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What Does Connecting to Nature Mean to You? [COMPILATION]

What Does Connecting to Nature Mean to You? [COMPILATION]
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Episode 64:Today, we’re paying tribute to the last ten incredible guests we’ve had on the podcast.  Each of them has shared their wisdom and valuable perspectives about photography, creativity, composition, and connecting with nature.  This special Tidbit Tuesday is a compilation of their responses to the question: What does connecting with nature mean to you?  As many of you know, it’s the last question I ask in the lightning round of each interview. I find their responses touching and thought-provoking, and I hope they inspire you to consider what connecting with nature means to you, too.  Please enjoy!


Elizabeth Miklavcic 

Egídio Leitão 


Episode 45: John Barclay

Episode 47: Talor Stone and Ashlei Payne

Episode 49: Claude Fiddler

Episode 51: David Kingham

Episode 53: Justin Tedford

Episode 55: Cheyne Walls

Episode 57: Michael Frye

Episode 59: John Putnam

Episode 61: Sean Bagshaw

Full Show Notes



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Sean BagshawProfile Photo

Sean Bagshaw

Photographer and Educator

Sean Bagshaw is a landscape and travel photographer and photography educator from Ashland, Oregon. In the 1980s and 90s he was into rock climbing and mountaineering and documenting those expeditions was the spark that fueled his passion for photography.

Sean's first career as a middle school science teacher gave him a great foundation for being a photography and image developing instructor. In addition to teaching and presenting at live events, he has created online video courses for over a decade, including tutorials for Tony Kuyper's TK Panel, which is a Photoshop plugin. He is known for his down-to-earth and very straightforward teaching style. Twice since 2008 his images have been exhibited in the Smithsonian as winners in the Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice International Awards.

Sean is one of the members of Photo Cascadia, a team of Northwest-based friends and photographers who have the goal of sharing their love for adventure, wild places, conservation and landscape photography. In 2020 Timber Press published Photo Cascadia's photo book, Oregon My Oregon: Land of Natural Wonders with a forward written by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, Nicholas Kristof.

John PutnamProfile Photo

John Putnam

Photographer and Educator

John Putnam is a full-time nature & landscape photographer based on Mount Desert Island, Maine, home of Acadia National Park. From 2006 to 2014 he worked as a photographer in New York City producing work for publishing companies and magazines as well as photographing high-end events, all while spending every vacation traveling and photographing across five continents, 20 states, and more than 30 national parks.

When he moved to Maine in 2015, John founded J.K. Putnam Photography with the mission of building personal photographic experiences for clients, no matter their needs or skill level, by offering private, instructional photo tours and workshops.

John’s knowledge of Acadia as a photographic subject is unparalleled, and he uses that knowledge to put himself and his students in the right place at the right time based on the tide, weather, light, and time of year. He loves teaching, loves showing off Acadia, and, most importantly, gets outside to photograph every day.

Since 2015 John has amassed a comprehensive collection of his own images that exhibit Acadia National Park in all its splendor. Images can be viewed on his website or at his gallery in Southwest Harbor where he offers fine-art prints, gallery wraps, gifts, and more.

Michael FryeProfile Photo

Michael Frye


Michael Frye is a professional landscape and nature photographer who has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983. His photography is represented by the esteemed Ansel Adams Gallery, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world, including the magazines National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, American Photo, Sunset, Texas Highways, and more.

Michael is the author and/or principal photographer of several books and ebooks, including Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters; The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite; and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. He also leads numerous photography workshops around the American West and has online courses in Lightroom available on his website at

Cheyne WallsProfile Photo

Cheyne Walls


Cheyne Walls is a nature photographer based in Laguna Beach, CA. He attended the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, which led him to a career as an automotive photographer. After 10 years of automotive photography, Cheyne turned to his true passion of landscape photography. His landscape images have won numerous awards, including Gold Medals from the Epson Pano Awards, MML International Photography Awards and Professional Photographers of America IPC Awards. He also has been honored with a publication in National Geographic and had work inducted into The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature’s permanent art collection to be displayed next to original pieces from Ansel Adams. In 2020 Cheyne was presented a Master of Photography Degree from PPA and continues to exhibit his work throughout the U.S and internationally.

Justin TedfordProfile Photo

Justin Tedford

Photographer and Educator

Justin Tedford is a photographer, husband, father, and photo educator from rural Iowa. He grew up exploring the hills and back roads near his grandparents’ farm, and the family farms and agricultural communities that surrounded him helped to shape his style and passion for photographing his home state. While he has dabbled in a number of visual arts since childhood, his passion for photography wasn’t ignited until a class he took in high school. Today, Justin shares that passion with others through teaching and mentoring as well as through pursuing personal photography projects.

David KinghamProfile Photo

David Kingham


David is a professional nature photographer who travels full-time with his partner, Jennifer Renwick, and their two cats. David started his full-time travels in 2014 to travel the country, spend time in the places he loves, and to find purpose in this world.

David and Jennifer lead photography workshops together. They love to share their knowledge of photography and the locations they call home year to year. You can learn more about their workshops, eBooks, and videos by visiting

David is also the owner of the Nature Photographers Network, a site devoted to the art and craft of nature photography. It is a discussion forum focused primarily on honest image critiques. He also helped start the Nature First Photography movement which promotes ethical principles to other photographers in order to protect the places we love.

Claude FiddlerProfile Photo

Claude Fiddler

Photographer and Mountain Climber

Since the 1970s and before he became a renowned photographer, Claude Fiddler was a prominent figure in the Sierra climbing community, with high-standard first ascents in Yosemite Valley, (Too-ah-lu-mee)Tuolumne Meadows and the High Sierra. He has co-authored a climbing guidebook to the range, and worked for many years as a ski patroller and mountain guide. He still lives at the foot of the mountains, with his wife and adventure partner Nancy.

His forthcoming book Inside the High Sierra (, is a meticulously produced coffee-table book that will delight anyone who loves the High Sierra, fine-art-outdoor photography, or beautiful books in general. Hard-bound in linen on the outside, with 55 full-color plates printed on Japanese archival paper on the inside. In addition to stories and extensive notes on the images by Claude, the book features diverse and insightful contributed essays by Joseph Holmes, Michael Cohen, Laurel Fiddler, Peter Croft, Dick Dorworth, and a foreword by Thomas Hornbein.

Ashlei PayneProfile Photo

Ashlei Payne

Independent Filmmaker

Ashlei Payne is an alumna from Pratt Institute and an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photojournalist. From the formidable rainforests of Borneo to the countryside of Kashmir, Ashlei lives with her subjects for extended periods and completely immerses herself in the lives of others. Her work often examines environmental change, natural disaster aftermath, corrupt government systems, and the emotions that accompany these events.

In the last five years she has worked with non-profits across the globe such as ARCHIVE Global in Bangladesh, Shangri-La Trek in Nepal, Sakolah Adat Arus Kualan in Borneo, and with CNN Hero nominee, Madè Janur Yasa of Plastic Exchange in Bali, Indonesia.

In the past year alone Ashlei has won six film festivals including; Outstanding Performance Best Director Award New York, Best Documentary film at Los Angeles Film Awards, and Best Documentary at Los Vegas International.

Talor StoneProfile Photo

Talor Stone

Photographer, Arctic Specialist

Talor Stone is a professional landscape photographer and Ph.D. researcher whose work merges visual art with fact-based knowledge about Earth's vulnerable environments and cultures. For the last 4 years, Talor has specialized in pioneering academic research on the impacts of globalization and a changing climate on Greenland's rural communities. She has spent two summers in Greenland immersed in the local culture and landscape working to lay the foundation for the project that they share with us today.

Talor's photography is represented in galleries in New Orleans, LA and Carmel, CA. She works as an educator with Muench Workshops - the world's premier photography education organization - and is a contributor to the Arctic Arts Project - an organization dedicated to visually communicating the science of climate change.

John BarclayProfile Photo

John Barclay


John Barclay is an award winning freelance photographer based in Bucks County, PA. John is a passionate photographer and enthusiastic workshop leader. He is also an inspirational speaker, presenting his program Dream – Believe – Create to audiences around the world. John’s work has been published in a number of books and magazines and is treasured by a number of private collectors. Recently, John was the recipient of an excellence award from B&W Magazine and was chosen by Dewitt Jones to participate in his program. John is respected for his processing knowledge and well known for his Topaz and Nik Software webinars.