the artist :

michael medina's photographic inspiration comes from time spent in nature, alone and quiet, observing. his work is deeply personal, expressive, shows an intimate understanding of nature, and conveys profound emotions. as a wildlife biologist, he has explored some of the most pristine forests, streams, and grasslands in the pacific northwest, and has experienced the heartache of working in some of the most devastated habitats on the planet. from all this comes photography dedicated to the preservation of these small gems of pristine wilderness. photos that inspire and bring to you a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us; that there is still hope and that each of us can make a difference in our own way.

here he presents to you his vision of what we should preserve for our children.

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i got into photography when i started working as a wildlife biologist. for more than 70 mornings per year, for 5 years, i was up at 3:30am hiking off-trail through old-growth forests here in the pacific northwest - looking for marbled murrelets. some time was spent walking streams. i've probably walked close to 100 miles in steams, other projects had me walking hundreds of miles in the grasslands of eastern oregon with washington ground squirrels.
these experiences gave me the knowledge and inspiration of nature, i saw things every day that i had never seen in photographs. i wanted to share these things with you so i started carrying my camera with me.


conservation photography :

conservation photography is a distinct genre of photography where images are created for the purpose of conserving unique natural and/or cultural resources and to further conservation of these resources. what differentiates a conservation photographer from other photographers: they must posess the empathy, scientific understanding, and sense of urgency necessary to create awe-inspiring images that move people to take action - to insure these things persists. they must also display an outstanding ethical standard in the capture, manipulation, and captioning of their photos.

you can read more about my photographic processes below


the signature chop :

signature chop


you will find a chinese signature 'chop' on the lower right hand matboard of my images with the name 'huang' carved into it.

'huang' was my grandfather's surname before escaping communist china. he changed it to medina when he fled to the philippines.

in chinese painting, writing, and poetry this seal serves as a mark of the artist, is a symbol of authority, and is a necessary element of the work; it contributes to the beauty of the complete work.

i have chosen to place it on my photographs for these very reasons


methods:

unfortunately, i have to start out by saying something about digital manipulation. seems i have to keep answering for everyone else's lack of discretion in that department.

i make the greatest effort to show you an honest rendition of what i saw or what the film or sensor captured (sometimes these things don't match because of the nature of slide film and light). there is no benefit to me to digitally 'manipulate' my images. i want to show you what i saw as i saw it, not an editorialized version of nature. my photos have to be honest, i'm showcasing shrinking habitats with the intent of preservation.
no content is added or removed and i usually only make global adjustments to the image (such as color cast or contrast). despite this i often spend hours or days working on an image because there is can be huge differences between what the slide looks like and how it arrives in the computer after a scan. if anyone ever has any concerns about this, you are welcome to come look at my originals.

i use both film and digital

i have used a 35mm nikon f3, a large format toyo 4 x 5, a medium format pentax 67, and a Nikon DSLR.