Tortoises Through the Lens

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) recently commissioned me to curate, print, and frame a wonderful exhibition entitled Tortoises Through the Lens. A community based conservation action project, Tortoises Through the Lens, works to educate and empower local high school students to learn about conservation through photography in the Mojave Desert. To raise awareness about the charismatic desert tortoise and to highlight the threats they are facing, the project is also publishing a Desert Tortoise Conservation photobook, which will be available in August 2010. By purchasing this inexpensive book, you are helping to save this important species, as all proceeds will be used to further desert tortoise conservation efforts.

From May 2 through August 7, 2010, the NPCA will feature a Tortoises Through the Lens photography exhibition that displays landscape, wildlife, and macro photography at the Desert Light Art Gallery inside the Historic Kelso Depot at Mojave National Preserve. The photos on display were taken by local high school students who explored the Mojave desert through the 18-month long Tortoises Through the Lens Community Action Project. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

I am honored and excited to have worked with this exhibition and to help advance awareness and conservation for this imperiled and important species. I’m also thankful and grateful to my friend David Lamfrom of the NPCA, who requested my expertise in putting together this exhibition.

I hope you all get a chance to see and support this exhibition. Thanks for helping desert tortoises and the Mojave Desert!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.


Castle Mountains Tour with the NPCA – May 17, 2009

I just received this invitation from Michael Cipra of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). Unfortunately, I’m leaving for Utah on May 14 and will not return until May 24, otherwise I’d be heading to the Castle Mountains with the NPCA! The Castle Mountains area is spectacular, remote, and quiet, so I highly encourage you to participate.

“I’d like to extend the invitation to you to join us this Sunday, May 17, for a tour of the Castle Mountains, a beautiful California desert area that the National Parks Conservation Association is proposing be added to Mojave National Preserve. Full details of this tour are below. If you have questions or would like to attend, please RSVP to me by this Friday. Hope to hear from you, and to see you this weekend in the Mojave!


You’re Invited on a Tour of the Mojave!

Sunday, May 17th, Castle Mountains Auto Tour and Hike

Meet at 8 AM at the Desert Discovery Center
831 Barstow Road Barstow, CA 92311

Join California Wilderness Coalition and the National Parks Conservation Association on a day of exploration and hiking among castle-like rock formations, Joshua tree forests, and exquisite scenery. This will be a driving tour with a couple of short, easy hikes and lots of great photo opportunities!

We’ll leave from the Desert Discovery Center parking lot at 8 a.m. and travel along Historic Route 66, as well as I-15, driving past the Cady Mountains, Afton Canyon, the Soda Mountains, and the Mojave National Preserve, arriving finally at the Castle Mountains. We’ll return by traveling through the Mojave National Preserve and along I-40. We will learn some natural and cultural history along the way while enjoying the beautiful desert landscapes.

We encourage folks to arrive in Barstow a day early to check out some of the interesting history and attractions that the high desert has to offer:

The Harvey House

The Desert Discovery Center

Mother Road Route 66 Museum

The Mojave River Valley Museum

For the day of the auto tour and hike, please dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring 2 liters of water per person and a picnic lunch. We will return to Barstow by mid-afternoon.

Space is limited, so please reserve a spot ahead of time by sending an email to

Mike Cipra
California Desert Program Manager
National Parks Conservation Association
Protecting Our National Parks for Future Generations
61325 29 Palms Highway, Suite B
Joshua Tree, CA 92252”

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve

I spent last Saturday at the Mojave National Preserve with David Lamfrom, the California Desert Field Representative of National Parks Conservation Association. David and I met to explore and share our love of the Preserve, and to discuss the threats that it faces. David’s got several projects in the works that will help bring greater attention and awareness to the Mojave National Preserve, and my photographs will hopefully help to illustrate these projects. Please stay tuned….

Celebrate the Skies of Mojave National Preserve on October 25th, 2008! Explore the pristine night sky with an expert astronomer (the Preserve offers unparalleled darkness and quiet). Mingle, meet, and engage with other Friends of Mojave National Preserve. Learn about the challenges facing the Preserve on the eve of its 14th Birthday. This is a family-friendly event! Bring your camping gear and spend the night with us for free. Learn more about this event and RSVP here (reservations required!).

I’ll be there, and I hope to see you there, too!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.