Title of Talk: A 27 Year Wildflower Journey: The Making of Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change
November 9, 2022 at 7:00 PM
Watch the recording of the presentation here.
Rob Badger and Nita Winter take you behind the scenes on their 27-year journey photographing wildflowers throughout California and the West. It began in 1992 when they discovered and fell in love with California’s spectacular wildflower blooms in the Mojave Desert’s Antelope Valley California Poppy Preserve. Photographing these beautiful landscapes and individual flowers evolved into their documentary art project, Beauty and the Beast: Wildflowers and Climate Change. Their beautiful multiple award winning coffee table book, co-published with the California Native Plant Society, focuses on California’s amazing plant diversity. It is a companion to their traveling educational exhibit.
Gorgeous scenery isn’t the only thing that makes the “Beauty and the Beast” wildflower photos so special. The photographers show how they create wildflower portraits in the field, lugging 80 pounds of cameras and their “natural light” studio equipment from below sea level in Death Valley National Park to 13,000-foot-high mountain passes.
Rob also shares two innovative field techniques he developed to capture unique floral portraits that go beyond traditional wildflower photography. In his “Contact” series, the luminous flower petals actually touch the lens; in his “Wrapped” series, flowers are gracefully enfolded in black or white fabric to complement their geometric forms.
Internationally acclaimed conservation photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter have been life partners and creative collaborators for more than three decades.
Rob’s environmental images have won multiple awards, including Best in Photojournalism in international competition. He was one of three American photographers chosen to document Russian nature preserves in Siberia. In 1998, he presented a slideshow documenting the impact of mining on our public lands at the National Press Club in Washington DC for the Sierra Club to support the Clinton administration’s efforts to reform the antiquated 1872 Mining Law.
Nita began her photographic career documenting her work fighting wildfires in northern California and later as a National Park Ranger on Alcatraz. In 1986, Nita had her first major exhibit, “The Children of the Tenderloin.” This documentary project launched her career and directed her focus toward creating healthy communities. The series received extensive media coverage and showed her first-hand the power of photographic storytelling. Over the next 17 years, she produced and created portraits for six major public art projects celebrating the Bay Area’s diverse communities.
Their work has been featured in NBC-TV, KQED-TV, Time, Mother Jones, and Sierra magazines, the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. They are the recent recipients of the Sierra Club’s 2020 Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography.
All photos copyright – all rights reserved. Used with permission.