Seattle Times Op-Ed: Indigenous knowledge is critical to understanding climate change

© Cameron Karsten Photography The Nature Conservancy at the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, WA with Tribal member TJ

As we prepare to join Saturday’s March for Science, please understand that by integrating traditional knowledge with Western science, we can solve some of our biggest challenges, including those brought by our changing climate.

Good science is critical to our health, ability to live full lives and community well-being. We use science to advance medicine, enhance our use of natural resources, ensure our food supply and much more. That’s why more than a million people around the world joined the March for Science in 2017 and why we are gearing up again to march for science on April 14.

Western science is just one way of knowing. Indeed, traditional knowledge and wisdom of indigenous peoples is recognized by the United Nations for its potential to sustainably manage complex ecosystems. Yet all too often, Western science has disregarded centuries of science-based knowledge coming from Native Americans and other indigenous peoples.

© Cameron Karsten Photography The Nature Conservancy at the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, WA with Tribal member TJ

Indigenous peoples have lived in our particular locations for many generations, and we define ourselves in relation to our home environment. Our deep and long-standing relationships with the environment are unique; our very existence depends on our ability to conserve and maintain our lands and waters for future generations.

Today, tribes, First Nations, indigenous peoples and Aboriginals are sounding a loud alarm about the impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels, broken natural systems, and increasing fire and flooding are apparent and documented.

For example, stocks of many fish species like Pacific hake are sensitive to ocean temperature along the California Current, and recent declines in their numbers have serious implications for the well-being of my own Makah Tribe.

While others debate the causes of climate change, we who live close to the land are experiencing major impacts from our changing climate and call for immediate and strong action to protect the resources on which we all rely. We can’t afford to disregard indigenous knowledge about climate change.

© Cameron Karsten Photography The Nature Conservancy at the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, WA with Tribal member TJ

Growing up as a member of the Makah Tribe, I relied on the empirical knowledge of my ancestors to determine where to fish and how to locate other sources of food. My community relied on indigenous experiences to understand how to keep ourselves healthy.

When I was a child, my father taught me to navigate our ocean territory through currents, tides and landmarks. This knowledge, along with the life cycle of fish and time of year, allowed for the successful, sustainable harvest of species such as halibut, black cod and lingcod. In the years that followed, my peers and I transferred knowledge to other members of the family who integrated the information into current fishing and management practices.

As a youth, I’d get up in the mornings, often before sunrise, and leave the house overlooking a beach. There was no backpack, no lunch box. I was taught what our land would provide through all the seasons: roots, berries, sea urchins and mussels, to name a few. The knowledge of how, where and when to harvest is a way of life, always done in a manner that ensures the resources are sustained for the next person. These teachings and values laid the foundation for the work I completed in tribal leadership.

© Cameron Karsten Photography The Nature Conservancy at the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, WA with Tribal member TJ

To our north, Tlingit and Haida elders observe young herring following older herring to spawning grounds. When industrial fishing removes the elder herring from spawning sites, the stock is destroyed, as the young fish can no longer find their way home. Failure to heed these traditional observations is leading to the demise of herring and threatening aspects of Tlingit and Haida culture that are closely tied to herring.

A recent news item featured the astonishing observation that birds in Australia intentionally spread fire by carrying burning sticks. While this is fascinating, it has long been known to the Aboriginals. Using fire as a management tool is widespread throughout indigenous cultures. Makah is no exception. For centuries our ancestors used fire to manage crops of cranberries and tea. These resources are currently threatened by our changing climate, as well as the laws and regulations that govern the use of fire.

© Cameron Karsten Photography The Nature Conservancy at the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, WA with Tribal member TJ

Respecting and embracing indigenous knowledge as important science benefits all of us. In looking for solutions to the environmental dilemmas that confront us, it is critical to apply indigenous knowledge. All of us are looking for a better understanding of the Earth and her ecosystems. By integrating traditional knowledge with Western science, together we can solve some of our biggest challenges, including those brought by our changing climate.

As communities worldwide prepare to March for Science, this focus is appropriate and important. Threats to scientific knowledge must be rejected, and decision making based on fact must be embraced. Equally important, we should also embrace 10,000-plus years of field observation by indigenous peoples around the world.

This empirical knowledge has sustained people and cultures and has laid the groundwork for many modern “discoveries.” Indigenous peoples are truly the experts of their area and place, with a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of nature and our role in conserving resources for future generations.

Original Post (April 10, 2018)

Via Wonderful Machine – Cameron Karsten: Zillow Group

Great little write up describing some of the process creating Zillow Group’s 2017 Annual Report via Wonderful Machine’s blog. Enjoy!
Jan 25, 2018
PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT

Seattle-based photographer Cameron Karsten has built a strong relationship with Zillow Group. He has photographed projects from in-home walkthroughs to Santa’s Village for the Real-estate startup. As Zillow has expanded its need for imagery, Cameron has been ready to take on bigger and bigger projects.

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In the past, Zillow has generally opted to use stock imagery for its annual reports. But, for the 2017 report they wanted to go with something more specialized, so they invited Cameron to submit a bid for a library of images. Cameron won the bid and got the chance to step out from behind the camera and take on some production responsibilities. He ended up scouting locations and casting the talent for the three-day shoot in addition to his role as the photographer. Cameron leveraged his personal network to fill the twelve casting spots across the three-day multi-location shoot. As is often the case, scheduling was the most difficult part of the casting process.

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I ended up casting, location scouting and producing the project, which in the end was a great experience. It was an exhausting amount of work, but we conquered the final end goal and everything moved flawlessly. All in all, it was a wonderful project that produced a large printed report sent to all the shareholders, including the online report available to the public.

Cameron had worked on other projects for Zillow with several members of the production, including Creative Director Sabrina Fiander. The annual report design team was full of new faces, but it quickly became clear that everyone worked well together.

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The shoot was a blast with a complete crew of familiar faces excited to be a part of a great project. As all shoots, we worked hard and pressed each other to push harder and do our best.

The reaction to the images has been immensely positive. The team at Zillow was pleased with the images delivered and plan to commission more custom imagery for their future reports.

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Now that the report has been published, Cameron is already looking towards next year:

Hopefully a 2018 report with a couple production days added to it will nail all angles of Zillow Group’s outreach and diversity.

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The complete report is available on the Zillow Group website.

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Additional Credits:

Creative Director: Sabrina Fiander

Producer: Jill Snow

Associate Producer: Jillian Zieske

Brand Consultant: Bradley O’Neal

Brand Marketing Manager: Lindsey Bluher

Digital Tech: Judson Felder

Photo Assistants: Dominic Crowley, Delaney Brown

Art Director: Tim Teehan

Stylist: Lily Karsten

HMU: Zoe Hoffman

See more of Cameron at cameronkarsten.com!

And check out our other members on our Find Photographers page.

Zillow Group Annual Report – Consumer Housing Trend Report 2017

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One of the largest projects I’ve shot so far (as well as produced, and talent and location scouted), and one of the greatest clients. Thanks crew and Zillow team! Online available at: https://www.zillow.com/report/2017/

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Santa’s House on Zillow

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Thrilled to see this project come to fruition. Last month I worked with Zillow and a wonderful crew to photograph Santa’s House in the North Pole. Yes, the North Pole. Yes, it was bloody cold. And no, Mr. or Mrs. Claus weren’t there. They must’ve been busy or something (kinda rude to not at least stop by and say hello).

Thank you Zillow, my talented crew, Kaleo and team, Beth of Birdhouse Creative, and Justin of Jaya Productions. Below are some images from the frigid shoot, as well as a list of PR links. Happy Holidays!

Santa’s House on Zillow: http://www.zillow.com/santas-house/

TODAY Show: http://www.today.com/video/zillow-posts-santa-s-home-at-north-pole-for-650-000-but-it-s-not-for-sale-821810755504

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/inside-santa-claus-cozy-north-pole-home-valued/story?id=44008417

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/now-you-can-buy-santas-house-in-the-north-pole_us_584041cbe4b09e21702cf835

GeekWire: http://www.geekwire.com/2016/santas-north-pole-home-zillow-check-zestimate-photos-toy-lovers-paradise/

InStyle: http://www.instyle.com/lifestyle/home-decorating/home-tours/inside-santa-claus-north-pole-house?iid=sr-link2

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Cameron Karsten Photography
Adventure, Lifestyle, Advertising (Stills+Motion)
www.CameronKarsten.com
206.605.9663
PNW, USA

IRC’s Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

Seattle’s chapter of the International Rescue Committee celebrated a gift-exchange between refugees and sponsors this passed week. Families from around the world got together for gifts, games and activities, filling the auditorium with smiles, laughter and a few cries from the overwhelmed little ones.

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

International Rescue Committee's Winter Party in Seattle, WA

IRC teams provide health care, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people in 40 countries, with special programs designed for women and children. Every year, the IRC resettles thousands of refugees in 22 U.S. cities.

IRC

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America’s Gun Culture: The Young Guns

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America has a gun problem. According to a Small Arms Survey in 2007 , 88 out of 100 Americans own a gun. That’s worthy of world domination. And after the latest elementary outbreak of gun violence in Sandyhook, Conn., questions continue to raise about the connections between guns, violent video games, and our American youth. Here are some images from an on-going project involving America’s young guns.

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One mother I spoke with regarding the project declined to take part, but mentioned a story about her son. He was never permitted to play with toy guns. He wasn’t ever exposed to them in their household or on television. And she was unaware about any activities involving toy guns at their friends’ homes, but as soon as he reached a certain age where he began to develop his own personality, walk and make decisions on his own, something became apparent. When they would stroll on the beach or trek in the woods, the boy was instantly drawn toward sticks. These inanimate objects took on a life of their own. They became his toy guns. To this day she refuses to buy him any of these colorful plastic pieces.

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When the United States military encourages their soldiers to play violent video games while on leave, and as the advent of drones is taking presence above foreign skies, it is intriguing how large the gaming industry has become. Not only is it exciting, competitive and imaginative, but it is also a fantasy world without consequences besides GAME OVER. From Mario Brothers to Grand Theft Auto, there has been an incredible evolution, blurring the lines of reality. America’s youth are also hooked.

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For more, please visit America’s Gun Culture

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Post-Apocalyptic Youth Survival Group

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Here’s a look at the newest project, creating a youth group surviving in a post-apocalyptic world.  Living as a nomadic family, these characters have bonded and divided up the tasks in order to hunt, cook, carry, prepare and maintain within a hostile world.  They’re in constant threat, picking their way through a tattered landscape, foraging for their everyday amenities.  Thank you to the Field’s family for participating and going along with my vision.

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YouthPortraits-35Portrait of the Water-Bearer

YouthPortraits-40Portrait of the Fire-Carrier

YouthPortraits-67-EditPortrait of the Fire-Carrier II

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Eagle Eyes

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YouthPortraits-178Portrait of The Hunter

YouthPortraits-217The Pool of the Un-Drinkable

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YouthPortraits-213Fishing the Uninhabitable

YouthPortraits-219Alone and Surviving

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Portrait of the Warrior

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Portrait of the Warrior II

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YouthPortraits-224Back to the Woods

Cameron Karsten PhotographyFor more visit http://www.CameronKarsten.com

Post-Apocalyptic Youth Survival Group sneak peek!

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Sneak peak of a Youth Survival Group shoot: In a post-apocalyptic world, a band of youths group together to fight the threats of day-to-day survival.

More imagery to come!

Location: Clear-Cut Field – Olympic Peninsula, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D MarkIII w/Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Autofocus Lens

24mm, 1/160 sec at ƒ/18, ISO 100, tripod, composite.

Post: Capture One & Adobe PS6

Cameron Karsten Photography

Wedded: Crissy + Gabriel at Restoration Pt. on Bainbridge Island, WA

Crissy Anderson and Gabriel Palmer married on July 28th, 2012 at Restoration Pt. on Bainbridge Island, WA!

Wedded: Stephanie + Jamie at a private residence on Bainbridge Island, WA

Stephanie Moore and Jamie Deupree marries on July 27th, 2012 at a private residence on Bainbridge Island, WA.

Wedding photography by Cameron Karsten Photography