Sunday, January 3, 2010

Continuing Ansel's Visions...

Arctic Sea Ice Landscape. Image use courtesy of Florian Schulz; ©Florian Schulz.

There are MANY amazing, noteworthy photographers who dedicated themselves to conservation, and many who still do. The appreciation of beauty that creates good photographs quite naturally leads to an increased appreciation of the places that provide that beauty.

I named Ansel (Adams) in the title, because he's one of the more commonly known conservation photographers. But there were many others who had HUGE roles in the development of using photography to help raise awareness and preserve beautiful places.

And, there are a great many of them working tirelessly to continue building on those foundations today... I'd like to introduce you to Florian Schulz and his partner Emil Herrera-Schulz. They are amazing! You'll see what I mean...

An amazing shot Schulz took after waiting 72 hours in a blind! Male Snowy Owl returning to nest with a lemming. Image courtesy of Florian Schulz; ©Florian Schulz.

I've been following their work for a while now (you may have noticed the link under my "Fantastic Links" sidebar). And, those of you who know me well enough to recall how I donate a portion of proceeds to various conservation organizations, will be none too surprised to find out that Florian Schulz is not only a respected member of ILCP (International League of Conservation Photographers), but also one of Blue Earth Alliance's project photographers (just a couple among his many honors).

For many years, this amazing and passionately dedicated photographer has been working to take the idea of the National Park further... much further. Isolated places of preservation were a very good start, there is no arguing that.

But what about migratory species that need more than one protected area to be able to survive? How do we keep the growth of our species from being the end of theirs? Enter the idea of connecting some of these preserved areas... Ladies and gents, I present to you, the work of Florian Schulz and a concept called "Conservation Corridors." A quote from Visions of the Wild sums it up well:

As part of his Freedom to Roam project Schulz has dedicated years of his life to documenting the drama and beauty of North America’s most critical wildlife corridor: “Yellowstone to Yukon.” Sponsored by Braided River, his first book —Yellowstone to Yukon: Freedom to Roam (2005)—received the Independent Book Publisher Award:“ Outstanding Books of the Year,” singled out as “Most Likely to Save the Planet.”

Florian Schulz doing some relaxing shooting... and some not-so-relaxing shooting (those are swarms of mosquitoes!)

And, you've heard the saying, "Behind every good man is a good woman." I don't know if that's always true or not, but in their case it certainly is. I've seen time and again how Emil's dedicated efforts have enabled and enhanced the almost all-consuming work that Florian pursues. Again, I'll use a quote from Visions of the Wild, as explains her best:

Leading a quite international lifestyle Emil
has become fluent in English and German. She can be a social butterfly in the city and sit silently for hours in a blind to wait for wildlife. Over the years Emil has become a real multi-tasker-do-it-all. From assisting in the field, to editing in the office, meetings at conferences and the production of sound and HD video.

Truly, the amazing things they're able to achieve are largely due to their dedicated teamwork. I have developed a great deal of respect for both of them. Oh... and get this... they're really nice people too! ;) Go figure.

This video clip is a trailer that was used in the last presidential election to fight arctic oil drilling.

The photgrapher in me LOVES this trailer-- so well done. The way they've combined video with still footage really makes the viewer feel like YOU were the one there... in this breath-taking place seeing something few humans EVER see... and like You took the pictures. ;)

I promise, if you watch this you will, at the very minimum, have gotten to see rare moments that you would have to spend MONTHS in the wilderness, waaaaaaay "off the grid" to be able to see.

You'll at least get that... but really, much much more. This is very WORTH a few minutes of your life-- be sure to watch it all the way through or you'll miss the two best parts. ;)

Freedom to Roam from Florian Schulz on Vimeo.

THANK YOU, Florian and Emil, for caring so much about the beauty in our world to GIVE SO MUCH of yourselves to helping others be able to see & care about that beauty.


Karen Casey-Smith said...

Wonderful post on such an important subject. The video was awesome! Thank you for posting it, and introducing me to these amazing and dedicated people.

Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

My Pleasure!! Now you see what I mean about the video. :)

Celtic Cat said...

Thank You for telling us about these
wonderful artists!

Florian Schulz said...

Hey Kenna,

thanks for introducing us to your readers. I feel quite flattered! Hope to see you sometime soon in person. Thanks for all your words!!!

Danangib said...

The video is breath-taking ! Thank you for sharing it and for introducing such dedicated and extraordinary people to us.

Emil Herrera-Schulz said...

Dear Kenna!

Thank you so much for this wonderful posting. I almost had tears in my eyes when I read your words. Thank you so much for your support, this means so much to us. Keep up the great work, and keep fighting for your dreams! It is always worth it!!

Respectfully, Emil

Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

Truly my pleasure! I am very happy to share this AMAZING dedication & work-- I only wish more people had taken the time to read/watch this one.
But I'm very happy to hear that those of you who did enjoyed it so thoroughly. :)

Naomi Levit said...

Thanks so much for this post and video about Florian. It was extremely moving and inspiring! This is the life that I've dreamed of for a very long get out in the field and help the animals that are suffering. I have found it to be very difficult to leave my day job and go after this "dream" life of helping the planet with my camera. Those darn bills always get in the way! Any advice for an aspiring conservation photographer???
Best wishes,

Janelle said...

Wish I would have seen this earlier. I can attest to Florian's contributions to conservation. As a wilderness and wildlife advocate in the Northern Rockies, Florian has provided his talent and time to numerous conservation efforts in the region, including a dedicated effort to photographing the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor. Congrats on spotlighting a great photographer and advocate!