Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Want to make a difference with your photography?

If you are one of those people who wants to make a difference in the world with your photography, you might want to check out the activities of a friend of ours, Joe Riis.

We met Joe a few years ago when he was still a student at the University of Wyoming and he was selected as one of 10 scholarship students to attend a North American Nature Photography Summit. Since then Joe has been verrry busy. With a network of people and organizations, Joe developed a media campaign to raise awareness of the conservation needs of the Missouri River ecosystem. The conservation photography project titled "Missouri River EXPOSED" focused on the Missouri River as well as the three federally listed endangered species that depend on the river.

This quote from Joe will give you a good feel for what motivates him in his work:

"I feel the duty to protect the places I love, for my future generations, for the entire planet; through the lens of a camera I believe I can accomplish this feat. Photography can be used to change societal thought and action by combining captivating images along with credible science. I want to use my knowledge in Wildlife Biology and Environment & Natural Resources and combine it with my passion for nature photography.

With my photography, I believe I can link the public to credible science with photographs through popular publications, exhibitions, and presentations. I believe that I can change the ideas and actions of everyone from the general public, to religious leaders, to our policy makers with my images. In the end, if I can help protect the natural environment and its processes through my photography, I will essentially be protecting the health and future of the human species."

For more details on the project (and on Joe), check out his website at www.joeriis.com

In his current project, "Pronghorn Passage", Joe partners with writer Emeline Ostlind to bring attention to the growing threats to the critical migration corridor for the pronghorn herds which migrate 170 miles from Grand Teton National Park to the Red Desert in Wyoming.
The website for this project is worth a visit and take some time to check out their blog as well as audio and video pieces. http://www.pronghornpassage.com/

If you don't come away from visiting Joe's sites with renewed inspiration for the power of your own photography, then you're not paying attention!

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