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Follow "The Traveling Photographer" on location around the world. Richard Sobol brings dynamic image driven presentations to students in grades 2-12. Currently offering audio-visual programs featuring first-hand encounters with wild animals, wildlife conservation projects, the protection of endangered species as well as encounters within African and Asian Cultures.
The programs can be tailored to fit your studies in science, natural history, social studies or the arts. The Traveling Photographer audio visual presentations and artist in residency workshops are highly popular at school visits throughout North America and Asia.
All of the presentations share in the exciting career of a traveling photographer as I bring the students along with me to unique destinations around the world. In words and pictures I share scientific and historical information while engaging students with vivid photographs and first person accounts of encounters on location with animals and people.
Presentations include overviews of conservation projects and issues in Asia, and Africa and specific talks on elephants (both wild and domesticated), endangered mountain gorillas, whales and whale migrations, harp seals, Asian rice farming, silkworms and silk production, the mysteries of Angkor Wat, the people and machines on a construction site, African vanilla and coffee growing and daily life of an African village.
Often I will do different class programs and then a larger school wide assembly on conservation or diving into the challenging world of book publishing and sharing some ideas about artistic expression and the process of bringing a story to life, step by step, in completed printed book form. Over the past ten years I have presented and led workshops, master classes and artist-in- residency programs in schools throughout North America and at schools in Southeast Asia and Africa. Single or multi day programs are available. International school programs are welcomed. As "The Traveling Photographer" I am always looking for new story topics around the world. Maybe the next title will come from your neighborhood and involve some of your students! Feel free to contact me to discuss your school's needs.
Two new exclusive presentations are available this year for the first time.
CONSTRUCTION ZONE Construction Zone tells the story of a how a building is built. The project that I follow for five years, from a hole in the ground all the way until it is fully occupied, is the Frank Gehry designed engineering and robotics building at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The sweeping glass, waves of metal, and angled layers of brick defy the conventions of traditional architecture and challenge the carpenters, welders, plumbers and engineers that designed and built it. This is the story of construction; craftsmanship and vision as they come together to build a building that many thought couldn't be built.
DELICIOUS PEACE - an Interfaith Journey The second new presentation (and forthcoming book, Delicious Peace) focuses on a quiet corner in East Africa that is positioning itself to change the world. In a remote corner of Uganda; Christians, Muslims and Jews have come together to raise coffee and vanilla in a spirit of cooperation and interfaith harmony. This is one of the few places on earth where religion is bringing people together as they help one another to move forward economically, struggling together to feed their families and find the money for yearly school fees for their children. It is a rare story of hope and faith coming out of Africa. This program also shares the joyous African music, song and drumming that the local children's music groups have played for me.
Adelina's Whales The great migration of the Pacific Grey Whales lead right to the bayside home of ten year old Adelina Mayoral. Her remote village attracts scientists; celebrities and tourists who come to see the whales and sometimes even touch them. In the shallow waters of Mexico's Laguna San Ignacio some of the 40-ton animals actually come so close to the small whale watching boats that visitors can actually stroke their rubbery skin and scratchy barnacles. This is one of the few places on earth where wild animals approach humans for contact. The story of Adelina's Whales shares the ocean world of these marine mammals and the Mexican families that host them every year.
Breakfast in the Rainforest The Mountain gorillas of Africa are among the most endangered animals in the world. Only six hundred and fifty of these, the largest of all primates, are alive today. They live in an isolated mountain range that straddles the corner of three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This story shares the long bumpy journey and my adventure through the rural African countryside to reach the gorilla's home. During my photographic treks to find the gorillas I also introduce the National Park Rangers that work hard to protect these few remaining mountain gorillas from human harm. The photographs share the first encounter that one gorilla family, the nkurigo group, have with me as I become the first outside photographer to visit them.
The Life of Rice: From Seedling to Supper In much of Asia rice farming and local cultures are intertwined and seasons revolve around the farming and harvest of rice. In the Thai province of Issan rice grows everywhere; in backyards, gardens and near shops and schools. This story shares the world of rice and the children and adults that work, play and live off this most important source of food.
One More Elephant The story of two brave conservations that work in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda after the civil wars and bring the elephant population from 180 to 400 in only five years. The book brings to life a wildlife success story that was a lesson for saving animals throughout Africa.
The temple ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia are vast and complex. Within the moss covered fallen stone carvings so many stories have been preserved. Although I read many tour books and hired my own local guide to take me through the 1000 year old city of the vanished Khmer Empire, it was the local children who showed me the best surprise of all. The ancient temples are their playgrounds, dance studios, and history classroom so they were my best guides of all. I photographed for three weeks and on my very last day I got to see their most special secret place.