Last year in October I received the news that one of my images became Highly Honored in the Windland Smith Rice International Awards. I could not be more proud to have made the final cut of more than 20,000 images entered in one of the major nature photography competitions. In today's world with very good equipment available to a lot of photographers, it is an even more daunting task to distinguish yourself from the very high quality images made by many great photographers.
I was even more thrilled when my image of the sleeping brown bear was chosen to be part of a selection of images that were going to be on display in a special exhibition in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. I flew up to Washington on June 6th to celebrate the opening of the Awards Exhibition that will be on display to the public as of June 7th and will run for a year.
Taking great images is one thing, but even more important is what you eventually do with them. What difference is the image going to make. With our increasing human footprint and the ever decreasing habitats of the wildlife that co-exists with us in the same space, the world we live in is changing fast. Too fast. Global warming, deforestation, poaching elephants for ivory, overfishing of the oceans and pollution are just examples of the impact we have on our planet for economic reasons and wealth creation. Realizing that we are all responsible for our increasing human footprint is a hard sell and easily forgotten in every day life.
Having my image in the exhibition among the other great and beautiful images of fellow honored photographers, and being able to show these highlights of the natural world to the millions of people who will pass by and view them gives purpose to my image. Great images inspire and show a vision which transforms the way we look at the world. To quote inspirational photographer DeWitt Jones; "By celebrating what’s right, we find the energy to fix what’s wrong".
Everyday we are inundated with messages that tell us what’s wrong with our world. It’s not surprising that we lose sight of all the things that are right with it; of all that is truly worth celebrating.If you want to celebrate what is right in the world you have to check out www.celebratewhatsright.com and get inspired by Dewitt Jones.