Michael Shainblaum

Michael Shainblum is a landscape, timelapse and aerial photographer based in San Francisco, California. He has been working professionally as a photographer and filmmaker for 11 years since the age of 16. Michael first made a name for himself through his unique creativity and the ability to capture scenes and moments in his distinct style of surreal, visual story telling. A dedication to challenging the boundaries of creativity, as well as a flair for coming up with unique ideas, has since resulted in this dynamic visual artist being commissioned by large clients including Nike, Samsung, Facebook, LG, Apple and Google. You will also be able to find Michael's work published widely by media outlets such as National Geographic, Wired Magazine and The Weather Channel.

3 words to describe Nature?

Majestic. Unpredictable. Therapeutic

3 things Nature taught you?

How to truly appreciate the world we live in and just how much we need to protect it.

It has given me a sense of purpose in my life to be honest, through my photography and my art.

It had also taught me to appreciate the little things in life and to drown out the daily struggles. Laying down for a nap in the Sand Dunes, or enjoying the reflection of a mountain in a lake, these moments have helped me through some tough times.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Just my most recent nature spot I have been too. Each place is special and I feel like my most recent trips are the ones I have fresh memories about capturing.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

At home, I grew up by the ocean and I do not think I could live far from it.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Adventurous, nothing like a good hike through the forest.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Conflicted, so much powerful, yet devastating beauty.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

I have been shooting sunrise for over a week now here during winter in Utah and it has been bone chillingly cold. Yet every time I wake up and get to witness that beautiful morning light, it is worth it. I suppose it makes me feel fulfilled.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited, I absolutely love capturing and witnessing lightning strikes.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like hopefully the timelapse camera I have set up is not going to blow over :P

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean just based on how I grew up, but I love capturing everything. The desert is my favorite at the moment, with all the incredible shapes, colors and textures.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10, I have dedicated my life now to capturing the beauty of nature and I would not have it any other way.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Funny enough I was never fully able to appreciate nature as a kid. I mean I went to the park and to the beach. But camping and hiking came a bit later on in my life during college. My family never had the ability to travel and the outdoors was never something that interested them. I found my appreciation of being outdoors through photography and I am so appreciative of that.


Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Burkard works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.

Layered by outdoor, travel, adventure, surf, and lifestyle subjects, Burkard is known for  images that are punctuated by untamed, energized landscapes and peak moments of adventure. He has accumulated an audience of over one million followers to become a globally recognized social influencer.

Burkard is often central in synthesizing the creative projects he is involved in, across stakeholders. His holistic and visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work on global, prominent campaigns with Fortune 500 clients, appear as a TED speaker, develop specialty product lines, teach national and international photography workshops and publish a collection of books, including a children’s book. Along with his team, Burkard is based out of his full-scale production studio and art gallery near his hometown in Central Coast California.

At the age of 30, Burkard has established himself as a global presence and influencer, accomplishing a prolific portfolio, connecting people from around the world and producing some of the most recognized creative work of our time.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Vast. Wild.

3 things Nature taught you?

Patience

Freedom

Joy

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Yosemite

Highlands of Iceland

Pacific Ocean

I owe a lot to each of these places.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Excited

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Disbelief. . . I cant even believe they are real. Did a trip flying around the volcanos in the Aleutian Chain. Still think I'm coming down from that experience..

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Excited, most of my favorite moments of my life have occured in that 30 minute window before and after sunset!

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Relaxed. Time for a good book.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

I don’t enjoy wind. It’s the most jarring of the elements. I'm more tired after being outside in the wind all day then if it was raining, sunny, or snowing.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

The ocean will always be where I am most comfortable. I grew up in a small beach town on the California coast more known for it's clam chowder then waves but I spent my whole childhood in the ocean. It will always be an important part of my life.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9. Only thing above is my family.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I was lucky enough to grow up on the central coast of California which lends itself to a life lived outdoors. My first memory of being outdoors is for sure days spent on the beach with my family in Pismo. That’s where my fascination with the ocean began and why I started trekking up and down the coast in search of waves, which eventually led to searching along coastlines around the world!. I remember my mom paddling me out on a boogie board pushing me off into the water and saying the ocean is your friend. I was always scared but I loved the beach.


Michele Benoy-Westmorland

MICHELE BENOY-WESTMORLAND is a freelance photographer represented by Getty, Corbis, and other major agencies. She is a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and The Explorers Club. In 2001 she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the NANPA Fellows Award. She has won several awards, including the Environmental Photography Invitational, Photo District News, and the PNG Underwater Photo Competition. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Outdoor Photographer, Scuba Diving, and many other conservation, outdoor, and underwater magazines. She is currently directing her first documentary “Headhunt Revisited”, the story of Caroline Mytinger, an American portrait painter best known for her paintings of indigenous people in the South Seas during the late 1920s.

3 words to describe Nature?

Awakening, spiritual, renewing

3 things Nature taught you?

Humbleness, respect, patience

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea; Cape Nelson, Papua New Guinea; the mountains & forests of the Pacific Northwest

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

You now are asking the right person!  Peaceful, joyful and sometimes sadness in respect to the condition of our ocean environment

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

I feel much the same about the forests as I do the oceans.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Awe, amazement, admiration

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Joyful, thankful, restful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Amazement, wonderment, sometime surprised with a touch of fear

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel?

Since I lived in Miami during Hurricane Andrew, howling winds always make me feel a little stressed and careful about being outdoors.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Spending time camping in beautiful forests with my family