13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Sustainable Travel
Fall Landing

During a two-week fall wilderness adventure, my husband and I came upon this incredible campsite in the Boundary Waters. As we explored our newly discovered campsite, I caught sight of our cherry red canoes along the autumn-kissed shoreline. Recognizing how perfectly the scene reflected the wilderness experience, I composed a series of photographs to share with others.

In addition to the beautiful sand and granite shoreline, we found many treasures to admire and photograph in the area – from bog cranberries and tiny fungi to breathtaking views atop a rock outcropping. By day we enjoyed the visual feast of autumn foliage. By night we were mesmerized by the Aurora Borealis dancing in all directions, while several large toads slowly marched up the granite shoreline toward camp. It was a magical, memorable wilderness experience!

Sustainable travel prevents degradation and negative impact on the area which is being traveled. At the wilderness level, it is being mindful that one is merely a visitor, and Leave No Trace principles apply to preserve the health and integrity of the ecosystems so they will thrive indefinitely.

I believe this photograph conveys both the magnificence of the wilderness and the quiet simplicity of our sustainable travels. My husband and I are nature photographers who are passionate about conveying the wilderness experience to others. When we explore the wilderness (usually with our Golden Retriever), we carry the supplies and equipment needed to survive in that environment, along with our camera gear to digitally preserve nature and the experience. We curiously travel by canoes across the lakes and rivers, and by foot across portages, toting our belongings. We cook simple meals over a flame at primitive campsites, and willingly get in sync with the rhythms of nature. Wilderness travels help us recharge and regain our own natural balance.

When we explore, we observe and learn about the flora and fauna in ecosystems. Through photography and videography, we preserve the sights and sounds to share with others, with the intention of raising awareness about the beauty, uniqueness, purpose, and importance of balanced, healthy ecosystems and their inhabitants. For us, the wilderness naturally feels like home. Among my goals for photography: to educate and inspire others to learn about wilderness ecosystems, develop a passion to protect all wild places, and live more gently upon our Earth.

This photo is a finalist in the Sustainable Travel category of our 13th Annual Photo Contest. See all 70 finalists here.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2013
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Copyright: © Dawn LaPointe
Photo of the Day: 03.12.16