Bio: Morgan E. Heim
Few things are more humbling to me than stepping into wilderness. But I didn’t always feel this way. As a wide-eyed child, nature meant uninhibited adventure and endless discovery. Nothing was safe from my clutches.
I would scour the backyard for anything wild. And seeing as I lived on the cusp of the Chesapeake Bay, there was no shortage of wildlife. If fiddler crabs, rabbits, or minnows could be found, much to their chagrin, I would find them — collecting and invariably “rescuing” them from certain doom. My wilderness ethic improved over the years, but in terms of love for the great outdoors, I was a hopeless case.
I went to college to study zoology — something I knew would ensure a life spent exploring nature. But then a summer job in Alaska introduced me to photography. Stuck in a crumbling shack on the edge of wilderness, there wasn’t much to do besides work, catching and tagging salmon.
Photography cured my cabin fever, for with killer whales in the cove and grizzly bears sniffing at the doorstep, there was no shortage of photo opportunities. I was hooked, and for the next several years, in between gathering and analyzing samples for NOAA, I became the unofficial field photographer.
I have since shifted from science to photojournalism. Work is now a means to fund photo trips to countries like New Zealand and Colombia. When unable to travel to exotic locations, I photograph the local wilderness, including anything from coyotes to crows. And in the meantime I learn better journalism skills from the pros at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism.
Photography amazes me in its ability to freeze time, giving people the chance to see what might otherwise go unnoticed. Now the animals in my backyard can breathe easier, for I leave them where they should stay. Instead I think I’ll concentrate on “rescuing” them with a click of the shutter.