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Congratulations to artist Antrim Caskey who was recently announced as a winner of the 43rd Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for her work ‘Dragline,’ a photographic expose of mountaintop removal coal mining.

“The winners this year reflect the interests of Robert Kennedy, particularly in justice and the plight of the downtrodden,” said RFK Journalism Committee Chair Margaret Engel. “From the creative use of cartooning to illustrate solutions to poverty, to the persistence of a reporter continuing to cover America’s prisoners in Cuba, the journalists brought originality and passion to their work. From obvious places of misery, including Haiti and Afghanistan, to the still-sensitive issue of campus rapes and their unseen collateral damage, the winning journalists put their talents to use on behalf of people endangered by violence and destruction.”

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Now that we’re in the countdown to this year’s festival, we’re sure you want to check out what films we’ll be featuring. Instead of just listing them, we’ll be posting trailers to selected films each Tuesday and Friday, so keep an eye out for what’s to come! Today we’re featuring Forgotten on the Roof of the World.

The Wakhan Corridor, a thin finger of land in northeast Afghanistan, is an incredibly tough place to live. North of Pakistan, bordering China and the contested Kashmir state of India, the people here are statistically high in poverty and hunger, low in health and education. Yet in Matthieu Paley’s stunning photographs that comprise this simple and memorable film, we see joy and humanity from the impoverished inhabitants. Beauty and hardship walk hand in hand in this collage of photographs and sounds from a place forgotten on the roof of the world.

As part of our photo contest, we’re featuring some of our favorites here on the blog. Every week we’ll be bringing you another photo that in one way or another reflects our mission statement: educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.

We chose this photo because it speaks to us of the euphoria often felt watching the sun go down on a day spent outdoors, and also fills us with a sense of the unknown and exploration. Really, it’s a conversation worth sustaining: How can we initiate adventure in our lives? Do we take enough time for wilderness escapes and glorious sunsets? Every year, Mountainfilm hopes to inspire people to get outdoors, get involved, and challenge themselves, not only immediately after the festival, but for the rest of the year and beyond, as well.

For your chance to be featured on The Conversation and possibly win free gear, please submit your photo. More details here.

Prayer flags blowing in the wind

Each Memorial Day weekend, artists and activists, filmmakers and photographers come to Telluride for Mountainfilm. At our core, we are about exploring, preserving and sustaining environments, cultures and conversations, so this unique gathering is part film festival and part ideas festival with leading edge thinkers – and doers – getting together to change the world. Leading up to this year’s festival we wanted to focus on conversations worth sustaining and we’ve asked some of Mountainfilm’s special guests to help us out. Throughout the coming weeks we’ll be posting our conversations with them. We hope that they engage and inspire you.

If you want to participate in this discussion, just submit your questions via our Facebook page or our Twitter account.

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mittermeierArmed with a background in marine biology, Cristina Mittermeier turned her focus to images — realizing they were a better tool to tell the story of humans and nature. At the heart of her work, Cristina amplifies the idea that people and nature are not isolated from each other, but are inexorably connected. In 2005, Cristina founded the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) — a prestigious team of photographers who believe that awe-inspiring photography is a powerful force for the environment.

Focusing on the relationship between nature’s most spectacular and endangered wildlife and Earth’s vanishing traditional human cultures, Cristina and iLCP aim to replace environmental indifference with a new culture of stewardship and passion for our beautiful planet.

You changed your career path quite radically from a marine biologist/biochemical engineer to a conservation photographer. How did that happen – was there a defining moment at some point that pushed you to redefine yourself or was it a more gradual transformation?

I had always been interested in the communications aspects of conservation, but after having published several articles in the scientific literature, I realized people don’t have access to that kind of information and I wanted to find a more expressive way of engaging larger audiences. I stumbled unto photography by accident, when some of my images, snapshots really, were published by a museum. When I saw the impact that those images had on the people who viewed them, I realized that I had found a better storytelling tool for conservation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sawtooth Mountains

Sawtooth Mountains

Deep Water Soloing

Deep Water Soloing

Bolivian Textiles in La Paz

Bolivian Textiles in La Paz

In the second portion of our photo contest we’ve had some amazing submissions. As usual, choosing wasn’t easy, but a big congrats goes out to these three amazing shots: Sawtooth Mountains, Deep Water Solo’ing, and Bolivian Textiles in La Paz.

Thanks to JanSport and Horny Toad for supplying prizes. Winners, we’ll be in touch!

Don’t stop submitting either; the third phase of our contest starts next week with gear from First Ascent and Osprey! And at the end of April we’ll also be selecting a grand prize winner… so be sure to get your best photos in!

You can submit by uploading your photos to our Flickr pool.

Hanging Bridge

As part of our photo contest, we’re featuring some of our favorites here on the blog. Every week we’ll be bringing you another photo that in one way or another reflects our mission statement: educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.

This year’s symposium addresses the extinction crisis. Most people associate extinction primarily with loss of habitat and animal species due to human expansion and mismanagement of resources, but another type of extinction that is often overlooked is culture extinction. It is estimated that half of the approximately 6,000 languages currently spoken will disappear within this century; often, when a language goes, the culture of the people speaking it dissolves, as well. This photo represents a culture worth preserving, certainly, and one that seeks to celebrate and preserve its longstanding historical traditions. There seems to be more than a little adventure involved in crossing that bridge, too!

For your chance to be featured on The Conversation and possibly winning free gear and a VIP Festival Package, please submit your photo. More details here.

ram in Glacier National Park

As part of our photo contest, we’re featuring some of our favorites here on the blog. Every week we’ll be bringing you another photo that in one way or another reflects our mission statement: educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.

This photo struck us because the ram appears quite majestic, and seems un-phased as it confronts the photographer head-on. However, the balance struck also seems tenuous; though the ram doesn’t seem to mind the intrusion, he also seems poised and ready to leap at the merest hint of danger. The fragility of the circumstance depicted in the photograph mirrors an equal fragility between humans and their environment, one of which we must constantly be aware to maintain balance across all living systems.

For your chance to be featured on The Conversation and possibly winning free gear and a VIP Festival Package, please submit your photo. More details here.

Yak Herder Hut

Yak Herder Hut

Night in Hammaskaira

Night in Hammaskaira

Mist Near Ophir

Mist Near Ophir

In the first portion of our photo contest we’ve had some amazing submissions, and choosing wasn’t easy, but a big congrats goes out to these three amazing shots: Yak Herder Hut, Night in Hammaskaira and Mist Near Ophir. All three of these excellent photographers win an Osprey Talon 44 pack, and if these photos are any indicator, we’re sure those packs are going to go some pretty great places.

But it’s not over yet… we’ll be announcing new prizes from Horny Toad and Jansport later this week, so stay tuned and keep submitting!

Aspen Reflection

As part of our photo contest, we’re featuring some of our favorites here on the blog. Every week we’ll be bringing you another photo that in one way or another reflects our mission statement: educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.

This photo spoke to us because it has to do with worlds hidden within other worlds. Worlds that aren’t necessarily immediately visible or accessible, but with a little patience, care, and broadened scope, these hidden (and beautiful) worlds become manifest. Worlds worth exploring, so to speak.

For your chance to be featured on The Conversation and possibly winning free gear and a VIP Festival Package, please submit your photo. More details here.

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