Too often, we vilify industries involved in our natural resource management, judging those involved, without knowing much about their lives or even the industry itself. This holds doubly true for industries with a checkered past and those that seem to belong more to the yesteryear than the present. Michael D. Wilson spent time talking with and photographing loggers and folks in the lumber industry, people we often don't think about, but who have been vital to local economics in our home state of Maine. His beautiful portraits, best seen as large prints or in the 'zine he put together for his solo show in Portland, Maine, grant us some insight into their lives and work, and humanize this oft-maligned industry, continuing a cultural, historical and financial pillar in the region.
From the time the first sawmill opened in South Berwick in 1634, to the 1830’s, when Bangor was the world’s largest lumber port, through the mechanization of the industry in the 20th Century, to the current day’s focus on sustainability, logging has been part of the fabric of Maine. In an industry constantly changing and reinventing itself, the one constant has been the Woodsman. The faces pictured here represent in many ways Maine itself – hardy, resourceful, and determined. Keenly in tune with the land, they continue to provide, as their predecessors did, the foundational materials for building and maintaining strong communities. - Michael D. Wilson
Our photographers are solitary in many ways, and their adventures are often only shared with one or two others. Despite the number of solitary subjects in Au Vol. 7, there are connections being made in every image, on every page. The moments captured reveal the triangular nature of outdoor photography: the connection between the subject, nature, and the photographer. When Rob Hammer captures a solo trail runner cutting across a lonely ridge, or Alasdair Turner photographs a young couple sharing a first canoe trip on an Alaskan lake on their wedding day, Aurora contributors connect us from our far away places to the beauty of man (and woman) exploring nature, and making connections of their own. It’s why Michael Wilson hiked the Appalachian Trail and took portraits of the people he met along the way, and why Craig Moore goes out to stand up paddle on Lake McDonald at sunrise. They take us where we’d like to go and introduce us to who we’d like to meet, and in that way, we are all connected.
Our photographers are our backbone and our lifeblood. Without their hard work and dedication to their craft, there'd be no Aurora Photos. On a selfish note, I'd be out of the best job I've ever had: looking at fantastic imagery from around the globe and collaborating with passionate photographers to create imagery that often leaves me amazed.
We're always on the look-out for potential new contributors to add to our community, like those who have a fresh approach, or international photographers to further expand on our global collection. Below are some of the handpicked photographers who have started contributing in 2015, and you can click the link to see even more curated imagery! - Larry Westler, Content Director