Blog | (aka. thoughts and ideas)

Orphaned baby southern white rhinos (with ranger Yusuf Gilisho) snooze after a meal of milk at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Created in 1995, Lewa has become a role model for sustainable wildlife conservation throughout East Africa. Today, it hosts more than 60 rhinos. Photo by Ami Vitale

The Price of Poaching for The Nature Conservancy

August 26, 2014 in Africa, extinction, Kenya, photography, poaching, rhinos

Five years ago, I heard about a plan to airlift four of the last Northern White Rhinos from a zoo in the Czech Republic back to Africa. It sounded like a storyline for a Disney film but in reality, it was a desperate, last ditch effort to save an entire species. There are only seven of these rhinos left in existence. When I saw these huge, hulking gentle creatures surrounded by smokestacks and factories in the zoo outside of Prague, it seemed so unfair that we have reduced an entire species to ... Read More

Use long exposure to capture a stunning shot of flames. Photo by Ami Vitale.

Shooting Around a Campfire for National Geographic

August 12, 2014 in Montana, photography, travel

I wrote up some advice for National Geographic Readers on how to shoot around a campfire. Let me know if it's helpful. Sitting around a campfire and telling stories with my friends is one of my favorite things to do on summer nights in Montana. I believe that storytelling is at the heart of what makes us human and is at the heart of what every photographer strives to do. Campfires also make for interesting images, and it’s a fun way to experiment with slow shutter speeds. The biggest ... Read More

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Gear talk: Nikon’s Coolpix

February 25, 2014 in Multimedia, Nikon, photography

My workhorse cameras have been the Nikon D4 and D800 but recently, I picked up Nikon's compact P7800 Coolpix and it has reignited my passion for photography. Normally I carry big lenses and heavy gear on my adventures but have found its really not that practical in a lot of situations. For example, when I'm on horseback or on the slopes, dangling lenses can get knocked around pretty badly.  But I never have wanted to sacrifice image quality for the convenience of a small camera. Now there is a ... Read More

Kamara, a keeper at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in central Kenya, slept among three orphaned baby rhinos. The calf he rested his head on was orphaned when poachers killed his mother about 50 miles away.

IndieVoices Campaign a Success!

February 19, 2014 in Africa, photography

Thanks to the generosity and support from an extraordinary community, my IndieVoices crowd funding campaign has been successful and we are on our way to creating a very important project! I am grateful to everyone who contributed and shared this story.  The New York Times and National Geographic Proof also featured it on their websites. Commercial poaching organized by sophisticated heavily armed criminal networks and fueled by heavy demand from newly minted millionaires in emerging ... Read More

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It Takes A Village to Protect a Rhino

January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

I am thrilled to be starting my first crowd funding campaign with the new site, IndieVoices and I'm incredibly grateful to The Photo Society, for selecting it to be among the first that they launch. The New York Times ran an interview about this project. Read more about it here. This is an important story I began with The Nature Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust about indigenous communities uniting to combat poaching in Northern Kenya. If this is an issue you support, please ... Read More

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Deadline for Alexia Photography Grant Approaching

January 3, 2014 in Africa, contests, grants, photography

The Alexia grant is a phenomenal award that provides grants and scholarships to photojournalists, enabling them to create work that gives voice to those who go unheard, fosters cultural understanding and exposes social injustice. In 2000, this grant changed my life when I won the professional grant. I was young and inexperienced and it allowed me to start my first story in the tiny, impoverished country of Guinea Bissau.  It was there - without the pressure of a deadline, or the expectation ... Read More

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New work from Montana

July 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Aspiring photographers often ask me where they might go to find the best stories. My answer is always the same - get to know your own backyard, what's close at hand, rather than traveling around the world just to capture images of something foreign or exotic.  My rationale is that if you can tell these stories of every day life and focus on what we have in common rather than the obvious differences, then you will succeed as a storyteller. Ironically, I have rarely listened to my own advice ... Read More

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Workshop in Sri Lanka August 9-18, 2013

March 27, 2013 in Multimedia, photography, travel, Uncategorized, workshops

Join renowned photojournalist Ami Vitale for an enlightening photography workshop on the island nation of Sri Lanka. She just finished a ten part TV series with National Geographic Channel that is currently airing in Asia. This summer she will lead a small and intimate workshop to “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” with its abundant wildlife and ancient culture.  During the trip, you will have the opportunity to photograph and get daily critiques from Ami as she guides you to take your ... Read More

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The Place Where God Was Born.

September 25, 2012 in Climate, Nikon, photography

National Geographic has posted our story on the Dene First Nation people HERE. The ancestral home of the Dene First Nation people is a landscape of unfathomable vastness. 52,000 square kilometers span this region, south of the artic circle, along the Nanuvet and Northwest Territories of Canada. The place is replete with musk ox, grizzly bear, wolves, arctic grayling, tens of thousands of caribou, and billions of biting flies. The-lew-dezeth, the wide and frigid river that flows here is for ... Read More

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New Work from Turkey

February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

I had the privilege to work on a book and exhibit project in Cappadocia, Turkey. It's rare to have these kinds of opportunities, especially in today's climate. I am grateful to Zaman for commissioning us, Selahattin Sevi who edited the project and photographer Kürşat Bayhan patiently guided me through Cappadocia. The book is gorgeous! Twenty-four of my favorite living photographers and I documented different aspects of life, culture and the beauty of Turkey. The exhibit and book includes ... Read More

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