Photography is, by itself, an adventure. It’s all about learning … sharing … educating … at least for me it is. It’s an expressive art form, where the beauty of the image is held within and varies from observer to observer. For me, it’s hard to separate the emotion out of certain images or to quantify the blood, sweat, and tears that went into an image. It’s an art form where one has to have tough skin … in processing, in observing, and often in critiquing. It’s the ultimate journey. In 2016, I planned for some potential bumps in the road along the way by putting some of my stuff “out there”. Everything is a learning experience … and it’s all good.
Early in 2016, I was approached by the California Science Center Foundation in Los Angeles, CA about incorporating 2 of our images into the Ecosystems Exhibit in the Children’s Museum. I was quite honored by the request knowing that I could indirectly contribute to the education of our youth on the concept of adaptation and conservation. Below are the two images that I granted them access to:
Polar bear adult, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska ©2015
Arctic ground squirrel, Denali National Park, Alaska ©2015I can’t wait to one day see it for myself in person.
April 30th, the Juried Best In Nature 2016 Exhibit opened at the Ordover Museum of the San Diego Natural History Museum @ Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Approximately 70 images were juried in to hang as part of the exhibit through August 2016. One of those images was mine. It was quite an honor to be amongst some of the best nature images featured.
“The Awakening”; Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska © 2015
Defenders of Wildlife, an amazing advocate group for the protection and preservation of wildlife, as well as advancing the cause of many wildlife issues, selected one of my images as the Grand Prize Winner for 2016. I was humbled beyond words and so proud that this image helps in their work, as well as “speaks” to the public in a way that words can’t. I believe that photography can be a powerful tool in enlisting the support and understanding of many viewers. I hope that it motivates others, like me, to join the cause.
“When I Grow Up”; Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska © 2015That image was also honored by NANPA as a Top 250 image. The Audubon Society of Greater Denver’s Share the View Competition also honored it among the Top 250 images, as well as the image below.
“Chasing the Adrenaline”; Katmai National Park & Preserve, Alaska © 2014To say that I was stunned is an understatement, when one of my images was selected as a Semi-Finalist in the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice Competition. That was an honor awarded to approximately 300 of the 20,000 images received for review.
“The Polar Bear Pledge”; Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska © 2015
Lastly, 4 of my images were used by the Wyoming Outdoor Council, an advocacy group based out of Lander, Wyoming for their 50th Anniversary 2017 Calendar, celebrating 50 years of conservation.
“Skills Test”; Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming © 2015 “Lazy Day Fox”; Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming © 2015 “Struggle for Survival”; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming ©2016 “Passing the Day Away”; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming © 2016While photography endeavor successes make me feel quite proud, it pales by comparison to the pride I felt when my daughter, Kelli, walked in her Hooding Ceremony in advance of her then upcoming graduation from her Physician Assistant Program.Shortly thereafter, she formally graduated with Highest Honors from Nova Southeastern University.It was a long 27-month haul for her, but it was done finally! She then successfully passed her credential examination and is now a proud owner of some new initials … PA-C … which she adds to her BS and MS in Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida. She celebrated with a few shorter US trips for fun, then backpacked through Europe with one of her classmates (and part-time with her hubby). Yep, that’s my Unicorn! (don’t ask … it’s a long story). 🙂Finally, another accomplishment that I’m quite proud of is the progress that my stepfather has made in his recovery. As many of you know, our Alaska trip for 2016 was cancelled at the last minute due to his hospitalization. While it was sad at the moment, it was necessary, and to see him finally leave the hospital walking with the assitance of his walker … was nothing short of a miracle. He’s never looked back either and is walker free. Physical therapy and rehabilitative services ROCK and I can’t say enough good things about the care he received at Memorial South Rehab Hospital! What does the future hold in 2017? Who knows, but I can promise you that Alaska is back on the table! I have many goals, or should I say learning directions, for me to pursue … and of course, places to go. 🙂
This blog has been an important part of that growth & sharing and an expression that I find particularly rewarding. Please let me know what you think. I can say that as of the end of 2016, the blog has reached 87 countries … making it feel like quite a bit smaller of a world, which of course, we all share. I have a personal goal to add another 11 countries in 2017, bringing the blog’s reach to 1/2 of the world’s countries!
My wish for photography to bring us all closer, educate us to important issues that surround us, and most importantly, to bring joy to all those who view the images. There’s no greater compliment to me than when friends/contacts appreciate what they see or tell me that somehow the images or stories moved them. Happy 2017 everyone … it’s ours to write … let’s make it a great one!!Next Up: Who wants to go to Colorado?
© 2017 TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy