Sunday, June 27, 2010

ICP Award

I'm proud to announce that the following image “Can he read” won the 1st prize in the 2010 ICP Awards in the category ”Environment at Risk”.

The International Conservation Photography Awards is a prestigious international photography contest, focused on conservation and the environment. The ICP award was founded and is hosted by Art Wolfe.

The story behind: “Can he read?” was my first thought, as I saw this male fur seal sitting on the old propeller, and he was looking at me as if he was asking himself the same question about me.
Stromness Bay, South Georgia, was once a whaling station, where thousands of whales got slaughtered, bringing some of them to the brink of extinction. There is still a very depressing aura engulfing the place. Feeling an overwhelming sadness and burning anger deep within, I wanted to create an image that shows the desolation of the place, but also the hope that lies within. We need to stop whaling completely and conserve, protect and nourish what's left AND we need to make places like Stromness Bay safer for the seals and penguins who fortunately have reclaimed the place. They have suffered already enough!

The winning images and honorable mentions are now displayed in Seattle's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.
Not only have I won first place in the environment at risk category, our son Tomi also won an honorable mention in the student category. No question hence, that we would attend the opening reception on June 18th in Seattle.
What a great evening! Many, many people came to celebrate the opening, and the Museum and Art Wolfe were the perfect hosts. We met many of the other photographers, chatted with the museums director, Julie Stein and admired the exceptional display.

Opening Night Gala

The Burke Museum

The feeling to see my photograph displayed in a museum was quite overwhelming, the experience to share this moment together with Tomi was beyond words...

The Exhibition Entrance

Art Wolfe with Tomi, in front of Tomi's photograph (lower left)

A big Thank You to my friend Daisy Gilardini, who took all of the above images.

News coverage of the event:

National Geographic News


Once in Seattle we also explored a bit of downtown and the fish market....Seattle is a fantastic city, but the weather....

Of course, the first stop was...

...yes, the very first Starbucks!

Impressions from Pike's Market

Any guess what that is......yuck!!!

A very BIG Thank you to Kim and BJ! I couldn't have wished for better hosts!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Dog Blog: Radar's Story

A Greyhounds Odyssey

When we think of Greyhounds we think dog races (...or a form of affordable transcontinental transportation...). And unfortunately, that is what Greyhounds are bred for today. The origin of the fastest dog on earth is not quite clear. 4000 years old depictions in Egypt show dogs that resemble the modern day Greyhound, other sources place the original Greyhound with the ancient Celts from Eastern Europe. However the origin though, all modern purebred Greyhounds derive from Great Britain. Here the Greyhound was a hunting dog exclusively for the upper class. The so called “Forest Laws” prohibited the common man to breed or own the noble dog. As an all time hunting companion the Greyhound was always in close contact with it's owner, resulting in a friendly, affectionate, even tempered and intelligent character. In fact the Greyhound was so well behaved he even was allowed in church with his owner. All these attributes are still valid for today's Greyhound, but instead of born into a life of luxury the Greyhound now is bred for money, for gambling money!

Ten thousands of Greyhound puppies are bred for the racing industry every year. Most of them will be “disposed of” after only a few months. The rest of them will be trained and further “selected”. At about 18 months the selected few will be sent off to the racing track. While at the race track the dogs are kenneled for most of the day in rather close confinement with only little socialization and they basically have to run for their life, if they don't succeed, they will be either euthanized, sold to research labs or might be lucky enough to get the attention of a rescue organization.
Radar is one of these lucky ones.

Not performing to their owners liking, 12 under-nourished Greyhounds, later lovingly called the “Dirty Dozen” by the rescue organization were scheduled to be shipped from the Tuscon race track to Mexico, when they got taken in by a Greyhound rescue organization. Radar was one of them. Not long after this, Radars new owner, who had signed up with Greyhound Friends for Life to adopt a Greyhound, got a phone call, telling her a Greyhound that matched her profile could be adopted. The family went right away to look at the prospective new family member and fell immediately in love.

And you can see why, his heart is just in the right spot...;-)

They were given the opportunity to see the other Greyhounds, but their heart was already taken. Since Radar had spent his former life only in kennels, the inital days in a “normal “ house were quite a challenge. The first time he was supposed to go up the stairs he was at a loss what to do. On his way to the garden he bumped into the glass door, puzzled by the invisible obstacle. But very soon he became a well adjusted loving dog, who always greets me with a wagging tail and a soft muzzle.

Please help raising awareness about the Greyhound racing issue by getting informed and informing others. Please check out the following links and organizations and feel free to forward the blog to anyone who might be interested.


Greyhound Protection League

Greyhound Friends For Life

Golden State Greyhound Adoption


Animal Media

The Proof is in the Picture

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I'm proud to announce that I have received a bronze award in the 2010 Epson International Pano Awards.

The Epson International Pano Awards is aimed to showcase the work of panoramic photographers, professional and amateur alike, worldwide.
There were two entry classes, one for amateurs (amateur) and one for professional photographers and amateurs (open), with two categories each, Nature and The Built Environment.

The awarded image was entered in the open competition Nature category.

Friday, June 4, 2010

June Conservation Tip

Still looking for a meaningful Graduation or Fathers Day gift?
Or a birthday gift for a good friend? Since most of us have more worldly goods than we actually need, why not give a wildlife adoption.
What is a wildlife adoption and how does it work?
There are many wildlife support groups out there that offer wildlife adoptions. Most of the organizations have different packages, some starting as low as $ 10. You choose the amount of money you want to spend and for this amount a donation will be made in the name of the person you want to give the gift to. The recipient then gets, depending on the organization and the package you chose, a certificate of adoption and other information regarding the chosen animal. The money they raise with the adoption will be used to protect the specified animal and it's environment. Some offer the adoption of one specific animal, like the WDCS (Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society), others put it use for the whole selected species, where ever it's needed most.
A few of the organizations I have used in the past are: Defenders of Wildlife, Polar Bears International and WWF
But this is by far not a complete list, just suggestions to start with. Also check with your local organizations.
Not into wildlife? Check out Heifer to support families and farmers in third world countries.
Feel free to add your favorite organization in the comments as an idea pool for others!