Collaborations for Cause 2017: The Power Of Partnerships

December 28th, 2016

Hosted in the beautiful Pacific Northwest by Blue Earth Alliance, we bring together socially conscious businesses, nonprofits, educators, public agencies and content creators for two days of inspiration, exploration, and partnership building.

We’re excited to present two full days of presentations, small group breakouts and networking opportunities at the iconic Seattle Central Library in downtown Seattle, May 5th and 6th, 2017.

C4C17 is a celebration of excellently-produced and meaningfully-impactful work, which brings awareness of important issues as shared through the lenses of visionary photographers and artists.

We have formed networking time, with even more breakout sessions and opportunities to work in small groups again. Please call if you are interested in facilitating a discussion or sponsoring a portion of a C4C17 breakout session, please call Gary Halpern at 206-364-7068.

Save the date and get your Early Bird tickets today!

Confirmed speakers include: Mary Virginia Swanson, Poulomi Basu, Jason Houston, Melissa Ryan, Mustafah Abdulaziz, David Moskowitz, and Helen Cherullo.

Please check out Sched for information on Collaborations for Cause, updates to our speaker list, schedule, sponsors, attendees, and to buy Early Bird tickets!

Thanks to PhotoWings, our partners for C4C16, you can see videos of the presentations from last year, 2014 and 2012

Thank you to our sponsors: PhotoWings, Canon, Glazer’s, Zeitgeist.


Nita Winter and Rob Badger Featured on NBC Bay Area

July 29th, 2016

Tune in this Sunday, July 31 to see Blue Earth sponsored project photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter discuss their beautiful wildflower work on NBC Bay Area’s OpenRoad with Doug McConnell. You can also view the clip online here:

Learn more about their project, “Beauty and the Beast, Wildflowers and Climate Change” on the Blue Earth site:

You can also see more on their website:

PhotoWings Publishes Collaborations Video

June 13th, 2016

PhotoWings has published a compilation video of interviews from this year’s Collaborations for Cause event.  This video captures the essence of the power of collaboration from the inspiring words of our event presenters.



Thomas Russell Kennedy - Photo Director and Visual Journalist
Tim Greyhavens - Executive Director, Wilburforce Foundation
Amy Benson - Documentary Filmmaker
Daniel Beltrá - Photographer
Jeff Cappella - Senior Program Director, Resource Media
Roger Ressmeyer - Photographer and Filmmaker
Louie Schwartzberg - Director and Cinematographer
Alasdair Turner- Photographer and Mountaineer
Greg Constantine - Photographer
Sara Terry - Photographer and Filmmaker
Scott Squire - Documentary Filmmaker

Blue Earth Board Expands

June 13th, 2016

Photograph by Karen Ducey

Blue Earth is sustained by the dedication and passion of a volunteer board of directors. Last week we connected for a short retreat to speak about the upcoming year and to map out the future of Blue Earth.  During the retreat, we heard fresh perspectives from our 8 new board members.   We happily welcome the following individuals to our board of directors:

Thor Radford, Lisa Delfiner Parsons, David Ryder, Drew Stone, Debbie Espinosa, Mandy Lindgren, Tom Lynn, and Karen Ducey.

Our new members join the existing board:

Natalie Fobes, Gary Halpern, Rebecca Kaplan, Kaylyn Messer, Kristie McLean, Kevin Owyang, Russell Sparkman, and Kris Krüg.

The entire board would like to express our gratitude to each of our audience members for your continued support of Blue Earth!

Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish

June 1st, 2016

Blue Earth photographer Tom Reese’s book published.

Through photographs and words, Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish explores the complicated relationship between Seattleites and their only river. Central to the indigenous settlement that preceded the city, the Duwamish was critical to Seattle’s founding and growth, but it has paid a steep price. Straightened, filled with trash and toxins, and generally neglected by those who benefited from it the most, the river was declared a Superfund site in 2001.

Long before then, however, some Seattleites were already trying to reclaim their river, and for almost twenty years, Tom Reese has documented the river landscape and the people engaged with this important place. His images bring forward what might seem like contradictions: a seal surfacing near an active sewage pipe, a family playing at a park adjacent to a barge loaded with scrap metal, a salmon swimming past a sunken tire. His attentive study offers a way not to turn away from this river, but rather to learn to understand the changed beauty of the Duwamish and the possibilities for its future.

Give Big Extended through Midnight, May 4

April 29th, 2016

Due to some technical difficulties, the donation period for Give Big with the Seattle Foundation has been extended through midnight tonight, May 4th.   There is still time to donate.

Help us continue our work educating the public about important social, environmental and cultural stories by supporting documentary projects, both still and film. We support our project photographers and film makers through mentoring, internal resources and external networks. We want to help publicize the stories that need to be told.

Donate Here


Artist Talk: Daniel Beltrá, 2016

February 15th, 2016

Daniel Beltrá is interviewed by Catherine Edelman, President of the Association of International Photography, for the opening of his show Ice/Green Lands at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago. The show is open through March 5, 2016.


Daniel Beltrá is a fine art photographer based in Seattle. His passion for conservation is evident in his evocatively poignant images of our environment.

View the entire interview on Vimeo:

unnamed3 Artist Talk: Daniel Beltrá, 2016

Collaborations for Cause 2016

February 9th, 2016

Collaborations for Cause 2016 to be held April 15 & 16 in Seattle.

We are thrilled to invite you to join Blue Earth for our 4th Collaborations for Cause conference. Our two day event will build upon the 20-year history Blue Earth has had of facilitating issue-driven visual storytelling.

Highlights from this year’s program include:

*ASMP’s Executive Director Tom Kennedy. ASMP: American Society of Media Photographers – National Page
*David Patton, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at Vulcan Inc.

Grab the discounted price of $275 per ticket, a savings of $74! Space is limited, and Early Bird pricing ends on February 28th.
We would like to thank the sponsors of Collaborations for Cause 2016!

Register for the Conference Here

Give a little, give a lot

December 1st, 2015


Today is Giving Tuesday!

Every little donation can make a huge difference for a small organization.   We have big plans for 2016 and your support will help us continue our work!

Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue to educate the public about pressing environmental and social issues.

Thank you!

Donate Today

Mountain Caribou by David Moskowitz Sponsored by Blue Earth

November 11th, 2015


We are thrilled to announce David Moskowitz as the newest Blue Earth sponsored visual storyteller with his project, Mountain Caribou. David’s project was chosen during the summer submission session and is featured on the Blue Earth website. The project examines a species in peril in a rapidly shifting landscape.   To learn more about the project, please visit the Mountain Caribou project page.

The alpine kingdom of mountain caribou in western Canada and the northwestern United States is crumbling around these beautiful and sensitive creatures. As their habitat has been steadily altered or destroyed by human activities, mountain caribou have been declining rapidly. Unsure whether this project will be documentation of the end of a distinct ecotype of caribou or a step towards inspiring the change in human behavior needed to save these animals, David Moskowitz set out to explore the world of these reclusive animals across the Selkirk, Columbia and Rocky mountains.


Cuba: Black and White published by Steidl

October 22nd, 2015

Cuba: Black and White

<p>Anna Mia Davidson’s new book, <a href=”” target=”_top”>Cuba: Black and White</a>, will be published by Steidl this December. Blue Earth sponsored her Cuba project.</p>

<p>An exhibit of Anna’s Cuba prints will be held at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles Dec. 10-Jan. 18th.</p>

<p>The book is available for pre-sale at <a href=”″ target=”_top”>Amazon</a>. </p>

PIX 2015 Blue Earth Speakers and Exhibit

October 7th, 2015

Please join us at PIX 2015 where Natalie Fobes, president and co-founder of Blue Earth, and project photographers Tom Reese, Anna Mia Davidson and Tim Matsui, will be presenting on Wednesday, Oct. 7th, at 2 p.m. And while you’re there, look for the Blue Earth exhibit of prints from our projects in McCaw Hall. Thanks goes to Digital Photography Review for sponsoring the talks and exhibit!

Reaching Home
Natalie Fobes

Choosing Hope: Reclaiming the Duwamish River
Tom Reese

Shooting With a Point of View: Cuba Black and White
Anna Mia Davidson

The Long Night
Tim Matsui


Summer Submission Deadline July 20th, 2015

June 19th, 2015

Getting the mail is dangerous in fracking country

Fracking: Forgotten on the Bakken by Bruce Farnsworth

We are looking for your best work! Our summer call for entries is open through July 20th and you still have time to submit your projects for consideration.

Inspire Positive Change

If you are looking to polish your project proposal please refer to the submission guidelines where you will find details about the required materials and sponsorship scope. You can also develop your project further using our resource manual, Shooting from the Heart.

In the recent years, Blue Earth has expanded the submission guidelines to support short video documentary projects as well as team applications. Strong visual storytelling can come in many forms and we are focused on supporting your diverse multimedia projects.

Blue Earth offers fiscal accountability to the projects we accept for sponsorship. As a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status, Blue Earth is eligible to receive grants and tax-deductible contributions from private foundations, individuals, or other entities.


Ross Island and the Future of the McMurdo Sound Region by Alasdair Turner

GiveBig with The Seattle Foundation

May 5th, 2015


Today is the day to GIVE BIG!

Blue Earth believes documentary photography can inspire positive change in the world. Change starts with individuals, and you can be that change.

Today your contributions and gifts through The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBig event will provide Blue Earth with the support we need to continue to support our project photographers and their important work.

Your donations will benefit Blue Earth directly and The Seattle Foundation will help your gift stretch as they reach each goal.

Thank You!

Donate Now


Blue Earth Accepts 3 New Projects

May 1st, 2015

We are proud to introduce you to three new projects which have been accepted for Blue Earth sponsorship.  We are thrilled to announce these collections of compelling work and would like to congratulate our new project photographers and welcome them to the Blue Earth community.

We would also like to thank our members for helping us continue to support strong visual storytelling such as these bodies of work.  You make this possible!

Please take a moment to visit each project page to meet the sponsored artist and to learn more about the social and environmental issues brought to life through their stunning images.


Ross Island and the Future of the McMurdo Sound Region by Alasdair Turner

“We have entered a time when places the least near us beckon us to understand them, to feel them so that while we tred on our part of the Earth they are constantly with us and with our choices. Ross Island and the McMurdo Sound Region and the science being conducted there embody what is left of our critical and fragile ecosystems and our attempts to understand them. They are not land for a nation but a place for the world.”

Fracking in the Bakken region encroach on Theodore Roosevelt Nat
Fracking: Forgotten on the Bakken by Bruce Farnsworth

“Traditions of open space and agrarian livelihoods have been disrupted by a flurry of activities associated with the high-volume hydraulic fracturing industry. North Dakota—situated on the Bakken geologic formation—is now the second highest oil-producing state in the nation.”


Between River and Sea - Michael Hanson

“For over a century, an independent, hand-built industry has drifted through the shallow waters of the Apalachicola Bay. This bay, one of the most productive and unique ecosystems in the country, once produced 10% of the nation’s oysters and 90% of Florida’s. Today, only a handful of oystermen have work and this community struggles to maintain its tradition and livelihood.”

The next open call for new project submissions is July 20th, 2015

Your Support Makes Our Work Possible

December 16th, 2014

Blue Earth is celebrating its 18th anniversary…

and you are the reason why!


Matt Eich. Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town. Accepted for Blue Earth sponsorship, 2014.

Your support allows us to support photo, film and video documentarians in their efforts to inspire positive change on social issues.

Thanks to you, Blue Earth has had another amazing year of accomplishments. Our third annual conference, Collaborations for Cause, brought together close to 200 non-profit personnel, photographers, videographers and communications professionals for 2-1/2 days and 21 hours of programming. We accepted seven new projects for sponsorship. Our current projects have been published as books, exhibits and websites and have raised over $100,000.

To continue to evolve as a permanent and dynamic organization that documentary photographers, filmmakers and videographers can rely on, we ask for the support of individuals like you who understand, appreciate, and are passionate about our mission.

Please make a donation to ensure a strong 2015!

Blue Earth needs you.

Our photographers, filmmakers and videographers need you.

Please consider Blue Earth in your year-end giving. Your generous support, no matter what amount, allows us to sustain the support that enables these artists to inspire positive change in our society.


Many thanks for your contribution!

Blue Earth is a 501c3 not-for-profit, and donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donations can be made securely online, or by check: Blue Earth, P.O. Box 4490, Seattle, WA 98194

Call For Photographers And Filmmakers Deadline: January 20th, 2015

December 11th, 2014

3 Millimeters
From Greg Kahn’s project: 3 Millimeters. Accepted for Blue Earth sponsorship, January 2014.

Calling all documentary filmmakers and photographers! Blue Earth’s next application deadline is January 20th, 2015.

Blue Earth sponsors documentary projects whose goal is to educate the public about critical environmental and social issues. We are primarily interested in work that is educational and informational in nature and will consider proposals of any geographic scope involving the photographic and motion picture mediums. Our standard contract sponsors the project for two years.

Blue Earth offers fiscal accountability to the projects we accept for sponsorship. As a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status, Blue Earth is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions from private foundations, individuals, or other entities. Along with this fiscal accountability, you will join an elite community of passionate and dedicated story-tellers. We offer mentorship throughout the life of your project sponsorship, publicity on social media, our blog and newsletters, and more depending upon individual needs. Check out our submission guidelines for more details.

Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt’s Wilderness

November 29th, 2014

Blue Earth photographer Omar Attum’s book on the Sinai Wilderness has been published by The American University in Cairo Press.


“Sinai’s allure is legendary. Its spectacular landscapes, thriving flora and fauna, and unique history, the store of centuries, have long held sway in the imagination of millions. The high mountains and wadis of the peninsula’s south provide the fertile soil that feeds some of Egypt’s highest diversity of plants, while foxes, vipers, lizards, and tortoises are just some of the animals that make their home in the north, which is characterized by lagoons and vast dunes of soft sand. Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt’s Wilderness transports us to the haunting grandeur of this peninsula with 150 breathtaking full-color photographs.

Omar Attum’s discerning eye shows us blood-red mountains, animals in natural repose and habitat, solitary trees and flowers, and fugitive strips of water, conveying stark beauty and enormous vulnerability, an abundance of life yet utter, devastating peace.

The photographs are accompanied by an evocative introduction by Attum to Sinai’s wildlife and landscape. This book is a result of multiple expeditions, camping trips, and extended backpacking journeys, during a thirteen-year span in which he started to seriously photograph Sinai in 2000. Some of the backpacking trips involved hikes as long as 170 km.”

Omar will be donating 20% of the proceeds towards conservation of wildlife in Sinai.

To view Omar’s Blue Earth project visit SINAI WILDERNESS: Endangered Wildlife and Vanishing Cultures

Collaborations For Cause Videos

November 29th, 2014

Videos from Collaborations For Cause retreat are now online.  Included in this initial selection are videos of the panels and presentations from the weekend events.   Interviews with the conference speakers about their work will be coming soon.

Collaborations For Cause was held September 25-27th and brought together cutting-edge content producers and front-line organizations for an exploration of how to harness the power of the evolving media landscape.

If you were unable to attend the retreat, or just want to refresh your notes from the day, these videos are a great resource that we are pleased to be able to offer as a free service.

Collaborations For Cause Videos

Our thanks go out to PhotoWings for partnering with Blue Earth and videotaping Collaborations For Cause.


PhotoWings’ mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. We help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved.

PhotoWings is much more than just photography. We are an educational hub and a vehicle for bringing together people from divergent perspectives around the power of photography.

Collaborations For Cause: Reserve Your Spot Today

September 17th, 2014


Blue Earth’s third annual Collaborations for Cause will be held in Seattle, Washington on September 25-27th, 2014.

Collaborations for Cause begins next Thursday. Join the scores of professional story-tellers who’ve already reserved their seats. Prepare to be informed and inspired and ready to network with other people and organizations that are changing the world through visual storytelling. Space is going quickly so reserve your seat today. Already coming? Please spread the word to your community and colleagues.

This retreat is a unique opportunity for nonprofits, change-makers, and cause-driven content producers to gather in Seattle to discuss the collaborative future of storytelling. From a mix of in-depth case studies, insightful panel discussions, and “unconference” break-out sessions, participants will leave inspired with fresh approaches, an expanded network of contacts and new resolve to build lasting positive change.

Full Program Details

Register Today

Student Tickets will include a 30% discount. Student registrants must show a valid ID at check-in.

Traveling? We have a block of rooms reserved at Hotel Max. There are only 7 hotel rooms still available at our special, negotiated conference rate. Please contact Annie Cooper, Sales and Events Manager at Hotel Max, to reserve:

The conference will be located at the Impact Hub in Seattle and is supported by our conference partner PhotoWings.

Blue Earth Accepts Seven Projects for 2014

August 8th, 2014

We are proud to announce the acceptance of seven new documentary projects for Blue Earth sponsorship since January 2014.

Everyone at Blue Earth, including our members without whom Blue Earth would not exist, wishes to congratulate our new project photographers!   We very much look forward to working together to further their efforts to educate the public about these pressing issues.  We invite you to visit each project page to  view a gallery of the work, read in detail about the project concept, and to learn about the sponsored artist.

Join us at Collaborations for Cause where case studies from two of the projects will be presented - Tim Matsui for Leaving the Life, and Matt Eich for Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town.


Leaving The Life - Tim Matsui

“Leaving The Life is a multi-platform initiative to facilitate a collective action-oriented dialogue around the crisis of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children in the US. After working fifteen years on issues related to trauma and victimization, first with sexual violence and now with various forms of human trafficking, both in the US and abroad, multimedia journalist and producer Tim Matsui has embarked in an innovative long-term effort.”


Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town - Matt Eich

“Since early 2010 I have returned to the town of Greenwood, Mississippi to explore the contemporary race and class disparity in this historically divided community. In a city of 15,505,  50.9 percent of the black residents live below the poverty line while just 15 percent of the whites do. The real legacies of racism in the South continue to impact people economically and culturally, in persistent and often pernicious ways. By visually introducing neighbors to one another in an honest and intimate way, my goal is to foster understanding and dispel uncertainty and fear.”


Salvation Fish - Paul Colangelo

“Salvation Fish is a three-pronged project with the goal of raising the public profile and scientific knowledge of eulachon. Eulachon is a small herring-like fish whose importance to the coastal First Nations and ecosystems cannot be overstated. Yet even after suffering devastating declines since the 1990s, they remain largely unknown because they are not part of a commercial fishery and they lack the charisma needed to capture our imagination.”

Upper Mustang, the last Tibet

Upper Mustang - Filippo Mutani

“Upper Mustang is also known as a “Tibet outside the Tibetan Border.” It resisted the Chinese invasion and it has been the base for the C.I.A. financed guerrilla against China during the sixties. The last King reigned until 2008, and he still lives in Lo Manthang. Being forbidden to foreigners until 1992, the Mustang is also the last Tibet enclave because it has managed to preserve original tibetan culture and buddhism practically untouched since the middle age.

3 Millimeters

3 Millimeters - Greg Kahn

“Three extra millimeters of water every year will make land vanish. It will swallow communities. It will change environmental habitats forever. For townspeople along the inner-coastal region of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the impact of sea level rise is no longer an abstract worry debated by politicians. They see the land becoming more saturated beneath their feet.


Heaven’s Gain - Justin Maxon

In Chester, Pa, families are seeking justice and yearning for ways to heal. With one of the highest homicide rates in the country, the city has sustained unresolved loss of hundreds of lives over the last twenty years. This work aims to restore fragile memories and forge pathways to justice, healing, and restitution for the families of Chester.


Wolf Haven - Annie Marie Musselman

“In the wake of the exotic animal trade, a sanctuary exists in Washington State where wolves are rescued from private owners, roadside zoos, animal collectors, and research facilities and are brought to a place where they receive a lifetime of compassionate care. The animals at Wolf Haven are treated with the utmost dignity and respect, including being given large enclosures to roam and also a partner to cohabitate with.”

We will be holding an open call for new project submissions January 2015.

Collaborations for Cause Early Registration Discount Extended Through August 15, 2014

August 1st, 2014

We’re so pleased by the growing excitement around Collaborations for Cause, we’ve extended the early bird $55 discount to August 15. There’s still time to reserve a seat!

We have also added a limited number of reduced priced tickets for student registrants. Student Tickets will include a 30% discount with proof of a valid ID.

Register Today!

Collaborations for Cause, September 25-27

July 2nd, 2014


Join us September 25-27th in Seattle for Collaborations for Cause 2014.  Tickets are available today.

Presented by Blue Earth, the third annual conference brings together nonprofits, photographers, change-makers, and communications professionals to discuss the collaborative future of storytelling.

New this year is a special private screening and reception on Thursday night and two different pre-conference workshops in the days preceding the event. During the two day conference participants will hear case studies from award-winning visual storytellers, attend compelling panel discussions, participate and contribute in break-out sessions, and learn from a series of keynote speakers.

Seating at the conference will be limited to ensure attendees have ample opportunities for participation and networking.  The conference will be located at the Impact Hub in Seattle and is supported by conference partner PhotoWings.

Early registration is open through August 1st.  Register now and save $55!

See the full conference program here.

Collaborations for Cause coming to Seattle in September

May 29th, 2014

Blue Earth’s annual Collaborations for Cause conference will be held September 26-27, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The two-day event brings together nonprofits, photographers, change-makers, and communications professionals to discuss the collaborative future of storytelling. Registration will open in early June. Stay tuned!

Howard Chapnick Grant Open for Entries

May 22nd, 2014

The Howard Chapnick Grant sponsored in part by ASMP, was established in 1996 by the Smith Fund and friends of Howard Chapnick to honor his memory as the head of the Black Star photo agency, and to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing, research, education and management. The grant award amount is $5,000.  The grant may also be used to further education or research initiatives, as well as long-term sabbatical projects or internships.

Recipients of the Howard Chapnick Grant will be selected by the Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in Humanistic Photography.

Deadline to apply: July 15th, 2014

Photographic Center Northwest Call for Entries

April 28th, 2014

Documentary is the theme for the 19th Annual Photography Exhibition at the Photographic Center Northwest.  Send in your photographs by May 28th to be considered for the juried exhibit at the PCNW in Seattle, WA.

Documentary: 19th Annual Photography Exhibition

Juror: Whitney Johnson, Director of Photography, The New Yorker
Whitney Johnson oversees the photographic vision for the The New Yorker’s print magazine, digital editions, and the website. She has taught at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts, Columbia University’s School of Journalism, and ICP.

Update: Extended Deadline: May, 28th 2014


Jamey Stillings’ Images Acquired

April 4th, 2014


Aerial view, installed heliostats (pairs of mirrors) in “safe” or resting position. ISEGS, Mojave Desert, CA, 2012.

A collection of 25 prints from Jamey Stillings’ project Changing Perspectives has been acquired by the U.S. Library of Congress for their permanent collection.  The images are from his aerial survey of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California’s Mojave Desert.

The collection can be viewed through the U.S. Library of Congress’ digital archive Prints and Photographs Collection.

this collection will also have a digital archive hosted within the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Collection. - See more at:
this collection will also have a digital archive hosted within the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Collection. - See more at:
this collection will also have a digital archive hosted within the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Collection. - See more at:
his collection will also have a digital archive hosted within the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Collection. - See more at:

Riedel’s Second Letter From Eastern Congo

February 27th, 2014

Those Who Are Left Remember – Eastern Congo, 2011

Those Who Are Left Remember - Eastern Congo, 2011


In August 2011, writing my first Letter from Eastern Congo, I had no idea of the extent to which my fieldwork in South-Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would change my life. I am not thinking here of the early morning of August 13, 2013, when a gun battle that lasted three hours awakened me to memories of childhood experiences in Germany during World War II. Here for a brief time, I experienced the chaos that the people of the eastern DRC have been facing, sometimes daily, for the past twenty years.

In my Cameras without Borders: Photography for Healing and Peace project I engage survivors of trauma in image making both in front and behind the camera (Riedel, 2013, p.11). The project has evolved and in conflict-ravaged, rural communities of the eastern DRC small groups of local people are increasingly involved in addressing the ‘collective trauma’ of epidemic violence and genocidal warfare (Riedel, 2014). This work is proceeding in collaboration with professionals and volunteers associated with the Great Lakes Foundation (GLF) for Peace and Justice, Pastor Bwimana Aembe, Director.


After The Attack I – Eastern Congo, 2012

After The Attack- Eastern Congo, 2012


After The Attack II – Eastern Congo, 2012

After The Attack II - Eastern Congo, 2012


Intergenerational transmission of trauma is a serious problem because it fuels ever-more destructive cycles of violence. For example, in a village that had suffered horrible massacres I facilitated a support group for eight former child-soldiers; their average age was 16, but they had spent a total of 43 years in captivity in the bush, on average 5.4 years each. Later I engaged these young men in a psychotherapeutic photography workshop - I describe details of this technique and other examples in a journal article entitled, “Psychology, Photography, and Social Advocacy” (Riedel, 2013). One of the young men said to me, “You have given me something more important than money.” As a photographer and psychologist I seek to set into motion processes that help people transcend being paralyzed by trauma to being able to live with trauma.

Collective trauma dehumanizes individual and community life. In the contested areas of the eastern DRC sexual atrocities and torture are employed as weapons of warfare. In the aftermath, I frequently observe how traumatized communities scapegoat victims resulting in what I call ‘circular oppression.’ My mantra is de-traumatization means humanizing the situation.

Dehumanization extends to environmental problems. For example, I often observe how traumatized communities lose resilience and connection to indigenous roots and cultural values. Frequently trauma becomes a thinly veiled excuse for exploitation. We are or should be aware of the environmental trauma caused by international mineral exploitation in the eastern DRC. But it is no less disastrous when traumatized communities, for example, turn their old-growth forests into charcoal for sale, destroying the very resources on which their lives depended for centuries. In collectively traumatized communities human and environmental devastation are linked and must be addressed holistically.

The toxic repercussions of the confluence of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and international mineral exploitation in the eastern DRC have set into motion a human tragedy of unspeakable brutality in which, since 1994, an estimated six million Congolese citizens have died. This is a horror the world widely ignores. My field experiences with my Cameras Without Borders project have convinced me that this overwhelming human suffering is not just a political issue, to be left to military and political solutions, but needs to be approached as a mental and public health problem. I am not the first person warning, “When we imagine that our psychology is separate from politics, we support violent conflict” (Audergon, 2004).

Through my photographic work in the DRC I came to realize that there is no logically foreseeable, linear solution to the complex collective trauma situation there. I began thinking in terms of dynamic patterns…of cycles (Riedel, 2014). For example, healthy situations are characterized by cycles of generativity and collective trauma situations by cycles of violence. Intervention requires interrupting the cycles of violence to help traumatized communities to connect with generative energies. It is not about getting it right at first try but about finding a process, which I call purposeful action that sets into motion cycles of healing. To be effective, change in these troubled regions must be homegrown, i.e. it must emerge out of the native environment rather than imposed from the outside.

When I ventured into South-Kivu Province, DRC, in 2011, over and over in traumatized rural communities I heard women and girls, all survivors of sexual atrocities and torture, ask for a “field hospital” that would tend to their physical and emotional wounds. The plight of child-soldiers, who are also the victims of rampant violence, was not different.

Over the past three years, listening to and working with trauma survivors, doctors at small rural hospitals, as well as community organizers the idea of a holistic Mobile Clinic Trauma Management project developed. The Pettit Foundation awarded my Cameras Without Borders: Photography for Healing and Peace project at Blue Earth a $50,000 grant. Their generosity is a great example of how partnerships between communities, documentary photographers, and foundations can yield concrete results.


Mobile Clinic I – Eastern Congo, 2013

Mobile Clinic I - Eastern Congo, 2013


Mobile Clinic II – Eastern Congo, 2012

Mobile Clinic II – Eastern Congo, 2012


The Mobile Clinic pilot project provides not only medical and psychosocial treatment but also vocational training programs (Riedel, 2014). The project reaches out to rural areas where the Congolese trauma epidemic rages out of control and survivors have no access to medical care and many die. During its first year, the on-the-ground impact of the Mobile Clinic project is helping more than 1,000 survivors of war-related sexual atrocities and torture to access medical and psychosocial treatment. The project also provides seed money to communities for vocational training projects with the dual purpose of social reintegration of trauma victims and economic community development.

The training projects encourage local organizations to develop a sense of independence, decision-making, and acceptance of responsibility for making the Mobile Clinic Program self-sustaining. These expectations are strategically important to empower communities, overcome forces of social fragmentation, and counter the pervasive sense of helplessness and dependency associated with collective trauma: “Detraumatization means humanizing the situation.”

Eberhard Riedel, Photographer and Psychoanalyst


Visit Riedel’s project page Cameras without Borders: Photography for Healing and Peace at Blue Earth for a gallery of his recent photos.

2014 Photocrati Fund Competition

February 10th, 2014

Photocrati Fund

Deadline: April 18, 2014

The Photocrati Fund offers a $5000 grant to a photographer to undertake an important humanitarian or environmental photography project. Our goal is to identify outstanding photographers and to provide support towards projects that will have a tangible and positive effect on the world.

The 2014 Photocrati Fund competition will be open from January 30, 2014- April 18, 2014. Following that time, the applications will be judged by our panel of distinguished reviewers. The grant winner will be announced in late June 2014. The grantee will then become a Photocrati Fellow for the calendar year from the announcement of his/her award until the announcement of the following year’s award.

Award decisions will be made by the Photocrati Fund Board, a prestigious panel that includes some of the world’s best-known environmental and cultural photographers. We are still confirming 2014 judges. The 2013 Photocrati Fund Board and judges for the competition included Steve McCurry, Michael “Nick” Nichols, and Jim Brandenburg.

Rob Badger Selected For WPY Book

February 7th, 2014

Avalanche Lilies, Mount Rainier National Park, Cascade Range, Washington. All flowers are photographed in the field still attached to the plant with a natural light studio. From Rob Badger and Nita Winter's "Beauty and the Beast: Wildflowers and Climate Change"

Avalanche Lilies, Mount Rainier National Park, Cascade Range, Washington. All flowers are photographed in the field still attached to the plant with a natural light studio. From Rob Badger and Nita Winter’s “Beauty and the Beast: Wildflowers and Climate Change”


Rob Badger’s 2009 Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) award winning wildflower landscape (category: Wild Places) is one of 200 images selected to be included in their 50th Anniversary book.  Sponsored by the British Museum of Natural History and the BBC Worldwide, the competition “provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography.” His photo was selected from a pool of 50 years’ worth of contest images.

Our congratulations to Badger on this honor!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

EcoPix Grants for Conservation Photography

January 31st, 2014

EcoPix Grants for Conservation Photography

Deadline: NA

EcoPix grants help meet the non-equipment costs of small photographic projects which further nature conservation in Australia and its near neighbours, for example Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Melanesia. The grants aim to develop the skills of young emerging conservation photographers in the region. However, there are no criteria for an applicant’s age or nationality. Grants are for up to $2,000, and are payable to community groups on behalf of individual photographers. This is to promote accountability and encourage conservation photographers to work with community groups, to direct their efforts effectively and gain assignment experience.

Michael Forster Rothbart In The News

January 27th, 2014

Chernobyl engineer Sergii Bokov works in the liquid radioactive waste treatment facility. From Michael Forster Rothbart’s “After Chernobyl, After Fukushima”

Chernobyl engineer Sergii Bokov works in the liquid radioactive waste treatment facility. From Michael Forster Rothbart’s “After Chernobyl, After Fukushima”


Michael Forster Rothbart, Blue Earth project After Chernobyl, After Fukushima, has been busy speaking about his new book Would You Stay?, which focuses on communities near major nuclear accident sites and the individuals who chose to remain.  Last week, he was interviewed on Living on Earth and has recently published photo essays in Mother Jones and Scientific American.  Further information, including an interview and excerpts from his new book can be found on the TED Blog.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Sarah Fretwell At TEDxSkidRow

January 8th, 2014

The truth told: Sarah Fretwell at TEDxSkidRow

TEDxSkidRow recently featured a talk by Sarah Fretwell, whose work in The Truth Told Project Blue Earth is proud to sponsor.

Her presentation Unreasonable Activism - A Journey into the Heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo at TEDxSkidRow in Los Angeles last year.  Take a few minutes to learn more about Fretwell’s work in the field directly from the source.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Fulbright - Nat Geo Digital Storytelling Fellowships

December 20th, 2013

Fulbright - Nat Geo Digital Storytelling Fellowships

Deadline: February 28, 2014

The U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society are partnering to launch the inaugural competition for the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. The new component of the Fulbright Program will offer up to five awards to U.S. citizens for nine months of overseas travel and multi-media storytelling on globally significant social or environmental topics. Fellows will focus their digital stories on one of the program’s eight themes: biodiversity, cities, cultures, disasters, energy, food, oceans, and water.

The Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship will provide a unique platform for U.S. Fulbrighters to undertake an in-depth exploration of a globally relevant issue, comparing and contrasting how that issue is experienced across borders. Utilizing a variety of digital storytelling tools and media, including blogs, photography, video, and social media, Fellows will share their stories by providing content to a National Geographic blog and other platforms with the support of National Geographic’s editorial team.

Exhibit Space At Gallery4Culture, 2014-15

December 16th, 2013

Deadline: January 06, 2014

Exhibition proposals are being sought for Gallery4Culture’s 2014-15 season, running September 2014 through August 2015. Gallery4Culture is a Pioneer Square venue for emerging talent offering the possibility for solo, two-person or small group exhibitions. Shows open on First Thursday and run through the month; the gallery is open Monday through Friday. Visual artists and artist teams residing in King County, Washington. Applicants may not be represented by a commercial art gallery at the time of application.

Call For Photographers And Filmmakers

December 12th, 2013

Masika Anwaritta, 16. From Sarah Fretwell's The Truth Told Project. Accepted for Blue Earth sponsorship, Summer 2013.

Masika Anwaritta, 16. From Sarah Fretwell’s The Truth Told Project. Accepted for Blue Earth sponsorship, Summer 2013.


Calling all documentary filmmakers and photographers! Blue Earth’s next application deadline for project reviews is January 20th, 2014.

Blue Earth sponsors documentary projects whose goal is to educate the public about critical environmental and social issues. We are primarily interested in work that is educational and informational in nature and will consider proposals of any geographic scope involving the photographic and motion picture mediums. Our standard contract sponsors the project for two years.

Blue Earth offers fiscal accountability to the projects we accept for sponsorship. As a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status, Blue Earth is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions from private foundations, individuals, or other entities. Along with this fiscal accountability, we also offer other services. When you join our community, we offer mentorship throughout the life of your project sponsorship, publicity on our blog and newsletters, help with PR and marketing, and more depending upon individual needs. Check out our submission guidelines for more details.


Make A Year-End Donation To Blue Earth

2013 marks Blue Earth’s seventeenth year supporting photography that makes a difference. Since our founding, we have sponsored around 100 photographers and writers and helped them raise over $1 million dollars for documentary projects on critical social and environmental issues.

Please help Blue Earth celebrate our long history of assisting documentary photographers by becoming a member or making a donation. Your generosity will ensure we are able to continue our work in the years ahead promoting the power of photographic storytelling.


Our work depends upon you!

Blue Earth On Instagram

December 9th, 2013

Blue Earth On Instagram

Just in time for the holidays, Blue Earth is now on Instagram @blueearthphoto!  We’ll be posting interesting photos from our projects as well as updates, features from guest editors, and news from our photographers.  We’re just getting started, so be sure to follow us for more compelling new images!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Double Your Gift To Blue Earth

December 2nd, 2013

Want to make your giving go further?  Until Dec. 15th, the Wilburforce Foundation is matching donations to Blue Earth, up to $5,000!  In the spirit of Giving Tuesday this week, now is a great time to join Blue Earth or make a tax deductible donation of any size.

Your contributions make it possible for us to support almost 30 documentary projects working to educate the public about critical environmental and social issues.  Help Blue Earth celebrate our seventeenth year supporting powerful visual storytelling by making a tax deductible donation today!




Remembering President John F. Kennedy

November 22nd, 2013

Remembering Pres. John F. Kennedy

Take a moment today to learn more about the life and ideals of President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of this national tragedy.  His legacy shaped the world in which we live.  We can best honor his memory by asking ourselves what we can do to help carry his work forward in our own lives.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Photo: Cecil Stoughton, White House

Gary Braasch, “Climate Change: Is Seeing Believing?”

November 21st, 2013

Gary Braasch, "Climate Change: is Seeing Believing?"

In a new article “Climate Change: Is Seeing Believing?” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch reviews the multitude of images of climate change, global warming, and research into their effectiveness and provides suggestions for more effective communication.  Braasch is also interviewed by the Bulletin (video linked above) in which he discusses some of the images from the article.

He has also launched a new series of articles in The Daily Climate, with another piece The West’s Energy Landscape, Transformed.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Christoph Gielen’s “Ciphers” Released

November 15th, 2013

Christoph Gielen's "Ciphers"

“Ciphers,” the latest book from Christoph Gielen’s Blue Earth project Incarcerated Populations was just released by JOVIS Publishers!

Christoph Gielen’s aerial views offer a look at America’s most aberrant and unusual sprawl forms in ways we usually don’t get to see them: from far above the ground—a vantage point that reveals both the intricate geometry as well as the idiosyncratic allure of these developments. Here, encountering sprawl becomes an aesthetic experience that at the same time leaves us with a sense of foreboding, of seeing the “writing on the wall”. At once fascinating and profoundly unsettling, these photographs detail the potential ramifications of unchecked urbanization.

The first edition of the book is available now in Europe and will be released in the US and Canada in 2014.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Michael Forster Rothbart Exhibit & Interviews

November 5th, 2013

Following up on yesterday’s post on the new book “Would You Stay?” by Michael Forster Rothbart, we wanted to share interviews at NPR and the Washington Post about the project.  Also, The Hotchkiss School is hosting a new exhibit After Chernobyl: Photographs by Michael Forster Rothbart running through November 22nd.  If you will be in the Connecticut area, be sure not to miss this chance to see the work in person!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

“Would You Stay?” Now Available

November 4th, 2013

Michael Forster Rothbart's "Would You Stay?" Now Available

“Would You Stay?” a new book by Blue Earth project photographer Michael Forster Rothbart is now available from TED Books!

The devastating nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl scattered radioactive fallout across 30 countries in Europe. Yet in the regions with worst contamination, the vast majority of people stayed, despite the potential danger. A generation later, after the 2011 tsunami triggered disaster in a power plant that’s still leaking nuclear waste, the people of Fukushima, Japan, are confronting the same impossible questions about safety, security, and their future.

In Would You Stay?, photojournalist Michael Forster Rothbart tries to understand why people refuse to leave Chernobyl and Fukushima despite the risks. With Forster Rothbart’s personal narrative as guide, this stunning and provocative book blends photos, interviews, maps, and audio recordings to help us weigh the true value of home. In the end, Forster Rothbart and the reader both confront the ultimate question: Would you stay?

His ongoing documentary project at Blue Earth, After Chernobyl, After Fukushima is an insightful study of the human impacts of environmental change, focusing on the environmental challenges faced by communities surrounding two modern contamination disasters.   This new book is available in a variety of e-book formats, including Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Greg Constantine Exhibit: Our Walls Bear Witness

October 31st, 2013

Greg Constantine Exhibit: Our Walls Bear Witness

New work by Blue Earth project photographer Greg Constantine from his project Nowhere People will be appearing in a display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum this November.

Join us in bearing witness to the suffering of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Burma long considered among the world’s most persecuted peoples. Building-size images of the Rohingya displaced in Burma and in exile, taken by prize-winning photographer Greg Constantine, will be projected each evening from November 4 to 8 on the Museum’s exterior walls on 15th Street, SW.

Denied citizenship and rendered stateless by the Burmese government, the 800,000 Rohingya lack basic rights, including the right to work, marry, and travel freely, and they routinely suffer severe abuse. Following violent attacks in 2012 that destroyed numerous Rohingya communities, more than 100,000 are now confined to displacement camps and segregated areas, where they continue to be subjected to violence, including crimes against humanity.

The exhibit program opens November 4th, 6:30 p.m. in the Museum’s Rubinstein Auditorium with a discussion with Greg Constantine and other experts on the current situation of the Rohingya and increasing violence against Muslims elsewhere in Burma.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Beltrá And Lenz Win Awards In London

October 18th, 2013


Congrats to Blue Earth project photographers Daniel Beltrá and Garth Lenz for winning awards at the 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition!  Beltrá won Wildlife Photojournalist Award - Runner-up and Lenz was awarded World in Our Hands - Runner-up.  Photos from the competition will be on exhibit at the Natural History Museum in the UK through March 2014.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Gary Braasch In “Vanishing Ice” Exhibit

October 18th, 2013


Athabasca Glacier, Canada, in a 2005 rephoto of a 1917 image, showing recession common to nearly all mountain glaciers. © Gary Braasch  Archival photo source:   National Archives of Canada.


Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch is featured in a new exhibit at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham Washington, Vanishing Ice. This exhibit, more than two years in development, introduces the rich artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers now threatened by climate change. The exhibition offers an historic and artistic perspective on Earth’s glaciers and poles, showing the majesty of sublime landscapes that have inspired artists, writers, and naturalists for more than two hundred years. More than 70 international artists are on display, ranging from early paintings and photographs of mountain and polar expeditions, to famous artists like Gustave Dore and Rockwell Kent, and modern photographers like Gary in his World View of Global Warming project.

Vanishing Ice runs November 2, 2013 - March 2, 2014 and will travel under the auspices of the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service.

Blue Earth Accepts Four New Projects

October 15th, 2013

We are proud to announce the acceptance of four new documentary projects for Blue Earth sponsorship. Everyone at Blue Earth, including our members without whom Blue Earth would not exist, wishes to congratulate our new project photographers! We very much look forward to working together to further their efforts to educate the public about these pressing issues.

The Truth Told Project - Sarah Fretwell.

The Truth Told Project - Sarah Fretwell

“The Truth Told Project was born in December of 2010 when award-winning photographer Sarah Fretwell ventured into the war-torn mineral rich region of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Her time there was spent in rural villages and bush country ravaged by the ongoing battle for access to minerals and land. The goal of the project is to illuminate the daily realities of life in the DR Congo, discuss the key players in the conflict, and the rampant sexual violence. It will discuss the immense prospect the land and people hold for the future, if only they can have the support of the international community.”

Our Warming World - Daniel Beltrá

Our Warming World - Daniel Beltrá

“My project asks us to consider the landscape as a place we have altered, all while striving to coexist within the natural world. Rather than merely recording the changes in the environment, this body of work seeks to enhance our awareness of the intersection of Nature’s power and fragility, asking us to reconsider our view of the planet and how we inhabit it. In pursuing this project, I will use my personal aesthetic to craft a visual narrative that speaks to the core values in each of us. The photographic methods I employ, along with my personal history in conservation, will help stimulate dialogue around the environment and contribute to social awareness.”

New Guidelines
And Pilot Video Projects

Marking our commitment to visual storytelling, Blue Earth has recently updated our submission guidelines to specifically include video documentary projects. Currently, almost all Blue Earth projects use a broad range of multimedia tools, and these new guidelines make the recognition of that fact explicit. Jason Houston, co-founder of Take One Creative and board member of Blue Earth, is conducting two special “pilot” projects to help lead us forward in this effort.

Capturing the Killing Fields - Jason Houston

Capturing the Killing Fields - Jason Houston

“In 1980 MacKenley and Simone Leng fled their native Cambodia, having survived the 1976-1979 Khmer Rouge genocides through wit, courage, and strength of character. Married and educated, they were targeted as the Khmer Rouge tried to force the country back to ‘Year Zero.’ Worse, Mac had been part of the Cambodian government. All these factors marked them for death. They had to forget everything and everyone, to become invisible even as they lived among the Khmer Rouge. They learned to survive on weeds and stolen grains of rice. Their baby died. Twice Mac was taken to the killing fields, only to be released on a whim. In the end he passed as Khmer Rouge himself. He could have ordered the deaths of his now-subordinate tormenters but did not. Now, they want to tell their story. Capturing it will add substantively to a broader understanding of the ongoing phenomenon of holocaust.”

The Powers Not Delegated - Jason Houston

The Powers Not Delegated - Jason Houston

“Does our system of self-government allow Americans to protect themselves from an industrial threat when the state and federal government will not? This question lies at the center of Longmont, Colorado’s attempt to ban hydraulic fracturing of gas wells (fracking) inside city limits - a ban other Colorado communities are now seeking to replicate. The successful 2012 vote by the citizens of Longmont to stop fracking has precipitated a showdown with oil and gas interests - a legal battle years in the making. Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission v. City of Longmont is a legal test case. It will determine whether citizens can use the Constitution to defend themselves against industrial practices they believe to be dangerous to them, their children, and their land. It reaches beyond Colorado and beyond fracking to Americans’ deepest sense of self-determination. Our intent is to produce a short film that does the same thing.”

Your Support Is Critical

You can help us support great projects like these by becoming a member or making a donation. Your contributions make it possible for us to support almost 30 documentary projects working to educate the public about critical environmental and social issues.

Please make a tax deductible contribution to Blue Earth today.


Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point

October 10th, 2013


Blue Earth project photographer Subhankar Banerjee will be reading from the anthology Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle on Wed, October 16 at 7 p.m.  Banerjee will be joined by Cindy Shogan, Executive Director of the Alaska Wilderness League.  For fans of Blue Earth photographers, the book also includes a few images by Benj Drummond, Gary Braasch, and Florian Schulz.  If you’ll be on Capitol Hill in Seattle next week, mark your calendar!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Free Performance, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher

October 3rd, 2013

This fall, a staged reading of Timothy Egan’s Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, originally developed for the Timberland Regional Library system, will tour three King County locations with support from 4Culture’s Historical Performance program. Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher is the riveting account of Edward Curtis’ quest to photograph and document the vanishing ways and customs of more than 80 American Indian tribes in the early 20th century. Spanning 30 years and an entire continent, Book-It Repertory Theatre will bring Curtis’ adventures to vivid life in an hour-long staged reading presentation of Egan’s critically acclaimed book, adapted and directed by Annie Lareau.

October 24 - Auburn Library, 6:30 p.m.
November 6 - Seattle Public Library, Central Library, 7:00 p.m.
December 4 - Kenmore Community Club, 7:00 p.m.

IDS Early Registration Ends Friday

September 26th, 2013

Don’t forget - $175 early bird registration for the Interactive Documentary Summit ends Friday September 27, 2013. The conference runs October 24-25, 2013 at the Phinney Ridge Community Center in Seattle. Day passes and virtual/interactive video passes are also available.

Even after early-bird registration ends, use the code BLUEEARTH at registration to get a 20% discount.

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