About this project
NOTE: The video is not my project description (that's in the text below) - it provides some examples of my photography set to music. The first part of the video is from a successful year-long photo project I completed in Vermont in 2009, while the second part is a few of the images I made at Point Reyes on my first visit last year. So read the project description below then sit back, relax and enjoy the video.
NOTE: If I go over $2500 in pledges, the first $1500 or so additional will go towards funding this project as it stands ($2500 won't cover the full cost of somewhere around $4000). Anything over that will be used for photographic work in a very similar vein on other National Park Service lands - this is the first step in a much larger project on the Parks, and anything not needed at Point Reyes will be put towards the next stages.
I will be working on an extensive photo essay at Point Reyes National Seashore this summer - ranging from the landscape to wildlife, plants, weather and people. I will be sharing the images with the National Park Service, so they can use anything I get in their materials. This summer is the 50th Anniversary of the Point Reyes National Seashore, and sharing the images with the Seashore will permit them to use any image they would like in their 50th Anniversary celebrations.
While I've done almost all of my photographic work on the East Coast, a brief visit to Point Reyes last year left me with a sense of the photographic potential of the place, a strong wish to explore more deeply, and some connections that made it possible. A major part of what I'll be doing is telling the story of a place through images, words and perhaps some video.
Photography is a powerful way of connecting people to the landscape. Ansel Adams was one of the most effective conservationists of the 20th century, and his secret was glorious images. I have been teaching a photography and natural history course entitled "Visions of the Landscape" at the University of Vermont for the past seven years, and I've been struck by the power of images in creating connection.
This is also an exploration for a larger potential project across National Park Service lands - a project that both uses the power of photography to connect people to their landscape and increases opportunities for others to join in. Point Reyes' 70,000 acres are the right size to experiment on, to figure out what works and what doesn't, before taking on the massive challenge of a much larger swath of the National Park System. 2016 is both the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service itself, and the 75th Anniversary of Ansel Adams' monumental National Parks Project - what better way to celebrate than with photographs, and this is the very first step in what I hope will be a large-scale photographic celebration of the National Park system, one of our nation's most unique natural and cultural endowments.
Perhaps most importantly, it is an incredible artistic opportunity - Point Reyes is a stunning location, and I will have a chance to see it in many of its moods and make images in a wide range of conditions... I am sure that I will produce portfolio-quality images that turn into wonderful prints.
Because of the Federal budget crunch, the National Seashore can't pay me for this project. I'm using this Kickstarter funding to live in the Point Reyes area this summer, while I'm making images. Many of the rewards are some of my prints from the summer, at much lower prices than I would typically charge in a gallery. If you back me on the project, you get a print (or several) at a ~40% discount. I have also included some other rewards, ranging from images in electronic format for screensaver or TV display to personalized photo workshops. I've shared a few of the images I made in only three days at Point Reyes last year below - a place that can produce these in three days will produce much more in two months, with choices of light and weather.
The book project is a new direction for me - I've wanted to do one for years, and Point Reyes is an ideal place to develop a book project. The individually produced, hand-bound books will be extremely special (the artist I'm working with on the binding is a longtime friend, and incredibly creative - I can't wait to see what we come up with), but the effort involved also makes them very expensive... There is also a Blurb (or similar) option, but even that is expensive to produce (so it appears as a part of some higher-end rewards). If there's enough interest, I will try to find a third, even cheaper option and sell books separately after the project.
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