Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, Explorer’s Club membership, and a Canon exhibit and ad campaign make for a banner year.
Fieldwork is what I am all about…. Field research and exploration, and spending many months in the wild corners of the planet seeking those elusive, story-telling images of rare species and wild landscapes. This year was no exception, with a lot of field time on my “Documenting Orangutan Diversity” project in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as shooting in some other locations such as the Maldives, the Sierra Nevada range, and China.
But as the year wraps up, I also realize that it has been a very special year for me. It’s very rewarding when all the hard work in the field yields not only published photos and articles, but also other types of exposure and recognition. These were some of the special highlights of 2014:
Canon’s 100 Million lenses campaign: As Canon reached the major landmark of producing their 100 Millionth lens, they created a print ad campaign in Japan that featured my Greater Bird-of-Paradise image and a shot of me with my camera up in the canopy in the New Guinea rain forest. I have been an enthusiastic user of Canon equipment for over three decades, so it was a great feeling to be selected to represent all the Canon photographers out there and the Canon brand for this ad.
The Explorer’s Club: As I combine video shooting on Canon DSLR’s more and more with my still photography, it was a milestone for me to receive my first filmmaking award at a film festival in January. We won the “Best Exploration Film” at the New York Wild Film Festival. The Festival was held at the famous Explorer’s Club in New York, and led to opportunities to meet many members and see the club. Subsequently, I was nominated and accepted for membership in the Explorer’s Club, which I am very excited about. I look forward to opportunities to meet more of the renowned explorer’s who are involved with this club, and to continue to make expeditions in the spirit of exploration the club represents.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio Award: I’ve been entering photos in this granddaddy of all wildlife photography competitions for nearly twenty years. It is without a doubt the premier competition of its kind in the world. While at least ten of my images have received honors over the years, I had never one a major category or award. So it was a real career high point when my portfolio of six Birds-of-Paradise images won the new Portfolio Award category.
Canon Gallery Exhibit: In January, my year started out with a real milestone. Something I had dreamed about since I was a kid visiting Canon photo galleries in Tokyo. I had my own exhibit of my Birds-of-Paradise work shown in the Canon S Gallery at Canon Marketing Japan headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo. It was a thrill to see this childhood fantasy come true, and to spend time in Tokyo, giving a lecture to accompany the exhibit.
Meeting Sir David Attenborough: It’s pretty exciting when you get to meet a long-time hero and inspirational figure like Sir David. It was a real pleasure and an honor for Ed Scholes and me to meet Sir David in Bristol, UK this past April to work on a film project together. With our common interest in Birds-of-Paradise, we hit it off immediately. The film will be out in early 2015, so stay tuned!
2014 is going to be hard to beat, but here’s to 2015!