GMF Photographer-at-large Tom Blagden

Tom Blagden

Tom has volunteered to use his talents on behalf of GMF, capturing images that evoke a sense of place and the forest’s unique biodiversity.

GMF is grateful for this gift to see the forest come alive in a different way, through Tom’s camera lens. We’ll be working with Tom to share his images with you.

A professional nature photographer for over 40 years, Tom Blagden has concentrated his work primarily on Maine, South Carolina, Costa Rica, and more recently the Grand Canyon.

Tom’s photographs have appeared in most national conservation calendars, as well as in numerous exhibits and magazines, including gracing the covers of Smithsonian, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer, Nature Conservancy, and Sierra.

Tom’s photographs, writing, and presentations are devoted to land protection and conservation issues.

He has produced ten books, the last three of which on Acadia and the Grand Canyon National Parks, won national book awards.

Tom has served on the boards of The Nature Conservancy of SC and the Lowcountry Land Trust. Tom is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and the North American Nature Photography Association. Tom is a graduate of The Hotchkiss School, CT, and Harvard University. He lives in Lakeville, CT, with his wife, Lynn. They have a daughter, Sarah, in Dallas, Texas.

Tom Blagden Captures a Sense of Place at GMF

by Tom Blagden

Returning to live full-time in the Northwest Corner after four decades in South Carolina felt like an embrace from all that was wonderful about my childhood here rambling around Great Mountain Forest. It represented this hidden, mysterious kingdom that tantalized our imaginations but was never quite attainable due to its impressive geographic scope.

Now, after a lifetime in conservation photography, I’m thrilled to go back to my roots, but with a different eye and skill set–and an enriched habitat with bear, bobcat, deer and moose.

Nature photography is a powerful and emotional medium. Working in conservation allowed me to use photography to evoke a sense of place, which in turn assigns a higher value to that place.

The more finite the area, the better, for that intimacy fosters creativity. The goal is ultimately to attempt to know it so well that “one wears the landscape like clothing”, as the writer Barry Lopez states.

Great Mountain Forest is such a place, worthy of our physical, emotional and spiritual investment.

Personally, maybe I’m trying to recreate my youth, but in the process I’m discovering more deeply what’s self-sustaining and what’s most important in these trying times.

My objective is simple but not easy: to convey through photographs GMF’s hidden spirit- the essence of its habitat diversity, its seasonal moods, its elusive wildlife–and by sharing those images generate a deeper pride of place and a landscape worthy of our support.