The All-Star Blog
This will be an action-packed blog post as so much has happened since I last posted. Great to be so busy. My apologies for not posting more often, but I hope you enjoy a bunch of cool photos here and endure some chest-beating. I've been stressed out like crazy as to the impending fate of our environment given the rise of Emperor Tiny Hands. But one thing that brings me back down to Earth is getting outside to immerse myself in Nature. So here are some of my favorite photos from the last 12 months. I hope you get lost in them too and do your bit to encourage your representatives to defend the Endangered Species Act, support public lands, and fight against those who would pollute our water and air. For months I have been upset at how Social Media has driven a wedge between me and my friends who are on different sides of the political fence. I resisted publishing my own opinions as I found the constant bickering to be depressing. But what I found more depressing was the thought that I would lay down and just let Nature get run over by short-sighted politicians and profiteers. If I lose some friends by taking a stand to protect our environment, then so be it. But I think that we all depend on clean air and potable water for our survival. That being able to retreat on occasions into unspoiled lands recharges our soul. That we don't want the Grand Canyon to become Exxon National Park. That we only have one planet to live on and if we screw it up, we don't just annihilate other species, we demolish ourselves. There are those in Congress that would sell out the environment and my and your health to corporate interests for short-term economic gains. I can't stand by meekly and watch this happen. This (the photos I share here), and much more, is what we stand to lose. I hope you enjoy these photos and encourage your representatives to put our environment ahead of corporate interests.
For sale to highest bidder???
Hey Handsome! My favorite bird species, if you haven't guessed long ago, is the California Condor. I've been on a mission to photograph every member of the Arizona/Utah population and have documented 74 of 75. Condor 203 has eluded me so far, but thankfully Condor 441 struck this wonderful pose that ended up as a Table of Contents shot for Arizona Highways. But wait, there's more! (Do I sound like an infomercial?) This condor portrait won a Silver Medal in the International Regional Magazine association contest.
I had no idea it had been entered (the staff of Arizona Highways did me the favor), but it garnered high honors in the Portrait Category and this was against portraits of humans in such esteemed magazines as Texas Monthly, et al. GO CONDORS!!!!! Even my Mom tells me "Well Son, it's a nice sharp photo, but what an ugly bird." I couldn't disagree more (well, it is sharp I'll agree, but condors are beautiful).
And the Condor Love just gets better. I entered a number of photos in the uber-prestigious Bird Photographer of the Year contest. This is an international contest run out of Britain and attracts the best talent worldwide. I was thrilled that not one, but five, of my photos got shortlisted for the awards. This is out of thousands of entries. Here's the link to the short list - check it out, the photos are amazing and I'm honored to be included. Best yet is that two of my five short-listed photos were of my buddies the condors. For an "ugly bird" to be in the running against the glamorous egrets, puffins, penguins, eagles, Cedar Waxwings, and other perennial favorites is terrifically heartening. This is what I hope for when I spend days in blinds atop Vermilion Cliffs and combing the rims of the Grand Canyon - bringing attention to this incredibly majestic and critically endangered species. Cross your fingers and hope one of the condor shots can become the Bird Photo of the Year and raises awareness and support for this incredible species.
One of the short-listed shots
Back last spring, I was enlisted by the mega-talented National Geographic photographer Keith Ladzinski to scout out locations for a commercial shoot to advertise Nikon's new D500 pro-level APS-C sports and wildlife camera. The job was to find engaging bird photo ops. I chose Florida due to the time of year (lots of breeding and nesting behavior going on) and the fact that Florida is a bird photographer's paradise regardless of season. It was stressful scouting the job, but a complete blast when I came up with several golden locations for us to shoot the ad in. Here are some pics from job with Keith.
It was a great experience working with Keith. He is terrifically animated and mellow at the same time, keeping his crew and clients entertained, excited and yet on point throughout the shoot. Check out his work here. While you're at it, check out the work of the client, Mike Corrado from Nikon (head of pro relations and marketing business development) who as you might guess is no slouch with a camera. He loves bird photography but where he goes beyond other photographers is with his Drummer Love series of multi-camera shots of famous and soon-to-be famous drummers and his coverage of the families and child cancer patients at Ronald McDonald House.
If you aren't following me on Instagram yet, it's @vermphoto, where you can see the latest greatest. But that small format just doesn't do some photos justice, so to wrap up here are some of my faves since I last posted. Thanks for checking in and enjoy.
text and photos all copyright John Sherman - no reproduction without written consent.
Awesome photos, Verm!
I'm loving your photos! We are heading down to Florida in May for a month. We were there two years ago and the opportunities for bird photos are endless. We were quite charmed by all their antics. Keep shooting we're loving it!!
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