A nature photographer and Nebraska native, Michael Forsberg shares his work documenting this vast landscape, its lakes, prairies along with its plants and animals.
The Great Plains are a dynamic but often forgotten landscape -- overlooked, undervalued, misunderstood, and in desperate need of conservation. Forsberg's book helps lead the way forward, informing and inspiring readers to recognize the wild spirit and splendor of this irreplaceable part of the planet.
Michael Forsberg is a Nebraska native and has focused much of his work in North America's Great Plains, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. His goal has been to try to capture the wild spirit that still survives in these wide-open spaces and put a face to the often overlooked native creatures and landscapes found there. His hope is that the images can build appreciation and go to work to inspire conservation efforts on the land far into the future.
Forsberg received a degree in geography with an emphasis in environmental studies from the University of Nebraska, and worked briefly as a seasonal ranger in the National Park Service before accepting a job as a staff photographer and writer producing natural history stories for NEBRASKAland Magazine, the state's conservation publication. He worked at the magazine for six years before starting his own photography business and gallery.
Forsberg's work has appeared in publications including Audubon, National Geographic, National Wildlife, and Natural History, and recognized in the Pictures of the Year and Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2001, his image of a Nebraska tallgrass prairie was selected for an International Postage Stamp. In 2004, he was awarded a Conservation Education Award from The Wildlife Society. Recently, he was featured in the PBS documentary "Crane Song," and was the 2009 recipient of the North American Nature Photographer's Association Mission Award.
Martha Kauffman is the Managing Director of the World Wildlife Fund's Great Plains Program.
Continental slope of central North America. It stretches from the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border in the south to the Mackenzie River delta along the Arctic Ocean in the north and from the Interior Lowlands and the Canadian Shield in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. The plains embrace parts of 10 U.S. states and 3 Canadian provinces, covering an area of about 1,125,000 sq mi (2,900,000 sq km). A high plateau of semiarid grassland, these prairie regions in both the U.S. and Canada produce the major proportion of wheat grown in each country and are also important cattle- and sheep-herding areas. Parts of the plains have reserves of coal and lignite, petroleum, and natural gas.
Method of recording permanent images by the action of light projected by a lens in a camera onto a film or other light-sensitive material. It was developed in the 19th century through the artistic aspirations of two Frenchmen, Nicéphore Niepce and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, whose combined discoveries led to the invention of the first commercially successful process, the daguerreotype (1837). In addition, two Englishmen, Thomas Wedgwood and William Henry Fox Talbot, patented the negative-positive calotype process (1839) that became the forerunner of modern photographic technique. Photography was initially used for portraiture and landscapes. In the 1850s and '60s, Mathew B. Brady and Roger Fenton pioneered war photography and photojournalism. From its inception, two views of photography predominated: one approach held that the camera and its resulting images truthfully document the real world, while the other considered the camera simply to be a tool, much like a paintbrush, with which to create artistic statements. The latter notion, known as Pictorialism, held sway from the late 1860s through the first decade of the 20th century, as photographers manipulated their negatives and prints to create hazy, elaborately staged images that resembled paintings. By the 1920s and '30s, a new, more realistic style of photography gained prominence, as photographers such as Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams began to pursue sharply focused, detailed images. The Great Depression and two world wars inspired many photographers, including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, to pursue documentary, often socially conscious photography. Inspired by such work, many photojournalists, including Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, also emerged during this period. In the second half of the 20th century, the urban social scene became a subject of much interest to photographers, as did celebrity portraiture and fashion photography. At the turn of the 21st century, photographers took advantage of digital capabilities by experimenting with enormous formats and new manipulative techniques. As technological advances improve photographic equipment, materials, and techniques, the scope of photography continues to expand enormously. See alsodigital camera.