About this project
Statement of Problem
Most people have never heard of this vast and remarkable 1.3 million acre Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR). From golden eagles and big horn sheep, to 500 plant species and 320 bird species, the refuge is one of our greatest natural places in the American Southwest.
The refuge isn’t well-known or appreciated by the public at large. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that made changes to the management of DNWR inside a large military expenditure bill that would turn over management of over half the refuge to the military, all without public input. Under the current climate, no one really knows what certain members of Congress may try in the future with protected lands in the west. Bolstering public appreciation and support of these lands is a continuing struggle that must be relentless, and DNWR is no exception.
We plan to photograph some of the more spectacular areas of DNWR for the use of promoting public support for the refuge. From the highest mountain peak to the sand dunes near the dry lake bed, we plan to capture a variety of images to showcase the natural beauty of the refuge. Many of the images would be made available for use in online publication and fine art prints.
Our daughter Lizzy is going to make a short documentary film about our photography project and our effort to raise awareness of the refuge's awesome beauty.
We also plan to host a public gallery showing in Las Vegas, featuring some of the images in large print.
We will hike through Hidden Forest, capturing pictures of a ponderosa pine forest and a cabin built before the 1930s. Then we will proceed to Hayford Peak and capture images of the entire mountain range and stay through sunset. On the second day, we will capture images along Mormon Well Road, including an old corral, Yucca Forest, and Desert Pass Campgrounds. On day three, we will travel to the dry lake bed and sand dunes to capture the desert portion of the refuge.
We will use both digital and film cameras to capture images. Shots from my digital Canon 6D will offer among the highest quality digital images available today. The film cameras will offer an even higher quality image than any digital cameras offer, as well as a different take on color and light. We will use a 4x5 large format camera and a 6x7 medium format camera in both color and black and white film. I will use close-up shots to capture details, and wide-angle shots to capture large landscape images.
Some of Our Past Work at the Refuge
Our goal of $1,000 is largely to cover the cost of film, development, and printing of the images. We have most of the equipment we will need to make this trip, including backpacking gear and a four-wheel drive vehicle. Your contribution gets you a signed fine art print, worth every penny. Any amount over $1,000 will help pay for additional printing and a public gallery viewing in the coming months. Thank you!
We plan to take several trips to the refuge in August through October. All post-production work should be finished by the end of October. That gives plenty of time for printing and shipping of the fine art prints to be completed by the end of November... just in time for holiday gifts!
We will also do the workshops and photo walks at the Refuge in September/October/November. All the photo walks are for two people.
Risks and challenges
Weather can be a challenge in the desert mountains. We will carefully select dates to shoot to avoid trouble... or will we? Clouds are nice for photography. So we will try for some of those at least. Bottom line, we live in Las Vegas, a short distance from the refuge and should have no issue making several weekend trips to complete the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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