photography

Should Personal Drones Be Banned in National Parks?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | June 16th, 2014 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: Caifornia, drones, Eco Travel, environment, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Haleakala National Park, hawaii, Mojave National Preserve, national parks, nature, nature photography, Olympic National Park, photography, travel, UAV, Washington, wildlife, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park

Bighorn sheep in Yellowstone National Park

Standing in the presence of the unbelievably immense, monolithic slabs of stone in Zion National Park is an experience that is not soon forgotten and, I’d argue, even spiritual. Gaze up at those massive sandstone cliffs as you hike The Narrows and you’d swear you’ve entered an alien world where 2,000-foot-high gods of rock rule. If you’re brave enough, you can even trek on the shoulders of those gods, by walking on the aptly named Angels Landing Trail. And since 84 percent of the park is designated as wilderness, there are scores of other spots where you can commune with nature and find solitude.

But now imagine that you’re in Zion walking that precipitous pathway — with sheer drop-offs on both sides — and a drone buzzes close by your head. Not only does that distract you and make you feel unsafe, it suddenly changes your great outdoor and unplugged experience.

Similar scenarios in our national parks have caused some of them — including Zion National Park — to ban drone use. While some applaud the move, others feel that their preferred way to photograph the parks is being unfairly singled out and prohibited. But is attaching a camera to a drone truly similar to other forms of photography?

Are the Dubai Penguins Ambassadors of the Wild, or Agents of Profit?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | June 18th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: animal ambassadors, animals, Antarctica, big cats, birds, captive, captive wildlife, captivity, conservation, Dubai, Eco Travel, ecosystems, environment, Middle East, natural habitats, nature, penguins, pets, photography, threatened, threatened species, Tigers, travel, wild, wildlife

Penguin in Antarctica

In the hot, desert climate of Dubai on the Arabian Peninsula, 20 penguins are living in comfort, say the managers of Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. The birds reside in a climate-controlled environment, receive the best veterinary care, and never have to worry about lurking predators.

When you visit Ski Dubai, you can pay to have a “penguin encounter,” where you’ll be able to play with and touch the penguins. Representatives of the resort say that these animals are “ambassadors,” teaching patrons about their wild counterparts and the need to conserve their threatened natural habitat, Antarctica.

But can animals that have been born and raised in captivity and habituated to humans in unnatural ways ever be true ambassadors for the natural world? Can they teach us anything about the wild or move us to care for the environments from which they are so distantly removed?

Photo Essay: San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference

Elena Brower by Elena Brower | January 30th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Fitness, Yoga | tags: Amanda Giacomini, Big Sur, California, Elena Brower, heart votive candle, MC Yogi, meditation, photo essay, photography, photos, rodney yee, San Francisco, San Francisco Airport, sunrise, sunset, yoga classes, Yoga Journal Conference, Yoga Room at SFO, yoga teacher, yoga workshop

Elena Brower - Yoga Journal ConferenceThe 9th Annual San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference was January 12-16. What a great way to start the new year! Gaiam was a sponsor, Rodney Yee was the keynote speaker, and yoga blogger Elena Brower was there teaching and sharing her yoga knowledge with hundreds of students and other attendees. Although many of us couldn’t be there in person, it almost feels as if we were, thanks to Elena’s gorgeous photo essay, below. Like what you see? Learn about next year’s event here.
- Editor

Where the Sky Is Blue, Ojai!

Elena Brower by Elena Brower | November 29th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Relationships, Yoga | tags: asana, Bhakti, California, Courtney Grueschow, Elena Brower, Erich Schiffman, International Ojai Yoga Crib, Kira Ryder, magic, meditation, Mijanou Montealagre, nature, photo essay, photography, prayer flags, Saul David Raye, sitar, The Gratitude Gathering, travel, yoga conference, yoga event, yoga teachers

Ojai Collage

This fall, Elena Brower was one of 19 yoga instructors asked to teach at the 2011 International Ojai Yoga Crib in Ojai, California (along with fellow Gaiam blogger Jill Miller). In this photo essay, Elena shares her experience at this life-affirming event.

Are Social Media Sites Fueling a Growing Disrespect for Wildlife?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | November 21st, 2011 | 25 Comments
topic: Eco Travel | tags: "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, bison, blue whale, Eco Travel, environment, ethics, facebook, Great Barrier Reef, humpback whales, kayakers, nature, nature photography, photography, social-media, southeast Alaska, Steller sea lions, taking pictures, travel, twitter, video, wild animals, wildlife, Yellowstone National Park, YouTube

zodiac with whale

Two kayakers paddling off Redondo Beach, south of Los Angeles, got the thrill of a lifetime recently — the kind that most of us will never experience. They met a blue whale, the largest creature on Earth.

The 50-foot cetacean came within arm’s reach of the small kayak. But, not content with this closest of encounters, Rick Coleman, one of the kayakers, plunged into the water for a face-to-face session with the whale — all the while keeping his video camera running. Of course, that video soon appeared on YouTube and the inevitable interviews on TV news shows followed.

In many of those interviews, the Colemans (Susan Coleman was the second kayaker) made the comment that it is important to remember to always approach wild animals with the “utmost respect.”

But is pulling your kayak up to a blue whale and then jumping into the water next to it showing respect for wildlife — or is it more indicative of a desire for renown?

Is Going Green Just a Feel-Good Choice?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | November 18th, 2010 | 5 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: automobiles, bats, bird deaths, birds, Canada geese, canoe, carbon emissions, cars, chemicals, climate change, CO2, eco-friendly, energy, environment, environmental toxins, environmentalist, fossil fuels, green, green building, greenwashing, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, kayak, kayaking, landfills, LEED, LEED buildings, LEED certification, nature enthusiasts, nature photography, nature photos, photography, plastic, power grid, recreation, recycler, recycling, sandhill cranes, save the environment, skyscrapers, songbirds, toxins, transportation, travel, turbines, water sports, weather, wildlife, wind farms, wind power

Sandhill cranes

Buying a kayak qualifies as a “big purchase” for my family, and my husband and I recently took that huge step. Although we’ve had a canoe for a long time, this is our first acquisition of this type of silent-sports, aquatic craft.

Does a Wildlife Photo Have to Be “Wild”?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | April 20th, 2010 | 8 Comments
topic: Eco Travel | tags: AlaskaPhotographics.com, Backpacker, bald eagle, BBC's Planet Earth, Defenders of Wildlife, digital photogaphy, Disney, game farm animals, Getty Images, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, National Wildlife Federation, nature prints, PBS Nature, photography, snow leopard, wildlife, wolf

If you’re a nature enthusiast, chances are that somewhere in your home you display at least one image of a wild animal in its natural habitat: a framed photo hanging on your wall of a black wolf peeking through the leaves, a calendar on your desk with 12 glossy shots of snow leopards in rocky places or several conservation magazines — whose covers depict eagles or hummingbirds in flight — stacked on your coffee table.

What Makes a Nature Photograph “Real”?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | October 16th, 2009 | 9 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: aurora borealis, digital photos, Eco Travel, eco-travelers, images, Matthew B. Brady, nature photography, northern lights, photo illustration, photography, polar-bears, Time magazine, wilderness, wildlife, wolf

Bearfeature

“After” photo: ship is gone; more highlights (see the “Before” photo below). ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

It looked perfect through the lens. I had the shot all lined up: blue mountain in the background, a rocky trail winding through the middle, and wildflowers in the foreground that made up two-thirds of the composition. I rotated the polarizing filter just enough so that I had a bright blue sky. Click.

Linking In The New Year: Memories of 2008, A Guide to A Great 2009

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | January 2nd, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Conscious Living News | tags: diet, endangered-species, family, food, gorilla, meditation, nature, nutrition, photography, resolutions, Yoga, Zen

Every week we highlight the best articles, blogs, news, videos and interesting Web tidbits to help you live green, be healthy, and connect with your sense of spirituality. Read our roundup for info that just helps you live better. We hope you enjoy this first set of feel-good links in 2009 and wish all of our readers a happy new year!

Living Roundup: Eco Photography, Vegetarian Pregnancy & More

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | August 22nd, 2008 | No Comments
topic: Conscious Living News | tags: diet, dreams, environment, goals, green kids, nutrition, photography, pregnancy, swimming

Every week we highlight the best articles, blogs, news, videos and interesting Web tidbits to help you live green, be healthy, and connect with your sense of spirituality. Read our roundup for info that just helps you live better.

Winners of the Environmental Photographer of the Year 2008 Awards