Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Shortlisted Pics You Can Vote For


Between a polar bear cub basking in a sea of flowers, a pair of red foxes sharing an intimate nuzzle, the portrait of a pregnant male pygmy seahorse and many other breathtaking images of creatures of all shapes, sizes and colors, you have the chance to choose the winning portrait for this competition.

Rather than have them selected by a panel of jurors, the Natural History Museum of London, organizer of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year, has now placed this phase of the contest in the hands of the public.

MORE FROM FORBES20 Stunning Winning Images Of Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Awards

Twenty-five amazing photographs chosen from 38,575 entries across 93 countries are now the candidates for the People’s Choice Award 2022 and you can vote online until 14.00pm (GMT) on February 2, 2023.

The shortlisted photos spotlighting important stories of nature from across the globe, such as the one above of a pair of red foxes greeting one another affectionately on a chilly day in North Shore, Prince Edward Island, Canada, can also, for the first time, be voted by the public using interactive screens at the newly-designed Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum.

“Voters will have a challenge to choose from this stunning range of photographs which tell vital stories and connect people to issues across the planet. We are looking forward to finding out which of these images emerges as the favourite,” said Dr Douglas Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest offers a global platform for amateur and professional nature photographers.

MORE FROM FORBESWildlife Photographer Of The Year 2022: 15 Stunning Shortlisted Images

“Using photography’s unique emotive power to engage and inspire audiences, the exhibition shines a light on stories and species around the world and supports the Museum in its mission of creating advocates for the planet,” the museum states.

Vote online for your favorite here.

Against a backdrop of the spectacular mountains of Ladakh in northern India, a snow leopard has been caught in a perfect pose by Fonseca’s carefully positioned camera trap. Thick snow blankets the ground, but the big cat’s dense coat and furry footpads keep it warm.

Fonseca captured this image during a three-year, bait-free camera-trap project high up in the Indian Himalayas. He has always been fascinated by snow leopards, not only because of their incredible stealth but also because of their remote environment, making them one of the most difficult large cats to photograph in the wild.

Contreras was lying in the mud a safe distance from a breeding colony of flamingos in Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It was June and the flamingo chicks had already left their nests and were in crèches.

These crèches are always guarded by adult birds, so when the chicks began to approach Contreras, the adults surrounded them and gently headed them back into the colony. Although flamingo population numbers are stable, they’re highly sensitive to changes in the environment, such as flooding of their nesting sites, and it’s unclear how they will cope with the effects of climate change.

It was late afternoon when Marina found Olobor resting. He’s one of the famous five-strong coalition of males in the Black Rock pride in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.

All the ground around the lion was black, having been burnt by local Maasai herdsmen to stimulate a new flush of grass. Cano wanted to capture his majestic and defiant look against the dark background and lowered her camera to get an eye-level portrait.

Gregus watched this polar bear cub playing in a mass of fireweed flowers on the coast of Hudson Bay, Canada. Occasionally, the cub would take a break from its fun, stand on its hind legs and poke its head up to look for its mother.

Wanting to capture the world from the cub’s angle, Gregus placed his camera – in an underwater housing for protection against investigating bears – at ground level among the fireweed. He then waited patiently a safe distance with a remote trigger. Not being able to see exactly what was happening, he had to judge the right moment when the bear would pop up in the camera frame.

Near Rausu port, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, several hundred glaucous-winged gulls waited for the return of fishermen. It was the beginning of March and freezing, and the air was full of the raucous calls of the gulls overhead.

Some of the birds began to settle, keeping their eyes on the horizon. Focusing on one bird, Bes composed a minimalist portrait, highlighting the eye and the beak. The red spot on the beak develops when gulls are adult and is in part a reflection of their health.

It’s also an essential aid for the young: when chicks peck the spot, it triggers a regurgitation reaction from the parent.

This leopardess had killed a Kinda baboon in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. The baboon’s baby was still alive and clinging to its mother.

Igor watched as the predator walked calmly back to her own baby. Her cub played with the baby baboon for more than an hour before killing it, almost as if it had been given live prey as a hunting lesson.

Two females and a male golden snub-nosed monkey huddle together to keep warm in the extreme winter cold. Threatened mainly by forest loss and fragmentation, this endangered species is confined to central China.

Restricted to living high in the temperate forests, these monkeys – here in the Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi province – feed mostly in the trees on leaves, bark, buds and lichen.

Lu knew the area where a troop of monkeys often rested and, in heavy wind and snow, walked up the mountain for almost an hour carrying his equipment. Photographing from a slope opposite the tree in which the group was huddled, he stayed put for half an hour in temperatures of -10°C (14°F) before he was able to achieve this eye-level composition.

This male Bargibant’s seahorse, gripping tightly with his prehensile tail to a pink sea fan, looks almost ready to pop.

He will gestate for a period of approximately two weeks before giving birth to miniature live young. More had the help of a guide who knew where off the coast of Bali and on which sea to find these pigmy seahorses. This individual was one of three on the same sea-fan.

Bargibant’s seahorses are barely visible due to their tiny size (1–2 centimetres tall – ¼ to ¾ inch) and tend to stay very still. Their ability to mimic their host’s colours and knobby texture is only revealed in detail under high magnification.

The spectacle of two female muskoxen attacking each other surprised Illana. For four days, he had been following a muskox family in Norway’s Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park – a male, a female and three calves.

On a beautiful high plateau, another similar-sized family of muskox appeared. Expecting a male head-to-head — it was September and the females were in heat — he was disappointed when the two males came to an immediate understanding and the weaker one backed off. It was then that the two females began their short but intense fight, the action of which he caught on camera.

Sveinsson was snowshoeing deep in the forests of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park hoping to find some winter wildlife to photograph. Frozen, she reluctantly headed home. Only then did something catch her eye – a snowshoe hare resting, surrounded by clean, white snow. It seemed to be sleeping.

Sveinsson waited. Finally, the hare sensed something, turned its ears forward and looked right at the camera.

The calls of the male Mindo glass frogs could be heard all around this female, who was sitting quietly on a leaf. These frogs are confident around humans, and if the photographer doesn’t disturb them, equipment can be set up nearby.

Culebras thought this frog had the most beautiful ‘ruby’ eyes, so he carefully moved his camera, tripod and flashes to be close enough to capture a portrait that would highlight them.

Only found in northwest Ecuador, in the Río Manduriacu Reserve in the foothills of the Andes, these frogs are endangered by habitat loss associated with mining and logging.

The unusually clear, flat sea in Monterey Bay, California, provided a beautiful turquoise backdrop for the glossy bodies of three northern right whale dolphins.

But it was only thanks to a thoughtful stranger that Frediani got her special shot of two adult heads and the silvery tail of a juvenile. Seeing her interest and camera, the young stranger gave up her place at the bow of the boat below which the dolphins were enjoying riding the bow wave.

These dolphins are atypical in appearance, with short, pointy beaks, sloping foreheads and no dorsal fins. They are quick and extremely athletic, often flying high out of the water in graceful leaps.

The frenzied combat between the pompilid wasp and the ornate Ctenus spider suddenly stopped. An intense calm invaded the scene, said Garcia-Roa, who had been watching the battle unfold in the Peruvian jungle of Tambopata.

The image shows the wasp checking the spider to confirm if its sting has paralyzed the dangerous prey before dragging it back to its brood nest. Wasps of the Pompilidae family are called spider wasps because the females specialize in hunting spiders, which are used as living food for their offspring.

Michlewicz had noticed many animals visiting this abandoned barn in Radolinek, a small village in western Poland, probably following the scent of rodent prey.

With the use of his trail cam, he logged a badger, a fox and a marten, but also considerable cat activity. Setting up a camera trap just inside the barn, facing the entrance, he waited to see what would trigger it.

Luckily, though not for this chaffinch, a domestic cat arrived with its fresh kill. Michlewicz is keen his image is used to illustrate the impact domestic cats can have on a local ecosystem.

In the vicinity of a rest camp in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Flack discovered a flock of crested guineafowl that were not as flighty as normal and allowed him to follow them as they foraged.

One of the guineafowl started to scratch another’s head and ear, and the recipient stood there motionless for a few moments with its mouth open and eyes wide, as if to say ‘that’s the spot, keep going’. Flack muses that “it’s not often you get to capture emotion in the faces of birds . . . but there was no doubt – that was one satisfied guineafowl!’

While out in his dinghy looking for black bears, Gregory spotted this female grey wolf trotting along the shoreline on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

He then set up his remote camera. The wolf was patrolling her eel-grass-covered mudflat territory at low tide, and walked right past the camera, allowing Bertie to take this shot with the remote trigger. Sadly, this Vancouver Island wolf was later killed by a man who claimed to be protecting people’s pets.

Fernandez set out to highlight the plight of the endangered American eel.

Caught in its juvenile stage, as glass eels, it’s exported by the millions each year to fulfill an insatiable Asian, particularly Japanese, demand.

On the coast of the Dominican Republic, over five months hundreds of fishermen gather around the estuaries from dawn to dusk to catch the little eels. These larvae have migrated from the Sargasso Sea, where the adult eels spawn. With the species in steep decline, the U.S. fishery is now tightly controlled, leaving the Caribbean to take over as the major exporter, but without regulations.

The image took Fernandez many nights of trial and error, using a long exposure to catch the precise moment that the fishermen raised their nets out of the incoming waves.

Spotted hyenas are intelligent and opportunistic animals. On the outskirts of cities such as Harar in Ethiopia, they take advantage of what humans leave behind, including bones and rotting meat.

In so doing, the hyenas keep disease at bay, and in exchange the Harar locals tolerate them, even leaving them butcher’s scraps. These hyenas are from the family group known as the Highway Clan.

To photograph them, Sam set up a remote camera by a roadkill carcass. He captured the lowest-ranking member of the clan after the dominant members, visible in the background, had sauntered off.

Walking down a street in his hometown of Corella in northern Spain, Mendizabal came across a wall with a grafitti cat, complete with shadow.

Knowing that common wall geckos emerge on hot summer nights to look for mosquitoes and other insects, Mendizabal came back with his camera and waited patiently for the perfect picture – the hunter becoming prey to the trompe l’oeil cat.

Before this image was captured, Kennerknecht and his biologist friend, David Mills, were almost trampled by a charging forest elephant in the dense rainforest of Kibale National Park in Uganda.

Returning to the same area, they set up a camera trap with the goal of photographing the rare and elusive African golden cat.

About twice the size of a domestic cat, it’s one of the world’s least-studied felids. To date, there are still less than five high-resolution photographs of this cat in the wild.

Withyman wanted this photograph to raise awareness of the harm humans can inadvertently cause to wildlife.

In the English city of Bristol, a young red fox sustained a serious injury trying to free herself from plastic barrier netting commonly used as fencing on building sites. The remains were still embedded in her body when this image was taken, hindering her ability to hunt.

Local residents left out food for the vixen – here, a chicken leg. After five months, she was caught, treated and released. But tragically, six months later, she was hit by a car and died.

Hanging in a shed, this stuffed cat skin may at first appear as inconsequential as the other objectss. But the colorful yarns tied to it reveal it’s not merely a disused item.

The relationship between the Andean cat and its human neighbors is complex. Though the cats are celebrated as mountain guardians, they’re also considered good luck for the fertility of livestock. For this, they’re killed and sometimes worn during ceremonies to trigger an abundant year.

This stuffed specimen turned out to be the closest Kennerknecht would come to South America’s most endangered wild cat.

It was late in the evening in August, and the air had a magical feel when Vartiainen spotted this badger close to its sett in a forest near Helsinki, Finland. He watched it for 45 minutes.

The badger didn’t seem to be perturbed, even though Vartiainen was only about 7 metres (23 feet) away. It sniffed the air, lay on the ground and scratched or walked a short distance away, and a few times went into its sett, always turning to look back in the photographer’s direction. Finally, when it was virtually dark, the badger headed into the night in search of food.

A young perch was found trapped in the thumb of this surgical glove discarded in a canal in The Netherlands. Since the onslaught of Covid-19, gloves and face masks litter land and sea. This perch was found by citizen scientists on a weekly canal clean-up in Leiden.

The spines on its back prevented the fish from escaping by backing out – the torn thumb probably the sign of its final struggle. The glove formed the basis of a scientific study that has documented the range of animals impacted by Covid-19 waste during the pandemic. In this case, the material that helped protect people has proved to be a danger to wildlife.

The Strange Surrealist Magic of Dora Maar | History


Few artists boast a style and subject matter so singular that three separate specialists would use the same word to describe them: “strange.” Yet that’s exactly what happened when Smithsonian magazine asked a trio of scholars about Dora Maar, a 20th-century French photographer and painter whose oeuvre in many ways defies explanation. Almost all of her artworks capture a certain uncanniness in their surroundings, bringing to light the strange in the mundane.

Dora Maar, Père Ubu, 1936

© 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

One of Maar’s most famous works—the 1936 photograph Père Ubu—is a perfect example of this phenomenon. It’s the kind of art that requires repeat viewings, all of which yield something new. There’s something inscrutable about the subject’s scaly body, its one slightly open eye, its barely outstretched claws and its ear flaps clouded by shadows. The viewer is left to question whether the figure is alien or something found in nature; they want to know more, but at the same time, they’re slightly disgusted, says Andrea Nelson, an associate curator at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, D.C. Donors gifted a print of the Surrealist image to the museum in 2021.

“It’s compelling but repellent at the same time,” Nelson says. “You don’t quite know what it is, and you’re trying to figure it out. It’s surprising, it’s mysterious, it’s completely bizarre and it’s grotesque. It still maintains that power.”


The same could be said of Maar herself. Born Henrietta Théodora Markovitch in Paris in 1907, the artist split her childhood between Argentina and France. From a young age, she was determined to be an artist, studying everything from decorative arts to painting to photography and attending prominent Paris schools like the Académie Julian and the École Technique de Photographie et de Cinématographie (Technical School for Photography and Cinematography). At one point, Maar even trained with French Cubist painter André Lhote.

As her abilities grew, Maar began a career as a commercial photographer and later a painter, winning renown in her own right. Today, however, most mentions of the artist reference her mainly in relation to her most famous lover: Pablo Picasso, who featured her in the 1937 portrait series Weeping Woman. Her “career and accomplishments were overshadowed during her lifetime by the details of her affair” with Picasso, notes Encyclopedia Britannica.

Weeping Woman portrait of Maar by Pablo Picasso, on view at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, in 2006

Photo by William West / AFP via Getty Images

Maar’s own work was both influenced by and had a real influence on Surrealism, a cultural movement that rejected rationalism in favor of art and literature informed by dreams and the unconscious mind. In fact, Père Ubu is “one of the most iconic artworks of the movement,” Nelson says. But it doesn’t really resemble prominent Surrealist works, nor does it look like Maar’s other art. The artist’s photographs tend to be either beautiful in an almost supernatural way or heartbreakingly realistic, capturing the realities of poverty. As the Morgan Library and Museum points out, Père Ubu stands out from the rest of Maar’s work precisely because of its “repellent qualities.”

Even when the portrait was displayed at the “London International Surrealist Exhibition” in 1936, it stood out from the stylized world of Maar’s fellow Surrealists.

Ubu … would have acted as a small, sharp puncture in the exhibition’s exuberant display of the Surrealist imaginary, asserting its connection with the world beyond the gallery,” writes photographic historian Ian Walker in the catalog for a 2019 Maar retrospective co-organized by Paris’ Centre Pompidou, London’s Tate Modern and Los Angeles’ J. Paul Getty Museum. “For these images were based in the documentary nature of photography while also exploiting the medium’s Surrealist potential.”

Selection of photographs by Dora Maar

Courtesy of Artcurial

What adds meaning to the snapshot is its title, which references Alfred Jarry’s 1896 Absurdist play, Ubu Roi. The drama’s main character, Père Ubu, is a greedy figure who does whatever it takes—including killing members of the Polish royal family—to achieve his goals. But Maar’s Père Ubu is hard to reconcile with that description. Is this an innocent creature or one primed to commit harm? With a “sagging belly and bulbous nose” that mirror the distasteful appearance of the play’s title character, the portrait conveys the “vulgarity and slothfulness” of its namesake, according to Walker.

Jarry’s creation is “savage and malicious, truly threatening as well as ridiculous,” the historian adds. “Maar’s Ubu lacks that overt savagery, but in its place is an ominous stillness, as we are pitilessly observed by the creature’s black, depthless eye, like that of a shark or reptile, while its claws … might also be about to metamorphose into Ubu’s sinister ‘nearole-incisors.’”

The photograph raises a more pressing surface-level question, too: What exactly does it depict? The subject is hypothesized to be an armadillo fetus, but definitive proof is hard to come by, as Maar would never confirm its identity.

Interestingly, the catalog for a Paris Surrealist exhibition where the image was displayed classifies it as an “interpreted found object.”

“It is evidently the thing that is depicted in the photograph that is the [‘object’]: a neutral term that serves to disguise whatever was its original nature,” Walker writes. “It is also significant that it is described not simply as ‘found’ but also ‘interpreted’—an acknowledgment perhaps that Maar’s photograph not only documents the thing but also re-presents and transforms it.”

Installation view of “Dora Maar” at Tate Modern, 2019, featuring Père Ubu at left

Tate Modern / Andrew Dunkley

Emma Lewis, a former assistant curator at Tate Modern, offers a more concrete answer, citing a visitor to the major Maar retrospective, which she co-curated. The individual was so interested in the photo that they asked a senior veterinarian from the London Zoo about the creature. The vet identified the subject as an infant or fetal armadillo based on its claws and underdeveloped osteoderms, or bony deposits. Exactly where the artist would have encountered this animal is unknown.


From Ubu’s otherworldly likeness to 29 rue d’Astorg, in which a glamorously dressed, nearly headless figure sits in a cavernous room, to a snapshot of a model with a cutout star covering her head, Maar’s art evokes a sense of uneasiness, strangeness even, amid beauty.

Yet the word “strange” carries a certain connotation that doesn’t fully reflect the scope of Maar’s work. Rather than being whimsical or fanciful, the artist’s photographs are tinged with darkness, Lewis says, a Gothic quality often characterized by stylistic experimentation.

“She contributed to making the everyday strange,” the curator adds.

Dora Maar, Mendiant London, 1934

Courtesy of Artcurial

Dora Maar, Couple sur la fontaine de Trafalgar Square, London, 1934

Courtesy of Artcurial

Maar’s commercial work helped her craft this unusual style. In 1931, she opened a photography studio with set designer Pierre Kéfer, working on commission for fashion houses like Chanel and designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Jeanne Lanvin. She often employed a collage technique, overlaying images “from her own work, including both street and landscape photography,” instead of using newspapers or magazines, per Tate Modern.

“These commissions had good budgets a lot of the time. They had good circulation, and they reached interesting audiences,” Lewis says. “Every image that we see by Maar is either about her pushing what she can do with staging, light and composition or her taking the components of the image and cutting and pasting and reworking that within her studio.”

A key example of Maar’s collage technique is a 1935 photo titled The Years Lie in Wait for You. In it, a woman clasps the bottom half of her face with her manicured hands, which are visible but almost hidden behind a superimposed image of a spiderweb. Thought to be a face cream advertisement, the work was never published, notes Lewis in Photography, A Feminist History: Gender Rights and Gender Roles on Both Sides of the Camera.

Installation view of “Dora Maar” at Tate Modern, 2019, featuring The Years Lie in Wait for You (1935)

Tate Modern / Andrew Dunkley

Maar enjoyed great commercial success with her studio, adding an experimental lens to many of her commissions. She could, “at roughly the same time, produce high-end fashion photographs, artful advertising pictures, flattering studio portraits, figure studies, soft-core pornography, … gritty street scenes, documentary shots, politically inflected images, rigorous formal compositions, and the complex, disturbing, and beautifully crafted Surrealist photomontages that are her most memorable creations,” wrote art critic Richard Kalina for Art in America in 2020.

Though the vision of independent womanhood conveyed by 1920s and ’30s advertisements was “largely an alluring commercial fiction … Maar and her friends actually lived such lives,” Kalina added. “And they put their exceptional autonomy to use” by documenting social inequality and advocating for political reform. Maar was a left-wing political activist involved with revolutionary groups, and her politics were “inextricable from her work as an artist,” Lewis says.


Today, Maar’s work is often referenced only or primarily in connection with Picasso, whom she met in the mid-1930s, when she was in her late 20s and the famed Cubist painter was in his mid-50s.

“So often the first sentence you read about [muses] is that they were the muse of Pablo Picasso” or a similarly prominent man, says Nelson. “But in the case of Dora Maar, she was a really successful and interesting photographer for years and years before she … even met Pablo Picasso.”

Installation view of “Dora Maar” at Tate Modern, 2019, featuring some of the artist’s collage works

Tate Modern / Andrew Dunkley

Aside from her collage work, Maar was known for using the camera to document reality and capture street life. Through her style and gaze, she was able to transform what she saw into something altogether different.

Many of Maar’s snapshots have never or rarely been seen by the public. The 2019 retrospective, which featured more than 200 works by the artist, highlighted some of these little-known photographs. And earlier this year, Paris auction house Artcurial placed roughly 750 photographs from Maar’s estate, the majority of which had previously been unpublished, up for sale.

Spanning the late 1920s to the end of the 1940s, the images included uncharacteristically informal photos of Picasso, a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of his 1937 painting Guernica and self-portraits of Maar, as well as vignettes from major European cities, like a bookseller in Paris, a series of blind musicians in Barcelona and beggars in London.

Dora Maar, Guernica en cours de réalisation dans l’atelier de la rue des Grands Augustins, Paris, mai-juin 1937

Courtesy of Artcurial

“We have essentially retained from [Maar] to this day the strangeness of some of her compositions or collages, which bring their own score to the Surrealist movement,” says Bruno Jaubert, director of Artcurial’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department. “But it is also, to another extent, her way of capturing reality that goes beyond Surrealist aesthetics.”

While Maar’s work did not experience a major stylistic shift in the collection’s roughly 30-year span, Jaubert says her eye became more trained and refined.

“[The cache] shows a maturity in the look that immediately reveals a scene, a presence without seeking decorative effect,” he notes.


Throughout her life, Maar found herself caught between painting and photography, never able to choose just one. For years, particularly during her relationship with Picasso, she focused on painting, in love with the art form she had first taken up as a teenager. It was only toward the end of her life that she inhabited fully once more the world of photography.

“We don’t know that she ever stopped photographing, per se, but certainly in her later years, she returned to darkroom experimentation,” Lewis says. Maar died in 1997 at age 89.

Dora Maar, Las Ramblas Barcelona, circa 1933

Courtesy of Artcurial

Dora Maar, La Sagrada Familia Barcelone, circa 1933

Courtesy of Artcurial

The artist’s shift from painting to photography and back again wasn’t unusual for the time. As Nelson argued in the 2021 NGA exhibition “The New Woman Behind the Camera,” photography became a way for women to make money and express themselves creatively during the 20th century. Many followed a path like Maar’s, studying art in a traditional setting before pursuing photography in the 1920s and ’30s, as the medium was growing and changing.

For Maar, photography was a way to carve her own path in a business sense. She certainly wasn’t alone in that.

“For some women, photography was a very viable career where you could actually see yourself making your own money, earning your own income and becoming independent,” Nelson says.

When Nelson curated the NGA exhibition, she knew she wanted to include Père Ubu. Yet she had a difficult time determining where to place the photograph. It was such a strong composition, so different from the other pieces in the exhibition’s “Avant-Garde Experiments” room, that it didn’t quite work next to anything else.

Eventually, Nelson came up with a compromise: putting the photograph next to the room’s wall text. There, it wouldn’t overshadow other works but rather help start a conversation. It could only exist as Maar likely intended it to—on its own.

Installation view of “Dora Maar” at Tate Modern, 2019

Tate Modern / Andrew Dunkley

Hamilton Premiere Of Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Exhibition


The
right look © Richard Robinson, Wildlife Photographer of the
Year. Shot under New Zealand Department of Conservation
permit #84845-MAR.

An award-winning
New Zealand photographer is the guest of honour for the
opening of theworld-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the
Year exhibition at Hamilton’s Waikato Museum Te Whare
Taonga o Waikato.

On tour from the Natural History
Museum in London,Wildlife Photographer of the Year will
open on Friday 9 December and marks the first time Hamilton
has been home to this exhibition of the world’s most
exceptional nature
photography.

“Wildlife Photographer of
the Yearis the most prestigious photography award of its
kind, and the competition has provided a global platform to
showcase the best of photography talent formore than55
years,” said Liz Cotton, Director of Museum and Arts,
Waikato Museum.

“It’s an honour to be
the first New Zealand hosts for this year’s exhibition,
particularly as the award-winners include stunning images by
New Zealander photographer Richard Robinson, highlighting
the work being done to protect our population of tohoraa
[southern right whales].”

“We look forward to
welcoming visitors from around the country to Waikato Museum
to see these incredible images over the summer, including
those with a passion for photography, the environment, and
our natural world.”

Speaking from London, the
Director of the Natural History Museum, Doug Gurr,
said:

“We are thrilled to see our prestigious
Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition reaching
audiences in this part of New Zealand for the first time.
What could be more fitting than the setting of the Waikato
Museum, on the banks of the biodiverse Waikato River? We
hope every visitor leaves the exhibition feeling inspired to
protect and celebrate the natural world.”

Launched
in 1965, todaythe annual Wildlife Photographer of the
Year competition receives entries frommore than 90
different countries,highlighting its enduring appeal.
This year’s award-winning images are on an international
tour thatwill allowthem to be seen bymillions of
people all over the world, including here in
Hamilton.

An international panel of industry
experts selected underwater photojournalist Richard
Robertson as the winner of the category, Oceans – The Bigger
Picture. His award-winning image ‘New life for the
tohorā’
captures a hopeful moment for a population of
New Zealand native whales that has survived against all
odds. Another of his photographs, ‘The right
look’
was also Highly Commended in the Animal
Portraits category.

Another New Zealand photographer
was also recognised by the judging panel, with D’Artagnan
Sprengel’s photograph ‘Frost daisy’ receiving a
Highly Commended award in the 11-14 Years Old category for
Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Winner of the
Grand Title award was ‘The big buzz’ by Karine
Aigner, shot with a macro lens to show the frenzy of Texan
cactus bees competing to mate. This captivating image, and
all other prize winners, will be among the 100 photographs
on display at Waikato Museum until 23 April
2023.

© Scoop Media







 

Bobby Joe Stamper


Mr. Bobby Joe Stamper, age 82, of Olive Hill, Kentucky, passed from this life, Friday, December 2, 2022, at Harbor Healthcare of Ironton in Ironton, Ohio.

He was born Tuesday, May 21, 1940, in Grayson, Kentucky, the son of the late Roscoe and Mabel Adkins Stamper.

Joe was of the Christian Faith, a 1960 graduate of Olive Hill High School and a free spirit at heart with many interests in his lifetime. He pursued a career in radio as a disc jockey. He worked at several local radio stations and WSAZ TV Station. He later moved to San Francisco, California to further his career. He loved the outdoors, enjoyed hiking, camping, and nature photography. Joe was a rock climber and taught rock climbing at Yosemite National Park and was the first park naturalist at Carter Caves State Resort Park and developed an interest in the history of the area.

In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his twin brother, Billy Jack Stamper; one great nephew, Aaron Stamper.

Joe is survived by two brothers, Ray Stamper of Johnson City, Tennessee and Carl “Bud” Stamper and his wife Elva of Olive Hill, Kentucky; a special nephew, Terry Stamper of Olive Hill, Kentucky along with many other family members and friends who will sadly miss him.

Funeral service will be held 1 p.m., Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill, Kentucky with his nephew, Mike Stamper and Brother John Lambert officiating. Burial will follow in the Garvin Ridge Cemetery in Olive Hill, Kentucky.

Friends may visit after 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, December 6, 2022 and until the service hour at Globe Funeral Chapel.

Mike Stamper, Allen Stamper, Matt Moore, Terry Stamper, Derek Stamper and Greg Hay will serve as pallbearers.

Globe Funeral Chapel, 17277 US Hwy. 60 West, Olive Hill, Kentucky are caring for all arrangements for Mr. Bobby Joe Stamper.

(www.globefc.com)



Enjoy this outdoor event with your four-legged friend


‘Paws in Nature’ will be filled with activities that dogs and their owners can explore together such as holiday photos, a Coffee and Cream Food Truck and more.

CLERMONT, Ky. — Enjoy a fun day in nature along with your four-legged friend, or friends, at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest on Dec. 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

‘Paws in Nature’ will be filled with activities that dogs and their owners can explore together such as holiday photos, a Coffee and Cream Food Truck and local vendors!

Donations of $10 are requested by event organizers at the gate, but the event is free.

Officials ask that you keep your dog(s) on a leash and clean up after them throughout the event.

An ugly sweater contest will start at 2 p.m. Registration opens on-site the day of the event. Pet Supplies Plus in Elizabethtown will donate a prize to the winner of the contest.

Dog Training Camp USA will also supply three activities:

  • Animal safety talk (aimed at small kids, but all ages are welcomed)
  • Parkour for dogs: How to enrich your dog with items around you
  • Crash course dog training 

Attendees can also honor their four-legged friend, while helping protect Bernheim hiking trails, by becoming a four-legged friend sponsor. As a result, Bernheim will showcase the beloved pet on their social media and at their Visitor Center.

For more information about Paws in Nature, please visit their website.

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The Best of the Mountain West 2022


Our third annual celebration of the people, places, and things changing the way we live for the better—from a megasculpture in the Nevada desert to a riverside wine region in Idaho to a Montana bison preserve recently returned to Indigenous control.


ADVENTURE

Photo by Whit Richardson

The Raptor Route

Utah
One of the more challenging—some might say punishing—aspects of the Whole Enchilada, Moab’s legendary 26.5-mile singletrack from Burro Pass to the Colorado River, has traditionally been its finish. After already descending thousands of vertical feet across technical terrain, mountain bikers confront the Porcupine Rim, whose drop-offs and rock features have claimed countless collarbones—and even lives. But now there’s a more forgiving option. The Raptor Route’s 10 miles of new singletrack allow riders to skip the double black diamond descent on Porcupine Rim in favor of a more intermediate, flowy trail. Two of the Raptor Route’s stages, called Eagle Eye and Falcon Flow, debuted over the past two years, and a third segment, Hawks Glide, was slated to open in November. (A fourth segment, Kestrel Run, has also been proposed and is currently undergoing an environmental review.) Riders are already loving this alternate ending, which takes them through the slickrock of the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Their unbruised bodies and bikes are probably loving it, too. —Chris Walker

Wind River Rally

Wyoming
For the nomadic community, home is where you park it, and over four days in June, that was the tiny hamlet of Hudson for more than 120 camper vehicles. Souped-up custom vans, vintage Volkswagen buses with pop-up tents, and skoolies (converted school buses) descended on the mountain-nestled Wind River Country for the inaugural Wind River Rally. The gathering—which featured live music, gear swaps, performances by a traveling circus family, morning yoga sessions, and fresh ink from mobile tattoo artist Chris Montes—is slated to return in August. That’s good news for van lifers and overlanding enthusiasts and even better news for area businesses such as Svilar’s Bar & Steakhouse and Wyoming Whiskey. Local outfitters also got an economic boost by hosting add-on adventures like hot air balloon rides, guided rock climbing, bighorn sheep viewing, and historical mine tours. —Karyna Balch

The I. B. Perrine Bridge

Photo courtesy of Tandem BASE

Idaho
A year ago, MSN named this 1,500-foot truss arch bridge, which extends across the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho’s most terrifying attraction. That’s not because it’s structurally unsound, but because it’s open for BASE jumping, a pursuit in which parachute-clad thrill-seekers leap from high perches (per the name: buildings, antennae, spans, and earth). At 486 feet above the water’s surface, the Perrine is among the tallest bridges in the United States and the only man-made structure in the country where you can BASE jump year-round without a permit. That doesn’t mean just anyone should try it, of course, which is why local outfitters offer visitors the opportunity to take the plunge while strapped to certified instructors. Jumps with 13-year-old Tandem BASE and BASE Jump The Bridge, which opened in June 2021, include social-media-ready videos of your experience. If that still sounds too terrifying, you can spectate and take in gorgeous canyon views from the bridge’s pedestrian lanes instead. —JL


FOOD

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Natalie Young

Photo courtesy of Angie Ortaliza Photography

Nevada
About 2.5 miles from the extravagance of the Las Vegas Strip sits chef Natalie Young’s breakfast and lunch joint, Eat. Like its no-frills name, the restaurant’s menu is light on adjectives, with options such as “shrimp and grits” and “chicken salad.” But sample the homemade sourdough bread and aged cheddar that make up the grilled cheese or the Parmesan-rind-infused tomato soup and you’ll taste their creator’s dedication to fine-cooking techniques. “I keep it simple and approachable,” says 59-year-old Young, who was trained by a classical French chef at the Paris Las Vegas casino. Her food’s subtle depth is a big part of the reason why the restaurant is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year—an extraordinary tenure for a low-key, alcohol- and smoke-free eatery in a town full of glitzy, celebrity-chef dining destinations. Young says she still feels gratitude for each pancake- and Reuben-ordering patron: “Every person that makes their way over to my little restaurant makes me feel blessed.” —Courtney Holden

Don Guerra

Photo by Rebecca Noble

Arizona
“Bread is just flour, water, and salt, but all over the world, you have millions of representations of those ingredients,” says Tucson’s Don Guerra, who won the 2022 James Beard Foundation Award for outstanding baker. “Bread is about the artisan.” For Guerra, that means showcasing the heritage and ancient grains he’s worked closely with area farmers to bring back to their fields over the past decade. The varieties, dense with flavor and nutrients, are what was grown before maximum-yield, hybrid wheat became ubiquitous in the mid-20th century. Patrons flock to his Barrio Bread bakery for loaves of Sonoran white, Khorasan, red fife, and einkorn, a primitive wheat that’s naturally low in gluten and has notes of roasted corn and coffee. You can also taste his work in the tortas at Barrio Charro and the pizza at the Monica, both of which he’s partnered with as part of his mission to create a sustainable local grain economy. “The way to do that is to engage farmers and then use up all the grain that’s planted for food,” Guerra says. “It’s about creating jobs and agricultural opportunities, but it’s also about feeding my people.” —JL

Coelette

Wyoming
Coelette stands out in Jackson’s star-studded culinary scene by aiming high—6,000 feet high, to be exact. That’s the minimum elevation for the vast majority of ingredients used in the restaurant’s self-described “snowline cuisine,” which draws inspiration from high-country cultures such as those in Japan, Peru, and the Himalayas. Sam Dawson and Drew Madison, former sous chefs at two-year-old Coelette who took over the head chef duties in August, use pickling, lacto-fermentation, and preserves to extend seasonal produce year-round. Rotating dishes primarily feature goods from local farms, with a few far-flung surprises: Diners might sample poached beef with horseradish skyr (Icelandic yogurt) or a whole snow trout raised in an aquaculture system in Hokkaido, Japan. The cozy dining room is located in a restored 1915 log cabin while the bar—which slings cocktails such as a mezcal-and-brandy hot chocolate with marshmallow foam—is housed in a new, wood-paneled addition. This summer, diners will be able to embrace the high-elevation concept even more literally when Coelette’s rooftop deck opens. —Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan


LODGING

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Armendaris

Photo courtesy of Deann McBride

New Mexico
From rare Bolson tortoises to the discovery site of the Sierraceratops turneri dinosaur to one of the largest populations of Mexican free-tailed bats in the United States, this nearly two-month-old addition to Ted Turner’s portfolio of guest ranches in New Mexico offers plenty of unique reasons to visit. But the most exclusive aspect of staying at 362,885-acre Armendaris might be the fact that visitors are welcomed into the private residence of the billionaire media mogul and conservationist himself. The four-bedroom hacienda, which has been featured in Architectural Digest, comes complete with replicas of Turner’s museum-worthy art collection, a private chef, and a housekeeping staff. Guided activities—such as nature photography workshops, petroglyph tours, and wildlife safaris to see bison, African oryx (large antelopes introduced nearby for big-game hunting around 1970), and desert bighorn sheep—are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are also included. That’s a good thing because a stay rings in at what would be, for most of us, a once-in-a-lifetime cost of $7,600 to $9,600 per night. —JL

The Virginian Lodge

Photo courtesy of Travis Burke

Wyoming
We have at least one good thing to thank the COVID-19 pandemic for: the resurgence of the great American motor lodge. Leery of crowded lobbies and sharing elevators with strangers, travelers found rooms with drive-up access particularly attractive—leading to investments in classic properties such as Jackson’s Virginian Lodge. Originally opened in 1965, this past January the 165-room property debuted an extensive multiyear renovation that merged Western and midcentury modern design elements into a travel influencer’s dream. The courtyard’s pool, two hot tubs, and fire pits are open year-round, and in the winter, skiers returning from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on the complimentary shuttle can après there or in the on-site saloon, which kept its original sign. Meanwhile, the adjacent Outbound Adventure Center, operated by Backcountry Safaris and JH Skis, has everything guests need (including stand-up paddleboards, e-bikes, and guided fly-fishing, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting) to explore Jackson’s most timeless amenity: the great outdoors. —JL

The Gravel House

Arizona
When Heidi Rentz Ault and Zander Ault first visited Patagonia, a small town 18 miles north of the Mexico border, in 2015, they quickly realized they’d stumbled onto a gravel biking paradise. The then nascent cycling discipline steers riders off pavement and onto wider, less obstacle-laden trails than mountain biking singletrack, and the couple has since tapped into the fast-growing sport via a variety of ventures. In Patagonia, they hold gravel camps through their guide company, the Cyclist’s Menu; they launched the annual Spirit World 100 ride in 2019; they run Patagonia Lumber Company, a cafe and bar; and they converted two homes into Instagram-worthy Airbnb destinations in 2020. Their two-wheeled empire is built on the San Rafael Valley’s 100-plus miles of gravel roads, which wind between the Santa Rita and Huachuca mountain ranges that rise dramatically from the desert floor. In early 2023, the duo plan to expand their lodging offerings, all under the Gravel House moniker, to include a nine-room hotel in town—meaning even more people will be able to discover this gravel riding mecca. —JL


ART

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“City”

Nevada
Area 51 isn’t the only mysterious locale tucked away in the Nevada desert. For more than 50 years, large-scale sculpture artist Michael Heizer has been building “City,” a mile-and-a-half-long installation within Basin and Range National Monument composed of dirt, rock, and concrete. The project, which opened to the public in September, is reminiscent of ancient ruins while simultaneously evoking a futuristic metropolis. Actually seeing Heizer’s monumental work might be as difficult as spotting a UFO, though: Only six people (who are picked up in the nearby town of Alamo, nearly 100 miles north of Las Vegas) are allowed to visit each day. Heizer, 78, hopes the exclusivity will allow viewers to be fully immersed in the structure’s eerie geometry and shifting shadows instead of theme-park-esque crowds. Booking for 2022 has already closed, but the Triple Aught Foundation, which manages “City,” will resume accepting reservations ($150 per person) for 2023 in January. —Barbara Urzua

The University of Arizona Museum of Art

Photo courtesy of Bob Demers, University of Arizona

Arizona
The day after Thanksgiving in 1985, a couple entered the University of Arizona Museum of Art. The woman distracted a guard while the man went upstairs, and less than 10 minutes later, they left with Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre,” the canvas having been crudely sheared from its frame. The whereabouts of the abstract expressionist’s work remained a mystery for more than three decades. Then, in 2017, it turned up at the New Mexico estate sale of the deceased presumed thieves: schoolteachers who had hung it in their bedroom, where the piece was obscured by the door anytime it was open. In those intervening years, the 1955 painting’s valuation jumped to more than $100 million, even as its arguably misogynistic content drew controversy. (“Women irritate me sometimes,” de Kooning said in 1956. “I painted that irritation in the Woman series.”) After a painstaking restoration process at Los Angeles’ J. Paul Getty Museum, “Woman-Ochre” returned—with a U.S. Department of Homeland Security escort—in September to the Tucson gallery, where it hangs alongside an impressive array of works from other masters, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. —JL


GEAR

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Duckworth

Montana
The merino sheep that grow the wool destined to become base layers, socks, and T-shirts from this eight-year-old, Dillon-based brand have a side hustle: ecosystem restoration. This past summer, the city of Missoula tapped about 800 of third-generation rancher and Duckworth co-founder John Helle’s sheep to chow down on invasive and noxious plants such as leafy spurge, spotted knapweed, and Dalmatian toadflax on several thousand acres of the city’s public lands. “It’s a really novel—and in every sense of the word, organic—solution to a problem,” says Mike Somerby, Duckworth’s marketing director. And in a market where most merino wool is imported from abroad, raising the fluffy ovines in the Rockies not only helps to lessen the company’s carbon footprint but also yields an extra-crimped fiber (due to a combination of Helle’s breeding science and the local climate’s wide temperature swings) that makes for exceptional heat regulation and breathability in Duckworth’s gear. —EKH

RigStrips

Colorado
It’s a tale as old as time: You trudge back to the lot after an epic day on the slopes. You lean your skis against the car to de-layer. And, every time, they clatter to the ground, dragging those metal edges right down your paint job. Thankfully, Denver-based RigStrips founders Steven Graf and Zhach Pham created a $50 solution: a molded, magnetic bit of genius called the SnoStrip with slots where you can securely rest your gear. For summer, switch out your SnoStrip (an updated model, released in October, features deeper grooves and a grippier material) for the SunStrip, similarly designed to prop up fishing poles and bikes. —Julie Dugdale

Erem

Photo by Cameron Karsten/Courtesy of Erem

Nevada
Most athletic shoes are a combination of polyurethane, EVA foam, and polyester—which means we spend our time hiking, running, and otherwise Colorado-ing in plastics that take thousands of years to completely biodegrade. Fledgling footwear brand Erem is doing things differently by building trail-ready boots that return to the dirt they pound much more quickly. Led by fourth-generation shoemaker Noah Swartz, the year-old Henderson company designs its kicks for rugged environments using all-natural materials such as cactus-proof leather, eco-rubber, and upcycled cork. In the right conditions (i.e., if they were buried in your garden, not overwintering in your closet), Erem footwear will decompose within seven to 14 years. To ensure that happens, the company will even take back your worn-out shoes in exchange for credit toward a new pair. “Our view,” Swartz says, “is that green can outperform [the alternative].” You can test that theory with Erem’s new all-weather line, set to launch in January and designed for high-desert environments just like the Centennial State’s. —CH

Wild Rye

Idaho
Until recently, many outdoor brands making women’s gear were guilty of simply shrinking men’s apparel and turning it pink. Frustrated by the resulting dearth of properly fitting, shred-ready get-ups, in 2016 Cassie Abel launched Wild Rye, a women-focused bike, ski, and active lifestyle brand based in Sun Valley. Dedicated to function and fashion in equal measure, with a touch of fun (hello, pandemic-inspired houseplant graphics), Wild Rye makes clothing for women with strong, athletic figures. That means strategically using four-way stretch fabrics that move with a woman’s curves; including lots of pockets because, as Abel says, “women carry a lot of shit”; and testing products on women with a range of body sizes. “We are—and always have been—unwaveringly a brand for adventurers who identify as women,” Abel says, noting that’s precisely why her brand attained B Corp status this year. The certification, which is based on companies’ commitments to social and environmental causes, is “a way to really define who we are,” she says, “and who we’re going to be.” Whatever the future holds for Wild Rye, you can bet it will be female. —CH


CULTURE

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Brooke Pepion Swaney

Photo by Rebecca Stumpf

Montana
“A lot of what I’ve been interested in is the overall idea of justice in an unfair world,” says Brooke Pepion Swaney, the Polson-based writer, director, and producer behind a suite of film projects that focus on the contemporary Indigenous experience. Her first feature-length documentary, Daughter of a Lost Bird, follows a Lummi woman who was adopted by a white family as she meets her birth mother, reconnects with her tribe, and grapples with what it means to be Native. (The 2021 festival release is newly available for streaming on pbs.org.) Pepion Swaney’s first love is fiction, though, and she especially loves comedy—a proclivity that’s evident in her in-development sitcom, Tinder on the Rez, about a woman’s dating misadventures after returning to her family’s reservation. The project snagged a prestigious mention on the first Indigenous List, a collection of promising film and television scripts created by Sundance Institute, Black List, and IllumiNative in 2020. “When I came out of film school 10 years ago, there wasn’t faith that Native people could [create] content people would want to watch,” says Pepion Swaney, an enrolled citizen of the Blackfeet Nation who also has Salish ancestry. “Now, it feels exciting that there’s more opportunity for artists like me.” —EKH


DRINK

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Lewis-Clark Valley AVA

Idaho
The Lewis-Clark Valley’s vineyards were decimated during Prohibition, but a century later (and six years after an official American Viticultural Area designation), rows of grapes once again line the hillsides. Nearly three-quarters of the almost 307,000 acres, which span central Idaho and eastern Washington, are in the Gem State, and its nine wineries are already racking up accolades. Clearwater Canyon Cellars, for one, was named Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year in 2020 by what’s now called Great Northwest Wine, and its 2020 Renaissance Red tied for the highest-rated red at this year’s Bellingham Northwest Wine Competition—beating out more established vintners from Washington and Oregon. The Rhône varietals that thrive in the region’s steep canyons are reason enough to visit, but what makes for good wine here also makes for stunning scenery. The confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers sucks the cold air out of the valley, allowing grapes to hang longer on the vine and develop more complex flavors. There may be no better perch to take it all in than a seat on two-year-old Rivaura’s deck, where you can sip the winery’s Grenache and soak up views of vineyards stretching toward the riverbank below. —Andrea Clark Mason


CRAFT

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Photo by Tira Howard Photography/SWAIA

“100 Years In The Making!”

New Mexico
Although potter Russell Sanchez spent only (only!) one year crafting his best-in-show winner for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ 100th Santa Fe Indian Market, he pulled inspiration from the event’s entire history. The black, red, and white of the polychrome piece—made of clay sourced from San Ildefonso Pueblo, where he lives, northwest of Santa Fe—is a nod to what his ancestors brought to the inaugural Native American arts bazaar in 1922, while the carving techniques and 400 inlaid turquoise and hematite beads are part of more recent Indigenous design traditions. Sanchez has sold out of his wares every one of the 45 years he’s attended the market and credits the event for his success in making connections with collectors and galleries, including Denver’s Native American Collections. But taking the top award (and its record $30,000 prize) in this centennial celebration year was a special honor. “Pottery was a very big part of the first market,” Sanchez says, “so it was nice to have a pot win this year.” —JL


MUSIC

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Obeeyay

Photo by Annie Whitehead/Courtesy of Obeeyay

Utah
Oba Bonner, professionally known as Obeeyay, could attribute any number of experiences to his musicality, from sitting in his mother’s lap at the piano while she taught voice lessons to showing up his seven older brothers and sisters (one of whom has performed on Broadway) in impromptu singing competitions. In fact, he still records gospel tunes with his parents and siblings as part of a group called the Bonner Family, with nearly 24,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. But that doesn’t mean Bonner isn’t forging his own path: As a preteen, he begged his mother and father to move to Los Angeles. Once there, he knocked on studio doors, offering to sweep floors and fetch lunches for musicians, and before long, he was working as an audio engineer with the likes of Queen Latifah and JoJo. Today, back in his hometown of Provo, 28-year-old Bonner is finally producing and performing his own music, and his first EP, Winnin’—a five-song collection of feel-good, melodic pop songs with hip-hop-inspired rhythms—dropped in March. Although the party anthems may seem at odds with his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints roots, “the family I have and the people who have loved me and I’ve loved over the years—they brought my hopes up,” Bonner says, and he wants to see his music do the same for everyone who listens. —KB

Vinyl Me, Please

Photo courtesy of Richard Edens

Colorado
These days, almost any song is just a few clicks away—yet annual vinyl record sales have mushroomed to more than $1 billion for the first time in nearly four decades. That growth includes Denver-based Vinyl Me, Please (VMP), which began as a service that sent curated albums, sometimes accompanied by cocktail recipes or art prints, to LP aficionados. Roughly a decade later, VMP offers four monthly subscriptions—classics, essentials, hip-hop, and country—to customers in nearly 50 countries. “We wanted to create not just a product but an experience around tangible music,” CEO Cameron Schaefer says. Now, VMP is expanding on that ethos by building its own pressing plant in RiNo. Once the 14,000-square-foot space opens to the public early next year, music lovers will be able to book tours to see the record-making process and stop by to purchase albums (VMP has struck deals for exclusive reissues from big names such as Run-DMC, Aretha Franklin, and Red Hot Chili Peppers) and grab a drink at the on-site bar. —Visvajit Sriramrajan


LITERATURE

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One Jump at a Time: My Story

Utah
From the first time he took the ice at age three in Salt Lake City to winning the men’s figure skating gold medal at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, Nathan Chen covers the quadruple loops and lutzes that fueled his journey to international stardom—as well as the falls he endured along the way—in his memoir released in November. With the help of co-writer Alice Park, a Time magazine staffer, Chen opens up about knee and hip injuries that threatened his career, his difficulties navigating his relationship with his mother while she served as his coach, and the mental health struggles he confronted with the help of a sports psychologist. The lessons the 23-year-old shares—particularly how finding hobbies outside of figure skating and attending Yale University brought him the balance he needed to succeed on the rink—are poignant reminders for anyone, but especially for today’s anxiety-riddled teens. In February, Chen will impart more wisdom to the next generation in a children’s picture book. —JL


NATURE

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CSKT Bison Range

Chuck Haney/Danita Delimont/Alamy Stock Photo

Montana
In the late 1870s, the Ql’ispé people brought a handful of bison to the Flathead Indian Reservation, home to the Confederated Séliš and Ksanka Tribes (CSKT), in an effort to prevent the animals’ extinction due to overhunting. A few decades later, in an all-too-familiar story in the West, the U.S. government seized a prize parcel of the tribes’ land to form the National Bison Range under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It took until 2022, but the 18,500-plus-acre preserve—a mountain-meets-prairie landscape with black and grizzly bears, pronghorn, elk, wolves, and, yes, 350-some bison—has been restored to the CSKT. “When our wildlife management and conservation efforts are guided by Indigenous knowledge developed over millennia,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said at an emotional celebration in May, “we all succeed.” Since taking over, the CSKT have remodeled the visitor center and produced a short documentary, In the Spirit of Atatice, about the tribes’ historical role in bison conservation. “It’s our story, told by us,” says Stephanie Gillin, information and education program manager for the CSKT’s Natural Resources Department. Currently, the main attractions for sightseers are wildlife sightings on a scenic driving loop, a few short trails, and a gift shop with goods from tribal vendors, but the CSKT are in the early stages of planning a new cultural center. —EKH


HISTORY

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Colorado Historic Opera Houses Circuit

Colorado
As prospectors unearthed mineral riches in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they began building lavish opera houses in Colorado’s boomtowns to satisfy the growing demand for entertainment—and for places to be seen in their Victorian finest. The few venues that remain attempt to fill their plush seats by hosting cultural events, festivals, and musical and theatrical performances, many of which were canceled or limited during the pandemic. Ticket sales (in addition to donations and volunteer hours) are critical for their continued preservation, so the state, along with local and regional partners, launched the Colorado Historic Opera Houses Circuit in June. The awareness-raising tourism initiative includes a website with suggested visitor itineraries, a map, and an events schedule. The five buildings on the circuit—the Central City Opera House in Central City, the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, the Tabor Opera House in Leadville, the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, and the Wright Opera House in Ouray—were built between 1878 and 1913. “The memories of each performance, whether last week, last month, or a hundred years ago,” says Nicole Levesque, marketing manager for 133-year-old Wheeler, “live on in the walls.” —Sarah Kuta

This article was originally published in 5280 December 2022.

Meet the biologist turned photographer putting nature in the frame







© Provided by Wirral Globe
Let’s go fly a kite at Leasowe Beach

WELCOME to Behind the Lens, a feature that shines a light on the talented photographers in our Wirral Globe Camera Club group.

This week, we’re looking at Heather Garland’s favourite images that she’s captured in Wirral and further afield.

Heather, who lives in Heswall, loves to be outside taking photographs and recording special family events but is currently exploring a new-found interest in underwater images.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Heather Garland

Heather Garland

When and why did you take up photography?

My mum bought me my first camera when I was nine years old and I’ve enjoyed capturing candid family moments as well as beautiful landscapes on family holidays ever since.

My husband is an accomplished underwater wreck photographer and he sparked my interest in this branch of photography.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
An over under shot of the lighthouse in New Brighton

An over under shot of the lighthouse in New Brighton

What do you love about taking pictures?

I love recording special family events and nature as well as people and places while I develop my creativity skills with photography.

READ MORE:

Wirral Globe Camera Club member Hugh McLaughlan loves to showcase the beauty of the local area






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Compass jellyfish at Leasowe Beach

Compass jellyfish at Leasowe Beach

Where is your favourite place to take pictures and why?

In the great outdoors, whether it’s at the coast or under the sea, deep within a thick forest, on a lakeside or riverbank or up high on a mountainside. I am a scientist and love capturing the awe and wonder of places and the nature that can be found there.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Telling the time

Telling the time

What is your favourite subject matter and why?

I don’t think I’ve developed a real niche in terms of subject matter but having been a recreational scuba diver for more than two decades, I’m currently enjoying being a novice underwater photographer. It’s testing both my skills as a diver and as a photographer. As a biologist by trade, I have a keen interest in natural history especially marine life, so capturing images of wildlife and their behaviour really excites me.

READ MORE:

Wirral Globe Camera Club member Neil Gillingham used photography as a way to rebuild his life and his self-confidence






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Dorsal fin, New Brighton

Dorsal fin, New Brighton

What do you enjoy about being part of the Wirral Globe Camera Club?

I’ve enjoyed being part of the Wirral Globe Camera Club as it’s developing my creative skills as I try to photograph familiar scenes but in an artistic way, that is both unique and exciting. I also think it’s a friendly supportive group of like-minded people.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Natures infinity pool, Watkins Path in Snowdon

Nature’s infinity pool, Watkins Path in Snowdon

If you could photograph anyone/any place/anything, who/what would it be?

I thought of numerous answers to this question ranging from bringing back my late parents and taking the photographs I’ve been unable to take of them with my children, especially as my sons reach new milestones in their lives. Alternatively, travelling back to my honeymoon destination and photographing the beautiful shipwrecks and reefs of Chuuk Lagoon would be wonderful. However, I eventually settled on travelling back in time and joining Jacques Cousteau, as one of his underwater photographers, when they first ventured into the big blue.

If you would like to appear in our Behind the Lens feature, email heidi.summerfield@newsquest.co.uk

If you would like to join Guardian Camera Club, visit facebook.com/groups/guardiancameraclub






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Together at Catbells in the Lake District

Together at Catbells in the Lake District

A 12-sided snowflake? Colorado photographer captures unusual snowflake formation


Every six-sided snowflake is a unique piece of nature’s art, but their incredible designs usually go unseen as they pile up by the zillions during winter storms.

Colorado doctor and photographer Jason Persoff is taking the time to make sure these hidden gems don’t go unnoticed. Treating the sick for his day job, Persoff spends his off time during Colorado’s winter storms snapping mesmerizing photos of snowflakes in all their glory. Last week, one of his pictures really caught his fancy: a rare 12-sided snowflake – double the sides of a regular snowflake.

A closeup photograph of a snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com / FOX Weather)

Persoff has spent decades chasing the more traditional supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes but said he sought out photographing snowflakes to make his snowy Denver winters brighter.

“I think, like a lot of people, the shorter days of winter left me a little dreary,” he told FOX Weather. “I saw an amazing photographer, Don Komarechka, who was taking snowflake photos, and I felt that was the next direction my photography should go in. It was a game changer.”

So how does he do it?

“A lot of people want to know how I keep the snowflake from melting,” he said.

You have to be willing to brave the elements. This is not about walking outside to grab a pile of snow, then coming back inside and taking photos amid the warmth of your home.

“You have to catch the flakes while they are coming down,” Persoff said. “Processes such as sublimation will cause the flake to lose its spectacular structure (after they sit) even if temperatures are super cold.”

A closeup photograph of a snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com / FOX Weather)

That means bundling up, as all the photography must be done outside during the snowfall. Persoff said that ideally, the temperature outside needs to be from 10-25 degrees Fahrenheit.

A budget-minded photography set-up

Persoff said he’s focused on a budget-friendly photography studio for capturing nature’s icy gallery and has even created a step-by-step tutorial on YouTube to share his secrets. 

“I catch snowflakes on, of all things, a black wool sock,” Persoff said. “Later, that allows me to subtract the background much easier to get the flakes you see in my photos.”

7 FACTS ABOUT SNOW

His camera is a version that can be found on aftermarket sales for under $200, and add in some relatively inexpensive extension tubes and a macro lens coupled with LED lights and a ring flash, “and boom, you have the studio,” he said.

A closeup photograph of a snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com / FOX Weather)

All that’s left is to be willing to sit outside in frigid temperatures and see what exciting creations Mother Nature has in store for the sock today. Later, after a bit of post-processing in photo editing software, his social media feeds come alive with awe-inspiring beauty.

“I always practice a catch-and-release philosophy with the snowflakes,” he joked. “So, none are harmed in the process, to the best of my knowledge.”

The rare 12-pointed snowflake

The reason each snowflake is unique is that no snowflake takes the same path from cloud to Earth, meaning snowflakes never experience the exact same atmospheric conditions during their creation. Temperature and humidity inside the clouds will determine the general shape of the flakes, but each has its own unique imprint that acts like a transcript, detailing its own personal journey through the atmosphere.

SNOW 101: THE BASICS OF SNOW

“The atmospheric conditions where (snowflakes) form are in the clouds around -10 to -20 degrees Celsius (14 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit) called the dendritic growth zone (DGZ),” Persoff said. “The closer the DGZ is to the ground, the more intricate the designs. The higher up, the more that snowflakes can be damaged or melt on the way down. Winds can cause snowflakes to bash against each other, resulting in broken pieces and fragments.”

A closeup photograph of a rare 12-sided snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com)

Persoff was especially excited about his catch last week which featured a few rare 12-point snowflakes instead of the common six-sided frozen dendrites.

Those 12-sided snowflakes are rare because they require a chance meeting.

“Water can only make crystals with angles of 60 degrees, so a 12-sided snowflake is impossible,” Persoff said. “What happens is that early in the snowflake’s genesis, two snowflakes become adhered together. Then, as they fall through the clouds, they encounter identical atmospheric conditions leading to the arms of each flake forming the way you see in (the) photo”.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE: WHY IT’S QUIETER AFTER A SNOWSTORM

It’s the thrill of a different kind of chase – one that requires keeping warm instead of keeping warned. It’s led to a year-round adventure with Mother Nature.

“I chase storms in the spring and summer, and snowflakes in the autumn and winter,” Persoff said.

Read more from FOX Weather



Packet Camera Club photos of Cornwall wildlife and nature


THIS week’s Packet Camera Club comes to you in the first week of December, which means only one thing, Christmas is well and truly on its way.

With the weather turning decidedly colder, coupled with darker evenings, it’ll come as no surprise that our member’s submissions have taken a more wintery turn.

Despite this, we hope our selection of Packet Camera Club member’s fantastic photography will help to keep you warm over the coming months. 

Honourable mentions this week go to Mark Quilter for his spectacular image of late afternoon waves at Porthleven which is dripping with atmosphere.

Also getting an honourable mention this week is John Chapman for his beautiful image of a buzzard up at Penndennis Headland, seemingly staring into John’s soul. 

Remember to check in next week when we’ll be bringing you even more of our members’ stunning photography and imagery.

If you’d like to get involved with the Packet Camera Club, join our Facebook page and start sending us your best pictures: Packet Camera Club

If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve The Packet Camera Club, or if there are any features you’d like to see us look into, send us an email at: ryan.morwood@newsquest.co.uk



Comparison of breath-guards and face-masks on droplet spread in eye clinics


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