Show Me Your Wilderness
Greetings, wilderness photographers. This assignment will focus on your idea of wilderness and the wilderness or wild nature that abounds in your daily life. This could be as big as a grove of trees near where you live or a stream that flows through your city, or as small as a flower that has thrived despite the odds in a land of pavement.
We're timing this assignment to the upcoming September issue of National Geographic Magazine, where we celebrate the idea of wilderness in an article that marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which was signed into law in September 1964.
William Cronon of the University of Wisconsin wrote an important essay on wilderness called "The Trouble with Wilderness" which emphasizes the need to value the wilderness in our daily lives. You may find this useful as you think about what wilderness means to you.
For this assignment we will only be publishing photos taken during this assignment—between July 22 and August 11—that animate and realize your personal idea of wild, of the wilderness in your own daily life. (The assignment closes on August 11th at 12PM EDT) Before you head out, check your camera settings to make sure you have the correct date and time in your metadata.
Thank you for your contributions!
Sense of Place
Greetings photographers, thank you again for your enthusiasm and interesting contributions to the #wilderness assignment. As we move toward the final days of the project (the assignment closes at 12pm EDT on Monday, Aug 11), I'll offer a few thoughts on kinds of images that appeal to me.
What I have been struck by are images that convey a sense of place, pictures that help the person looking at the picture feel grounded or having a sense they are somewhere. The picture conveys to a viewer that same sense of wonder that you see while being there with your camera, but they also have a specific and strong foreground and background, much like a stage with actors on it in a play.
This is often a difficult concept to capture, and requires forethought when imagining what might make an interesting picture. The question is how to combine elements of the near and the far at the same time.
I am captivated most by images that combine that nearness with a sense of place. Pictures of wildlife and birds that place the subject in a habitat are more appealing than images that just show an animal. Those kinds of images of just animals and birds are quite common. Images that combine character, space, and place; that place these animals on a landscape, require you to determine in advance where to place yourself. One must think in terms of location, time of day, where the sun is in the sky, and the moment.
Good luck and best wishes. Thanks again to all of you for shooting new pictures specifically for this assignment.
Editing is Subjective
I have been reading the comments so far and am impressed with how active and passionate the Your Shot community is. I wanted to give you some understanding about how I have begun editing for this assignment. I’m not looking, as everyone else does, at the website to review the images. Given the number of pictures involved I’m given a folder full of images every two to three days that I then look at by building a catalog in Lightroom. I mark pictures I like and then go back to the website to find the images using a filename and number applied to each frame when a picture becomes part of the site.
While doing this, I’m looking for pictures that appeal to me.
I originally began editing by creating an EXIF metadata sort for the start dates. I found that many of the images had not been taken within the time frame of the assignment. I’m liking images that are outside of the date limit, but given that most of the pictures that I’ve seen don't conform to the rules, there would then be very few pictures for you to use as a guide to what I like. The favorites should not be seen as images that will be published. When it comes down to the final story, I will only choose photos taken within the date limit. However, I think it is my job as your editor to give you a sense of what I envisioned for this assignment. I am taking great care in my editing and can see from your comments that you are too.
In the end, everyone has their own view and aesthetic, and what I like may not be what you like. That's what makes taking and looking at pictures so much fun, right? We learn from each other.
So, that said, if you want pictures to be considered for the final edit, please make sure the date and time is set properly on your camera and that the pictures are shot during the time of the assignment.
Thank you, and I look forward to seeing more of your shots!
Seek Out Nature
You don't need to travel to a designated wilderness area to do this. You can if you wish, but the premium for this assignment is on the wilderness—the wild nature—that surrounds you. I encourage you to look around, seek out nature in your daily life, and make pictures that capture the wilderness that abounds or thrives around you.
I live near Four Mile Run, a stream that runs through urban Arlington, Virginia, just a few miles from downtown Washington, D.C. I find solace and renewal in visiting this park almost every day, and many of my own personal pictures of natural landscapes come from this lovely, wild place in the middle of urbanity. I encourage you to seek out the nature that abounds in the world you inhabit.
Please remember, NEW pictures only—pictures shot during the course of this assignment. Please caption pictures with sufficient information about place and time, but also with a sentence that helps explain why you see the situation pictured as fitting your idea of the wilderness in your world, your life.
Guessing I didn't make the cut with this one:
But I'm happy that this assignment theme was a little more concrete.
Hi Everyone. I have a question. Will you get feedback from an editor on pictures you submitted that did NOT get published?
This photo is not for submission. I am aware this assignment is closed. I thought you all might me interested in seeing this. There was an early morning thunderstorm at my cabin today. Photo title: "Wild Morning"
perseid meteor shower tonight. on east coast I heard best time to watch is 2 am to 4am 30 to 40 an hour
After reading Cronon's paper, taking my photos, and thinking about the experience I concluded that wilderness is a place where I feel wild, inspired, and connected with nature. But in his discourse he failed to communicate much of the feelings wilderness evokes, except in a few of the sources he quoted. His own emotional perspective was somehow divorced from the essay. The feelings we experience in wilderness are the heart of its identity and he failed to emphasize that. Instead, I fear that he lost many readers due to the dry, analytical nature of his writing. Wilderness needs more advocates and I worry that he scared many of them off. He could have made this core point in a few paragraphs rather than in 20 pages.
The worst part of any trip to the wilderness is filling out the paperwork for the permit. It says that I'm entering an area where I am bound by government's laws and in some way is a contradiction in terms to the wild state of the land I'm visiting. Instead, I wish there were a sign saying, "Welcome to Nature! Respect it! Be wild and free! Observe and learn from your visit and take something back to create some of what you see and feel here back home!" That is the message of wilderness.
An insight from doing the assignment is that wilderness is a place where The Tragedy of the Commons doesn't apply, or at least is minimized to a great extent. In wilderness we don't see signs of human exploitation except when we build a campfire. We also follow an ethic to leave the place better than we found it. While global warming and pollution are now planet-wide, at least in wilderness they are overwhelmed by nature's glory. To take wilderness beyond those areas designated by the Wilderness Act, we need to abide by those principles in daily life:
Clean up after yourself. Respect other species. If you need to use a resource, do something else that offsets the impact.
These are simple actions and will expand wilderness to many more places if we can change our culture to embrace them fully.
I prepared my pictures to enter the assignment. But it was closed , while all other assignments and your shot deadlines end at Midnight. Why the time of 12 PM EDT was chosen? Request that the deadline be extended for those who were blocked .
Hello ... I am confused. The assignment said it closes August 11th. It is currently 7:02 pm on August 11th and I am unable to upload as it says the assignment is closed. I spent a great deal of time specifically today to enter the contest, and now cannot submit my work. I am disappointed - Dennis. Can you explain please?
Hi to all , I am brand new to this , it was my first attempt at posting pics on Nat Geo and to an assignment . Now what has me tickled is the fact that I have posted 3 pics. The one is most probably the only pic of this particular event ever recorded .... " a Southern Right whale male having a pee " yet it has only been selected by a few as a favorite yet the other 2 very everyday pics have received huge acclaim. It boggles the mind. Regards from Hermanus in the beautiful South Africa,
ha ha realy it was gud assingment .i walk 7 km ..fr getng good photos.n i submit it today at last momnet when tim ws nr to close 15min .
I know this will not always be applicable or even momentarily feasible, but I really like the idea of limiting submissions to a defined period of time. I had pictures in my gallery that perfectly fit to what editors asked us, but instead of just go there and select them, I had to dodge my hectic routine to go out and shoot and this is very, very good. This puts us in motion and if not for ourselves, at least for YS. ;)
Hello people, this is my VERY FIRST contribute here and I've sent my 3 cents for this particular assignment which I found harder than expected. Find them here with their story, hope you like them.
Enjoy and keep your great work coming!
@Tejas Dongre the story has just been published if you wanna check
@Tejas Dongre Hi Tejas, if your photo is chosen for Daily Dozen or publication in an assignment, you receive an email in your email box (comes to the email that you used when signing up for My Shot and also a notification in your MY Shot in box). Best of luck to you! Patti P.
No idea! But good luck! I'm guessing they would send a message to your account, but I've never been published!
@Constantin Keck beautiful photos
@Alisha J. Only feedback is from fellow photographers. >15k pictures would be a lot of feedback for these editors!
@varna gubbi Hi Varna, I found this info in the "Editor's Updates" section that may help answer your question: " I found that many of the images had not been taken within the time frame of the assignment. I’m liking images that are outside of the date limit, but given that most of the pictures that I’ve seen don't conform to the rules, there would then be very few pictures for you to use as a guide to what I like. The favorites should not be seen as images that will be published. When it comes down to the final story, I will only choose photos taken within the date limit. However, I think it is my job as your editor to give you a sense of what I envisioned for this assignment. I am taking great care in my editing and can see from your comments that you are too."
@Ken Sundaram i have seen other assignments close at 12pm
That's a real shame Charlene. I thought I was cutting it close when I submitted my 3 yesterday. Hopefully the photos you planned on using can be used in the future or you can still just submit them under other categories, you never know, perhaps an editor will choose one of them for the daily dozen. :-)
Hi Charlene, sorry to hear that you missed the deadline for the contest, but if you read the assignments introduction up above, you can see in the last paragraph Dennis clearly stated that "the assignment closes on August 11th at 12PM EDT (aka Noon).
@Ken Moore i loved that whale image, and i think/hope that the 'like' went through. my internet is very slow, and getting back to that page would take half an hour. logging off soon.
btw, welcome to your shot! lisa/z
@Ken Moore Get use to that kind of response. I did some time ago and now just expect the best and prepare for the worst. There are no regulations about taste. Welcome to the world of the unexpected. Regards from Toronto and good luck on the assignment.
@Leonardo V. Totally agree! My dog and I had a great few weeks out on assignment. The images felt fresh and ready to "hand in." I like this timed format very much. Well said, Leonardo. Best, Patti P.
@Leonardo V. there has been times an assignment comes along that I don't have photos for. if I don't, I will wait for next assignment.
@Leonardo V. I'm with you on this one. I had what I thought were pics in my gallery that fit. The lazy part of me would have reached for them had it not been for the time period requirements. The last two assignments with these requirements forced me out into my local area. Three things happened. First I became a better observer and ended up exploring my local terrain better than I had known it before . Second... I ended up with 2 of my best photographs ever in the night and on the water.
Third.... it made me get off my lazy behind and practice, practice practice :-)
@Leonardo V. Absolutely. This is the second assignment with a three-week window and that's the way it should be. "What can you show us today?" I see a Ton of images on the just-finished Wilderness story that are old file photos with old comments and likes and such, some in the editor's favorites folder. But as with the How Close assignment, I am sure they will toss those file photos and stick to the shooting window.
@Leonardo V. I agree.
@brad kennedy I really like the idea of architecture! It's something that I normally don't photograph, so it would be a real challenge for me, but what ever the next assignment is... I'm ready!
@brad kennedy Thanks! yup...just saw :)
@brad kennedy Thank you for the info :)
@Patricia Przybylinski Thank you :) unfortunately my photos have not been chosen...but there are some pretty brilliant images. Kudos to whoever got published !
@Ann M. Thanks :) and good luck to you too!
@Amira Chtourou Hey, Amira, thanks for reply...it was really helpful :)
@Karri N. Oh my goodness ... I thought it was midnight!!! Grrrrr ... I am so silly! That really is too bad. Oh well, I captured a couple of awesome shots just the same - maybe another time. Thanks for the note Karri.
@Michelle G. some one had mentioned colors. flowers or birds be a good assignment. am sure we can find great colors in either 1. another good assignment would be architcture
hi from ecuador!
the same thing happened to me, though i have a second problem of brutally-slow or no internet most of the days and nights. i did not see this assignment until last week, so i checked my photos from the past two weeks, enjoyed taking new ones for the theme, then could not get them uploaded. i too thought i had until midnight... it took over three hours to upload the images this afternoon.
oh well; it was a good exercise... i will try to visit your page to see if you uploaded any, connection willing.
i have some fun 'unique' pets images but i am brain dead from standing guard over the uploads!
Definitely good ideas. I have personally thought also of doors and balconies, the sort you see a lot of in Europe for instance. When I travel, I seem to point my camera constantly upward and I discover so much beauty and life on balconies. I also recommended once the subject of street musicians. There are so many topics, we'll never get short of ideas.
@Michelle G. i live in upstate of south Carolina a lot of places to do architecture .am near the mountains also. lots old barns and old textile mills. old buildings also. the Biltmore house in Asheville north Carolina be good to take photos. they have a huge garden and greenhouse. in summer they have musicians outside playing. endless possibilities for assignments
I can't seem though to connect with the current assignment about unusual pets. I don't have a pet to begin with, and I don't have access to snakes and lizards, and the likes. I submitted one photo of a wild animal, but I don't think it will go far. I'll probably wait for the next assignment.
@Michelle G. I was able to get into the current assignment when I got home from work.
@Michelle G. I don't have any unusual pets either. I did enter 2 of a canada goose with angel wing syndrome. he can not fly the apartments where I live adopted him. have taken him to the vet for check up's. I figure can't hurt to enter the 2 photos