The Art of Conservation

Photography is conservation. It reminds. Reveals. Inspires. It brings our wild places home to each of us, reminding us of our passions, our commitment to protect these places for generations to come. 

As part of the Conservancy’s feature on art and nature, we extend our sincere thanks to our team of volunteer photographers. In Oregon we’re grateful for the support of professional photographers who regularly crisscross the state (via car, canoe or even helicopter) to capture images of the places — and people — we care about. 

What inspires them? Read on and find out. And watch a slideshow to see how they bring Oregon’s landscape to life.

Michael Headshot

Michael Durham

It’s hard to appreciate, much less preserve, what we don’t see. Throughout my career, I’ve used the camera to observe and record moments that are beyond most human vision. Two quotes in particular come to mind:

“The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we’ll start thinking of doing something about it.” – Jim Fowler

“The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.” - Paul R Ehrlich

Bruce Headshot

Bruce MacGregor

I’ve passionately pursued a unique mission in nature photography: to visualize people in relation to natural landscapes. Such relationships are many and complex: we work in landscapes, we play in landscapes, and we even work for the preservation of landscapes we love. The challenge for me has always been to create photographs that portray these relationships from a human scale and a human perspective. A perfect photograph for me is the one in which the viewer sees himself, or herself, as part of landscape they care deeply about.

Rick Headshot

Rick McEwan

Having my photographs support The Nature Conservancy's mission has given my work, as a photographer and artist, deeper meaning. Working within the framework of the Oregon preserves, returning time and time again to the same locations, I have strived to capture images that reveal a sense of each place. It is my hope that through my photographs, an emotional and aesthetic experience is felt by others, and they are moved to help preserve and restore, not exploit, nature.  

Larry Headshot

Larry N. Olson

I make “intimate landscapes.” While earning a degree in biology, I fell in love with photographing nature. For forty years, my life has revolved around cameras and wilderness. During this time I have used my camera to make a plea for wild areas. My hope is that others will fall in love with and defend the natural world as a result of seeing my images. 


Alan Headshot

Alan D. St. John

I had a magical childhood on a Willamette Valley farm, investigating woodlands, streams and ponds. That immersion in the natural world nurtured a desire to share my discoveries via prose and the visual arts. In 1965, I tossed some camera gear into my VW van and launched a lifelong exploration of the American West. Noting that aesthetics can inspire environmental conservation, I strove to touch the human heart through photographs of nature’s stunning beauty and amazing diversity.   

Protect What You Love

Forests, Rivers, Lakes, Mountains and the Ocean—they're what make Oregon great. 

Ashland Watershed


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