As many of you know, I'm working on a large scale project regarding swamps. Or, as I like to call them, America's redheaded step children. Historically and currently, our swamps have taken the backseat when it comes to the PR of American landscapes. Viewed as mere blemishes on the land, they have carried the scarlet letter of haunted wastelands and general impediments to civilization ever since our ancestors arrived from Europe. It seems that so much of the public disdain for these vital ecological areas comes from negative publicity and the lingering hangover of our manifest destiny mentality.
My goal is to give a new face to swamps. I want everyone to paddle through the braided channels of a cypress slough. I want them to seek out the blackwater like they seek out the ocean. I want our swamps to have a second chance at winning back the respect and adoration of the public.
Received a Highly Commended from the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year contest this evening.
So, today is a small step in that direction. This evening at the Natural History Museum of London, England, winners were announced for the 2010 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. Tens of thousands of images were submitted from all over the globe to compete for top spots in several categories. One of my images taken during a stint working in the Francis Beidler Forest in South Carolina was awarded in the category Animals in their Environment. I am so honored to be among the commended artists, but more importantly, I'm thrilled for the chance to bring the beauty of this landscape to millions of viewers. Follow this link to see other images from the competition.
I have known about my placement in this competition for quite some time now and have been itching to tell you but was under strict instructions not to mention anything until the 21st. Officially and legally, the cat is out of the bag.
Received Highly Honored in the Windland Smith
Rice International Awards
As if it couldn't get any better, I received one more bit of good news. The Windland Smith Rice International awards in conjunction with Nature's Best Magazine notified me that another one of my images taken in South Carolina placed in their contest as well. Just as competitive, this contest receives over 20,000 images worldwide and the winners have their images framed and hung on the walls of the Smithsonian for five months. Not only will these images help to put the Francis Beidler Forest on the map, they will be my catalysts to changing public opinions of our beloved swamps.