image was made has probably been killed by poachers.
Joe and Mary Ann's work appears regularly in calendars and publications of the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund, and such companies as Audubon, Birder's World, Brown Trout, Day Dream, Landmark, The Nature Company, Northword, Pet Prints, and numerous others. Although their work is represented by a number of stock photo agencies worldwide, they also maintain an active stock photo sales file from their Hoot Hollow home.
Joe and Mary Ann's ALIVE interview has been released HERE.
Interview with Joe and Mary Ann
Chris was born in Southampton in 1961, and as soon as he was crawling around suburbia Ladybirds were being desiccated in matchboxes and tadpoles tortured in jam jars.
Husbandry skills improved and the menagerie expanded to large collections of reptiles (inside) and birds of prey, foxes, badgers, squirrels etc (generally outside). A precocious young scientist, swat and nerd-in-training he studied Kestrels, Shrews and Badgers in his teens and undergraduate days at the Zoology department of Southampton University. He also embraced Punk Rock and played in a band. The DIY ethos and determination to never take ‘no’ for an answer are forcefully retained.
Post graduation and a cancelled PhD, (the Badgers were getting a bit much), he began taking still photographs and trained as a wildlife film cameraman. The photography continues with exhibitions and invitations to judge prestigious competitions but the camerawork gave way to presenting.
Chris began with the award winning ’Really Wild Show’ in 1986 and has been working ever since. Credits include ‘Wildshots’, ‘Wild Watch’, ‘Go Wild’, basically lots of things with ‘wild’ in the title. ‘X-Creatures’, ‘Postcards from the Wild’, ‘Hands on Nature’, ‘Nature’s Calendar’, ‘Springwatch’, ‘Autumnwatch’, ‘Secrets of our Living Planet’ had more inventive programme names.
At the turn of the century Chris ran a hugely successful production company ‘Head over Heels‘ making programmes for Animal Planet, National Geographic, ITV and the BBC.
Chris' interview is scheduled for release HERE July 2014!
Kathy Adams Clark
Kathy Adams Clark is the owner of KAC Productions. She started the company in 1995 after a career in human resources. Her photos have appeared in many places including Birder's World, Ranger Rick, The New York Times and National Geographic Books. Kathy also leads photo tours for Strabo Tours. She speaks frequently at association meetings and nature festivals. In addition, she is Past-president of the North American Nature Photography Association.
Kathy's interview is scheduled for release HERE in 2016!
Neil Losin, Ph.D. is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and writer. He has been using photography and video to tell science, natural history, conservation, and adventure stories for more than a decade. His images have won top honors in international photo competitions and have been published in dozens of books and magazines worldwide. Neil earned his Ph.D. from UCLA’s Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2012, studying the ecology, evolution, and behavior of invasive Anolis lizards in Florida and the Caribbean.
Neil co-founded Day’s Edge Productions with Nate Dappen, Ph.D. in 2010 to bring science and conservation stories to broad public audiences through creative visual media. Together, Neil and Nate produce multimedia stories for academic and non-profit clients, including National Geographic, World Wildlife Fund, TRAFFIC, University of Miami, National Science Foundation, Untamed Science, Pearson Publishing, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and others. They also teach photography and video skills to fellow scientists through immersive workshops. Workshop clients include University of North Carolina, Duke University, Organization for Tropical Studies, and Rutgers University.
Neil's interview is scheduled for release HERE June 2014!
Mac Stone is an award winning natural history and conservation photographer from Gainesville, Florida. Over the years his camera has carried him to some of the most wonderfully remote and imperiled areas this side of the globe. From presidential overthrows and the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, to the Cangrejal River Basin in Honduras, up to the sagebrush country of Wyoming, and into the deepest regions of the Everglades, he strives to expose the dynamic relationship between mankind and the natural world.
Published domestically and internationally, his images have been featured in National Geographic books and Traveler magazine, BBC Wildlife, Nature's Best Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, National Parks Magazine, Audubon Magazine and many more. Currently, his work focuses on America's swamps in an attempt to change public opinion towards our country’s wetlands. After spending nearly four years living and working in the Everglades watershed, he will be releasing a 300-page coffee table book about the heralded River of Grass. His book, Everglades: America's Wetland will be released by University Press of Florida in the late summer of 2014.
Mac's interview is scheduled for release HERE July 2014!
Capturing intimate images of wildlife, scenery, wildflowers, and a variety of other natural subjects in "just the right light" has long been the trademark of Bill's photography. He is best known for his artistic documentation of deer and bear behavior, the various moods of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Florida Everglades and southern ecosystems.
Photographing in the Smokies since 1975 has afforded Bill limitless opportunities to observe and record the flora, fauna, and scenery of the region. Bill's craft reflects his deep appreciation for nature and he communicates his enthusiasm and expertise as a natural history photographer and writer to others through his books, workshops, feature articles and civic presentations.
He has been teaching photo workshops at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont since 1992. More than 7,000 of Bill's photos have been published. His work has appeared in Audubon Calendars, BBC Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, numerous Great Smoky Mountains Association publications, National Geographic books, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife, and many others.
His three front covers in a row was a first in Field & Stream's more than 100-year history. Bill authored a coffee-table book titled Great Smoky Mountains Wildlife Portfolio and co-authored Great Smoky Mountains Wonder & Light and Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography. His most recent book, Cades Cove - Window to a Secret World is in its fourth printing.
He just released his book about the Florida Everglades which you will hear more about in the interview. When asked what he would most like to achieve through his photography, Bill replies,
"I hope my images will promote a better understanding and appreciation for wildlife, the natural world, and most of all, our Creator."
And finally, Bill says he would be amiss if he failed to mention how truly blessed he is to have such a wonderful and supportive wife—Klari. Her patience and understanding always endures. He is forever grateful.
Bill's interview is scheduled for release HERE July 2014!
Interview with Bill Lea
I first visited Alaska several years ago. It was September, and of the 16 days I spent here, I saw only two days without rain. I moved to Alaska permanently the next year. That classifies me as either crazy or entranced by this amazing land. I think it may be equal parts of both.
Alaska is a never ending, always changing, ever evolving canvas. It is a canvas that I simply can not take my eyes off of. I started strictly as a landscape photographer. But in Alaska, I couldn’t help but broaden my focus into the varied wildlife of this great land.
2014 will be the 10th year that I have photographed strictly within Alaska. I’ve been on the wrong side of several bull moose charges, gotten horrid-smelling salt water sprayed on my camera gear by a humpback whale that came in for a ‘closer look’, and I’ve knelt within 18 inches of an 800 pound brown bear on the Katmai Coast.
I’ve photographed the aurora borealis in temperatures that dove below -50, stood atop incredible mountains and looked at the next with lust, dangled in the claustrophobic spaces of glacial crevasses, and crossed bone-numbingly cold streams in deep rocky gorges. Throughout my travels, I’ve witnessed grander scenes than even a grand dreamer could dream. This timeless land continues to shape me. The creative spirit continues to guide me, fleeting moments of harmony continue to inspire me. Personal vision continues to drive me, and because of this, I strive to discover the lesser known and untold majesties that Alaska keeps secret from those glancing with only a cursory look.
I photograph to experience that primal connection with a place. Only in these places of wild beauty is my soul stirred most. The goal of my photography is to educate and compel. It is my hope that my photographs will move you, and create a lasting memory of one of our planet’s truly wild places, known as Alaska.
In 2013, David Ryan Taylor’s panoramic images won four Silver Awards at the Epson International Pano Awards.
I have been a professional nature photographer for over 30 years and have loved every minute of it! People keep asking me where my favorite place to shoot is. I tell them honestly my favorite place to shoot is wherever I am. I also continually try to explore and discover new ways of capturing images. The images that I create grow from what I call "emotional discovery". This is the discovery of previously unseen patterns and arrangements of colors and shapes in nature that create a strong emotional state within us when they are revealed. Each image is made more unique by the integration of lighting conditions that come together at the moment of the photograph's conception. It is here in the space created by natural conditions and emotional discovery that my images take shape. My time spent in nature instills a great sense of child-like wonder, harmony and oneness in me, and through my photographs I hope to share that special feeling.
Like fast-action drama in still life, the majestic beauty, boldness and depth of Clyde Butcher's photographs, which have earned him recognition as the foremost landscape photographic artist in America today, will make your heart beat faster.
Niki Vogel and Clyde married in 1963. He saw an Ansel Adams Photography exhibit at Yosemite National Park, and was so impressed by Adams' work that he began to photograph landscapes in black and white. Clyde left the architecture field in 1970 and began exhibiting his black and white photographs at art festivals.
In 1971 Clyde established his second business, Eye Encounter, Inc., and began selling his photographs as wall decor to department stores such as Montgomery-Wards, J.C. Penny's, and Sears. To enhance sales, he began to use color film, and also a 5"x7" view camera. In addition to photographing landscapes in California, he also began to take pictures in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Ohio, and Hawaii. Eye Encounter became a multi-million-dollar business, employing more than 200 workers. Due to the stress of the business Clyde sold it in 1977. To regroup he then built a sailboat and trailered it across the country to Florida.
In 1983 Clyde began photographing Florida beaches, still using color film. It wasn't until a visit to Tom Gaskin's Cypress Knee Museum in 1984, a roadside attraction in central Florida, that Clyde was introduced to a new side of Florida. He states, “After strolling on the boardwalk through a primeval cypress swamp, a whole new world was opened up for me". He then met Oscar Thompson, a Florida native, who introduced Clyde to the “interior" of the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Everglades by taking Clyde on his first walk in to the swamp. After his immersion in to the beauty he found so mysterious and primeval, Clyde was then inspired to take black and white photographs of the swamp.
In 1986, Clyde's 17 year-old son Ted was killed by a drunk driver. After which Clyde found solace in the wilderness of the Big Cypress National Preserve, where the mysterious, spiritual experience of being close to nature helped to restore his soul. Resolving to relinquish his ties to color photography, he destroyed his color work and vowed to use only black and white film. He purchased an 8"x10" view camera and enlarger.
Butcher has been honored by the state of Florida with the highest award that can be given to a private citizen: the Artist Hall of Fame Award. He was also privileged to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association and given the honor of being Humanitarian of the Year for 2005 from the International University. Additionally he received the 2011 Distinguished Artist Award from the Florida House in Washington, D.C. and the Sierra Club has given him the Ansel Adams Conservation Award, which is given to a photographer who shows excellence in photography and has contributed to the public awareness of the environment.