petekmuller petekmuller

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Pete Muller  National Geographic Photographer and Fellow. Visual case studies on human ecology, masculinity and conflict. Nairobi, Kenya.

My mother has always loved animals. If she had her way, she would have lived on a farm and been surrounded by them. But in the tight quarters of the northeast, a dog, and occasionally a couple of cats, was all we could manage. I inherited her love for dogs, the animal that is, perhaps, closest to her heart. The older I get, the more strongly I believe that a person's treatment of animals speaks volumes about their level of overall decency. While fierce when needed, my mother has always been kind and gentle with the vulnerable. As a career news photographer in the city of Lynn, Massachusetts, she documented the city, and the challenging lives of many residents, with great respect and compassion. She always had time, and often a warm, gentle touch, for the city's most feared and neglected. She taught me about the world, with all its beauty and imperfections and about the power of photography as a method of connection and exploration. I'm very grateful for all that she's done and to spend these early spring days with her.

My buddy and lighting director @grantflanagan checks out a wild but bleak piece of installed art at the @smithsoniannpg in DC. We spent the afternoon in the gallery, perusing paintings we liked and chatting about lighting effects that we could draw on in our forthcoming work together. We then headed over to @natgeo headquarters where @mechanicalphoto pointed us in lots of good equipment-related directions. We’ll get started on pictures in Louisiana next week. Stay tuned.

I’m in the West African country of Ivory Coast this month, working on a component of an ongoing project with the International Criminal Court. We’re working to create visual context for the trials and investigations underway in The Hague. I’m working with fellow photographer @marcusbleasdale to explore the human cost of war crimes and the pursuit of justice after war. Here, the team I’m with takes refuge from the scorching, midday sun. The temperature is astounding and the humidity even more. #Africa #cotedivoire #war #conflict #violence #warcrimes #justice

For the last few weeks, I've been working out the various galleries in Washington, DC. What wonderful places to bring books and a laptop and get down to business. I read or write for a few hours and, when my attention wanes, I go look at whatever draws my attention. Such a privilege to have these FREE galleries throughout the city! I never took this kind of advantage when I lived here. These days, I'm thinking a lot about how visual artists have engaged with issues related to the environment. I'm also increasingly interested in more deliberate studies of light. The galleries are such an incredible resource. Headed to Ivory Coast for a few weeks to work on a project about the International Criminal Court. Excited to return to the subject but it's feeling tough to leave these halls. The more I go on, the more they feel like a warm blanket. #art #DC #galleries #NGA #ngadc @ngadc

Quite a night with this cool and thoughtful group. I realize more and more that I long to be part of a creative community. Generally speaking, I found my photographic way in relative isolation. I lived in various parts of Africa where, despite there being a few other photographers around, I never felt particularly connected to them. In many ways, this was a healthy and liberating dynamic. I was free to discover and embrace what I liked without the sometimes-deterring influence of other opinions. I used the internet to look at pictures and tried to find my path through near-constant practice. But as time goes on I sense an increasing pull to commune with others. Nights like these feel important.

In the days ahead of the Cubango River expedition, the base camp hums with activity. Everywhere, everyone is busy; packing and checking equipment and supplies with the keenest attention to detail. Soon the @intotheokavango team would commence a 1100 km (683 mile) journey down the Cubango River in basic, dug-out canoes. It's one of several, similar missions to survey the key tributaries that feed the Okavango Delta, a pristine and protected wilderness area in northern Botswana. The aim is to compile data to convince the governments to protect the tributaries to ensure the future health of the Delta. No easy task. My friend @neilgelinas has made a film about all of this, called INTO THE OKAVANGO, which has just been announced as an Official Selection at the @Tribeca Film Festival this year! The film tells the inspiring story of @drsteveboyes and his team which aims to both chart and project the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, one of the last truly pristine wilderness areas on the African continent. This incredible film is the product of so many people working together to accomplish something momentous. Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales, screen time, etc. Follow me, @petekmuller, for more images and stories from the Cubango expedition. #Tribeca2018 #conservation#Africa #Angola #Cubango #film

The slog. We often focus on the highlights; the moments of accomplishment, beauty or reflection. But those moments are only part of the tapestry. The upper reaches of the Cubango River expedition were relentlessly difficult. Day after day of narrow, murky rivers blocked by entangled trees. Thorns and branches ripping our clothes and skin as we inched forward. (The last frame in the carousel is me, trying desperately to not ruin my gear as I stepped into a surprisingly deep part of the river.)My friend @neilgelinas has made a film about all of this, called INTO THE OKAVANGO, which has just been announced as an Official Selection at the @Tribeca Film Festival this year! The film tells the inspiring story of @drsteveboyes and his team which aims to both chart and project the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, one of the last truly pristine wilderness areas on the African continent. This incredible film is the product of so many people working together to accomplish something momentous. Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales, screen time, etc. #Tribeca2018 #conservation #Angola #river #okavango #africa #adventure #expedition

Adjany Costa (@adjanycosta), the Assistant Director of the @intotheokavango Wildness Project, moves to collect fish samples along the Cubango River in her home country of Angola. Sample collection is a major component of the biodiversity survey along the river systems. A fish biologist by training, Adjany also plays a critical role in liaising with the Angolan government with the hope of securing their commitment to protect the headwaters of the #Okavango Delta. My friend @neilgelinas has made a film about all of this, called INTO THE OKAVANGO, which has just been announced as an Official Selection at the @Tribeca Film Festival this year! The film tells the inspiring story of @drsteveboyes and his team which aims to both chart and project the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, one of the last truly pristine wilderness areas on the African continent. This incredible film is the product of so many people working together to accomplish something momentous. Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales, screen time, etc. #Tribeca2018 #conservation #Africa #Angola #Cubango #film

The @intotheokavango river expedition team gathers around the fire on a frigid morning in the Angolan highlands. While day time temperatures reach the mid-90's (34 C) the night hours fall to the cusp of freezing. On this particular morning, my shoes were nearly frozen solid. A few cups of black, sludgy coffee and a bowl of oatmeal kickstart another day on the river. There's a film about all of this, called INTO THE OKAVANGO, which has just been announced as an Official Selection at the @Tribeca Film Festival this year! The film tells the remarkable story of @drsteveboyes and his team which aims to both chart and project the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, one of the last truly pristine wilderness areas on the African continent.This incredible film is the product of so many inspiring people working together to accomplish something momentous. Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales, screen time, etc. #Tribeca2018 #conservation#Africa #Angola #Cubango #film

At dawn along the Cubango river, @goetzneef, the @intotheokavango team's Head of Scientific Research, maneuvers a boat to check fish nets that he put out the night before. A major objective of the river expeditions is to collect comprehensive data on the system's biodiversity. There's a film about all of this, called INTO THE OKAVANGO, which has just been announced as an Official Selection at the @Tribeca Film Festival this year! The film tells the remarkable story of @drsteveboyes and his team at the @intotheokavango wilderness project, which aims to both chart and project the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, one of the last truly pristine wilderness areas on the African continent.This incredible film is the product of so many inspiring people working together to accomplish something momentous. Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales, screen time, etc. #Tribeca2018 #conservation #Africa #Angola #Cubango #film

Kyle Gordon (@kyle_n_gordon) has the toughest job on the expedition. Funny enough, he seems to love it. Each day, on the upper reaches of Angola’s Cubango River, we encounter large blockages of trees which, over many years, slipped into the river and grew horribly entangled. The knots of thick branches render portions of this narrow river impassable. Each time the team encounters such a blockage, either Kyle or his colleague Kerllen, jump into the water to hack and saw through them. Often, the troublesome branches are under the water, requiring the hand-sawing of thick wood underneath the surface. Brutal. Toss in the presence of crocodiles to ratchet up the discomfort. It's never easy. There's a film about all of this and more, called INTO THE OKAVANGO, which has just been announced as an Official Selection at the @Tribeca Film Festival this year! The film tells the remarkable story of @drsteveboyes and his team at the @intotheokavango wilderness project, which aims to both chart and protect the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, one of the last truly pristine wilderness areas on the #African continent. This film is the product of so many inspiring people working together to accomplish something momentous. Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales, screen time, etc. #Tribeca2018

Thrilled to share news that INTO THE OKAVANGO, a feature documentary film made by my friends and colleagues at @natgeo, has been announced as an Official Selection at the @Tribeca Film Festival this year. The film tells the remarkable story of @drsteveboyes and his team at the @intotheokavango wilderness project, which aims to both chart and protect the headwaters of the Okavango Delta, one of the last truly pristine wilderness areas on the #African continent.The film is the product of so many inspiring people working together to accomplish something momentous. Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales, screening time, etc. #Tribeca2018 #conservation #africa #wildlife #animals #pristine #Angola #natgeo

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