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‘Art, adventure and advocacy: a photographic journey’ Dawn Kish chronicles 25+-plus year career via Sedona Camera Club webinar

Rock climbers at Bears Ears National Monument located in San Juan County in southeastern Utah. Photo by Dawn Kish.

Rock climbers at Bears Ears National Monument located in San Juan County in southeastern Utah. Photo by Dawn Kish.

Originally Published: March 9, 2021 10:54 a.m.

Adventure and conservation photographer Dawn Kish will present to the Sedona Camera Club starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 29. Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, her online presentation will be via a Sedona Camera Club webinar.

Kish will chronicle her 25-plus year career from adventure photographer to her current passion as a conservation photographer. “If it is outside,” says Dawn, “I’ve probably photographed it.” 

Using places such as Grand Canyon, which artists’ work played a key role in protecting, and her current work documenting the protection the endangered California Condor in Vermilion Cliffs region of AZ, Kish will demonstrate how conservation, science, art and storytelling combine to preserve public lands and save endangered species.

As a “fun hog adventurer” - including snowboarding, rock climbing, backpacking and whitewater rafting – she would document these sports and then eventually work for publications like National Geographic Adventure, Climbing Magazine and Patagonia. Dawn realizes the reason she can enjoy recreating on public lands is because other people advocate for them, working hard to tell their stories. Without artisans to document their beauty, helping people understand the value of public lands would be a much bigger challenge.

She creates photos of her journeys, whether they are stories of Native Americans in her Arizona homeland or hanging off a cliff wall in Yosemite. For Dawn, photography is all about people and their stories, their emotions, and the honor of the photographic moment. Direct and honest, this playful self-taught photographer has a way of bringing out the genuine and expressive ways of the people she works with. “My subjects give me so much, that I get charged up,” says Kish. “That is why I keep traveling, learning, and telling stories.” 

Kish has won many awards and is a featured photographer in the National Geographic Field Guide to Adventure Photography. Her images were included in National Geographic Traveler’s top 30 photographs in 30 years and Arizona Highways Magazine’s top 50 photos ever. Dawn is one of 33 photographers chosen to promote the Centennial of Grand Canyon National Park. She received the Red Bull Illume award for her photo “Climbers Hand”. Kish loves to direct and tell stories and turns her photo projects into film. You can see her work at www.dawnkish.com.

“I feel so honored. I love being a photographer,” says Kish. “It’s the best job ever.” 

The silver lining of the COVID-19 “cloud” is that the online format enables Sedona Camera Club to host high profile photographers from around the U.S. The club will have online meetings until the COVID situation permits a return to face-to-face meetings.

Presentations, hosted by the Sedona Camera Club, are free to members. Guests may attend two meetings before joining. Email programcoordinator@sedonacameraclub.org to obtain a link for the webinar. Local photographers are encouraged to join to support bringing high-quality speakers to promote interest in photography and develop photographic skills. Membership costs $35 for the whole year. For more information on the Sedona Camera Club, go to sedonacameraclub.org.