IMPACT Photo Exhibition Launches

Welcome to the new IMPACT online exhibition, a project exploring the internet as a venue for insightful photographic work. In an effort to remind viewers of the important role photographers play around the world, an array of imagemakers were invited to share galleries on their blogs (like this one) that comprise 12 images representing an experience when they had an impact on or were impacted. By clicking on the links below the IMPACT logo, you can move through the exhibition, viewing other galleries by different photographers. You can also click the IMPACT logo to be taken to a post on the liveBooks RESOLVE Blog where you can see an index of all participating photographers. We hope that by linking different photographic visions of our first topic, “Outside Looking In,” we can provide a multifaceted view of the topic as well as the IMPACT individuals can have on the world around us.

Ian Shive Photography
Looking back on 2009, it is an obvious fact that my life was consumed with the release of my first book on the American National Parks. I introduced hundreds of new images of our parks through this book and I hoped for two things; that I wasn’t laughed out of the book stores and if I made past that hurdle, that I would have an impact on the way American’s perceive our wild lands. I didn’t just focus on the expected locations such as Old Faithful or  the Grand Canyon, but many of the often overlooked places and details that truly round out the exceptional beauty our parks have become. However I learned that hoping for an impact and actually experiencing one is something a young photographer could not anticipate. As the book reached shelves around the country, emails began to come in via my website. Strangers wrote to me, some were young students, others were avid park visitors, while others were random strangers who happened upon the volume while enjoying a coffee in a book store. Amazingly those people reached out to me sharing their own experiences and their thoughts of a renewed sense of inspiration and hope for the future of our beloved places. While those were undoubtedly a pleasant surprise, what I could never have anticipated was an invite to speak in Washington D.C. at the United States Capitol. On a rainy November night, I found myself before members of Congress and the Director of the National Parks as well as many other leaders, sharing my photos and hopefully, having an impact on their ideas of American wilderness. While this chapter is behind me, I’ve since continued my journey through our parks as well as discovering national parks in other countries who have followed our example. Below are a few images from the book and my continued journey.

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Wilderness Diplomacy

Can America’s wilderness be a stepping stone to other key diplomatic solutions around the world? This is the question I asked myself when I was recently presented with some images of my new book, The National Parks: Our American Landscape, as it was presented to college students in the United Arab Emirates. Their response was stunning as they turned  page after page awe struck at the beauty held within the borders of the United States. To my surprise, many had no idea of our national parks or of the great geography of wilderness that connects our country together.  They now saw the USA with new eyes and perhaps, signifying the beginning of a unique approach to how we could find common ground with different cultures by sharing these wonders with them and learning about their own. Could the wild lands be a common ground we all share and admire? Could this common ground open a dialogue with people to find ways to work together in an effort to find peace? I believe so and look forward to working as an environmental diplomat, bridging the chasm between all of our worlds.