My preferred seating location when traveling by air is by the window in case something interesting passes below. While traveling to Columbus, Ohio in November 2015 for a visit to Ohio University in Athens, this scene passed by as we approached the Columbus airport.
While it is understandable that local taxing authorities may seek to maximize revenue by packing as many houses as possible into the available space, I am struck by this tight arrangement of houses with negligible open space as part of the plan. Google reveals the main street as Sparrow Hill Drive.
Suffice to say in a world overwhelmed by media, still images retain an amazing power to distill and convey the essence of the human experience, and as seen in this picture above, how we have transformed the planet in our expanding journey across its face.
Further to this theme of planet transformation, I witnessed the scene below in March of 2015. This is Sun City, Arizona where we have colonized a very dry place on a very large scale, and survival here requires imported water from the Colorado River and from depleting aquifers.
The design and impact of our earthly arrangements can often be seen most dramatically from above.
My daughter Sofia Dimick’s picture shows me at National Geographic in Washington DC as we retrieved the June 2007 NGM cover that had graced my office for years.
This “Big Thaw” cover picture of melting Greenland ice by James Balog helped launch his Extreme Ice Survey at Earth Vision Institute and was one of several projects we created together to raise awareness of climate change and its impacts.
Some earlier major projects included global warming, world freshwater, and world population. A National Geographic PROOF blog post of mine from December 2013 details many environmental stories produced since 1996 in team with photographer Peter Essick. A recent PROOF post highlights a favorite picture of mine by Jim Richardson of two farmers facing a looming Great Plains storm.
It's been an awesome and humbling experience collaborating with so many of you to document and report on the great environmental issues of our time. Thank you for your amazing contributions and passion, none of this would have occurred without you.
Now it is time to go. Not to "retire," but time for new adventures. 🌎
(This is an expansion and revision of an original posting at my Instagram account from December 18, 2015.)
"...We lavish attention on our food, we want to know where it came from, who grew it, and whether it is “conventional” or “organic.” But we give hardly a passing thought to the ground our food grew in...."
"Try to imagine how life would change if your water supply suddenly vanished."
In 1967 photographer Tor Eigeland visited the marshes of southern Iraq. The resulting photographs of this now vanished landscape and way of life have been mostly unseen until now. I write about his pictures and visit for National Geographic Proof. Eigeland's pictures and recollections of the trip have been published in a new book called "When All the Lands Were Sea."
The Missouri Photo Workshop is a week-long educational immersion in techniques of documentary photography, in-depth narrative story-telling with a camera. MPW has been documenting small-town America for more than six decades, and you can find out more about this oldest of photographic workshops here. We will be in Perryville, Missouri the week of September 20-27, 2015.
Pictures from a late July 2015 trip to Iceland and Greenland. I was faculty on a National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions trip "Along the Viking Trail" from Reykjavik to the west coast of Greenland. Amazing history of the Viking settlements in southern Greenland. The whole set is here.