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2021 International Environmental Photography Contest       Keynote Speaker

Russ Burden

The Serengeti is a protected vast grassland that encompasses much of northern Tanzania. In English, it translates to ENDLESS PLAINS. When witnessed in person, it’s easy to understand how it received its name. Much of the Great Migration occurs in this area as tens of thousands of wildebeest and other mammals roam the grasslands looking for fresh vegetation to consume. The mammals follow the rains that run on a yearly cycle. Over the lifespan of certain species, they will walk that path numerous times. Predators have adapted to the migration and take advantage of the sheer number of prey species. A unique geological feature of the Serengeti are KOPJES, or granite rock outcroppings revealed by erosion. Each is a tiny Mecca of small trees, areas that capture water during the rainy season and are used as high vantage points by predators to spot potential prey.

I will share with you images that reveal the diversity of the Serengeti, photos of the animals that inhabit it, some of the areas that closely border the grasslands, and more. I will show you how the Serengeti can be used as a calendar that’s based on the rains. I’ll also educate you on how animals that don’t follow the migration survive based on what the land provides them, even during the lean times. I’ve become totally addicted to the Serengeti and I hope that, in some way, what I share with you about the amazing nature of the area, it becomes contagious and inspires you to help protect it.

Russ Burden is an award winning photographer who has been writing the Tip of the Week for the Outdoor Photographer website for years. He has hundreds of tips archived on their website and his work has appeared numerous times in their magazine as well.  Internationally published, his wildlife and scenic images can be found in calendars published by the Self Realization Fellowship, Kodak, Audubon, Sierra Club, National Wildlife, National Geographic Traveler, and more. His commercial work is marketed through Getty Images. Russ is a multiple time winner of the prestigious Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice Awards in many categories, resulting in numerous safari photos honored and hung in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and the Iziko Museum in South Africa. Russ runs wildlife workshops in addition to safaris to Tanzania three times a year. Russ has an incredible passion for photography and seeks to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with all his workshop participants. His drive to seek optimal light and composition motivates him to create the perfect image. His energy and commitment to photography are contagious and his primary goal is to help others get to this point in their pursuit of this wonderful art form. 

 To see more of Russ’s work, please visit http://www.russburdenphotography.com

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