national geographic

BBC Travel Webby Award Nomination by Reuben Hernandez

As a BBC Travel contributor, we have been nominated for a Webby Award in the Video Series & Channels, the Travel & Lifestyle category! I’m happy and proud to share this honor with the rest of the team and contributors at BBC Travel.

This arrived in my inbox from BBC Travel today, “This nomination isn’t our nomination, it’s a nomination for every single freelance videographer, editor and writer and the hours you put in to your videos for us. It’s an acknowledgement of the extra mile you go to for us, and the consistent quality of your journalistic eye and expertise in your field. It’s a nomination for the untold stories you’ve uncovered, the voices that wouldn’t otherwise be heard, and the amazing dinner party stories you’ve provided every single one of our viewers. It’s a nomination for those beautiful ‘oh wow, look at that!’ moments. So thank you, so much, this wouldn’t have been possible without you. 

Over the past year we’ve covered 100 destinations in 77 countries, from Antarctica to India, telling historical, foodie, crafty, beautiful stories, and that barely scratches the surface. And we want to keep going and continue to inspire travellers to fall in love with the world – every day.

 We need your help though. To win (and we’re up against some pretty serious competition) we need votes. It only takes two minutes, and it means a huge amount to us. Just follow the link here, and make sure to share it with your friends, family and colleagues, as every single vote counts.”

by Katherine Yaksich

5 of 5 of the #blackandwhitechallenge 
 Nearly 5 years ago, I quit my job and relocated to NY from CA with hopes of becoming a photographer and filmmaker. Back then, the Holy Grail would have been to land an assignment for National Geographic, but I’ve since learned that I don’t necessarily need to shoot for Nat Geo to do meaningful work and tell powerful stories. In fact, one of my favorite photographers told me that he actually turned down his first assignment for Nat Geo. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even entirely sure if I could handle the pressure of such an assignment, and the thought of shooting 40,000 - 60,000 images for a single assignment is a bit overwhelming… 
 This year I had the incredible experience of being a photographer in residence onboard an expedition ship in the Arctic. I absolutely loved it because I got to explore such a beautiful and remote part of our planet doing what I love, and it was a meaningful and transformative experience because it helped me understand our fragile world a bit better and the importance of safeguarding the future of our earth. 
 I’m beyond excited to embark on the ship again in February for a month long residency in Antarctica, especially since Antarctica has been on my bucket list ever since I did a report on it in 4th grade. It is also my last and final continent to visit. 
 What kind of experiences transform and bring meaning to your life? 
 I nominate @andrewshepherd for the black and white challenge. I love working with Andrew not only because he is an overall wonderful human, but because his work is always unexpected, beautiful, and solid. 
 #thisarcticlife #neverstopexploring #notgeo

5 of 5 of the #blackandwhitechallenge

Nearly 5 years ago, I quit my job and relocated to NY from CA with hopes of becoming a photographer and filmmaker. Back then, the Holy Grail would have been to land an assignment for National Geographic, but I’ve since learned that I don’t necessarily need to shoot for Nat Geo to do meaningful work and tell powerful stories. In fact, one of my favorite photographers told me that he actually turned down his first assignment for Nat Geo. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even entirely sure if I could handle the pressure of such an assignment, and the thought of shooting 40,000 - 60,000 images for a single assignment is a bit overwhelming…

This year I had the incredible experience of being a photographer in residence onboard an expedition ship in the Arctic. I absolutely loved it because I got to explore such a beautiful and remote part of our planet doing what I love, and it was a meaningful and transformative experience because it helped me understand our fragile world a bit better and the importance of safeguarding the future of our earth.

I’m beyond excited to embark on the ship again in February for a month long residency in Antarctica, especially since Antarctica has been on my bucket list ever since I did a report on it in 4th grade. It is also my last and final continent to visit.

What kind of experiences transform and bring meaning to your life?

I nominate @andrewshepherd for the black and white challenge. I love working with Andrew not only because he is an overall wonderful human, but because his work is always unexpected, beautiful, and solid.

#thisarcticlife #neverstopexploring #notgeo

by Katherine Yaksich

This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to observe and photograph polar bears in the Arctic for my first time. The mother and cub pictured here was actually my first polar bear sighting, and I remember this moment quite vividly and will probably never forget it. Seeing polar bears in the wild transformed me, and made me truly realize how fragile our environment is. 
 I want to share some text that was posted on the @natgeo Instagram feed yesterday: 
 “Polar bears have come to represent the Arctic ecosystem and we look to them as an indicator of the health of the polar region they roam. Due to human-caused climate change, the Arctic is currently experiencing the warmest air temperatures in four centuries, and sea ice losses in the summer of 2012 broke all previous records. Polar bears are feeling the pressure; their populations are declining in Churchill, Manitoba in direct correlation with the loss of sea ice. The sea ice freezes later each fall and melts earlier each spring which means less time for hunting on sea ice. We must act today to change our carbon-emitting habits. It is estimated that if current climate trends are correct, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2050. All the creatures from the top of the food chain to the bottom who are specially adapted to life on ice depend on humans to act now to lessen their carbon emissions that have caused these changes. What daily decisions are you making to reduce your carbon footprint?” 
 #thisarcticlife #saveourseaice 

This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to observe and photograph polar bears in the Arctic for my first time. The mother and cub pictured here was actually my first polar bear sighting, and I remember this moment quite vividly and will probably never forget it. Seeing polar bears in the wild transformed me, and made me truly realize how fragile our environment is.

I want to share some text that was posted on the @natgeo Instagram feed yesterday:

“Polar bears have come to represent the Arctic ecosystem and we look to them as an indicator of the health of the polar region they roam. Due to human-caused climate change, the Arctic is currently experiencing the warmest air temperatures in four centuries, and sea ice losses in the summer of 2012 broke all previous records. Polar bears are feeling the pressure; their populations are declining in Churchill, Manitoba in direct correlation with the loss of sea ice. The sea ice freezes later each fall and melts earlier each spring which means less time for hunting on sea ice. We must act today to change our carbon-emitting habits. It is estimated that if current climate trends are correct, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2050. All the creatures from the top of the food chain to the bottom who are specially adapted to life on ice depend on humans to act now to lessen their carbon emissions that have caused these changes. What daily decisions are you making to reduce your carbon footprint?”

#thisarcticlife #saveourseaice 

by Katherine Yaksich

 Arctic Self Portrait 
   An Arctic self portrait taken less than 600 miles from the North Pole, while we search for polar bears near the pack ice.   Thanks for joining me on this wild adventure. It’s difficult to describe my experience in the Arctic as a photographer in residence, but I definitely have a greater appreciation for our planet. I’ve learned a tremendous amount and had the wonderful opportunity to be part of a gracious, knowledgable, and talented expedition team. I’m excited to be back on the ship headed to Antarctica next February, which would mark my 7th and final continent. Antarctica has actually been on my bucket list ever since I did a school report on it in third grade.    
   I will leave you with this quote by Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photographer and biologist, that truly resonated with me:   
   “I want to bring back images of this remote, raw, unforgiving, beautiful, and yet extremely fragile world to you. I want you to care about these regions as much as I do, and I hope to inspire you to help avert the warming trend that is changing them quickly and irreversibly.”     
   Live Adventurously,  Reuben

 Arctic Self Portrait

An Arctic self portrait taken less than 600 miles from the North Pole, while we search for polar bears near the pack ice. 

Thanks for joining me on this wild adventure. It’s difficult to describe my experience in the Arctic as a photographer in residence, but I definitely have a greater appreciation for our planet. I’ve learned a tremendous amount and had the wonderful opportunity to be part of a gracious, knowledgable, and talented expedition team. I’m excited to be back on the ship headed to Antarctica next February, which would mark my 7th and final continent. Antarctica has actually been on my bucket list ever since I did a school report on it in third grade. 

I will leave you with this quote by Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photographer and biologist, that truly resonated with me:

“I want to bring back images of this remote, raw, unforgiving, beautiful, and yet extremely fragile world to you. I want you to care about these regions as much as I do, and I hope to inspire you to help avert the warming trend that is changing them quickly and irreversibly.”  

Live Adventurously,
Reuben

Up-Inspired Floating House by Katherine Yaksich

National Geographic Channel and a team of scientists, engineers, and two world-class balloon pilots successfully launched a 16’ X 16’ house 18’ tall with 300 8’ colored weather balloons from a private airfield east of Los Angeles, and set a new world record for the largest balloon cluster flight ever attempted. The entire experimental aircraft was more than 10 stories high, reached an altitude of over 10,000 feet, and flew for approximately one hour.

The filming of the event, from a private airstrip, will be part of a new National Geographic Channel series called How Hard Can it Be?, which will premiere in fall 2011.  Full story here