By Kristin Dyak
March 18th, 2016
“Large numbers of red-crowned cranes take refuge in water away from predators as the misty morning awakes another gift of the day. This image by Tim Laman softens the bustling of life. My own mind stills, fading into a similar grainy vision. Presence and instinct will allow them to thrive on the journey ahead.” – Ashley Morton
“Bertie Gregory’s photo of a squirrel feels like spring and simply makes me happy! A young visitor at the animal shelter where I volunteer told me last week that she does not like squirrels. They are one of my favorite animals, so I hope she reconsidered her opinion of them after I talked about their intelligence, ingenuity, athleticism and cuteness!” – Lori Franklin
“Nothing tugs at my heart strings more than warm and earnest images like this that Matthieu Paley took of his own family while on a road trip. This intimate look at a special moment in time where this family is thoroughly appreciating this gift they have of spending time together is priceless. I love the gorgeous color palate of the curtains and the comforter that highlight those striking blue eyes. It makes me want to head home right now and snuggle with my own two kids.” – Stacy Gold
“I appreciate that photographer Mattias Klum didn’t disregard this ‘failed’ attempted at ideal timing. Sometimes the perfect accidents can produce the best results like this squinty lion cub. The expression of curiosity and confusion written on its face makes me wonder what thoughts are crossing the cub’s mind.” – Kristin Dyak
By Julia Andrews
March 15th, 2016
In 2014, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice spent several months in Kibera. Kibera is Kenya’s largest slum, located in Nairobi and home to 1.5 million people, which is 50 percent of the city’s population. Many have called Kibera the most impoverished place on earth, a place where international efforts to bring about change have chronically, historically failed. Kibera is a place where one out of five children die before their fifth birthday and only eight percent of girls attend school.
Despite these bleak facts, positive change is trickling into Kibera. Recent efforts that enable neighborhood women to lead specific reform programs in their communities have yielded surprising results that the programs work. That’s what brought Fitzmaurice there. She was the still photographer for the documentary Shifting Ground, which looked at the lives of three Kibera women who have made a difference. During her stay, Fitzmaurice came across this young girl who magically converted an old ripped bicycle tire into a whirling hula hoop. In a split second, Fitzmaurice transformed the grit of Kibera into a gem of childhood. The empathy and light touch she brings to her Kibera images is evident throughout all of her work, whether it’s assignments for National Geographic, TIME, Sports Illustrated or ESPN.
By Kristin Dyak
March 11th, 2016
“I love this twilight view of musician Gregory Alan Isakov quietly playing guitar in a van. Keith Ladzinski gifts us this beautifully intimate glimpse at this special moment in time. I only wish I had actually been there.” – Nadia Hughes
“Pulsing freedom is in the fields, woods and water ways where children run uninhibited as dirt flies up in their wake. There is something to see, feel and experience in the wonders ahead. This image by Pete Muller exudes a precious energy connecting a boy and his landscape before age and society wrangle it away. My impending motherhood drew me to the spirit of this image and the joy of a universal moment.” – Ashley Morton
“I love the peacefulness of the skeletal trees hanging over a leaf covered road and against the blue sky in this image by Amy Toensing. It reminds me of growing up in Lake Tahoe and going on evening walks with my family.” – Gina Martin
“Jonathan Kingston’s grainy black and white photograph of a swimming elephant has an otherworldly feel. The powerful animal seems almost weightless as it moves through the fog-like water. It brings to mind memories of swimming with my horse, another powerful animal, made weightless by water.” – Lori Franklin
By Nadia Hughes
March 8th, 2016
We all have bad days, but in the grand scheme of things, I definitely have it easy. That thought is always driven home when I see Jodi Cobb’s image of a noodle maker covered in flour in his shop in Hong Kong. I am fascinated by this image with its myriad fans, the cigarette hanging out of the man’s mouth about to drop ashes into the dough and the pop of red from a ubiquitous Coke can in the otherwise monotone scene. There are many classic portraits of miners black with coal dust, but there is something very striking about the contrast of this worker covered in white flour that makes Cobb’s illustration of hard work stand out from the crowd.
By Kristin Dyak
March 4th, 2016
“Keith Ladzinski captures nature like no one else. Here, he invokes a dreamlike landscape calling me to climb. The light shines through the mountain ridges creating beautiful shadows of smoke that fill the valleys with those heavenly sun rays.” – Stacy Gold
“Too often the Balkan nation of Armenia is cast in the shadow of it’s powerful neighbor Russia. The country always shines in Pink Parking, John Stanmeyer’s moody, mod night portrait of the streets of Gyumri, where he’s teaching a workshop on Storytelling and Social Media. His efforts give Armenian women an opportunity to create their own visual language with cameras.” – Julia Andrews
“I love winter, particularly when it snows. Even a dusting can transform an urban or rural setting into a magical place. Amy Toensing’s photo brings to mind the bird’s-eye view of snow-slicked sidewalks I have from my apartment windows. I always wonder who the lucky person was who had the unmarked snow to themselves, leaving behind a trail of footprints like the prints on Harry Potter’s Marauders Map!” – Lori Franklin
“Karine Aigner spots this chameleon testing it’s balance as it makes it’s way across a road in Tanzania. I love the bold colors and textural elements in this image. Aigner has a great eye for capturing the personalities of various wildlife, and she doesn’t exclude Earth’s small creatures.” – Kristin Dyak
By Kristin Dyak
March 3rd, 2016
Today we join an international effort to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants in honor of World Wildlife Day. While facing many challenges, the biggest threat to wildlife is habitat loss that leads to a rise of endangered species. Photographer and activist Joel Sartore’s multiyear project Photo Ark documents Earth’s wildlife before they disappear. Photo Ark hopes to inspire millions around the world with the message that it’s not too late to save some of the planet’s most endangered species.
Browse the complete Photo Ark gallery here.
By Stacy Gold
March 1st, 2016
This image reminds me of my own American childhood. Growing up we would head out to the countryside for an all you could eat buffet lunch with my grandparents. It was a slice of heaven filled with macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and baked potatoes with butter. If you were lucky, you might even find a little cheese to sprinkle on top. What really grabbed my attention about this photo is the person behind the camera. David Guttenfelder has spent the past twenty years of his career based outside of the United States, working in more than seventy-five countries around the world. He has covered the front lines of war, the plight of refugees and important conservation stories. Any story Guttenfelder takes on, whether it’s covering local stomping ground or embedded in conflict, he immerses himself fully and documents with integrity. I love that in this image, Guttenfelder has brought his photography home. He has transported me to this restaurant and brought me a little slice of that figurative ol’ American pie.
By Kristin Dyak
February 26th, 2016
“Photographer Ulla Lohmann captivates all audiences, including her amphibian subjects like this bright green tree frog. This frog’s intuitive smile when posing for Lohmann creates a vibrant and fun portriat.“ – Kristin Dyak
“Jonathan Mehring captured beautiful layers of symmetry in New York City. The parallel lines and patterns end up leading your eye right down the street to it’s vanishing point. I love these intricate patterns and the light dusting of snow that gives this image it’s energy.” – Stacy Gold
“I gravitate to Matt Propert’s work for introspection. He cultivates the essentials of a landscape with mood and intuition in this image of Santa Cruz. It awakens my sensibilities and leaves me in a poetic calm.” – Ashley Morton
“Like a Maxfield Parish painting, Jimmy Chin shows us this lovely landscape in the Mojave Desert in the most beautiful light of the day. I love the colors and contrasts and how the image has such a soft and magical emotion to it.” – Nadia Hughes
By Julia Andrews
February 23rd, 2016
Photographer Heather Perry rarely stays on dry land for too long. In her own words, she’s happiest in, on and under water, a feeling that she successfully shares with viewers by infusing her photography with vivid colors, fluid shapes, and her sense of humor. This portrait of an open water swimmer in the frigid Atlantic waters off of Camps Bay, South Africa, is quintessential Perry. A powerful open water swimmer herself, Perry has convinced unlikely landlubbers to take the plunge and pose as her underwater subjects, including a dance troupe from a local college. Perry worked as an aquarist at Sea World after earning her degree in marine biology, but her career began in earnest when she started photographing freshwater eels. The route from eels to South African bathers has taken Perry around the world with her camera, on assignment for National Geographic Creative, mostly underwater.
By Kristin Dyak
February 19th, 2016
“Robin Moore is a conservationist and advocate for amphibians and his photography charms the viewer to appreciate their importance. This helmeted iguana in the Cocobolo Nature Preserve in Panama was captured with exquisite perfection and begs for our respect and protection of this worthy creature.” – Ashley Morton
“I was totally charmed this week by Bertie Gregory’s image of a diver blowing a bubble ring that then created a round frame. I’ve never seen an image like it, and it was a nice smile during an otherwise sloppy wintery week here in D.C.” – Nadia Hughes
“I love seeing images that throw you into the festivities of cultural celebrations around the world. Raul Touzon’s Carnival series immediately transports you to the Dominican Republic and allows you to experience this happy tradition alongside the local people. This colorful photo shows the unique costumes and energetic nature of this celebratory event.“ – Kristin Dyak
“This gorgeous age-old tree, with it’s bare branches that twist and reach out like weathered fingers, reminds me of Ansel Adams’ famous oak tree in it’s full body black-and-white splendor. Matt Propert takes us on a journey with this earthy and strong testament to nature.” – Stacy Gold