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Archive for December, 2008

High Resolution NASA Images At Visible Earth

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Melting of glaciers in the Bhutan-Himalaya.  Glacial lakes have been rapidly forming on the surface of the debris-covered glaciers in this region during the last few decades.  Photo courtesy of NASA Visible Earth

A recent article on aerial photography in Smashing Magazine reminded me of a wonderful resource, NASA’s Visible Earth.  NASA describes the project as a “catalog” of images of Earth, but that’s an understatement of this priceless repository of thousands of high resolution images and sensor data of our planet and its environment.  Even better, this ever growing collection includes satellite and high altitude images along with complete descriptions and relevant data for each.

Few images speak more clearly to the effects of global warming than that of new lakes spreading across the Himalayas generated by melting glaciers.  Even if NASA were to pursue no other mission, I think this effort alone would entirely justify their budget.

Though I still love the photographs from Mars mind you!

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

San Juan Portfolio Review and Ansel Adams Lecture

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

The Washington based Visual Arts Museum and Westcott Bay Institute will host a portfolio review by Jeanne Falk-Adams, CEO of The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park, on January 31, 2009.  The review is open to San Juan County, Washington photographers.  Former Blue Earth project photographer Art Wolfe (The Living Wild) will select six finalists for the review.  Application form.

If you are in the San Juan area at the time, also note that Jeanne Falk-Adams will be accompanied by Dr. Michael Adams, who will be presenting a lecture on the work of his father, Ansel Adams, during the previous evening on January 30, 2009 at 7 p.m. at the San Juan Community Theatre.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Blue Earth Accepts Three New Projects

Friday, December 19th, 2008

We are very pleased to announce the acceptance of three new projects in the fall 2008 round: Finding Trust/The Sarvey Wildlife Project – Annie Marie Musselman; Warriors for Peace – Jon Orlando; and Domestic Landscapes: Eastern Europe – Bert Teunissen.

This past round was the largest to date, and our Board of Directors faced a daunting task in carefully reviewing all the submissions.  I can say that everyone here very much looks forward to supporting our new photographers and working to further their projects highlighting important issues.

 

Finding Trust/The Sarvey Wildlife Project – Annie Marie Musselman
Working locally in Seattle, Annie’s project began 6 years ago at a small wildlife rehabilitation center where she volunteers regularly.  She believes “animals live with us, and are us, and that we must take care of each other in order to survive,” and her objective is to document “this important human/animal connection and the delicate union that exists between the two.”

 

Warriors for Peace – Jon Orlando
Based in Boulder, CO, Jon’s project documents the efforts of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to oppose the continuation of these conflicts of which they were once a part.  Through his project, Jon aims to help create “a means for providing a space for the viewers to relate to the veterans on a very personal level.  In creating that space and reintroducing the public to the humanity and emotion of the soldier, this project will challenge the ease with which we accept war.”

 

Domestic Landscapes: Eastern Europe – Bert Teunissen
Based in the Netherlands, Bert explores how “daylight illuminates the domestic interior, and dictates the way the interior is used and decorated.”  He is particularly interested in this project in documenting the lives of “Europeans who to this day use natural daylight in their everyday lives.” He brings attention to the rapidly disappearing, but “distinctive and celebrated atmosphere that the old Dutch masters - Vermeer, De Hoogh, Israëls and Rembrandt - captured in their paintings.”

 

Congratulations to our new photographers!

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

“Annie Leibovitz At Work,” With The Queen

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

The New York Times features a nicely written review of Leibovitz’s latest book “Annie Leibovitz At Work,” a typically impressive book highlighting a long career perfecting the art of portraiture.  The article, for me at least, is notable for its references to her (in)famous recent shoot with Queen Elizabeth II prior to Her Majesty’s latest tour of the United States.

Many photographers can tell war stories about challenging clients.  It’s hard to imagine a more challenging circumstance than planning a formal shoot with the Queen.  For an admittedly heavily-edited, but nonetheless interesting, peek into Leibovitz’s working style, check out the recent PBS series Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work.  The series launches with that very same photo shoot.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Florian Schulz Named 2008 “Conservation Photographer of the Year”

Friday, December 12th, 2008

We are pleased to congratulate Blue Earth project photographer Florian Schultz for being named Conservation Photographer of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation and Nature’s Best Photography Blog.  Schulz was recognized in the award for his work in the Freedom to Roam project, focusing on bringing attention to the “vital areas” serving as critical corridors for wildlife in preserving biodiversity, the Yellowstone to Yukon and the Baja to Beaufort ecoregions.

“Just as America created Yellowstone as the first National Park,” says Schulz, “I see the potential in the creation of the first National Corridor, in which natural areas link with each other.  If America succeeds, and the National Corridors are defined, the concept could spread around the world, just as the national park concept has developed.”

In addition, Florian Schulz was also recently awarded a “Highly Commended” designation in the Wildlife Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine Photographer of the Year Competition.

View a large gallery of project photos from the Freedom to Roam project in both the Yellowstone to Yukon and the Baja to Beaufort ecoregions on our web site.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Looking for the Connections, Camille Seaman at the Henry Art Gallery

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

© Camille Seaman

Blue Earth is proud to host Camille Seaman presenting Looking for the Connections, the second lecture in our new series on documentary photography that focuses on global environments, social, and cultural issues.  Camille will be speaking in Seattle, WA at the Henry Art Gallery on Saturday, January 10th at 2 p.m.  Her series The Last Iceberg is one piece of a larger project entitled “Melting Away,” which documents the polar regions of our planet, their environments, life forms, history of human exploration and the communities that work and live there.

Camille Seaman (Shinnecock Tribe b.1969) is an Award winning American photographer best known for her evocative Polar images.  Capturing the essence of awe and beauty of indigenous cultures and environments, in a sophisticated documentary/fine art tradition is her trademark.  Camille has traveled to over 30 countries creating timeless images.  Her work has been exhibited and published in magazines internationally.

All lectures are held Saturdays, 2 p.m.at the Henry Art Gallery Auditorium, 15th Ave NE & 41st Street in Seattle.  Admission is free for Henry Art Gallery and Blue Earth members; $5 for students w/ ID or $10 for general admission.  Tickets will be available at the door.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Beltrá “Behind the lens”

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Santarem, Brazil, May 15, 2006.  Aerial view of the flooded area west of Santarem.  One of the most extreme droughts recorded in the Amazon was followed by one of the worst floods, straining the local population even further. © Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace

The Canon Professional Network has published an extensive profile of Blue Earth project photographer Daniel Beltrá.  One of the better known industry publications, CPN has been conducting its Behind the lens interview series profiling photographers working in many areas of the field, and being included in the series offers great exposure for his work.

The article highlights many examples of his cooperative projects with Greenpeace, ranging from the arctic to the Amazon, and provides an excellent example of his commitment to public education on environmental issues.

Read the article and view a large interactive gallery of Beltrá’s work.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Blue Earth Photographer John Trotter

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

The blasting wind had ripped big blue streaks across the sky above Mary’s Lake by the time my brother and I arrived in his car, through two hours of flurrying snow from Denver.  Across the lake, excess Colorado River water tumbled from a chute next to a hydroelectric plant, which produces power for nearby Estes Park, with its main street full of tourist memorabilia manufactured far away from these Rocky Mountains.

The bright and newly revealed early afternoon sunlight flickered on the snowflakes blowing incongruously and horizontally past my window, as I loaded a roll of 220 Tri-X film into the well-used, 13-year-old Mamiya in my lap.  Even though I’d brought a big, fluffy down jacket to Colorado from Brooklyn, I was putting off stepping out into the cold, waiting slap of that alpine air for as long as I could.  My brother tilted back the driver’s seat, where he sat with a Colorado state high school football championship game tuned on the radio and announced, “I’ll wait right here for you.”

I’d come to Colorado to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family, but knowing I’d be close to the headwaters of the river, whose story I’ve been trying to tell for the past few years, I’d packed some gear and hoped I could talk a relative with a car into driving me up to the mountains during some down time, so I could steal a look at river.

And to that effect, my 78-year-old father and I had driven the day before to see Grand Lake, on the other side of the Continental Divide, behind the cloud-shrouded mountains looming over the spot where my brother and I had parked, up where the Colorado itself flowed.  Deep under Rocky Mountain National Park, the two lakes were joined by the 13-mile-long Alva B. Adams Tunnel to bring the river’s water to the dry eastern slope of the range, as part of something called the Big Thompson Project.

Without it, the state of Colorado would look much different than it does today, though whether or not that would be a good thing or not depends on your perspective.

And whether or not I made any good pictures after I opened that car door and stumbled into the wind toward Mary’s Lake with my camera remains to be seen far away from here, when the film is hanging up to dry on my darkroom.  Or even later, after the icy mountain scenes of that day are frozen in the emulsion of a contact sheet.  I honestly never know for sure if I’ve succeeded or not until then.  At least.

As this is my first attempt to write an entry for the Blue Earth blog I’ve hardly known where to start and certainly haven’t known where to finish.  But I’ll make a promise to report on the results of this short photographic side trip in the coming weeks, after I’ve had a chance to process the film.  I’ve also got a show of the work up in an exhibit and I’ll be sending some words and a couple of images from that shortly.  Promise.

John Trotter

 

Trotter’s current project at Blue Earth is No Agua, No Vida: The Thirsty Colorado River Delta. Images from this project can be seen November 11, 2008 - January 20, 2009 at the Gallery Space at Wagner-New York University, 2nd Floor at The Puck Building, 295 Lafayette Street in New York, NY.