The Adventurists – Mini-Blogs – Beyond the Edge

Freedom to Move: Field Rhythm and Longtime Friends

My daily rhythm is typically a solo wandering in a wild landscape with crisp air and clean dirt. I feel super lucky to be able to spend a lot of time in the backcountry having experiences with wild animals, setting up camera traps, and photographing the rhythms of an animal migration. I’m a loner, and…

Freedom to Move: “A Wild Mind Sounds Pretty Good to Me”

Joe Riis is the best photographer I know. I’m biased—I get to hang out with, work with, and count some of the best National Geographic photographers as my friends. But Joe stands out. It’s partly because of his work, which speaks for itself, but it’s also because of his character and how he chooses to…

Freedom to Move: Legendary Help

Bottom line, a bunch of people helped me become a photographer. I did not do it alone, idols became friends, researchers shared years of experience, and locals gave me a place to call home. People from all walks of life, who have done all kinds of things, have stuck their necks out for me, and…

Freedom to Move: Camera Trapped

A remote camera trap is pretty simple. It’s just a normal DSLR camera connected to a motion trigger. I don’t push the shutter button, the animal trips an infrared beam, and then click, click, click. It’s really the only way to make intimate wide-angle pictures of wild animals without disturbing them. Pronghorn like to see…

Freedom to Move: Living Among the Greater Yellowstone Migrations

I love to think about the ever-evolving mixture of science, adventure, and conservation in the West. Old-school science is being combined with current-day media to reach the people that care—and who didn’t care. That’s my gig. I’m trained in wildlife biology and not in photography, but work as a photographer to tell wildlife and science…

Freedom to Move: Unplanned Migration

Seven years and three animal migrations later, here I am, still in western Wyoming focusing my life around photographing animals that migrate. I sometimes call myself a National Geographic magazine contributing photographer, but I need to pinch myself because it all was a far-fetched dream that became real. I grew up in rural South Dakota, then…

Utah by Dirt: Off Road and Behind the Lens

A desert road trip is something that I look forward to year in and year out. As a neighboring Coloradan, it’s become a staple of the yearly adventure diet. While I may not call Utah my home, there is something there that I can’t live without. Anyone who has been there and experienced the full value…

Utah by Dirt: Canyoneering in Escalante National Monument

“Alright, everybody feel good? Are we ready to commit to this?” Sam shouted down the canyon, juggling the tail of our rope as he waited for an answer. Enthusiastically we shouted back, “Let’s do it!” “Alrighty!” he said, then quickly yanked the rope. It came cascading down, landing on the sandstone deck, the slap echoing…

Utah by Dirt: Seeking the Secrets of the Desert

Hot, harsh, arid wastelands, nothing but sand, sky, and rocks.  Majestic, sweeping landscapes, teeming with a life that seems it shouldn’t be, and more things to see, experience, and explore than one could imagine to fit in a lifetime.  These are two ways to describe the desert, neither wrong, and neither giving the whole picture.  A land of…

Utah by Dirt: The Lure of the Wild River

As the river carried us strong and gentle through this labyrinth of sandstone in Ruby-Horsethief Canyon—past beautiful beaches occupied solely by shifting cottonwoods and slot canyons only accessible via a float down the Colorado or a 30-mile hike across the stark desert plateau above—the unique beauty of this place comes to light. Of course the…