Heroes of Conservation – Gene Wright

chris crisman field and stream heroes of conservation gene wrigh

Earlier this year we received a call from our editors at Field and Stream magazine to photograph their Heroes of Conservation finalists for 2013. Since 2005, the magazine has been profiling and recognizing a handful of dedicated sportsmen and women who work to protect, improve, or create wildlife habitat and embody the spirit of conservation.

We’ve had the honor of meeting and photographing some of these heroes in the past, (you may remember we blogged about the shoots last fall) and this year was particularly significant because we were given the task to photograph all six of the Heroes. Taking us from Wisconsin to Maryland, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, and Oklahoma in the span of two weeks, this assignment was a whirlwind tour of the country. We wrapped up these shoots having met and made great photos of six inspiring conservationists. We’re excited to share the stories and the behind the scenes for each shoot – our final shoot taking us to the great state of Idaho to meet and photograph longtime conservationist Gene Wright. Keep reading for a few more photos from our final shoot for the 2013 Heroes of Conservation…

chris crisman field and stream heroes of conservation gene wrigh

Unbeknownst to us, Idaho is an incredibly beautiful state. Vast and wild, it is filled with big skies and sweeping vistas – the perfect location for shooting outdoor environmental portraits of a Conservation hero.

chris crisman field and stream heroes of conservation gene wrigh

For over twenty years, Wright has volunteered in the Idaho department of Fish and Game, working on anything and everything from fishing clinics, to brush planting, to pheasant stocking. Despite his over 8,000 hours of volunteer service, Gene was incredibly humble and generous with his time, happy to show us around the beautiful areas of the state he spends his time protecting and conserving.

chris crisman field and stream heroes of conservation gene wrigh

Since we were pretty far out in the picturesque wilderness of southern Idaho, we opted to keep our lighting simple – one large 5-foot octabank powered by a 2000 w/s Dynalite power pack running on a Honda 3500 watt generator. This light gave us the power to over-light the sun when necessary and to balance against the ambient exposure, which was pretty bright to begin with thanks to the partly cloudy weather. If you look closely enough at the photo above, you’ll even see our photo assistant David trying to hide behind the octabank – nice try Dave.

chris crisman field and stream heroes of conservation gene wrigh

Aside from making new portraits, our shoot with Gene Wright also served a dual purpose, allowing Chris to cross Idaho off his list of states in the US to visit – if anyone is keeping track out there, that list is getting mighty short. We only have a few states left before he’s been lucky enough to visit all fifty.

With this shoot, it looks like we’ve reached the end of our story shooting for the 2013 Heroes of Conservation. A big thank you is definitely in order to the folks at Field & Stream for this incredible assignment, as well as a very humbling thank you to all of the finalists this year. We were honored to work with such a determined group of individuals, unwavering in their goals of restoring and caring for the land around us. If you’ve missed any of the previous stories from our shoot, make sure to take a look:

Heroes of Conservation – David Sweet

Heroes of Conservation – Laura McIver

Heroes of Conservation – Doug Hutzell

Heroes of Conservation – Steve Sams

Heroes of Conservation – Jeff Gorr

Questions? Comments? Let us know below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto! Also make sure you’re keeping up with us on instagram.com/crismanphoto!

6 replies to “Heroes of Conservation – Gene Wright”

  1. How do y’all decide which assignments get the 5D III and which get the Hassy? Is the medium format for indoor studio only? And, can the average magazine reader really tell the difference in a photo you’ve taken with the canon vs hasselblad?

  2. Hey Todd,

    That’s an excellent question. Each of the systems have their strengths/weaknesses – in a perfect world, we could put Hasselblad lenses on a Canon-style body with Canon autofocus and shoot to a medium format sensor. In the real world though, we generally take the Canon system out on shoots where we know that we’ll need something a bit more rugged. The Hasselblad and Phase back obviously produces incredible quality images, but there are some limitations when working out in the wild (mainly the lack of fast auto-focus, shorter battery life, and how heavy the damn camera is).

    As for telling the difference, I think it’s possible, but honestly by the time that any image is being reproduced on a 4 color press on magazine stock, the quality has been lessened so much that it’s not a critical difference.

  3. I absolutely love the portraits. Question about the gear: what are Chris’ favorite Canon lenses that he uses for portrait and landscape( composite images). Thanks.

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