As the sun sheds its first rays of light on the new millennium and the natural wonders of the Caribbean Jan. 1, St. Croix photographer Carol Lee will be there to capture the unveiling on film.
But while photographing the Caribbean, and in particular St. Croix’s, natural beauty isn’t something new for Lee, the concept behind the New Year’s Day project is: The first world-wide photo shoot dedicated to the subject of nature.
The project is called Daybreak 2000, where more than 120 professional photographers around the world will focus their cameras on nature.
"No people, no houses: nothing but nature," Lee said. "St. Croix will represent the Caribbean. I’m totally psyched for it."
On the first day of the new millennium, photographers will be scattered around the globe in countries like Argentina, Canada, Chile, England, Fiji, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mozambique, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, The United States and Zimbabwe, said the creator of Daybreak 2000, Roger Tefft of California.
"On a day when the world’s attention is focused on whether computers are working, Daybreak 2000 photographers will focus on the timeless wonders of nature – deserts, forests, mountains, oceans, plants and wildlife," Tefft said. "It is our hope that images like those made during the first day of 2000 can be made during the first day of 3000, and beyond."
The images collected by the photographers will be posted on the Internet at www.daybreak2000.com in early January and then be assembled into a book to be released on Feb. 23 by Northword Press.
Lee, meanwhile, has already scouted several potential shooting sites – known only to her – in order to grasp the essence of the Caribbean and St. Croix. She, like other project members, will also be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at them on New Year’s Day, be it rain, sun, clouds or fickle wildlife.
"Someone was going to swim with manatees. What if they don’t show up?" Lee said. "I have a list that takes up an entire legal sheet of what I need to take with me."
Some of the participants in the project are acclaimed nature photographers, who will tie the millennium celebration into such things as 1,000-year-old redwood trees in California and ancient baobab trees in Africa – some of which have stood for more than 3,000 years.
"We will succeed if the images from this project inspire our descendants’ descendants to nurture the planet’s precious places for the benefit of future generations," Tefft said.
A portion of the project’s proceeds will be donated to wilderness and wildlife conservation organizations, he said.
For more information on Carol Lee, visit her web site at www.carollee.vi/


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