We photographed the Velvet Hills, just before a storm, at sunrise in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah for our first @natgeo assignment. The story was about the newly created monument. As we take in yesterday’s grim news, about the decision to substantially reduce the size of both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, let’s remember the words of the president who signed the Antiquities Act of 1906 into law: “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders. Do not let selfish men and greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches, or its romance.“ Theodore Roosevelt That act allowed for the creation of National Monuments – to preserve federal lands from looting, desecration and destruction – for the appreciation of future generations.
We photographed "The Witness Tree", an Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana), when it was just beginning to change into its fall colors. This stately tree, standing watch over its namesake hundred-acre vineyard, once marked a land boundary in Oregon in 1854. It is one of 60 trees featured in our new book, Wise Trees, coming out on October 17th. This is the time of year the pinot noir and chardonnay grapes are normally harvested at the Witness Tree vineyard near Salem, Oregon, and the aroma while we worked was intoxicating.
Tragically that is not the case for the famous wine regions of California, whose valleys are currently filled with life threatening smoke. Our thoughts are with all who have lost loved ones and property in the deadly fires currently raging in California.
The Autumnal Equinox marks the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re noting this occasion with a photograph from our @natgeo story “The Wisdom of Trees,” published in the March 2017 issue. This remarkable tree is called Pando (Latin for “I Spread”), and although it looks like an Aspen forest, it is a single clonal organism – with a long list of superlatives. At 80,000 years old, it is the oldest organism on Earth. It weighs 13 million pounds, making it the heaviest organism on Earth. And it is comprised of over 40,000 genetically equivalent trunks, with a root system extending over 106 acres. Pando lives in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. This most amazing tree (and many others) is included in our forthcoming book entitled “Wise Trees,” which Abrams Books will be releasing on October 17th. Thanks also to the National Geographic Expedition Council for their support of this project. @natgeo@natgeocreative@thephotosociety@abramsbooks
We’re super excited to finally hold an advance copy of our Wise Trees book. We spent the last three years researching, photographing, and writing the remarkable stories of these historic and inspirational trees. Thanks to Abrams Books for their amazing work on this publication. Also thanks to National Geographic Magazine for the initial assignment, and the National Geographic Society's Expedition Council for the two grants to complete the project. The book’s release date is October 17th, but Wise Trees can be purchased with a pre-order discount at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Thanks - and let us know what you think. #WiseTrees#AbramsBooks#NationalGeographicExpeditionCouncil#tree @cookjenshel@natgeo@natgeocreative@thephotosociety
These iconic photographs are part of the @natgeocreative Flash Sale. Your purchase, of these travel-inspired images, helps in part to support the National Geographic Society’s ability to fund science, conservation, exploration and story telling projects. Visit the link in our profile to see the full collection of images on sale for $100 until September 16th. @ladzinski@cookjenshel@yamashitaphoto@salvarezphoto@amivitale
Live today! We are pleased to announce that our photograph of The Child-giving Ginkgo tree in Tokyo, from our “Wise Trees” project, is a part of the @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale of collectible prints from Sept. 9th - Sept. 16th.
Visit the link in our profile to see all the signed prints on sale for $100.
Our first assignment for National Geographic, back in 1997, was a story on the newly created Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument in Utah. It is comprised of 1.9 millions acres of public land, and is a landscape filled with amazing geologic and cultural history. There are only a few more days left for public comment before the Department of the Interior, headed by Secretary Ryan Zinke, makes a decision about reducing the size of this monument - as well as 26 other national monuments. The call for public comment ends on July 10, make your voice heard.
On Arbor Day we need to celebrate the amazing mangrove tree, which prevents the salinization and erosion of coastal soils, creates wildlife habitat, and acts as a barrier for storm surges – among its many attributes. Unfortunately the world has lost more than 50% of its original mangrove forests, due to coastal development, shrimp aquaculture, and charcoal production. These trees are on the forefront of mitigating climate change, so if you are inclined to plant a tree for Arbor Day – this would be a good one to choose. Happy Arbor Day!
photograph by @cookjenshel
Our favorite time to photograph the majestic northern California Redwood trees is that magical moment when the sun begins burning off the morning fog. In honor of Earth Day, this image was selected by @natgeocreative for a special Flash Sale. Signed prints of this image are only available from April 17th - April 22nd. Visit the link in our profile to see all the prints on sale. #WiseTrees#earthday#redwoods#california
Photo by @cookjenshel On World Water Day we are reminded of the all-important need for everyone on Earth to have access to clean and safe drinking water. In India, the task of gathering a family’s water needs is delegated to women and girls – who have to walk great distances with heavy loads several times a day – often in extreme heat. It is a dangerous job. Here in America, our safe water could be imperiled by threatened cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, please let your representatives know how important your clean and safe drinking water is. #worldwaterday
March 21, International Day of Forests, is set aside to honor trees – which are so essential to our well being on Earth. Now more than ever, in this era of human induced climate change, we need their 370 million years of experience sequestering carbon. We honor some significant trees in our story “The Wisdom of Trees” - in the March issue of National Geographic. We photographed Pando for that story. For over 80,000 years Pando masqueraded as an Aspen forest. However, in 1968 a forest ecologist found that Pando was actually a single clonal organism, made up of over 40,000 DNA identical trunks, encompassing an area of 106 acres, and weighing over 13 million pounds – making it the heaviest organism on Earth. A most remarkable tree! And even more remarkable trees coming this October in our “Wise Trees” book published by Abrams. @cookjenshel@natgeo@natgeocreative@thephotosociety#LoveForests#IntlForestDay#WiseTrees
The Spring Equinox arrived today at 6:29AM in the Eastern time zone of North America. We’re marking the first day of spring with a remembrance of the thousands of cherry trees we photographed last year at sunrise at the Tidal Basin in Washington DC, for our #WiseTrees project. Unfortunately this year, the blossoms were dealt quite a setback with the resurgence of winter last week – but luckily the later blooming varieties survived. Please see our “The Wisdom of Trees” story in the March issue of National Geographic Magazine. And stay tuned for our book “Wise Trees” being published by Abrams this October.
Photography by @cookjenshel
Arbor Day celebrates the importance of trees on our planet - by setting aside a day to plant them. We plan to go out and do some planting today. And as we do we’ll be thinking of W.S. Merwin, the former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning poet who transformed 19 acres (of officially designated wasteland) into an amazing palm forest. Over the past forty years he has planted thousands of palms on the land surrounding his home on Maui, some of them rare and endangered. Happy Arbor Day! @cookjenshel@natgeocreative@thephotosociety#WiseTrees#ArborDay#wsmerwin#trees#maui#palmtrees
Photo by @cookjenshel
Here’s our photo offering for Earth Day, with this year’s theme of Trees for the Earth - The Wedding Oak in San Saba,Texas. For centuries, under the shade of this tree, marriage ceremonies have taken place. Love under a tree, and love of trees. It's part of our story on National Geographic Digital News "See 10 Remarkable Trees, Each With a Special Story to Tell”. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/remarkable-trees-earth-day-pictures/
More of our Wise Trees project will be published next year. Stay tuned.
Photograph by @cookjenshel
The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Trees for the Planet. The organizers have a goal of planting 7.8 billion trees - one for every person on the planet - by the movement’s 50th anniversary in 2020. While it is important to plant trees, it is equally important to save them. In 1997 Julia Butterfly Hill climbed a 2,000 year old Redwood tree (that she named “Luna”) in Northern California, to begin a two year occupation of that tree. Her tree-sit prevented Luna from being logged. A year after signing the preservation agreement with the logging company - a vandal tried to saw it down. Thankfully the vandal was not successful, and clamps were installed to support the tree. Please copy and paste this link into your URL to see more amazing trees from our Wise Trees project.
@NatGeo photo by @cookjenshel
Dawn, Cherry blossoms & Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Tidal Basin, Washington, DC. We have Eliza Scidmore (first woman board member of the National Geographic Society) to thank for initiating a plan for planting the thousands of beautiful cherry trees we see around the Tidal Basin. It took many years before she and David Fairchild found a White House receptive to accepting a gift of the cherry trees from the City of Tokyo in 1912. It’s worth taking the time to appreciate their ephemeral beauty.
@natgeo Photograph by @cookjenshel
No – that is not an orange filter we added to this image – but how things look when thick smoke blows through from of one of California’s largest wildfire. The “golden hour” for photography came at 3:00PM – instead of 6:00PM. The Ancient Bristlecone Forest in the White Mountains of eastern California is only fifty miles from the “Rough Fire” burning in Kings Canyon National Park. The multiple fires now burning out west have destroyed hundreds of homes, thousands upon thousands of acres of forest habitat and tragically taken lives. And for those not even in the immediate vicinity of the fires – there is hazardous air quality to contend with – as smoke can travel long distances. We got a dose of that smoke up at 10,000 feet - photographing the Bristlecone Pines (many 4000 – 5000 years old) for our #WiseTrees project. #WiseTrees#AncientBristleconeForest@natgeocreative@thephotosociety
Hello Altanta! The Women of Vision show is now on view in your city - from September 26 through January 3, 2016 - at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Curated by Elizabeth Krist, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic Magazine, the show features the work of eleven National Geographic photographers. Check it out.
The Battle of Antietam began at dawn on September 17, 1862. It remains the bloodiest single day in American military history – 23, 000 lives were lost. The sycamore tree, at the end of the Burnside Bridge is the last living witness of that battle – and is part of our Wise Trees project. The battle was a turning point in the Civil War, providing impetus for President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Today is the 70th anniversary of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Within the immediate blast zone were two Camphor Trees at the entrance to the Sanno Shrine. The force of the blast stripped off all their leaves and branches. When the seemingly dead tress sprung back to life, they gave hope to the people of Nagasaki. We photographed this survivor trees for our #WiseTrees project. May the world never experience this type of devastation ever again.
Returning from photographing Susan B Anthony’s famous tree in Rochester, NY – for our #WiseTrees project, we stopped in at #WatkinsGlenStatePark, in the #FingerLakes region of upstate New York. The uplifted sedimentary rocks that make up this deeply carved gorge were once under water, is now carved by a fast moving river – with ninteen #waterfalls. It’s a beautiful place that contains amazing lesson in geology covering 400 millions years.