Rethinking the blog; at the Smithsonian

Rethinking the blog; at the Smithsonian

Michelle keeps telling me that I do not use this blog enough, that I rely too much on my short, daily posts on Facebook to get the word out there.  Well, she is right.  All I have to do is look around for a bit at what other photographers are doing to get confirmation.

Some time back, I reported that my “Wolf Tracks on Ice” image had been selected as the “Environmental Issues” category winner for the 2010 Windland Smith Rice International Awards sponsored by Nature’s Best Photography magazine.  According to Nature’s Best Photography, there were 20,000 images submitted in the competition, and 500 selected as semi-finalists.  Of those, a total of 150 were chosen for inclusion in the magazine, with 18 category winners and the remainder as highly honored.   As a category winner, my image was automatically included in an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History that went on display on April 16, and will remain on display until the end of September.

Michelle and I took the opportunity of this honor to travel to Washington, D.C., where we spent about five days visiting museums, monuments and memorials, and visiting our two U.S. senators.  The highlight, of course, was the evening reception at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History to see the exhibition, meet other award recipients, and talk to people about our piece.  Each category winner was presented their award and given the opportunity to speak.  I took the opportunity to thank Nature’s Best and the Smithsonian for the honor of being there, and to thank Michelle for her support.  I briefly told the story about when the photo was taken, and remarked that it was likely that Zak Richter (the park ranger with whom I was mushing) and I were the only people in the park that day, the only people in 9 million acres of wilderness.  Given how few people visit the park each year – a few thousand – it was highly unlikely that many people would ever have the privilege of such an experience.  But, I noted that, as a nature photographer, that is part of why we do what we do; to capture images of things and locations that other people will likely never see, and share those images so that at least people can live vicariously through our experiences and feel a connection to the place.

As I noted at the outset, it is time to rethink the blog, make it a better tool for communicating ideas and information.  And boy, do I have a lot of ideas!  Watch out.

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