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Bruce Farnsworth
Independent Photography Professional
Independent Photography Professional

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See my feature photography for "Fire Stories" in the December 2017 issue of Marin Magazine. The article includes interviews with those affected in the recent Sonoma-Napa firestorms who describe a range of experiences

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random and hilarious

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Wow. My first Google + post in a long while. I have plans for visiting this place in an upcoming venture. The people of Anangu are wonderful

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Some of my published research on the use of photography in education

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I'm enjoying the discussions with members of Biocultural Landscapes & Seascapes, a Google community "where biodiversity and human cultures flourish together!"

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Raw Rainforest Immersion Photography Tours is my small effort to reform photography workshops in the upper Amazon with programs that are more inclusive of community hosts, infused with exercises in creativity delivering accurate conservation messages.

I'll never forget my observations one day at a well-known jungle lodge near Yasuní National Park in Ecuador. A canoe-load of birdwatchers arrived at the hotel's dock. As the Native host waited kindly with a glass of juice squeezed from local rainforest fruit, the first tourist off the boat immediately asked two questions: 1) Where's your observation tower, and 2) Will our group have first dibs on it in the morning?  

With Raw Rainforest, I want to actively resist this often singular, militaristic approach to wildlife tourism and, in these areas of wonderful cultural and biological richness, offer programming which is designed collaboratively with gracious community hosts, and to present host perspectives on the many riches and niches for which the neotropical forests are known.

The young woman in this picture is Katerina Cerda, member of the A√Īangu lowland Quichua (Napo Runa) community. ¬†She is paddling on the Napo river at the mouth of the A√Īanguyacu river. The width of the Napo, a tributary of the Amazon is visible and so is it's power. Notice the partially submerged tree trunk washed from the rainforest in a recent storm. ¬†During our programs- ideally with educators, 'ologists and those with an clear objective to share these messages - I facilitate as participants build their own interpretive essays in rainforest interior, lagoon, shoreline and canopy settings with local community guides.

I would love to share some of my favorite locations - and some of my best friends - with you in the upper Amazon regions of  Ecuador and Peru!  

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Just a link to my editorial and conservation photography

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One of my lowland Quichua friends prepares to cast a hand-woven seine net or "ataraya" (Spanish name) into the Arajuno river of Amazonian Ecuador. The traditional dugout canoe is carved from the local rainforest hardwood "Canelo" (Nectandra sp.) 

This community knew long ago something tropical biologists found in research.  Canelo trees uptake free silica (in solution in the soil) at a much higher rate than most plants. Canoes carved from Canelo last longer - resisting the 300 inches of yearly rainfall in this region. 

Also noteworthy is that established lowland Quichua communities favor traditional methods as the atarya or a  single hook line over dynamite fishing and the recent advent of Methavin, a dangerous pesticide now in use by colonists and commercial fishermen.

These are examples of how traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and practice confirms modern science and sustains healthy river systems.  Rio Arajuno, Napo province, Amazonian Ecuador.

In my own editorial and documentary work, I am most attracted to the water's edge and flooded rainforest systems. I've published with Smithsonian and National Geographic and am currently completing my PhD in Educational Foundations & Research. In this work, I make innovative use of photography-based methodologies to elicit human relationships with the environment.   As a zoologist myself, I'm very receptive to ethnozoology and cultural values in nature. I've enjoyed perusing the posts of the BCLS group and I do believe there are opportunities for collaborative publication work along these themes.

Feel free to view my editorial pursuits, links to my research and ecotourism work as well, and email me at

Best, Bruce  

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Lately, I've been helping my good friend Salomon, president of the lowland Quichua community Chuva Urku. I'm setting him up with digiscoping and other equipment funded by a grant to his community's ecotourism enterprise and translating his community's new website to English so they can capture more tourism. I've known Salomon since about 1997.

Chuva Urku has gorgeous primary rainforest. He's a sweet man & an awesome guide and "motorista" (canoe pilot). Check out "Chuva Urku Turismo Comunitario" on Facebook and consider visiting his program! You'll experience living with their families, participate in forest-based activities (maybe even a community work party or "minga") and enjoy wonderful rainforest observations and forest foods/fruits with his patient guidance.

Chuva Urku is part of the RICANCIE network of indigenous tourism in the upper Napo valley region of Amazonian Ecuador...
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