Attention Photographers Attending VISA pour l'image 2014:
Picture editors from National Geographic will be reviewing portfolios in Perpignan at the Palais de Congres. Dennis Dimick and Todd James will be on the 7th floor Wednesday (9/3) and Thursday (9/4) from 1330 to 1630 and Friday (9/5) from 1300-1500.
If you wish to make a 10-minute appointment, please contact Jake Rutherford, who is handling all scheduling. He can be found here on Facebook or on Twitter @jakerrutherford .
Tracy, California: On the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, June 2014. Groundwater drilling has increased in California's Central Valley to keep fields green during drought. Photo by Dennis Dimick
As surface water supplies in drought-prone regions disappear, we pump water from underground aquifers to make up the shortfall. Groundwater serves as our last defense against water scarcity, but this supply is also rapidly shrinking in several regions: California's Central Valley, the Colorado River Basin, the U.S. Great Plains, northern India, China's North Plain and the Middle East.
I write about this at National Geographic this week. Please take a look.
Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada Range, Nevada and California, June 23, 2014. Photo by Dennis Dimick
While flying from Portland to Los Angeles early this summer, I happened to be sitting by a window with a clear view of Lake Tahoe from the east looking west into California. Only having the camera in my iPhone 5s handy, I imagined what might I do that captures this blue jewel in a way that does dignity to the scene before me.
I held the phone to the window, not moving it for the five minutes or so that it took for the plane to fly from right to left – North to South – across the scene. As the plane moved I took a picture about every 15 seconds.
A couple of weeks later, I assembled 20 images from the sequence into a panoramic image using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw, and the Image Merge and Perspective Correction tools in Photoshop CC. In the picture, Nevada state capital Carson City can be seen in the right foreground and Washoe Lake is in far right foreground..
It's amazing to think how far we have come since the days of film photography, and how a tiny phone combined with new software tools can now create images we could only dream of imagining a few years ago.
Walker Lake, Nevada, historically fed by runoff from the Sierra Nevada. Photo by Dennis Dimick
My piece on drought in California and the Western United States was published Tuesday July 15 at National Geographic News. "Drought a Devastating Game-Changer."
"If droughts were hurricanes, people might pay more attention to them. Droughts can creep up on us with their prolonged absence of rain, and their effects often are seen as not much more than cracked ground in dry lake bottoms. Devastating storms can be sudden and meteorologically exciting, and they make great television. Droughts are deliberate—a relatively slow evolution in which it can be difficult to capture the devastation in any one moment..." more here.
Columbia River Gorge Sunrise, 5:48 a.m., June 23, 2014. Photo by Dennis Dimick
On a trip this past week to California and Oregon, I was unexpectedly taken to Portland. I grew up on a small farm (now underneath an Interstate highway) just south of this beautiful city. Due to repeated flight cancellations by United Airlines from Medford to San Francisco the day before, I was eventually routed on a 5 a.m. Monday flight on Alaska Airlines through Portland.
Lucky for me. As we were approaching Portland just after sunrise Monday the 23rd, the wing of the high-wing commuter craft lifted to reveal this memorable scene for about 10 seconds before we turned away. I happened to have a small travel camera (Canon Powershot G1x) in hand, it was a wonderful moment.
The Columbia River slices through the Cascade Mountain range here. We are looking east towards Hood River and Bonneville Dam, and the sharp rock just to the left of the river is Beacon Rock. It is easy to see why this spectacular place is a national scenic area. Washington State is on the left, Oregon on the right. I have driven through the Columbia Gorge untold times from Portland to Pendleton and Walla Walla where in the 1970s I worked as a newspaper photographer. As a child my mother used to watch the Native Americans fish for salmon at the now drowned Celilo Falls further to the east at The Dalles.
In 2002 a bronze sculpture by Decker Studios showing the north and south faces of the Columbia River Gorge was installed at the 17th Street entrance to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. Two 16-foot bronze models of the river's shores sit atop granite walls across from each other, flanking the entrance to the place I have worked for nearly 34 years. It is nice to know I am going home, so to speak, each day as I enter.