Meet Your Neighbours Co-Founder Clay Bolt was honored to accept the North American Nature Photography Association‘s 2015 Environmental Impact award on behalf of Meet Your Neighbours during the annual summit in San Diego last week. Clay writes, “The last recipient was the incredible James Balog so its significance isn’t lost on me. More importantly, I was so touched to be on stage with many of my dearest friends and colleagues who have really been the ones to make the project a reality.” From the left: Chris Linder, Kevin FitzPatrick, Paul Marcellini, Roy Toft, Sheri Mandel, Nathan Dappen, Krista Schlyer, Clay Bolt, Neil Losin, Gabby Salazar, Karine Aigner and Paul Hassell. Other contributors who were present but unable to join us on stage were Andrew Snyder, JP Lawrence, Matthew Cicanese, Kika Tarsi Tuff, Todd Amacker, Steven David Johnson, Dave Huth. Photo © Gaston Lacombe / iLCP.
The goal of my Meet Your Neighbours project is to raise awareness of the diversity of species living along the Los Angeles County coastline and motivate their neighbours (you and me) to protect the fragile marine environment they share. I find many of my subjects during low or minus tides, when the underwater world of tide pools is briefly revealed. Using a field studio, consisting of lighting and macro photography equipment, I am able to capture features that would otherwise remain unseen. Each photo session is very brief, and every animal is released back into the habitat where it was found. In addition to photographing rarely seen species, I enjoy bringing attention to ubiquitous life forms, such as algae, which are crucial to the ecosystem. Our neighbours at the beach are threatened by pollution, climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, etc. and desperately need our help.
-by contributor Sheri Mandel