DANIEL FOX | Nature/Wildlife Explorer and Storyteller
How can nature restore the human spirit?
Nature is more than a destination, more than a “place”. It is a world of wonders, discoveries, and wisdom — filled with insights where you can learn about connectedness, reciprocity, symbiosis, and tension. If you listen to nature, it will teach you about humility, respect, patience, resilience, and perspective. In other words, it is a framework for personal and collective transformation. We have so much to learn from it. I created this expression, a play on the word nature, an acronym that reminds us of what it can be and do for us: “The power of nature ‘Nurtures, Awakens, Transcends, Uplifts, Restores, and Elevates’ the human spirit.
Can you tell us about WILD.ECO., the initiative you founded to send underprivileged youth to wilderness immersion camps?
WILD.ECO’s mission is to foster resilient, empowered, adaptable, curious and empathetic students of life using nature as a framework for personal transformation. It focuses on two strategies. The first one is mentorship, using the insights and lessons I’ve acquired from my time in nature and in the wilderness. It is a year-long program, with a specific theme for each month, during which each mentee spends time researching, reading, watching, meditating, writing and drawing. Right now, I have mentees ranging from 17 to 50 years, from students to established professionals, all looking for a more meaningful life. It is inspiring to see these individuals finish the program with an acquired inner peace and clarity.
The second one is that we create opportunities for young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. We do this by raising funds to pay for the camp’s tuition, sending youth to month-long wilderness immersion camps. My goal is to enhance their desire to explore and discover the natural world, to uncover the beauty and challenges inherent in nature and realize their individual strengths, weaknesses, and potential. It is a journey of self-discovery that hopefully leads to self-confidence, boosting self-esteem and laying the foundation for leadership skills.
What makes a great wildlife photograph?
First and foremost – patience! Then it depends on what kind of photography you want to do. Photograph, experiment, try different styles, different exposures, different aesthetics, etc. Try until you find what you feel is your signature: see what makes a photograph “your photograph”. Finally, learn to delete. Deleting photos (not moments) does three main things:
- It forces you to decide on what you like and what you don’t like;
- It creates value on the photos you keep;
- It keeps everything in order, getting rid of the excess and making room for more creativity.