Heroes of Conservation – John Sferazo

Heroes of Conservation – John Sferazo

Earlier this year we were asked to be a part of a the 2012 Heroes of Conservation – an annual project by Field and Stream magazine which honors the efforts of local outdoorsmen. Since 2005, the magazine has been annually 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, and when we received the call from our photo editor at Field and Stream this summer, we knew it was a project we had to take. For the 2012 Heroes of Conservation we traveled from North Carolina to Maine, meeting and photographing some amazing people along the way. The last of our adventures was with John Sferazo, founder of the American Greenlands Restoration Inc. Keep reading for more of our story with John and behind the scenes of our day with this hero…

Our journey with John Sferazo took us to the wilds of Northern Maine to hike, explore, and photograph over 1,000 acres of reclaimed and restored natural habitat. Over ten years ago Sferazo purchased the property, a former asphalt plant with the goal of returning it to the wild. A decade later his tireless efforts have created an incredible natural habitat brimming with fish, deer, moose, and countless other creatures.

To capture our main shot, we setup in a field of wild buckwheat with the late morning sun directly behind us and creeping slowly overhead. Using that sunlight as both a natural backlight and fill-light for our subject, we wanted to use a broad but shaping light source for the key – a perfect opportunity for our 36” octabank with a 40° LightTools grid.

Adding a grid to a larger and broader source we were able to condense the light significantly, making it a bit more contrasty and shaping but still keeping the overall soft feel that we try to achieve by using our octas. Since we we were working in fairly bright daylight, we ran approximately 1500 w/s out of our Dynalite power packs, synced wirelessly to the camera with our Pocketwizard Plus III transmitters.

We spent the day touring the property with John, shooting photos as we traveled across the expanse of reclaimed wildlife habitat. We could not have asked for a better tour guide – Being directly involved in all aspects of the revitalization for over a decade, John shared his firsthand knowledge and understanding of the wilderness he and the American Greenlands Restoration project has created.

It was our first shoot up in Maine, and definitely one we won’t forget for some time to come. Beautiful scenery, genuine people, and yes, a ton of taxidermy.

This post brings our stories from the 2012 Heroes of Conservation to an end. We were extremely lucky to have met the outstanding individuals and that we did; their dedication to conservation and protecting the natural environment around them was only matched by their hospitality and good will in sharing their experiences with us.

12 replies to “Heroes of Conservation – John Sferazo”

  1. It goes without saying that I love the blog and your generosity with posting these tech things…
    Are you cranking a generator in these places? And, my 5D doesn’t sync so well at 1/200, i usually go at 1/160th max.
    THANKS!

  2. Hi… i commented earlier, i thought, but don’t see it here… i had two questions — 1, do you always work from a generator in the field? (which one?) and 2, how do you sync a 200th on the 5D, I can only sync at 160th…

    thank you! love the blog. (and the photos)

  3. Hey Dave, thanks for the questions! To answer them… #1 we almost always run generators when we’re outdoors as opposed to batter powered units. They can be a lot to carry, but offer greater flexibility and more power. Also, for syncing the 5d mk iii we sync fine at 200th, but are often shooting a bit slower shutter to help balance the ambient exposure. Hope this helps, cheers!

  4. Rob, you and Chris should swing by Vermont to visit some of your fellow RIT alum. Ian and I would definitely show you around PocketWizard HQ!

  5. Hey Chris! If we ever make it up that way, I’ll make sure to let you guys know. Same goes if you’re ever down near Philly, you’re more than welcome to stop by the studio.

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