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03.22.2010

Gray Tree Frog © 2010 David FitzSimmons

When I began FitzSimmons Photography almost twenty years ago, I committed to environmental conservation. In practical, everyday terms, that means re-using equipment in creative ways, recycling paper, plastic, metals, and office consumables, and of course, finding ways to conserve energy, such as powering down computers and turning off extra lights.

This also means sharing your environmental message with others. “350: Images of Fragile Earth” began as part of a world-wide effort last October, a concerted effort to raise awareness about carbon emissions shortly before the Copenhagen summit. People all around the world found ways to share with others their concern for protecting our planet. On October 24th, in conjunction with musicians Greg Bell and Scott Brown of Bell Acoustic, we first performed “350: Images of Fragile Earth.”

Blue Eyed Mary © 2010 David FitzSimmons

In this live, multi-media performance, I project 350 images of nature, from rivers and rainbows to wildlife and waterfalls, all from across the United States. The show features exactly 350 images, bringing attention to the recently-established 350 parts per million standard for acceptable levels of atmospheric CO2. James Hansen of NASA and a team of scientists recently determined that, in order to stop catastrophic and irreversible changes to our climate, CO2 levels in the atmosphere must be kept under 350 ppm. The current level is 385.9 ppm.

“350: Images of Fragile Earth” program is designed to make sure that people everywhere know about 350. In December, leaders from around the world met in Copenhagen, Denmark, to establish new approaches to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. The people at the talks had the number ‘350’ on the tips of their tongues. Progress was made, but no real commitment to attaining this benchmark was achieved. I came up with the program idea to protect the world for our children. I decided, “I can’t stand back and watch.” I had to do something. We all have to do something.

Sunrise from Cadillac Mountain. Acadia National Park, Maine © 2010 David FitzSimmons

Sunrise from Cadillac Mountain. Acadia National Park, Maine © 2010 David FitzSimmons

Bell Acoustic was a natural partner for the program. For one, Bell helps the earth through recycling: many of the instruments Bell Acoustic plays are hand-build by using parts from old pianos. Both Greg and Scott are fascinated with ways to mix music and photography. Before our first performance, Scott told me that he’d always wanted to play to visual imagery, to mix the arts together. Bell Acoustic’s original compositions sound “natural” accompanying the images of Earth—with their lilting melodies and pastoral string sounds. Greg Bell, co-founder of Bell Acoustic, based in Bucyrus, Ohio, has been performing professionally for 23 years. He has produced nine albums featuring original compositions. Brown, a Lexington, Ohio, resident, has performed with Bell Acoustic for two years.

For more information on performances and to see a sample video of  “350: Images of Fragile Earth”, go to http://www.fitzsimmonsphotography.com/dfp_nature_350.htm

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