Dudley Edmondson - Nature Photography
Updated: Dec 18, 2021
Meet Dudley Edmondson
Nature photographer, videographer, writer, speaker, conservationist
In this video interview Dudley Edmondson talks about his photographs.
Dudley Edmondson is wild about wild spaces. He has found many paths that lead him into the beauty of the outdoors.
As a boy, Dudley Edmondson found his way into the woods looking for refuge. At home his life was often stressful. His parents struggled with alcohol. But on family picnics Dudley was allowed to wander and explore. He found peace and calm in nature.
Dudley was wild about birds. As a junior in high school, he taught himself how to photograph the birds he saw. He studied some photography and read books about photographers he admired, like Ansel Adams. Dudley knew he didn’t want to work at a desk. He wanted to work outdoors. Nature photography would be his work. So he took that path into the wild spaces he loved.
Starting a photography business is hard work. Money was tight. He sometimes had to spend his days working steady jobs to pay the bills. He had to squeeze in time to make photos. With his wife’s support, the business thrived.
But money wasn’t his only problem. He needed confidence. He had to believe that his work was good enough for people to buy. Knowing how to shoot a camera isn’t enough. Good art captures the passion of the artist. He worried he wasn’t good enough. Now, after years and years of clicking photos, Dudley knows his work is good enough. And he has found new paths into the outdoors as a videographer, writer, and speaker. His work invites people to follow him into the woods.
As a successful artist, Dudley decided it was time to help others. Urban kids and kids of color do not have many opportunities to find the beauty and peace he found outdoors. Now he helps communities give those kids a path in. He knows that surviving in nature teaches you critical thinking skills. And it can heal the mind and body. It healed him.
In 2021, Dudley was appointed as a council member for a Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Council. The council tells the Minnesota government how to spend millions of dollars set aside to preserve nature. Dudley feels this is the high point of his career. He is able to preserve and protect the forests, prairies, and wetlands that gave him so much. He is making sure people can explore paths into the beauty of wild spaces for many years to come.
Nature photographs: Permission of photographer, Dudley Edmondson
Read these books about exploring outdoors . . .
The Black & Brown Faces in America's Wild Places: African Americans Making Nature and the Environment a Part of Their Everyday Lives
by Dudley Edmondson
After four years of crisscrossing America conducting interviews with people from all walks of life- government officials, working biologists, national park rangers, and private citizens- he produced “Black & Brown Faces in Americas Wild Places” The book's purpose is to create a set of “Outdoor Role Models” for the African American community. He feels it is important for them to see individuals who LOOK like them with similar life experiences talking about their passion for nature and the outdoors. Each copy of the book comes with a Children's version on the inside back cover that you can give to a child in your community or household.
This book is only available on Dudley Edmonson's website.
Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author)
His white teacher tells her all-black class, You'll all wind up porters and waiters. What did she know? Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood. But before he made movies and wrote books, he was a poor African American looking for work. When he bought a camera, his life changed forever. He taught himself how to take pictures and before long, people noticed. His success as a fashion photographer landed him a job working for the government. In Washington DC, Gordon went looking for a subject, but what he found was segregation. He and others were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Gordon wanted to take a stand against the racism he observed. With his camera in hand, he found a way. Told through lyrical verse and atmospheric art, this is the story of how, with a single photograph, a self-taught artist got America to take notice.
I, Matthew Henson
by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author)
Black explorers and naturalists are often overlooked in our history books. This book reminds us of the incredible contributions of Matthew Henson to the first expedition that reached the north pole.
Matthew Henson was not meant to lead an ordinary life. His dreams had sails. They took him from the port of Baltimore, around the world, and north to the pole.
No amount of fear, cold, hunger, or injustice could keep him from tasting adventure and exploring the world.
He learned to survive in the Arctic wilderness, and he stood by Admiral Peary for years on end, all for the sake of his goal.
And finally, after decades of facing danger and defying the odds, he reached the North Pole and made history. At last, Henson had proved himself as an explorer-and as a man.
. . . and visit these websites!
Watch this TEDx video about Outdoor Afro and creating a new story of people and Nature.
NatGeo offers photography tips for kids.
Check out Gabby Salazar's gallery of shots from the video.
Joshua Launstein is an Award-Winning Wildlife Photographer and He's Only 13.
DJ Spooky speaks about the importance of wilderness to musicians and artists.