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AWARDS

Sierra Club's Awards Antelope Valley Poppy  Reserve by Rob Badger

Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography 

Rob Badger and Nita Winter received the
Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography: Which honors superlative photography that has been used to further conservation causes. 

 The Sierra Club recently honored the couple with the 2020 Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography. It’s the latest of several awards Rob and Nita have received in response to their “Beauty and the Beast” photography book (co-published by WinterBadger Press and the California Native Plant Society), and in recognition of Rob’s 40 years of conservation photography.

We are not just looking for pretty pictures,” the Sierra Club nominating committee shared with Rob and Nita. “We are looking for photographers who use their work to help further a conservation cause. We were all struck by the stunning photos and the combination of art and activism that was reflected in the book."

This year’s awards presentation will recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment. Join us and be inspired by the incredible individuals and groups who are affecting change around the country and across the world. We look forward to celebrating their persistence, fresh thinking, and partnership in a time where there is so much adversity. These changemakers showcase how everyone has the power to make a difference!

Use #SierraAwards2020 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to congratulate our award winners! 

Photo: “Field of wildflowers in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve with snow on the San Gabriel Mountains” courtesy of 2020 Ansel Adams Award winners Rob Badger and Nita Winter 

BOOK AWARDS

10 book award medals for Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change

11 more medals: 3 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze medals and an honorable mention. Learn about them all here

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Awards - Design and Artistic Merit Category

September 1, 2020 - NOBA Winners Announced.

Beauty and the Beast is the winner of the Design and Artistic Merit Award.

Review: "The first part of this large format book is entitled, "The Gift of Beauty." It's referring to wildflowers, of course, but it is also an apt characterization of the book itself. It is truly a gift, a gift of artistic beauty that would grace anyone's home. From wide view photographs of vast fields of color to intricate close-ups of individual flower species, it is a book of wonder and a celebratory feast for the eyes. Complementing the photographic artistry are 18 essays which help deliver a message of what has been - and will be - lost in the natural world if global warming continues unchecked."

Learn more about the other 11 awards.

BOOK REVIEWS:

Fremontia, CNPS Journal

Book Review of Beauty and the Beast in CNPS's Fremontia journal

Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change 

by Rob Badger and Nita Winter

Review by Matt Ritter and Dena Paolilli

If you aren’t already awed by California’s wildflowers, you will be after looking through Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change, by Rob Badger and Nita Winter. This spectacular book is packed with hundreds of gorgeous photographs, 18 inspiring essays, a glossary, a map of California’s ecological regions, and an index to both plants and places. As Dan Gluesenkamp, former executive director of the California Native Plant Society, points out in the first of three introductions, California has more native plants than any other state, comprising a remarkable diversity that Badger and Winter beautifully capture in their captivating photos. 

When first paging through this large, coffee-table format book, you’ll be drawn in by the photographs, yet it’s the essays from prominent botanists and other scientists, nature writers, environmental leaders, and educators that will hold your attention. In Badger’s introduction to the project, he invites each of us to join him and Winter on their mission to document and preserve California’s rich botanical diversity. They asked the authors to engage a wide audience through science and inspiring human stories, and they have achieved just that. 

The essays are organized in three sections: “The Gift of Beauty,” “The Human Connection,” and “Ensuring the Future.” Topics range from educating the reader about botanical wonders to relating personal stories and reflections, all aimed at inspiring action toward conserving and sustaining California’s floristic treasures.

Beginning in “The Gift of Beauty,” Susan Tweit writes evocatively about California desert ecosystems, unlocking a deeper understanding of this special landscape. In “The Human Connection,” Robin Wall Kimmerer and Gordon Leppig write  about the importance of a relationship to the land. Kimmerer expands on how this connection relates to the history of naming plants, from Indigenous people to Linnaeus. Wendy Tokuda and Amber Pairis, in “Ensuring the Future,” offer personal anecdotes for action in a time of climate change. Tokuda shares her firsthand experience with habitat restoration, following her retirement from her job as a TV news anchor, while Pairis offers practical advice on how to stay positive while brainstorming creative solutions to climate change with children. 

Complementing these inspirational essays are the book’s striking photos, from close-up images of iconic flora to picturesque vistas of broad landscapes. Badger and Winter take particular care with their photos, using only natural light and capturing all the subjects in their natural habitats. Few photographers have done a better job of documenting our state’s rich flora. The “Behind the Scenes” section, one of the most interesting in the book, reveals their methods. 

It’s easy to see why Beauty and the Beast and the talented conservation photographers behind it have won so many awards, including the Sierra Club's 2020 Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography. It’s a significant and captivating book. There’s little doubt that the essays and enchanting photos will inspire manyreaders to “become a voice for wildflowers.”

—Matt Ritter and Dena Paolilli, Cal Poly University Botany Dept., San Luis Obispo, CA

Read more reviews.

PUBLICATIONS/ARTICLES 

Press Democrat Newspaper logo

North Bay photographers’ new book captures diversity of native flowers, encourages conservation

Field of poppies and wildflowers after wildfire at Pepperwood Preserve.

 

MEG MCCONAHEY  THE PRESS DEMOCRAT   January 15, 2021

It was just another shoot for nature photographer Rob Badger as he headed down to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve back in 1992. But when he arrived at the state reserve in northern Los Angeles County, he was gobsmacked by the extravagance of its wildflowers — which is saying something for a veteran shooter accustomed to training his lenses on the earth’s wonders.

The reserve was experiencing a super bloom, when above-average rainfall in areas of desert and chaparral germinate seeds that may have been lying dormant for years in the soil. The result is a riot of wildflowers.

That night, Badger called his life partner, fellow photographer Nita Winter, and gushed about the spectacle he had just witnessed.

“I told her that I had never seen such an expanse of these glowing California poppies, going off into the distance in waves. The wind was blowing them so you could see these waves of color,” he recalled. “It was an amazing sight.”

Badger was so bewitched that he scurried home to Marin County to fetch Nita and bring her back to the poppy reserve to share the wildflower show while it was still blazing. With wildflowers, the bloom can vanish quickly with sudden heat or drying wind.

The handful of days they spent capturing the vision on film ignited a quest to learn more. In the last 28 years they have traveled up and down the state with their camera equipment, documenting native wildflowers in their many forms on public lands, including at Santa Rosa’s Pepperwood Preserve. They’ve documented more than 400 different wildflowers....Read more.

Clark Now online alumni magazine

Nita Winter’s wildflower photography is a blooming success

Alumna’s coffee table book earns recognition from the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award   By Aviva Luttrell           December 18, 2020

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