Double Your Gift To Blue Earth
Want to make your giving go further? Until Dec. 15th, the Wilburforce Foundation is matching donations to Blue Earth, up to $5,000! In the spirit of Giving Tuesday this week, now is a great time to join Blue Earth or make a tax deductible donation of any size.
Your contributions make it possible for us to support almost 30 documentary projects working to educate the public about critical environmental and social issues. Help Blue Earth celebrate our seventeenth year supporting powerful visual storytelling by making a tax deductible donation today!
Collaborations for Cause - April 25-26th, 2014
We are excited to announce Blue Earth’s third annual Collaborations for Cause will be held in Seattle, Washington on April 25-26th, 2014.
Collaborations for Cause 2014 will focus on communication for science and social change. Our two-day conference brings together nonprofits, photographers, change-makers, and communications professionals to discuss the collaborative future of storytelling. The format is a series of panel discussions, case study presentations, and breakout conversations where visual storytellers and nonprofit stakeholders can talk about best practices, synergies, and strategies for partnership in a crowded media landscape. Collaborations for Cause builds on Blue Earth’s 17-year commitment to supporting photographers working to shed light on our most critical environmental and social issues.
New this year, Blue Earth will be partnering with Outside Adventure Film School to offer a hands-on workshop, “Visual Storytelling for Cause-Driven Media,” April 22-24th in conjunction with the conference.
The optional Outside Adventure Film School workshop runs Tuesday-Thursday. Friday’s conference program will explore topics ranging from technique and business strategy to creativity, cultural considerations, and impact. Saturday will be dedicated to small group, constructive conversations diving deeper into these topics and others. Participants will leave with a new toolbox of skills, ideas and contacts that they can apply to their own mission-driven work.
Program, workshop details, and pre-registration available this spring!
Gary Braasch, “Climate Change: Is Seeing Believing?”
In a new article “Climate Change: Is Seeing Believing?” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch reviews the multitude of images of climate change, global warming, and research into their effectiveness and provides suggestions for more effective communication. Braasch is also interviewed by the Bulletin in which he discusses some of the images from the article.
He has also launched a new series of articles in The Daily Climate, with another piece The West’s Energy Landscape, Transformed.
Christoph Gielen’s “Ciphers” Released
Christoph Gielen’s aerial views offer a look at America’s most aberrant and unusual sprawl forms in ways we usually don’t get to see them: from far above the ground—a vantage point that reveals both the intricate geometry as well as the idiosyncratic allure of these developments. Here, encountering sprawl becomes an aesthetic experience that at the same time leaves us with a sense of foreboding, of seeing the “writing on the wall”. At once fascinating and profoundly unsettling, these photographs detail the potential ramifications of unchecked urbanization.
The first edition of the book is available now in Europe and will be released in the US and Canada in 2014.
Michael Forster Rothbart's “Would You Stay?” Now Available
“Would You Stay?” a new book by Blue Earth project photographer Michael Forster Rothbart is now available from TED Books!
The devastating nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl scattered radioactive fallout across 30 countries in Europe. Yet in the regions with worst contamination, the vast majority of people stayed, despite the potential danger. A generation later, after the 2011 tsunami triggered disaster in a power plant that’s still leaking nuclear waste, the people of Fukushima, Japan, are confronting the same impossible questions about safety, security, and their future.
In Would You Stay?, photojournalist Michael Forster Rothbart tries to understand why people refuse to leave Chernobyl and Fukushima despite the risks. With Forster Rothbart’s personal narrative as guide, this stunning and provocative book blends photos, interviews, maps, and audio recordings to help us weigh the true value of home. In the end, Forster Rothbart and the reader both confront the ultimate question: Would you stay?
His ongoing documentary project at Blue Earth, After Chernobyl, After Fukushima is an insightful study of the human impacts of environmental change, focusing on the environmental challenges faced by communities surrounding two modern contamination disasters. This new book is available in a variety of e-book formats, including Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks.
Greg Constantine Exhibit: Our Walls Bear Witness
Join us in bearing witness to the suffering of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Burma long considered among the world’s most persecuted peoples. Building-size images of the Rohingya displaced in Burma and in exile, taken by prize-winning photographer Greg Constantine, will be projected each evening from November 4 to 8 on the Museum’s exterior walls on 15th Street, SW.
Denied citizenship and rendered stateless by the Burmese government, the 800,000 Rohingya lack basic rights, including the right to work, marry, and travel freely, and they routinely suffer severe abuse. Following violent attacks in 2012 that destroyed numerous Rohingya communities, more than 100,000 are now confined to displacement camps and segregated areas, where they continue to be subjected to violence, including crimes against humanity.
The exhibit program opens November 4th, 6:30 p.m. in the Museum’s Rubinstein Auditorium with a discussion with Greg Constantine and other experts on the current situation of the Rohingya and increasing violence against Muslims elsewhere in Burma.
Beltrá And Lenz Win Awards In London
Congrats to Blue Earth project photographers Daniel Beltrá and Garth
Lenz for winning awards at the 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
competition! Beltrá won Wildlife Photojournalist Award - Runner-up and Lenz was awarded World in Our Hands - Runner-up. Photos from the competition will be on exhibit at the Natural History Museum in the UK through March 2014.
Gary Braasch In “Vanishing Ice” Exhibit
Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch is featured in a new exhibit at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham Washington, Vanishing Ice. This exhibit, more than two years in development, introduces the rich artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers now threatened by climate change. The exhibition offers an historic and artistic perspective on Earth’s glaciers and poles, showing the majesty of sublime landscapes that have inspired artists, writers, and naturalists for more than two hundred years. More than 70 international artists are on display, ranging from early paintings and photographs of mountain and polar expeditions, to famous artists like Gustave Dore and Rockwell Kent, and modern photographers like Gary in his World View of Global Warming project.
Vanishing Ice runs November 2, 2013 - March 2, 2014 and will travel under the auspices of the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service.
Blue Earth Accepts Four New Projects And Announces New Guidelines
We are proud to announce the acceptance of four new documentary projects for Blue Earth sponsorship. Everyone at Blue Earth, including our members without whom Blue Earth would not exist, wishes to congratulate our new project photographers! We very much look forward to working together to further their efforts to educate the public about these pressing issues.
- The Truth Told Project - Sarah Fretwell
- Our Warming World - Daniel Beltrá
Marking our commitment to visual storytelling, Blue Earth has recently updated our submission guidelines to specifically include video documentary projects. Currently, almost all Blue Earth projects use a broad range of multimedia tools, and these new guidelines make the recognition of that fact explicit. Jason Houston, co-founder of Take One Creative and board member of Blue Earth, is conducting two special “pilot” projects to help lead us forward in this effort.
- Capturing the Killing Fields - Jason Houston
- The Powers Not Delegated - Jason Houston
Read more about these projects and view photos on the Blue Earth blog.
Your Support Is Critical
You can help us support great projects like these by becoming a member or even just making a donation. Your contributions make it possible for us to support almost 30 documentary projects working to educate the public about critical environmental and social issues.
Please make a tax deductible contribution to Blue Earth today!
Keep up-to-date with Blue Earth activities, read about our project photographers, and learn about special events by subscribing to our blog!
Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point
Blue Earth project photographer Subhankar Banerjee will be reading from the anthology Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point at the Elliott Bay Book Company
in Seattle on Wed, October 16 at 7 p.m. Banerjee will be joined by
Cindy Shogan, Executive Director of the Alaska Wilderness League. For
fans of Blue Earth photographers, the book also includes a few images by
Benj Drummond, Gary Braasch, and Florian Schulz. If you’ll be on Capitol Hill in Seattle next week, mark your calendar!
Samuel James Awarded Getty Grant
Samuel James, Blue Earth project Niger Delta, has just been awarded a 2013 Getty Grant for Editorial Photography. James has been working in Niger for the past several years on an extensive documentary engagement with Nigeria, Africa’s most populous and largest oil producing nation. His project at Blue Earth provides “the public with an intimate and nuanced visual record of the ongoing struggle for power, land and oil in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.”
Our congratulations to James on the recognition of his amazing work!
Mary F. Calvert Receives Canon Female Photojournalist Award 2013
Mary F. Calvert just announced she has received the Canon Female Photojournalist Award 2013! According to the announcement on her blog, Calvert received the award from the Association of Female Journalists for her work on “The War Within: Sexual Violence in America’s Military.”
Calvert’s Blue Earth project Scarred For Life: PTSD In Rwanda is “an in-depth investigation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Rwanda and the argument that unresolved conflict is a barometer for intergenerational transmission of trauma and violence.” More information about her African work and a small gallery of recent images can be found in her project page.
Our congratulations to Mary on receiving such a prestigious award!
Peter DiCampo In Salon
Salon this week published Introducing Africa to the OMG crowd an article by Blue Earth project photographer Peter DiCampo. DiCampo’s article discusses the use of Instagram in, and its effects on, his ongoing project Everyday Africa, a joint project with writer Austin Merrill. It’s an interesting case study on the opportunities presented by new technology.
New Braasch Exhibit At The Museum Of Science
Update: Braasch's exhibit has now been extended through the fall to October 28th. If you'll be in Boston, be sure not to miss it!
Boston’s Museum of Science has opened a new exhibit Climate Change In Our World, featuring work by Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch. Braasch’s World View Of Global Warming project at Blue Earth is an ongoing study documenting the effects of climate change across the globe.
We have made the world of today. Human population growth, energy use, agricultural methods, and land development have all had a measurable effect on our climate. Our activities have raised the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to its highest level in millions of years. The average temperature is climbing out of the range in which living species evolved and is now affecting sea level, ocean acidity, and water availability. Melting ice caps and glaciers, as well as weather extremes, have also resulted from this phenomenon.
Although we are already experiencing climate change, we have many options to moderate it and limit its effects, with prompt action curtailing further drastic consequences.
View the works of environmental photojournalist Gary Braasch to observe how climate change is altering our planet. You’ll also see how humans are working to slow these changes through alternative energy use and conservation.
The exhibit opens this Saturday, June 22. Braasch will also participate in a discussion with climate scientists on Sunday June 23, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. and will be speaking about his documentary project at 11:30 a.m. on Monday June 24.
Judy Blankenship In The New York Times
The New York Times just published an article about Judy Blankenship - Blue Earth project The Cañari of Southern Ecuador - in a feature today about her home and travels in Ecuador. Blankenship recently released a new book Our House in the Clouds: Building a Second Life in the Andes of Ecuador on the same topic.
The photo gallery
for her project at Blue Earth was recently updated with new photos from
Ecuador, as well as updates on recent work in the field.
Christoph Gielen In Wired’s Raw File
Wired Magazine's Raw File is featuring a profile of Christoph Gielen's Blue Earth project Incarcerated Populations: American Prison Perspectives. The article includes a small gallery of recent photos as well as an interview by Peter Brook providing some interesting insight into Gielen’s personal perspective on his work.
Fukushima, Photo A Day
This past week, Blue Earth project photographer Michael Forster Rothbart After Chernobyl, After Fukushima noted the second anniversary of the earthquake in Japan by launching a new photo commentary series on his blog featuring a photo per day from his project. The series should run through the end of the month and provides a unique insight into his experiences reporting on nuclear crises.
New Films For Facing Climate Change
Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele just launched four new films for Facing Climate Change. Oyster Farmers, Coastal Tribes, Potato Farmers, and Plateau Tribes all explore global climate change through people who live and work in the Pacific Northwest.
These stories came about after one of the project’s partners, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, released the Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment. It’s an incredible resource with startling projections for how climate change will impact the Northwest’s future, but it’s also 400 pages and a lot of science to wade through. Benj and Sara’s goal is to put a face to projections like these and to bring new voices into the conversation.
The new films recently premiered at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and over the next year Benj and Sara will be working to distribute the stories though their project partners and a series of community events - including a launch event in Seattle. In 2013 they will also add two more films. Stay tuned to their blog for details.
Christoph Gielen In Creative Time Reports
Creative Time Reports just published today a new article by Christoph Gielen. In the article, Gielen discusses his Blue Earth project Incarcerated Populations: American Prison Perspectives and features several new photos. This will be the first in a forthcoming series of articles from Gielen - keep an eye out for further updates!
Samuel James In Lens
Samuel James’ latest work, from his Blue Earth project Niger Delta, is being featured in the New York Times blog Lens. The Whitney Richardson article Money for the Taking in the Niger Delta Swamps includes an interview with James as well as a gallery of recent photos.
Blue Earth Photographers At Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Several Blue Earth photographers and board members recently attended the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, California. The Festival, now in its 11th year, features environmental and adventure films. This year’s theme was A Climate of Change and more than 4,500 tickets were sold.
Garth Lenz spoke about the True Cost of Oil and shared images from his project, Energy and Ecology.
Matt Black presented photography from his project, The People of Clouds, which chronicles the unraveling of one of the world’s oldest farming cultures in the Mixteca region of Southern Mexico.
Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele premiered four new films from their project, Facing Climate Change. They also spoke on a panel titled On the Edge of Their Seats: Effective Storytelling in a Noisy World, with board member Jason Houston of Take One Creative. Jason and his partner Hal Clifford were at the festival for the west coast premiere of their new film, Picture the Leviathan.
Jamey Stillings’ The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar
Today, Jamey Stillings’ “The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar” is being featured in a new online gallery at the Forward Thinking Museum. Stillings’ Blue Earth project Changing Perspectives on Renewable Energy Development expands upon some of this earlier work at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert highlighting the complex issues surrounding the development of alternative energy sources. Take a few moments to view some of the amazing work from his project.
Furlotti Awards Grant To “Cameras Without Borders”
We are pleased to note that the Furlotti Family Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to Eberhard Riedel’s Cameras Without Borders project at Blue Earth. Over recent years, Riedel has spent many months in several African nations ravaged by conflict working in the field to photograph his project as well as to help efforts at recovery. This grant is a recognition of the value of his work, and a great example of how partnerships between documentary photographers and foundations can yield concrete results.
As noted on the Blue Earth blog earlier, Eberhard Riedel: My African Journey, Riedel’s latest manuscript will be published this spring in the journal Psychological Perspectives, Volume 56-1. Be sure to check out the article to learn about his most recent trip.
Shell’s Kulluk Rig Run Aground
Our readers may remember that Blue Earth’s Gary Braasch recently published the first photos of Shell’s Kulluk oil rig off the coast of Alaska. Now that very same oil rig has run aground:
Already there is a disturbing New Year’s surprise from Shell Oil. Shell’s drill rig Kulluk, which Gary Braasch photographed in October off northern Alaska, broke free of tow ropes and ran aground on Kodiak Island in heavy seas while being towed to Seattle. We have info and links to the news.
Just three months ago on World View of Global Warming we showed how close Shell’s Kulluk drilling location was to Alaska’s protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The grounding of the rig on its way from that location via Dutch Harbor to Seattle for the winter shows the power of Arctic weather, and the threat of oil drilling to all of Alaska’s rich waters and wildlife along its coast.
Visit Gary’s World View of Global Warming for additional updates as well as new photos from his latest trips.
Roberto ‘Bear’ Guerra In NPR’s 100 Words
Blue Earth photographer Roberto ‘Bear’ Guerra’s project La Carretera: Life Along Peru’s Interoceanic Highway is being featured in NPR’s ‘the picture show’ series. The NPR article, 100 Words: On Peru’s Interoceanic Highway features a statement from Guerra about his work and a gallery of some of his latest photos.
Jamey Stillings In NPR’s The Picture Show
NPR’s “The Picture Show” blog is featuring Jamey Stillings’ Blue Earth project Changing Perspectives on Renewable Energy Development. The article by Clare O’Neill Under Construction: The World’s Largest Thermal Solar Plant includes an interview with Stillings and an interactive gallery with several recent photos from his latest work.
Updated Gallery Of Tom Reese’s “Choosing Hope”
Blue Earth project photographer Tom Reese was kind enough to share with us a new collection of some of his latest work. Reese has been winning awards for his project and is keeping very busy these days with recent exhibits.
The Duwamish River can be hard to love, but it flows powerfully through the hearts of those who know it well. The Duwamish is one of earth’s vital arteries conveying lifeblood from mountains to the sea, so it can be difficult to accept that its lower 5½ -mile stretch has been turned into one of the most toxic waste environments in the United States - an industrial sewage canal flowing out past the scenic waterfront of Seattle.
It would be easy to turn away feeling depressed and helpless, but a growing number of people are choosing to believe in the recovery of this river and are working relentlessly toward that future. Their vision has motivated the first successes in reducing water pollution and restoring habitat, wildlife, and hope.
The larger question for the river is also the essential human question of our time: “What relationship do we choose to have with our home, the natural world?”
Take a few minutes to check out the new photos in his project gallery!
From The Field: Gary Braasch In India, Nepal, and Bhutan
Fresh from the field, Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch just published an update on his recent travels:
We have just returned from a two month journey to India, Nepal and — for the first time — Bhutan. We explored climate change, energy, food and conservation issues affecting Himalayan and Indian villages, cities and rivers. Gary shot more than 25,000 24-mb images with the latest full frame digital cameras.
Please see our first report from this journey, about the source of the Ganges River, now updated with recent science and implications of rapidly thawing ice. Gary estimated the Gangotri glacier terminus is now at 30 degrees 55 minutes 34 seconds N, 79 degrees 4 minutes 48 seconds E. Recent scientific measurements pace its recession at approximately 18 meters a year.
Take a few moments to check out a gallery of his latest photos.
Bruce Farnsworth Receives “Highly Honored Image” Award
A photo by Blue Earth project photographer Bruce Farnsworth Amazon Headwaters: Locals Working Toward the Global has received the Highly Honored Image award in the 2012 Windland Smith Natures Best International Photography Competition. Images from the competition will also comprise a Smithsonian Museum exhibition in 2013.
Read more on the Blue Earth blog...
Samuel James In Harper’s Magazine
Recent photos by Samuel James from his Blue Earth project Niger Delta are featured in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine. His project at Blue Earth “seeks to provide the public with an intimate and nuanced visual record of the ongoing struggle for power, land and oil in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, one of the world’s largest and most polluted oil-producing regions.” Readers can view additional photos from his recent work on James’ project gallery.
Support Blue Earth At Think Tank Photo
Need a new camera bag? The folks at Think Tank Photo have generously offered to help support Blue Earth! Using the link above, 10% of the proceeds from all purchases at their store will go to help support Blue Earth’s mission to assist documentary photographers working to educate the public about critical issues.
Think Tank Photo is a group of designers and professional photographers focused on studying how photographers work, and developing inventive new carrying solutions to meet their needs. By focusing on “speed” and “accessibility,” we prepare photographers to Be Ready “Before The Moment,” allowing them to document those historic moments that reflect their personal visions and artistic talents. For some companies, it is only about the product. For us, it is more: It is about supporting photographers doing their job. If we can design products that help photographers travel easier, take pictures faster, and organize their gear more efficiently, then we will have accomplished something beyond the bags themselves.
If you are looking for some new gear for that upcoming expedition, check out Think Tank Photo and support Blue Earth!
Shooting From The Heart: Photography That Makes A Difference
Need some help creating your own photographic project? Download a free PDF copy of Blue Earth's highly regarded handbook for photographers developing documentary projects, Shooting From The Heart: Photography That Makes A Difference. This handbook contains several articles by experienced photographers offering advice on a variety of topics from grassroots fundraising and finding an audience to creating narratives that make an impression.
Through its educational efforts and active engagement in the professional community, Blue Earth strives to move forward the agenda of all documentary photographers and photojournalists.
This book is designed to help photographers to implement a documentary photographic project. It is written by experienced members of the board of Blue Earth and other volunteers with special and relevant expertise. The contents of this book roughly parallel the sequence of steps required to successfully create and complete a documentary project.
Also included are sample applications for project sponsorship by successful Blue Earth photographers along with detailed budgets and work plans. We encourage you to download a free PDF version of Shooting From The Heart and have a copy to keep as your own!
Blue Earth has launched our new photography store! Great photography books, software, digital storage, and much more - any product sold at Amazon - and all at great prices for our friends and supporters. Help Blue Earth and our project photographers while shopping for your everyday photography supplies.