Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sequoia Parks Foundation - ARTISTS IN THE BACKCOUNTRY

From August 2-10 I will be in the high country of Sequoia National Park with other invited artists from around the country. This trip is sponsored by the Sequoia Parks Foundation and The Irvine Foundation.  Here is a quick summary of the mission of this trip:

The arts initiative of the Sequoia Parks Foundation began in 2005 when the foundation (then called the Sequoia Fund) presented a “Fine Art of the Sierra” exhibition and sale in conjunction with  its Spring Feast fundraising event. Building on relationships formed with artists through the Spring Feast, and with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the Sequoia Parks Foundation in 2007 launched its ambitious Artists in the Backcountry (ABC) program. Through ABC, a cadre of exceptional  artists participate in a one-week summer residency at a backcountry site in either Sequoia  or Kings Canyon National Parks. There, they create new work inspired by their experience while  entering into dialogue with one another, and with park service personnel, regarding future  collaborations on behalf of the parks.

The goals of not only ABC, but of the foundation’s larger arts initiative, are to: 1) support
California-based artists in the creation of new work based on the natural world; 2) develop new  audiences for the visual arts in California’s Central Valley, particularly among the valley’s growing  communities of color; 3) maintain our nation’s tradition of wedding art of the natural world with  environmental messages designed to save it in order to increase popular support for park protection; and 4) expose new audiences to work  created by professional artists in order to encourage youth to explore their own artistic sensibilities.

More information is available on their website at:

Here is a link to a short video featuring my friend artist Tom Killion, who participated last year:

I look forward to sharing my experiences on this blog when I return, I plan to take my Hasselblad H3D up to over 14,000 feet while bagging Mt. Langley - I wonder if an H3D has been up that high before (outside of an airplane)?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sierra Wildflowers are in Bloom / High Sierra Expedition

The wildflower bloom here in the Tahoe Sierra is in full swing. Despite the smoke & haze from all the wildfires the wildflowers seem to be doing very well this year. Maybe the hazy skies are prolonging the lives of the fragile blossoms for a little longer, sparing them the worst of the harsh mountain sun. The fire haze has made this a very difficult season for sweeping landscape vistas, but has actually made the macro and detail shots a little easier thanks to the filtered sunlight. This shot of Squaw creek, near Squaw Valley  was taken on a smoky evening when ash was falling from the sky!  I will be working on photographs from other high country locations over the next month.

My major expedition this summer will be a trip for 1 week into the high country of Sequoia near Mt. Whitney. I will have more details on this trip in a future post, but at this time I can share that it will be a fully supported pack mule trip to the very highest reaches of the Sierra, and also include a complete solar charging station for all the photo & computer gear.  A variety of artists will be going, including invited writers & painters from around the country. I was pleased to be invited as the landscape photographer. This will be an unprecedented opportunity for me to work at remote locations and high elevations that are difficult to reach without a supported expedition.

I will be posting more of my wildflower discoveries here as I capture them. Many readers have probably heard about the new 50 megapixel Hasselblad that was introduced - the megapixel arms race continues!