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About the Journey
At the tender age of 7 years old Thomas Mark Szelog discovered his calling. Despite residing in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, he discovered and forged a relationship with wildlife along the banks of the nearby Merrimack River. Captivated with his sightings, he wanted to capture them forever, so he wrote personal journals about his wildlife encounters. His admiration for wildlife and nature developed into a high respect for the stamina, challenges, perseverance and determination that wildlife must endure in order to survive. He could relate since he was one of seven siblings, trying to survive in an impoverished family. His desire for documenting wildlife and their habitat expanded when he began creating photographs to accompany his journals. For the past 30 years Tom has been a professional wildlife photographer. He is a recipient of the Philip Hyde Award, presented annually to a photographer who is working to preserve the condition of the natural environment through the art of photography. His life-long respect and admiration for wildlife now guide him as a conservationist, using his photography and vision to help save what's left of our natural world with particular focus on the wild inhabitants within his own backyard of New England.
In 2007 Tom and his wife, Lee Ann founded the Maine Woods National Park Photo-Documentation Project. They have logged over 25,000 miles traveling the 3.2 million acres of the proposed Maine Woods National Park, exploring and photographing the wild that still survives and justifying why it needs preservation. Never before has a professional photography team extensively explored the depths of the North Woods of Maine.
What makes the Project highly unique is the northern forest of Maine is extremely wild and not easily accessible. Venturing into, and especially photographing this remote wilderness requires passion, vision, and mental and physical endurance. This extensive body of work of photographs and journals will become a testament to the land that still can be preserved through awareness and conservation. All photographs are created with the utmost reverence for nature and wildlife. No animals are baited or stalked, and no decoys or animal calls are used to obtain the photographs. Patience and perseverance are essential to photograph the wildlife in an unobtrusive manner.
With Tom primarily focusing on creating the photographs, Lee Ann Szelog works to educate and stimulate audiences about the park through a multi-media presentation, featuring Tom’s photographs and music by legendary folk singer, Pete Seeger. She is also coordinating the production of the book and fine-art photography exhibit. After spending 28 years working as a marketing and training executive, she founded Simply Put, a limited liability company specializing in presentations and programs to help people live life rather than react to it. For more information on Lee Ann’s presentations visit www.leeannszelog.com.