Igor Shpilenok
International League of                                      April 2010
Conservation Photographers                                    Newsletter
There is no question that part of the glue that holds societies together and that helps us understand our place in the planetary puzzle is the art of story-telling.  The proverbial "campfire" around which stories of our common ancestry, the challenges we face, and the ideas we share, have, generation to generation, been passed through stories.  Today's technology allows us to gather around the global campfire in new and meaningful ways and skilled artists and story tellers have become key players to move the conservation agenda by helping 'connect the dots'.

Translating science and complex conservation priorities into compelling messages that are accessible to larger audiences and decision-makers is an imperative that more and more conservation organizations are taking seriously, both in their strategy and in their budget.  Using effective communications, strong visuals and interesting graphics is fast becoming an integral part of the conservation toolbox. The skills of photographers, film-makers, writers and other creative artists will be instrumental to help tell the story of how our planet succeeded in turning the tide, or of how we failed. 

The story is not over yet.


Cristina Mittermeier
International League of Conservation Photographers
Photographer of the Month
Resolution 41
iLCP Updates
Earth In Focus Editions
Conservation Photographers in ACTION
Upcoming Events & Exhibits
Photo Competitions & Awards
 PHOTOGRAPHER of the MONTH -  Igor Shpilenok

Every one of the iLCP photographers has an inspiring conservation story to share and we want to give them as big an audience as possible.  This is why we will be highlighting the work and commitment of these amazing photographers throughout the year. 

Igor Shpilenok

Igor Shpilenok is so much more than a photographer.  He is nothing less than a conservation hero.  With great courage and despite threats to his life and family, over the years Igor persevered in pushing for the preservation of some of Russia's most remote wilderness and rare species.  Igor ShpilenokThrough his efforts, the habitat of the rare black stork was protected in a new protected area, the Bryansky Les Nature Reserve.  After serving as director of the reserve, Igor returned full time to photography and he continues to use his images to push for conservation.  His latest efforts focus on the Kamchatka Peninsula, home of some of our planet's last pristine salmon habitat, large populations of grizzly bears, and a real natural treasure for all humanity.  Igor's courage and steadfast resolve truly exemplify the ambitions of conservation photography. 

As an environmental activist and founder of the Bryansky Les Nature Reserve, Igor travels across Russia documenting its wild places. The camera is Igor's most powerful and faithful companion in the struggle to protect the Russian wilderness - an integral part of the global ecological balance.

Igor first got the idea to photograph nature at the age of 13, when, Igor Shpilenokduring his spring explorations of the Bryansk Forest in western Russia, he discovered a wonderful meadow in the woods with hundreds of wildflowers. He thought it unfair that only he could take in this beauty out of the billions of people on Earth. When he finally convinced his grandmother to buy him a camera, it was too late. Upon returning to the meadow, instead of the blanket of wildflowers, Igor found black earth upturned by tractors and piles of freshly cut logs towering to the sky. It was one of the most intense impressions of his adolescence, determining the future direction of his life.

Wielding his camera and his photographs, Igor pushed for creation of Igor Shpilenoka nature reserve to protect disappearing nesting habitat of the rare black stork, a bird he first discovered in the region as a teen. In 1987, as a result of his efforts, the Bryansky Les Zapovednik (strict nature reserve) was created, granting protection to floodplain and forest habitats and more than a dozen black stork nests. He became the reserves first director at the age of 27, making him the youngest and only non-Communist director in the entire zapovednik system at the time. During the 11 years he managed the reserve, he and his colleagues were able to guarantee protection for another 12 nature refuges. In all, Igor played a key role in withdrawing 20 percent of the Bryansk Forest from economic exploitation. The years have healed the wounds inflicted on the forest and wildflowers bloom on Igor's meadow once again.

Since leaving the post of reserve director in 1999, Igor has shifted his focus to Russia's entire reserve system. He photographs zapovedniks and national parks around Russia to share the beauty and ecological significance of these natural areas with the world. When not on photo expeditions, he and his wife, nature writer Laura Williams, live in the remote village of Chukhrai in the buffer zone of Bryansky Les Zapovednik.Igor Shpilenok

Igor is currently involved in organizing a local RAVE-type expedition to bring attention of decision-makers to illegal logging in a sanctuary in the Bryansk Forest in western Russia near his home.  He continues to be active in photographing Kamchatka to demonstrate what unique biodiversity Russia has to lose from proposed gas development on the western Kamchatka shelf, and is spreading awareness about Russia's system of protected areas.

To learn more about Igor and Laura see their new memoir, out March 2008, The Storks' Nest.

Igor is a regular contributor to National Wildlife, Ranger Rick, Russian Igor ShpilenokLife, National Geographic-Russia, Canadian Wildlife, Geo-Germany, and BBC Wildlife magazines, among others.

In 2006, Igor's photo "Still life and bear" won first prize in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.

He went on an expedition for WWE in 2008 to document the endangered saiga antelope in southern
Russia, Europe's only antelope.

To read more about his involvement in WWE click HERE

To view Igor's website click HERE
 RAVEs (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition)

RAVEs Under Consideration:

In addition to working on outreach for the Patagonia RAVE and launching the Great Bear Rainforest RAVE, the iLCP is currently looking into the feasibility of a RAVE in the US focusing on the Chesapeake Bay estuary, and a RAVE on the Tompotika Peninsula of Indonesia. The RAVE in the Chesapeake Bay was proposed by an iLCP supporter who works closely with the Nature Conservancy and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The purpose of this RAVE would be to help partners push through the The Chesapeake Clean Water and
Ecosystem Act (H.R. 3852/S. 1816).

The RAVE in Indonesia has been proposed by Conservation International herpetologist Robin Moore, an iLCP affiliate, and Marcy Summers, Executive Director of the Tompotika Alliance, an organization dedicated to saving ecosystems and wildlife of the peninsula. If iLCP undertakes this RAVE, the purpose would be to help the Tompotika Alliance spotlight the proposal to protect 9,000 hectares of rainforest habitat on the side of the volcano.

Please stay tuned for updates!

patagonia rave

The field segment of the Patagonia RAVE ended earlier this month. It was a tremendous success and we managed to capture some amazing pictures. The RAVE photographers, Jack Dykinga, Daniel Beltr�, Jeff Foott, and Bridget Besaw, have brought back images of huemel deer, Andean condors, vizcatcha (little rabbit like rodents), roaring rapids, ongoing small scale development (which may be illegal development in preparation for the dams - TBD) and stunning aerials of glaciers and rivers. We visited both of the rivers that will be dammed, the Rio Pascua and Rio Baker, as well as other pristine areas that will be destroyed by the project.

At the end of the expedition we all walked away with the feeling that the dam issue in Patagonia is bigger than the dams simply flooding a nice area. In reality, these dams would mark the beginning of the end for Patagonia because their construction would bring in new roads, new development, and hordes of new people that would change the character and wild nature of the region forever. Luckily, momentum is building against the dams, and our partners feel we've reached a tipping point. We've got some great outreach initiatives planned that we hope will tip the issue over the edge in our favor. These include an exhibit that will travel through Chile and to Italy and Spain where the multinational corporations responsible for the proposed dams are headquartered, and a presentation at the share holders meeting of Enel (the lead corporation in Italy in charge of the project) this spring. Please stay tuned for more updates.

Thanks to our partners the Patagonian Foundation, Patagonia, Inc., Weeden Foundation, Baum Foundation, Renee and Jeff Harbers Foundation, Conservaci�n Patag�nica, Salvaje Coraz�n, and Ecosistemas. Thanks also to photographers Jack Dykinga, Daniel Beltra, Jeff Foott, and Bridget Besaw and videographer Edgar Boyles who donated their time to this RAVE to help keep Patagonia Wild.
Read dispatches from the field on our



Exciting news! All mining has been permanently banned in the Flathead River Valley of British Columbia in part because of the RAVE and the iLCP. This conservation success is RAVE's greatest achievement to date. Thanks to iLCP photographers Roy Toft, Joe Riis, Garth Lenz, Mattias Breiter, Mike Ready, Justin Black, and Cristina Mittermeier for making it happen. You can read more about RAVEs involvement in the campaign in in the linked article published in the Missoulian.

Also, here are some kind words from writer Doug Chadwick who lives just outside of Whitefish, Montana: "We don't win that many landscape conservation battles, but this is a huge and crucial victory. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Flathead, the Crown of the Continent, the goats, grizz, and wolverines; and please pass along my deepest gratitude to your ILCP colleagues."

great bear


Planning is moving forward at full speed for an autumn 2010 RAVE to address threats to British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, the largest expanse of temperate rainforest left in the world. ILCP President Cristina Mittermeier, RAVE Coordinator Trevor Frost, and Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild are all hard at work searching for funding to complete the expedition and the follow-up outreach. We are also happy to announce the team of photographers that has been assembled to participate:


Paul Nicklen

Tom Peschak

Daniel Beltr�

Garth Lenz

Stefano Unterthiner

Cristina Mittermeier

Ian McAllister


Stories are powerful because they become experiences shared. Images, though motionless, move; though silent, they speak, and we are all gifted with a larger vision of the world. Storytelling is an art and an ever more important part of conservation photography.  Being able to introduce an issue, set the scene, bring ideas to light and inspire people to effect change in 12 shots is not an easy feat.  Storytelling is one of the main aspirations of ILCP photographers.

12SHOTS at Telluride Mountain Film Festival12 shots

What: a showcase of both iLCP photographer and non-member conservation stories.  24 conservation stories will be shown during the 12SHOTS reception, while you gather, chat, sip a cocktail and enjoy the show.  The theme is EXTINCTION.
Location: a very cool bar or pub in Telluride, CO (TBD)

check out the submission for Telluride Mountain Film Festival process here!

12 shots

12SHOTS at Blue Ocean Film Festival

What: a showcase of both iLCP photographer and non-member conservation stories. 24 conservation stories will be shown during the 12SHOTS reception.  The theme is OCEANS. 

Location: a very cool bar or pub in Monterrey, CA (TBD)

 Check out the submission process for Blue Ocean Film Festival here!


The most important outcome of the Conservation Communications Symposium that was co-convened by the iLCP and WildScreen, was the approval by the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WILD9) of Resolution # 41.  This resolution, which was drafted and signed by participants to the symposium, encourages the philanthropic community to scale up their investment in communications for conservation.  The current level of funding for communications, outreach, education and awareness is grossly insufficient and we most recognize that until more funding is available we will fail to succeed on our conservation efforts.


We have a lot of upcoming events!  To learn more about the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity, Salmon Stronghold Conservation, Mountainfilm in Telluride and the Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, click HERE

Dispatches from the Field!  Read them HERE

Flathead RAVE Campaign is on the road!
Learn more about it HERE

Tripods in the Mud (TIM) is an initiative of the iLCP that helps partner professional photographers with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue.

The second Tripods in the Mud (TIM) expedition was a success.  The iLCP partnered with Conservation International to send a team of photographers and videographers to the Abrolhos region of Brazil.   Their goal was to create visual archive of this remarkable ecosystem.  CI hopes to ues the images to work with partners in the creation of a new seascape and the expansion of the existing Marine Protected area and "no take" zone. 

The Abrohlos TIM team included three iLCP Fellows:  Paul Nicklen, a Canadian national who works with National Geographic magazine;  Luciano Candisani, a Brazilian photographer who work with National Geographic Brazil and Cristina Mittermeier, a Mexican photographer who specializes in documenting the human aspects of conservation.

In addition to an underwater component, the team traveled along the coast documenting artisanal and commercial fishing operation as well as other threats.

For more info click HERE

"Our National Parks, Americas Natural Heritage" is the first ONPcomplete book published by Earth in Focus Editions. It was created in partnership with The National Park Foundation, and is available exclusively in the trade through Borders Group In, and being sold throughout the National Parks system.  As of today we have sold almost 16,000 books and it is the second largest selling National Parks book, behind Ken Burns's monumental work, "The National Parks-Americas Best Idea".
Read more about "Our National Parks, Americas Natural Heritage" and place orders HERE
Gary Braasch, iLCP Fellow and documentarian of climate change Gary Braaschscience and effects, has added "Climate Photo of the Week" to the home page of his popular website worldviewofglobalwarming.org. The changing image is keyed to climate, energy and global warming news, and to Gary's ongoing reporting on climate change. Recent posts have been from his repeat photography along the Florida, North Carolina and Chesapeake Bay coasts -- showing changes in only a few years caused and made more intense by rising sea level. Gary's independent photojournalistic project is in its 11th year, and he seeks assignments and financial contributions for expanded coverage of this major issue.

For more info click HERE

iLCP Associate Bridget Besaw has helped the Maine CoastBridget Besaw Heritage Trust to produce 5 short multimedia pieces for the web using photography she created during a summer 2009 photo project for the coastal conservation organization. This is the first time MCHT has created multimedia for the web, so they are excited to measure the success of this new outreach tool.

For more info click HERE

iLCP Associate Bridget Besaw is also featured on the cover of current Bridget Besawwinter issue of Nature Conservancy magazine and feature article Carbon Equation: Does preventing deforestation equal greater protection from climate change? For the assignment Bridget traveled to the Garcia Forest in California and to the forests of Borneo to photograph The Nature Conservancy's efforts to research and prevent the effects of deforestation.

For more info click HERE

An article on iLCP Fellow Alison Jones's No Water No Life� Alison Jones project has been published this month by International Rivers in its annual World Rivers Review: "The Fine Art of Watershed Protection" (pp. 14-15).  The next upcoming expedition for No Water No Life is March 22-April 20 to document Uganda's White Nile River Basin and to revisit Kenya's Mara River Basin in the rainy season.

To read the article online click HERE

National Geographic, along with iLCP Fellow Brian Skerry, won
daniel beltrathe American Society of Magazine Editors "Photography, Digital Media" award, which recognizes "use of photography that demonstrates the unique capabilities of digital media." Nominated content included Geographic's "Visions of Earth," an online photography gallery featuring the work of photographers from around the globe, and video content in which photographer Brian Skerry discusses the challenges of photographing a leatherback turtle.

For more info click HERE

iLCP Associate Markus Mauthe starts his slide show tour about EuropeanMarkus Mauthe "old grown forest" for Greenpeace in November. Now its half time in the photographic work. Many good encounters have already been made, many areas are waiting to be explored.

For more info and to read his blog click

iLCP Emerging League Member Eric Zamora's marathon 112-mile, 14-dayEric Zamoratrek through North Cascades National Park to raise awareness about the North Cascades Ecosystem was featured on www.ExperienceWilderness.org. The Wilderness Society's North Cascades Initiative is dedicated to sustaining the region's economic future by preserving its wild beauty. Zamora also contributed his images to the environmental non profit Conservation Northwest.

For more info click HERE

Eric Zamora also partnered with the Gulf Restoration Network, SouthWingsEric Zamoraand Next Steps Collective to lead the development of the Nature Coast Coalition Web site. Florida's Nature Coast is one of the nation's longest stretches of undeveloped coastline. Development pressure has increased tremendously in recent years with the proposal of a limestone mine, nuclear power plant, two mega resorts, and an expressway. Zamora contributed his stunning images from the region for use in the Web site, which launched in March.

For more info click HERE

On April 20th iLCP Emerging League member Shannon Switzer Shannon Switzerwill bejoining a six week Stand-Up Paddle Board expedition through the entire chain of Hawaiian Islands as the team's water photographer. The expedition is called Destination 3 Degrees and will be joining forces with Algalita Marine Research Foundation, a non-profit whose research and conservation projects focus on cleaning up plastics in the ocean and understanding their distribution worldwide. Shannon will help Algalita spread awareness about plastic contamination and how it has affected the marine life and ecosystem of Hawaii through the photographs she makes.

For more info click HERE

iLCP Emerging League member Michael Ready is just back from West Michael ReadyJava, Indonesia where he was scouting for an extensive photo survey of the endemic amphibians of Gede Pangrango National Park-- part of a larger project covering global amphibian diversity and decline. Collaborating researchers and conservation agencies will use his images for outreach and education about these fragile and highly threatened animals. His new website launches in April!

To view Michael's website click HERE

iLCP Emerging League member Miguel Angel de la CuevaMiguel Angel de la  Cueva has completed his explorations through Baja California's most unexplored and rugged mountain ranges, for 11 months along with co-author and biodiversity expert Exequiel Ezcurra they have brought new ecosystems and species to light , this iniciative will soon become a book which will promote the creation of a new Biosphere Reserve, stay tuned for it's release on fall 2010!

iLCP Emerging League member Murray Cooper's
images are toMurray Cooper be seen in an article in Natural History Magazine on the rare Long-Wattled Umbrellabird, for the month of February 2010. It is an extremely difficult bird to photograph - due to its 05h45 in the morning habit of displaying in near darkness, in the constant mist and rain of the last remnants of Northwestern Ecuador's Choco Rainforest.

For more info click HERE

Murray Cooper has also donated his images for the recent 2010 BirdLife publications on the Important Bird Areas - Americas, and the IBA's - Amazon. He is the most represented photographer in these really impressive productions and critically important conservation tools, mapping out all the most critical bird-habitat in the Americas. He has also worked extensively with the Jocotoco Foundation, Ecuador's premiere bird conservation foundation, on all aspects of their marketing, where his images are exclusively used in their brochures, annual reports and newsletters, plus he has donated time in taking charge of all promotional material, preparing all their texts and design, helping them cultivate a more professional look to their conservation message.

iLCP Emerging League member Claudio Contreras Koob from Mexico isClaudio Koob going to take part in the 2010 Pro-Tour of Nature Photography to be held in Webb County southwest Texas. A very efficent way to promote conservation of private lands, the Pro-Tour pairs 20 teams of landowner-photographer in a competition for the best nature images during the month of April.

For more info click HERE

Claudio Contreras Koob is also working with Nature Picture Library, one of the foremost nature related image agencies in the world. Claudio's images show the diversity of animal species in Mexico.

iLCP Emerging League member I�aki Relanzon
has beenInaki Relanzon interviewed in the Discover Catalonia Magazine, where he has publishing his pictures during the last 10 years.

I�aki Relanzon has also organized a photo safari to Madagascar, were people can enjoy and learn how to photograph the wildlife of this island.

For more info click HERE


iLCP Fellow Daniel Beltra will be giving a lecture at Annenberg daniel beltraSpace for Photography on "The State of Tropical Rainforests".  The Annenberg Space for Photography offers live programming through the lecture series entitled IRIS NIGHTS. IRIS NIGHTS is a public program offered free of charge, by online reservation on a first-come, first-served basis. IRIS NIGHTS brings to life the featured exhibit with hour-long lectures by the photographers featured in the Photography Space exhibits, as well as by other notable guest artists and experts. These programs give attendees unique access to the artists in the intimate setting of the Photography Space.

For more info click HERE

iLCP Fellow Florian Schulz
in partnership with Earthjustice has produced an Florian Schulzoutstanding visual and multimedia campaign to fight against oil and gas development in the American Arctic. In association with Patagonia Inc., the campaign aims to inform and gather support from the general public as well as to give a powerful visual tool to Earthjustice's attorneys to succeed in the fight to keep out industrialization from the most sensitive areas of the Alaskan Arctic. The multimedia tour will start with the first of a series of 5 public presentations in Seattle, April 29th, 2010. The "Visions of the Arctic" will also be a Traveling Exhibit which will be launched at the G2 Gallery in Venice CA, May 7th, 2010

For more info click HERE

Traveling exhibitions of iLCP Fellow Frans Lanting's LIFE: A Journey Throughdaniel beltra Time are on display in April at the Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma, Kansas (www.stauthmemorialmuseum.org), and at the Natural History Museum in Bolzano, Italy (www.museonatura.it).

For more information about The LIFE Project, click HERE

iLCP Fellow Garth Lenz
is currently producing stills for a CBC Nature ofGarth Lenz Things film on the Alberta Tar Sands and continues work on his personal project.  He will be in Washington DC on Tuesday April 13th to give a presentation at George Washington University in support of the Beaver Lake Cree's constitutional challenge to the expansion of the Tar Sands.

For more info click HERE

The popular and acclaimed exhibition "Climate Change in Our World" Gary Braaschby iLCP Fellow Gary Braasch has been extended through the month of April, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington DC. The 21 giant color prints from Gary's book, Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World, make up the major exhibit. Photos and videos from his children's book with Lynne Cherry are in an adjoining gallery. The show has been featured in reviews by the Washington Post, Smithsonian Institution, and the National Council on Science and the Environment. President Obama's science advisor Dr. John Holdren opened the exhibition in November, praising Gary's work as the finest example of photography used in science education.

For more info click HERE

iLCP Fellow Robert Glenn Ketchum has several upcoming exhibits and workshops.
daniel beltra
Group Exhibits:
February 6 - April 11, 2010 Grand Central Art Center, CSU Fullerton "BC Space Mything in Action"
May 4, 2010 - June 20, 2010 The G2 Gallery, Venice, CA "Robert Glenn Ketchum: A Life In Photography"

2010 Workshops:
August 7-8 "Landscape Photography & Conservation" Art Association of Jackson Hole
"Environmental Photojournalism"
August 23-27, 2010 Rocky Mountain School of Photography
Sept. 21-23, 2010 "Scale & Color in the Landscape" Telluride Photo Fest Workshop

The iLCP Bookstore now has a selection of Robert's books currently for sale that will be made available with personal inscriptions and his signature!

iLCP Emerging League member, Eric Zamora will launch the firstEric Zamorainstallation of the traveling exhibit for his project, Life on the Edge: The Story of Florida's Nature Coast. Located at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the exhibit will open April 25 and be complemented by Zamora's Earth Day presentation about his efforts to raise awareness of Florida's extraordinary yet imperiled Nature Coast.

For more info click HERE

No other state in the nation compares to the splendor of Alaska'sArt Wolfe rugged landscape. A decade ago, celebrated nature and wildlife photographer, iLCP Fellow Art Wolfe, compiled a book of 150 stunning photographs of a landscape few have the opportunity to witness firsthand. Now, a special 10th anniversary edition of Alaska by Art Wolfe and Nick Jans (Sasquatch Books; April 2010; $29.95) recaptures the wonder of what is still the definitive Alaskan photography book

For more info click HERE

iLCP Fellow Amy Gulick's new book is now available. "Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska's Tongass Rain Forest" explores the ecosystem of the Tongass National Forest, the current threats, and the conservation opportunities to preserve one-third of the world's remaining old-growth temperate rain forest. The book features 160 color photographs, illustrations by Ray Troll, an audio CD by Richard Nelson, and essays from leading authors and scientists including Carl Safina, Douglas Chadwick, and Brad Matsen.

For more info click HERE
The Wildlife as Canon Sees It ad campaign has run every month in National Geographic magazine since the 1980s, each month featuring a different endangered species and paying photographers for the us of their image.  iLCP Fellow Joel Sartore is helping out with research for the campaign and would love to see your pictures. 

For criteria and submission information click HERE

Art for Conservation
is looking for trail blazers and story tellers who stand Colengeloout among all of the rest. Art for Conservation is excited to present the first Art for Conservation Grant, a $2500 printing services grant provided by Fine Print Imaging. The Art for Conservation Grant is awarded annually to a photographer or artist who is using their imagery to help deliver a compelling conservation message.

Art for Conservation Grant applications will open on January 1, 2010 and close on June 30, 2010. We will select our first winner on July 31, 2010. Even if you don't win the grant, you can still contact Art for Conservation for help in promoting your conservation project

For more info click HERE

CIWEM (The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) runs the Environmental Photographer of the Year
, which is one of the fastest growing photographic competitions in the world. In 2009 we received nearly 2,500 entries from photographers in over 60 countries.
This is a serious competition that seeks to celebrate photographers who use their ability to raise awareness of environmental and social issues. It is open to all professional and amateur international photographers of any ages and encourages entries that are contemporary, creative, experimental, resonant, original and beautiful.
Enter at www.ciwem.org/arts/photographer .  This is for professional and amateur photographers, so we actively encourage those with a general interest in the environment to enter as well. The competition is open until 5pm on 31st July 2010.

Thanks for your support!

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Thanks also to our corporate conservation partner
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