First milestone reached.

Community came together.  Nearly 6000 signatures were collected in order to re-zone the Oswit Canyon as an Environmentallly Sensitive Area and to protect it from developers.  I did what I know best, took pictures to share and to my surprise even collected some signatures.  Thanks to all the volunteers, gatherers and signees.  Not many initiatives turn in almost double the amount signatures needed and 5 months before the deadline.  But despite of all this success, it is not over yet. 

Magic and Wonder of the Holiday Season at the Zoo.

My latest collaboration with M&C Saatchi LA and the San Diego Zoo, invite you to enjoy the larger than life centennial animal puppets of "The Journey," lit up aglow for the holidays in celebration of the Zoo's 100th birthday.  

Thank you for the Black and White honor.

Happy to share good news.  This image from my Instagram series Jumbo Rocks shot in Palm Springs was selected among the best in Fine Art Category from total of 7,556 entries at the 11th Annual Black and White Spider Awards.  The other two from the series and two images from my Circus series were among the nominees.  Congratulations to all the other winners and nominees!  You can find them here.   

Saving Oswit Canyon and Lykken hike.

Doing what I know best - taking pictures.  Trying to help the movement to keep an out-of-town builder from building a large housing development in a well hiked natural area in South Palm Springs.  I took these picture while enjoying the scenic trails in the canyon, which is also the home for the endangered species like big-horn sheep.  We would not just loose the hiking trails we would loose what is best in Palm Springs - natural landscape.  Off to look for big-horns!

Move info about the movement on their Facebook page here.

NO ESCAPE. IPA honoring San Diego Zoo Campaign.

This year, The International Photography Awards received 17033 of submissions from over 162 countries, and is pleased to declare that Markku Lahdesmaki was awarded Honorable Mention in Advertising for the winning entry San Diego Zoo Nighttime Campaign and Honorable Mention in People for the winning entry Motocross Rider.

My son Tomi honorably picked up the AOP Award for me.

I am very pleased to be the winner in "Best in Category/Advertising Single" and to be part of the AOP exhibition with my images for the San Diego Zoo.  The Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Old Truman Brewery, in London.  Unfortunately I was not able to attend, but luckily I had my son Tomi happily accepted the award on my behalf.  Thank you AOP,  thank you M&C Saatchi LA and thank you Tomi!

The day the animals wore shoes.

Being asked to create these San Diego Zoo ads featuring these magical, giant animal puppets from “The Journey,” a musical processional honoring the Zoo’s 100-year history, and the quest to end extinction, was an animal lover’s dream come true.

Created by the Puppet Kitchen, a total of 24 creatures were built for the festivities.  20 puppeteers worked for over a year, using hundreds of different materials to perfect them.

Honoring this craft and care became my inspiration throughout.  Lucky for me living in California meant that I had front row access to find and photograph the perfect landscapes.  Between having perfect backdrops and ideal skies I created the stories of these beautiful creatures and their surroundings.

My thanks to Art Director Ron Tapia and Art Producer Brian Bushaw at M&C Saatchi LA for asking me to collaborate for this wonderful campaign.

Check out the video and see how the images were created.