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Defenders Magazine

Summer 2015

Volume 90, Issue 2


Bison highway, © Paul Shea

Chuck Edelstein began to explore his passion for photography in the 1960s, when he decided to pick up a camera and start documenting his growing children. He really didn’t have enough time to experiment during this period of his life, but when everything switched over to digital in 2005, “a whole new world opened up,” he says. Today he enjoys photographing wolves, foxes and coyotes as well as sea and sky landscapes. A retired judge, Edelstein loves to spend time with his wife traveling to exotic locations, rich with wildlife and natural landscapes. This passion to explore landed Edelstein in Alaska at just the right time and place to capture this grand-prize-winning photograph. “We were staying in Camp Denali and after almost three days of trying to get close enough to photograph wolves, we were on the bus getting ready to leave when the driver said that a wild wolf family had come down to a den,” says Edelstein. All at once, the photographers moved to one side of the bus, lowered their windows and started clicking away. “The driver said that we had only five minutes to shoot from our seats, no tripods,” Edelstein recalls. Using his 100-400mm lens on his Canon 40D, he shot what he could and says that luck was with him all the way. Meanwhile, outside the windows on the opposite side of the bus, Edelstein’s wife and the other passengers witnessed an equally compelling scene. “They saw another wolf chasing a bear,” he says. “Was this wolf related to the wolf family? We will never know.” Edelstein’s favorite part of his winning photograph are the wolves’ eyes. “These wolves are sentient beings and in their eyes I saw caring and curiosity,” he says. Every time he looks at the photo, he feels peace in his heart and hopes his image inspires others to feel it, too.


Butterfly, © Karen Anderson
Insects and weeds 
overrunning your garden might make you want to grab pesticides and start spraying, but for the health and safety of living creatures and the environment, it’s best to keep your hand off the nozzle.
Grizzly bears, © Robbie George/National Geographic Creative
With only a handful of grizzly bears left in the Northwest, actions are finally underway to restore a healthy population to the North Cascades region in Washington, one of the largest contiguous undeveloped areas in the lower 48 states.
I especially enjoy this issue of Defenders each year because we profile the wonderful photographers who have generously shared their pictures with us through our photo contest. Not only are the images spectacular, but often the back stories give us a vivid sense of place and make us feel like we, too, were right there.