__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

1


1

CHENGDU, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA


As a child of the 1970’s, I was fortunate to have had my imagination, sense of values and humor shaped in the age of Sesame Street, the Magic Garden, the Muppet Show and a carefully curated selection of storybooks, hand-selected by my family for a little boy growing up in the bucolic Hudson Valley, north of New York City. Reading the actual books in the words of the author, while perusing the original artwork as I held the book and turned the pages, introduced me to far-away lands, people, places and things, and my young mind to the importance of appreciating differences, embracing curiosity and how animals, whether fictional or real, have a natural ability to teach us about ourselves and remind us that life on earth is so intimately intertwined. Among the luminaries who helped to guide my emerging world view as a five year old, were Babar the Elephant, Ant and Bee and Paddington Bear, each of whom traveled extensively, had a flair for style, enjoyed the finer things in life and shared a genuine love of exploring. Of course, the extent of my exotic personal travels growing-up involved day trips to the Catskill Game Farm in upstate New York, the Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo, which included the thrill of feeding farm animals, gazing in amazement at the enormous blue whale hanging in the Hall of Ocean Life, riding elephants and camels, and a monorail safari through the simulated habitats of animals from near and far. It is no coincidence that among my passions these years later is the exploration of the actual habitats where animals thrive in far corners of the world, albeit these places are significantly smaller and more isolated than they once were and yet ever more juxtaposed with “civilization”. Having completed my twenty-year collection of photography in 2018 with the book and video, Perspectives – Opening the Aperture, I then turned my focus to 2019. After months of deliberation and planning fueled by web-searches, maps, and calendars, I decided that this would be the year to explore the habitats of several of the world’s most iconic bears – Pandas in the mountains of Western China, Grizzlies in the salmon waterways of Alaska and Polar Bears awaiting the winter freeze on the Western shores of Hudson Bay in the arctic reaches of Canada. Fortunately as I learned, the seasonality for when to visit these majestic creatures worked well, enabling me to plan these adventures evenly through the year, especially as reaching these animals involved extensive travel via long-haul commercial jets, float planes, helicopters, trains, cars, trucks, ATVs, crabbing boats, skiffs, arctic tundra rovers, tundra buggies, dog-sleds and miles of hiking, with a densely packed camera bag at my side or on my back every step of the way. While each of the remote habitats where these bears live, eat and breed are fortunately among those protected from hunting, with the exception of certain geographies where it is strictly regulated, there are a multitude of other species that flourish in these enduring ecosystems under the protections afforded the bears, thus the term “Umbrella Species” pertaining to the myriad of others that indirectly benefit from such focused environmental conservation. Please Look After this Bear is the culmination of these experiences and represents both a literal message that we should all take to heart and manifest with action, as well as a playful reference to the label that accompanied Paddington on his journeys. As an aside while I was living in London in 2003, I had the opportunity to meet Paddington’s creator, Michael Bond, in Harrods toy department for a special book signing. As I came to the front of the queue, Mr. Bond looked at me with a gentle smile and asked what I’d like him to write, to which I said, “Please Look After this Bear, Thank You”, to which he replied emphatically as ever the quintessential English gentleman, “Quite Right !” Mr. Bond, who passed away in 2017 at age 91, based Paddington on a lone teddy bear he noticed on a shelf in a London store near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve 1956, which he bought as a present for his wife. This Christmas, I am privileged to share images from these wild frontiers where animals roam unencumbered, humans are considered neither predator nor prey, but rather guardians of life, preserving the balance of nature that once prevailed in abundance and without exception across the earth.

Michael Patrick Davidson New York City December 21, 2019 2


3


4


“ALL THINGS SHARE THE SAME BREATH - THE BEAST, THE TREE, THE PERSON. THE AIR SHARES ITS SPIRIT WITH ALL THE LIFE IT SUPPORTS. TAKE ONLY MEMORIES, LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS…..” CHIEF SI’AHL LEADER OF THE SUQUAMISH & DUWAMISH NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES

5


6


7


8


9


10


11


12


13


14


15


16


17


TANGJIAHE NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA

18


19


20


21


22


23


24


25


26


27


28


PINGWU COUNTY - SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA

29


QINGXI, DONGGUAN - GUANGDONG PROVINCE, CHINA

“WE DO NOT INHERIT THE EARTH FROM OUR ANCESTORS, WE BORROW IT FROM OUR CHILDREN.” NATIVE AMERICAN PROVERB 30


31


32


33

XI’AN, SHAANXI PROVINCE, CHINA


34


35


36


37


38


KATMAI NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA

39


40


41


42


43


44


45


46


47


48


49


KODIAK ISLAND, ALASKA

50


51


52


53


KATMAI NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA

54


55


KATMAI NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA

56


57


58


59


KATMAI NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA

60


61


62


63


64


65


66


67


68


69


70


KODIAK ISLAND, ALASKA

71


KODIAK ISLAND, ALASKA

72


CHURCHILL / HUDSON BAY, MANITOBA, CANADA

73


74


75


76


77


78


79


80


81


82


83


84


85


86


87


88


89


90


91


92


93


94


95


96


97


98


“THE GREATNESS OF A NATION AND ITS MORAL PROGRESS CAN BE JUDGED, BY THE WAY ITS ANIMALS ARE TREATED.” MAHATMA GANDHI

99


100


Profile for Shortcake Albums

Perspectives: Please Look After This Bear 2019  

Images and text by Michael P. Davidson. Custom layout by Shortcake Albums.

Perspectives: Please Look After This Bear 2019  

Images and text by Michael P. Davidson. Custom layout by Shortcake Albums.

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded