Ian Shive on Nature Conservancy Magazine Cover

Ian Shive’s photograph shot on assignment while doing double-duty for The Nature Conservancy appears on the cover of Autumn 2011 edition of the magazine. Ian shot two assignments for this issue, the cover story on Connecting Kids to Nature as well as a large story on individuals whose voice have affected the important land areas around them in Outside Voices. The magazine story takes on an interactive role with not only photographs of individuals in Hawaii, Kentucky, Tennessee, California and New York, all shot by Ian, but also intimate moments and stories captured on video and viewable on the interactive iPad App. I encourage you to download this free app and check out this beautiful magazine and the emergence of conservation stories in the interactive environment. You can also listen to an interview with Ian on The Nature Conservancy’s Mark Godfrey Selects.


Ian Shive wins Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography

I am proud and humbled to announce that the Sierra Club’s highest photography honor has been awarded to me, the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography.This award honors an individual who has made superlative use of still photography to further a conservation cause.

It is humbling to be awarded anything that stems from such a luminary as Adams, but also by those who have been awarded this before me, photographers whose images sat as books on my shelves and hung on my walls as a teenager serving subconsciously perhaps as glints of the experiences I would one day seek out myself. The true reward might be to know that my images inspire the same one day.

The official award will be given out in San Francisco in late September at a ceremony hosted by Sierra. An award like this is not achieved alone, though. I want to thank all of you for your endless support, encouragement, assignments and at times, patience, as I tinkered with new technologies and experimental ways to reach new audiences. To receive this now is amazing. It feels like such an early stage of my career with so much more in front of me. I can’t wait to share that with you, too.

Without all of you, no goal would be attainable. We must all remember to work together the best we can and give all we have to this incredibly beautiful, wondrous place we call home. Earth.

Living off the Land, Hawaii

It’s been awhile since I wrote a personal blog entry. Admittedly, life has caught up. I’ve been promoting books and tv shows and trying to get land protected while squeezing in cross-country assignments for clients I enjoy working for and whose work I enjoy doing. In the midst of it all, the blog disappeared. But today, it stages a strong comeback. At least for me.

I’m on the Island of Hawaii (the big island) wrapping up a multi-state assignment. I padded the trip by a few days and managed to squeeze out a day in one of my favorite places in the country, the Waipio Valley. A lush, tropical valley on an otherwise barren, black lava-rock island, the Waipio is a sacred place, one of the top sacred places in all of the Hawaiian Islands. As an almost immediate selling point, almost everything you find in the valley is edible. You can’t imagine the scent that precedes the taste; pomelos, tangerines, avocados, star fruit, liliquoi, coffee, bananas and on and on. For each of those, there are a half dozen various species, each with their own unique flavor. What you can’t eat, falls to the floor and ferments, casting a scent reminiscent of a Napa wine cellar, though it often competes with the breeze of the nearby salty blue, Pacific Ocean.

All of that aside, the valley is an anomaly. It was once the place where King Kamehameha ruled over the Hawaiian Islands and is still considered an important place, culturally, with many of the jungle-laden cliffs adorned with more than just foliage and waterfalls but also the tombs of countless Hawaiian princesses. Against that backdrop is also the utter isolation and wild that comes with this far-removed place – only one road in and out and it is only passable with true 4×4 vehicles and even then, the numerous rivers you must cross just to get a mile or two may flood with little warning, stranding you on one side or the other.

Alas, once in, you may meet the crux of my story, Coconut Christopher. Once a Californian, Christopher decided – at an early age – to live a wild life in the Waipio. In 2002, he forgave the luxuries of modernity and went raw. Literally. A diet of only what he could harvest or seed in this lush valley. If picking his own food wasn’t enough, avoiding cooking it was detrimental to his philosophy. Today I met him for the first time, quite wild-eyed and full of charisma. He was intriguing, not just from his extensive knowledge of the flora around us, of which his gaze on a ripe fruit would cause a tangent in conversation, but also because this young man chose a life of  raw, wild living over one of technological-2011 prowess. At one point he recalled being cutting edge with one of the first motorola flip phones. Today he marvels at cross-pollination of species to bring out the vibrancy of flavor in a banana.

I didn’t have enough time to scratch the surface of this complicated jungle fixture but I was assured within moments that he’d be here for awhile and I might come back to catch up more. If he isn’t here, he’s probably on a multi-week sojourn to the farthest depths of the forest where he maintains his many “gardens” fruit, not-so-forbidden. In my only moment of possible photography, he offered me and my companions freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. Essentially, sugar water. Lacking cups in the rain forest, he quickly procured his saw and fashioned cups from fallen bamboo. Within moments, we were modernized, jungle-style.

I couldn’t think of something more liberating than his life.  Imagine knowing you could walk for 2-weeks without a cell-phone or even a single ounce of food in a backpack. Would you feel safe? Secure? Coconut Christopher did. He shows that with knowledge, comes power and that knowledge has become a rarity of who we are. Without knowing where we come from, namely the land, how can we ever hope to understand who we are? I hope one day, we can all walk together, not for weeks, but forever into the unknown with nothing.

Wild Life Starts Production

WILD LIFE: A New Generation of Wild
Leading young actors & award-winning nature photographer unite to bring the amazing experience of travel, nature, and the great outdoors to a new generation.

Los Angeles, CA: Actors James Lafferty (One Tree Hill), Stephen Colletti (One Tree Hill, Laguna Beach) and Stuart Lafferty (Death Sentence, One Tree Hill), will team up with Award- Winning Nature Photographer and Author Ian Shive, for a special unscripted pilot exploring some of the America’s wildest places.

A five-minute preview will be unveiled on GenerationWild.tv on Monday, April 18th. Behind-the- Scenes photos, journal entries from the field, and a 30-second sneak preview will go live on the site April 1, 2011.

The production is a not-for-profit initiative and will be produced by the Los Angeles based company Wild Collective, LLC.

About Wild Collective: Wild Collective is a Los Angeles-based production company. Past projects include creating dynamic content for the Dallas Cowboys, Apple Computers, PBS, Insight Editions and Current TV. For more information visit WildCollective.com

Click here to download a PDF of the press release

The National Parks: Our American Landscape Paperback Edition

Ian Shive is proud to announce a new version of his popular photography book, The National Parks: Our American Landscape, as a paperback edition, on shelves March 2011. This new edition will be available at a new easy to carry size and a more affordable price point, just $24.95, and feature over 40 new images from America’s National Parks and Ian’s continued journey since the original publication of the hardcover edition.

To purchase your copy in advance, click here and buy from Amazon at over 30% discount!

To read and download the full press release as a PDF, click here