Two Santa Cruz photographers use their art to showcase the biodiversity of Monterey Bay

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“Two Santa Cruz photographers use their art to showcase the biodiversity of Monterey Bay and surrounding areas. The husband-and-wife team of Frans Lanting and Christine Eckstrom traveled the world working for National Geographic, but during of the past two years they’ve taken their cameras to their own backyard and the result is a stunning tribute to Monterey Bay Frans and Chris have spent their pandemic years documenting the wonders of Monterey Bay, and even for these seasoned photographers, there were moments that took your breath away. , mouths open, anchovies spilling out, seagulls swirling above them, sea lions arching around them, the exuberance of life in the bay is so perfectly expressed. “While moments like this were awe-inspiring, she said there was also heartbreak. “The CZU fire happened while we were working on this project and we had no idea. We thought the Santa Cruz Mountains were a forest of asbestos and they would never burn, but how it turned out we were wrong.” Frans and Chris returned to the redwood forest after the fire. The before and after photographs were devastating, but there is resilience in the forest as it begins to regrow.”The fire rejuvenates the forest and all other habitats,” said Frans Lanting. “We are not prepared for how fire expresses itself in an age of climate change, so we need to look very differently at living and working with fire.” While Frans and Chris see themselves as warriors in the battle against climate change “, they point to the past as a model for the future. Decades ago, leaders passed laws protecting wildlife and designated the bay as a marine sanctuary. “That’s the message behind this project. Nature did not bounce back by itself. It recovered because people came together and acted together when needed and that’s what we hope to help propel forward because we face significant issues: the shortage of water, the effects of climate change. Many people are skeptical of politics these days with good reason, but if politicians hadn’t banded together fifty years ago we wouldn’t have the quality of life we ​​enjoy every day here. Frans said. Frans and Chris are now ready to share their Bay of Life project and book with the public. They have also developed a curriculum for the Santa Cruz School District, which they hope to apply to other districts in the future, including a bilingual version. Christine says that working with children is one of the things they are most passionate about. “When you’re with kids and you see their excitement and wonder about the natural world and you know you can teach them things that they can take home and grow with and maybe change the world. , it’s really gratifying. It gives you hope.” For more information on their photography and upcoming events, head over to Bay Of Life.

“Two Santa Cruz photographers use their art to showcase the biodiversity of Monterey Bay and surrounding areas.

The husband-and-wife team of Frans Lanting and Christine Eckstrom have traveled the world working for National Geographic, but over the past two years they’ve taken their cameras to their own backyard and the result is a stunning tribute to the Monterey Bay.

Frans and Chris spent their pandemic years documenting the wonders of Monterey Bay, and even for these seasoned photographers, there were some jaw-dropping moments.

For Christine, it is the humpback whales that feed in the bay. “To be in the bay in the presence of these whales as they bubble up from below, their mouths open, the anchovies pouring out, the seagulls whirling above them, the sea lions arching around them, the exuberance of bay life is so perfectly expressed.”

While moments like this were awe-inspiring, she said there was also heartbreak.

“The CZU fire happened when we were working on this project and we had no idea. We thought the Santa Cruz Mountains were a forest of asbestos and they would never burn, but at what how wrong we were.”

Frans and Chris returned to the redwood forest after the fire. The before and after photographs were devastating, but there is resilience in the forest as it begins to regrow.

“Fire rejuvenates the forest and all other habitats,” said Frans Lanting. “We are unprepared for how fire expresses itself in a time of climate change, so we have to look very differently at how to live and work with fire.”

While Frans and Chris see themselves as warriors in the fight against climate change, they point to the past as a model for the future. Decades ago, rulers passed laws protecting wildlife and designated the bay as a marine sanctuary.

“That’s the message behind this project. Nature didn’t bounce back on its own. It recovered because people came together and acted together when needed and that’s what we hope to help move forward as we face significant issues: water scarcity, the effects of climate change Many people are skeptical of politics these days with good reason, but if the politicians hadn’t banded together fifty years ago, we wouldn’t have the quality of life we ​​enjoy every day here,” Frans said.

Frans and Chris are now ready to share their Bay of Life project and book with the public. They have also developed a curriculum for the Santa Cruz School District, which they hope to apply to other districts in the future, including a bilingual version.

Christine says that working with children is one of the things they are most passionate about. “When you’re with kids and you see their excitement and wonder about the natural world and you know you can teach them things that they can take home and grow with and maybe change the world. , it’s really rewarding. It gives you hope.”

For more information on their photography and upcoming events, go to Bay of life.

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