Photography awakens us to the experience of being alive.
I received my first camera as a birthday present in the mid 1980s.
It was the typical setup that you'd find at every K-Mart in the country: a Pentax K1000 with a basic zoom lens and a couple of worthless accessories. Since I give something everything I have or nothing at all, that camera was going to sit on a shelf and collect dust, or it was going to change my life. You can guess which one happened.
I've always loved nature and the outdoors. As a kid, family vacations were always to the North Carolina mountains in search of waterfalls. During these trips, my mother and older brothers talked about writing a North Carolina waterfall book one day. My family never followed through with this plan, but after I made a few mountain trips with my new camera, I decided that I would write the book that we had talked about.
But first, I had to learn how to take pictures. Early on, I signed up for a photography course at a local community college, but after a few classes I realized that the best way to learn nature photography (or any kind of photography) was to get out and photograph.
Aspiring photographers often ask me how to break into the photo business. The best advice I can offer is to concentrate on one region and shoot what you love. From a photography marketing standpoint, I think it's much better to have high-quality, in-depth coverage of a small region, than it is to have mediocre coverage of a large area. As for shooting what you love, why get into photography in the first place if you're not going to enjoy what you shoot?
Taking a dose of my own medicine, I decided long ago to specialize in my home state of North Carolina and shoot the subjects I love. I'm proud of my collection of images from locations around the world. But more often than not, you're likely to find me following my passion through the blackwater swamps, sand flats, old-growth forests, and Appalachian mountain trails of the Tarheel State.
Prepare to be inspired by the next-generation talent of Floris van Breugel. In his words,
"Art has always been a large part of my life, and I can confidently say that in addition to the countless hours I have spent out in the woods, my photographic style has been largely influenced by my experience in painting, jazz guitar, and engineering.
Eventually, I settled on nature photography for my creative outlet as it combines my passions for the natural world, discovery, innovation, excitement, and inner peace. In a single outing I can experience the thrill of a close encounter with a bear, dream up new ways of capturing light and form, and relax beside an alpine tarn - no other activity provides me with the diversity of experience that nature photography does.
I was born and raised in the bay area of California, and have spent much of my time photographing that wonderful state. Unfortunately I had to abandon the warm California sunshine and move to the evergreen state, Washington, for my work.
I now make my home in Seattle, WA, a place largely devoid of nature and saturated with cement, people, and cars. But, I live just hours away from some of the most spectacular scenery in America including the quietest, freshest, and greenest place in the continental US: Olympic National Park. When I am not out exploring and photographing, you can find me in the lab, studying how insects use sensory information such as visual and olfactory cues to control their flight behavior using high speed videography and real-time 3D multi-target computer vision based tracking."
Floris' interview is scheduled for release HERE late-June, 2014!
Ian Shive is an award-winning conservation photographer, author, educator, film producer and environmental advocate, most recently recognized as the recipient of the Sierra Club’s 2011 Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography.
Shive’s images have appeared in publications around the world including National Geographic, Time, Ski, Travel Channel, Gourmet, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, US News & World Report, Popular Science, Men’s Journal, Outside and hundreds of others. Often referred to as the leading chronicler of America’s National Parks today, Shive’s book The National Parks: Our American Landscape has become a best-selling photography book and has helped shape diplomacy efforts around the world through his Wilderness Diplomacy initiative, currently underway in Afghanistan.
In addition to being an active photographer, Shive is also the founder and CEO of Tandem Stills + Motion, Inc. a photography and motion clip licensing agency representing over 300 photographers worldwide specializing in the genres of culture, travel, geography, nature, adventure sports, outdoor lifestyle, sustainable living and nature conservation.
When he is not running operations at Tandem or fulfilling an assignment, Shive shares his knowledge as a photojournalism instructor at the University of Southern California. He resides in Los Angeles.
Ian's interview is scheduled for release HERE June 2014!
Watch interview with Ian
"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!
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.
Paul's ALIVE interview is scheduled for release HERE in 2015!
In 1993, Carl, influenced by the work of Brett Weston and the West Coast tradition, moved to the Monterey Bay area to study classic large format, black and white photography. In 1995 he purchased an 8x10 view camera, which he committed himself to for five years.
While living in Santa Cruz, Carl worked as a custom Ilfochrome print-maker, spending 8 hours working in a color darkroom then going home to work late in his black and white darkroom. During that period Carl quickly established himself as a young, up and coming photographer and expert printmaker.
In 1996, Carl made his first of numerous ascents of California’s Mount Shasta. It was on that trip that he fell in love with the glaciated, mountain landscape.
Between 1995-1999 Carl’s work with the 8x10 was exhibited in numerous group exhibits, two prominent solo shows and was featured in the 2007 issue of lenswork.
In 1998 and 2000, Carl dragged his “mini” camera, a 4x5, through the Nepal Himalayas. On those two trips he realized he wanted to live near big mountains and glaciers.
Unable to move to Nepal, Carl moved to Alaska in 2001 and quickly began exploring Alaska’s most remote mountain regions. Carl has explored and photographed over two hundred different glaciers in twelve different mountain ranges throughout Alaska. Within a few years he built a reputation as one of world’s premier wilderness photographers, a robust glacier and mountain explorer and dedicated conservationist.
In 2007, The Alaska Conservation Foundation gave Carl the Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award for his work exploring and photographing unprotected mountain regions in Alaska.
In 2008, Carl was awarded a Rasmuson Artist Fellowship to photograph glaciers throughout Alaska. Carl’s first solo book, Chugach State Park: Alaska’s Backyard Wilderness, was published by Greatland Graphics in 2011. Carl’s new book, The Alaska Range, is scheduled for publication Spring 2016.
Carl taught his first photography class in 1994 and his first wilderness course in 2002. Carl’s humour, openness and honesty have made him one of Alaska’s most popular photography-outdoor instructors.
Carl’s wilderness skills combined with his traditional photography background have made him one of the most unique and influential photographers working in Alaska today.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.