Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hotter and Drier: The West’s Changed Climate

If you are a photographer who works with western landscapes please take note of a recent report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization:
Human activities are already changing the climate of the American West.
A new report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and
the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), drawn from 50 scientific
studies, 125 other government and scientific sources, and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization's new analyses, documents that the West is being affected more by a changed climate than any other part of the United States outside of Alaska. When compared to the 20th century average, the West has experienced an increase in average temperature during the last five years that is 70 percent greater
than the world as a whole. Responding quickly at all levels of government by
embracing available solutions is critical to minimizing further disruption of
this region’s climate and economy. To read the full report on  the impacts of global  warming in the West, you can download the report at the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization home page.




Monday, September 15, 2008

Time to Start Autumn Foliage Watch

The leaves here in the Sierra are starting to turn yellow, so it will not be long before we start to reach peak foliage in the higher elevations. In case you are not aware of Calphoto fall foliage hot sheet, here is a link to their autumn foliage page where you can post your foliage findings in the Sierra and read what other photographers have found. Since we are in the final stages of completing our new gallery building, which is scheduled to open in December, I will not have alot of time to go to some of my favorite spots in the Wasatch of Utah, but I hope to buzz down to the North Lake area near Bishop in California. If you are interested in coming to our opening party for the new gallery on December 19, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter  since we will be sending out invitations via our email newsletter. You can sign up on our gallery home page if you would like to receive more info.

The image below was taken at a new spot I discovered last year, the Little Truckee River north of Truckee, CA near Jackson Meadows.

Autumn Fine Art Photography 23



Friday, September 12, 2008

Landscape & Politics

I believe that part of being a  landscape photographer is spreading a message of environmental protection to the world. The stakes are too high with the upcoming election to risk electing leaders who feel our earth is here to be plundered, and who do not see the urgency of combating global warming. We need to elect leaders who understand the importance of protecting the Earth's ecosystems. It is in this spirit of urgency that I publish the following:

Drill, Drill, Drill
By Eve
Ensler


I am having  Sarah Palin nightmares. I
dreamt last night that she was a member of a club  where they rode
snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar  bears
around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe
 it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they
live in  the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or
touched one. Maybe it  is the fact that they live so comfortably on
ice. Whatever it is, I need the  polar bears.

I don't like
raging at women. I am a Feminist and have  spent my life trying to
build community, help empower women and stop  violence against them.
It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why  the Sarah Palin
choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people  who made
this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of
 Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and
practices is  antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one
story -- connected to  saving the earth, ending racism, empowering
women, giving young girls  options, opening our minds, deepening
tolerance, and ending violence and  war.

I believe that the
McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most  dangerous choices of my
lifetime, and should this country choose those  candidates the
fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many  areas
that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the
 impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately,
this is  not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the
inept, the bizarre  be elected to the presidency with
regularity.

Sarah Palin does not  believe in evolution. I take
this as a metaphor. In her world and the world  of Fundamentalists
nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not  believe in
global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are
 destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all
part of  God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the
endangered  species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be
taken and plundered.  The wolves and the bears are here to be shot
and plundered. The oil is here  to be taken and plundered. Iraq is
here to be taken and plundered. As she  said herself of the Iraqi
war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin  does not believe
in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and  incested
and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine
 whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously
does not  believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her
daughter was  practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that
makes.

Sarah  Palin does not much believe in thinking. From
what I gather she has tried to  ban books from the library, has a
tendency to dispense with people who think  independently. She cannot
tolerate an environment of ambiguity and  difference. This is a woman
who could and might very well be the next  president of the United
States. She would govern one of the most diverse  populations on the
earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own  custom
Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a
 clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah
believes in  God. That is of course her right, her private right. But
when God and Guns  come together in the public sector, when war is
declared in God's name, when  the rights of women are denied in his
name, that is the end of separation of  church and state and the
undoing of everything America has ever tried to  be.

I write
to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this  election in
our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future  not
just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create
 policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for
humans. It  will determine whether we move towards dialogue and
diplomacy in the world  or whether we escalate violence through
invasion, undermining and attack. It  will determine whether we go
for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest  our money in
alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction.  It
will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether
 we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether
America  is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear,
fundamentalism  and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move
you to go and do  everything in your power to get Obama elected then
consider the chant that  filled the hall after Palin spoke at the
RNC, "Drill, Drill, Drill." I think  of teeth when I think of drills.
I think of rape. I think of destruction. I  think of domination. I
think of military exercises that force mindless  repetition, emptying
the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I  think of
pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the
 ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the
trust  between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this
precious thing  we call
life?



Monday, September 8, 2008

International Photography Awards 2008

I was thrilled that my series on the Pacific Coast won a 2nd place award in the profeesional photographer 'Waterscapes" Category of the 2008 International Photography Awards. There are many great photographs to look at in the list of winners, you can check them out at:
http://photoawards.com/08/contests/2008winners.asp

I also really enjoyed the series that won 2nd place in the landscapes category:
JOSEF HOFLEHNER - 2nd place - entry 52327 - Title: Niagara Falls - WELS, AT - you can see his work by clicking on the link in the winners list. I enjoy seeing a new interpretation of a place that has been photographed alot, in this case Niagra Falls. 

Pacific Coast Art09



Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Sierra Wildflower Images

Back in July I spent some time photographing the wildflower bloom in the high Sierra near Carson Pass. The Indian Paintbrush flowers were really wonderful, as were the flower blooms along the creeks in the area. These images were all taken at sunset or sunrise to avoid harsh midday light on the flowers. The wind cooperated fortunately, because it is very difficult to do low light wildflower photography when it is windy for obvious reasons. The new images are the first 4 in my wildflower portfolio which can be accessed here.

The wildflower season has ended in the Sierra, now we have some of the colorful   flowers going to seed creating pockets of yellow and gold in the landscape, which signals the imminent arrival of autumn.

Wflowersh



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